If you are thinking every day about unique ways to transform your garden, you should already know that few decorative elements have such a spectacular effect as a pergola. Its main advantage remains versatility, and can be easily integrated into any architectural and landscape style. Next, you will find out what are the other advantages, some tips for building a pergola, but you will also see enough images for inspiration.
What is a pergola and what is its role
Unlike a pavilion , the pergola is not necessarily an island in the yard, separate from the house. The pergola can also be built next to the house, in order to cover the terrace space. In general, the pillars of a pergola are fixed directly to the ground or concrete, without being lifted on a pedestal. The roof is usually made of several separate planks which, in sunlight, create a fascinating play of shadows and lights.
At the same time, the roof of a “classic” pergola will not protect you from the rain and will create a little shade compared to the roof of a pavilion or a covered pavilion. Therefore, if you want the pergola to protect you from the weather, plan the construction in advance so that it has an opaque roof.
Remember that pergolas can be made of several types of materials. Among the most popular are wood and wrought iron , but there is also the version of the pergola with adjustable canopy, made of aluminum .
How to build a pergola
Even if it is not the most difficult construction project you can undertake, a pergola requires enough technical sense, as well as a series of suitable tools and materials. If you don’t own one or the other, turn to either professional builders or friends with more experience in the field.
The easiest way is to build a wooden pergola, separate from the house. Depending on the height you want, choose four sturdy planed wooden poles and enough long planks to make the roof. One idea may be to build the roof of the pergola from two layers of planks , with the upper planks positioned perpendicularly over the lower ones.
First of all, you will need to position the poles correctly. In order to have a resistant structure, it is recommended that each pillar be placed in a small pit filled with concrete. First mark the approximate location of each chalk pit and use roulette to measure the distances between future poles.
Around the markings, you will have to build wooden profiles to delimit the square space of the future construction. Tie the profiles together with strings, so as to make sure that the surface on which you will raise the pergola is really square.
Once you know exactly where the poles will come from, dig holes of the right depths. Position the pillars on solid pieces of concrete, so that they do not sit directly on the ground. Then use two wooden props for each pole. Nail the props, then, with the help of the level , make sure that each pole is straight.
Pour the concrete and let it dry for 24 hours. Once the poles are well fixed, you can remove the profiles, string and props. Use a ladder to reach the top of each pillar and mark the height at which the beams will come . If necessary, cut a little from the height of the poles. To create the space in which you will mount the beams, you will need to cut not only the height, but also half the thickness of the pillars, so that the beams can be easily fixed. Use a circular saw to cut accurately.
Make large holes in the beams and at the ends of the pillars; fix the pillar beams using nails or screws of considerable thickness. Between the two beams, place the first layer of planks and nail each piece of wood. Repeat the process for the second layer and … ready! You now have a pergola in the yard that you made with your own hands.
Types of pergolas
Next, we will briefly present the three most popular types of pergola.
Wood is, without a doubt, the preferred material when it comes to the construction of the pergola, not only due to the ease with which the work can be done, but also to the aesthetic effect of the material. As I said at the beginning of the article, wooden pergolas are versatile, they can be easily integrated into any landscape style.
However, it is not mandatory that the entire structure be made of wood. For example, you can only make the roof wooden, while the pillars can be built in the style of columns.
Do not forget that wood is a natural material and has a low resistance to weather. Therefore, it is recommended to varnish after construction boards to increase their strength over time.
pergola Due to the material it is made of, wrought iron pergola is not as versatile as the wooden one. But you can use it if you want to give your garden an elegant and romantic air. However, you will have to make an effort to find a suitable piece of furniture for the relaxation space under the pergola.
However, wrought iron has the advantage of being resistant to weather and the action of time, so the pergola made of this material will need fewer maintenance operations than the wooden one. Also, the pillars made of iron will be able to support a heavier weight, such as that of a roof made of glass and metal.
Pergola with adjustable canopy
Even if from an aesthetic point of view an adjustable canopy is not as impressive as wooden or wrought iron pergolas, it can be infinitely more useful if you want a shady and cool space. The canopy is made of a hard aluminum frame and a waterproof textile material, so you won’t have to worry about rain either.
You can opt for a cover that can be operated manually or one with an electric mechanism, adjustable by switch or remote control.