Basics of How to Build a Pergola

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    May 23, 2013
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Basics of How to Build a Pergola Photo by Frank Walmsley

Here are the basics on how to build a nice pergola:

# 1 - Location is everything

You start off by figuring out where you want the Pergola located. Location is everything because a pergola is usually meant to be the focal point in your garden - it usually is the first thing that visitors will notice. While its location should make it the focus point of the visitor's attention, its design should afford a good deal of privacy from unwanted prying eyes in the neighbourhood.

# 2 - Size matters!

Make it too small in relation to your house, and the eye will overlook the pergola in fact, the eye will perceive it as an obstruction to the main view which is the house. In reality, the pergola is meant to catch the eye. To figure out how big your pergola should be, walk a few meters away from the house and stand facing your house. Now decide where and how big the decking canberra should be in relation to the house such that, the pergola becomes the centre of attraction.

You might not necessarily want it in the centre especially if the house itself is beautiful. Imagine the pergola at different locations. Here's an exercise that would help:

1. Click a few pictures of the house.
2. Select a few pergola designs (or make copies of a particular design you like).
3. Have your pictures printed and paste the deck designs in different locations you feel would be ideal.
4. Show the pictures to your family and friends.
5. The feedback you receive will give you a good idea of where your pergola should be located and also the appropriateness of the chosen pergola design.

# 3 - Materia

Though ideal in terms of finish, a pergola does not necessarily have to be built from timber. These days, your canberra deck builders will have a wonderful range of material for you to choose from. These range from hardwood to light weight beautifully finished steel to long lasting and highly economical composite materials.

Be sure to also ask for kits. That's right! To make matters really easy, your decking materials may also have ready-to-install pergola kits. You leaf through the various designs and select the one that would be most appropriate for your house and of a size that is nearest to the one you had in mind.

Even where no kit is available for the design or specification you have in mind, an enterprising decking installation can make such a kit for you. He or she simply cuts the wood to size (or whatever material you have chosen) and adds various other hardware items such as angles, nuts bolts, etc. If you have selected wood he can even custom cut, treat and polish it for you.

# 4 - Preparing the ground for your pergola

Before you install your pergola, you have to prepare the ground including the drainage. You may require cement, bricks and piping. If you are unfamiliar with the process of preparing the ground for a pergola or do not have the tools for it, or generally don't like to mess with the kind of materials involved, hire a outdoor decking contractor.

While preparing the ground, it might be a good idea to also prepare the holes that will receive the supports of your pergola.

Allow the prepared ground to be 'cured' adequately before you install your pergola. Curing the ground usually means just sprinkling some water over the portions where concrete might have been used. The contractor may handle this part too or will guide you on what is required.

# 5 - Installing your pergola

Once the ground is ready, simply set up the supporting structure of your pergola and then lay the roof and you're done.

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