Adding a pergola inside your backyard is a rewarding project that creates a whole new level of beauty and art to your garden oasis. It can also be the perfect place to relax and lounge around on warmer days when you need just the right amount of shade under the sun. If you have an outdoor kitchen, a pergola is almost a must. And though most pergolas don’t have a traditional roof, some designs might surprise you to what their function and usefulness can be combined with other backyard activities.
Choosing a pergola based on usage
While most of us can agree that a pergola is a natural habitat for finding rest and relaxation since it’s a structure that’s very open to interpretation. You might say that a pergola is a mixed medium for how it can be used. In some locations, the open-framed rooftop is a bare skeleton that allows some light through, making it perfect for subtle shade conditions. When it comes to function, it can also be used as a beneficial spot for outdoor kitchens.
To pull this off, this requires some planning to ensure that the rooftop provides enough light, but isn’t exposing outdoor cooking equipment to the elements directly. This is where transparent roofing material is employed to allow light to come through and still give adequate overhead protection if it rains. Some pergola designs also incorporate hanging plants, suspended netting, or fabric for shading.
There is no size limit for how large a pergola can be, but if you’re planning on installing one in your backyard, you’ll need to have enough space available. There are just a few more important facts you should know when building a pergola on your own.
Premade or custom-made?
The internet is a wonderful thing and there are many pergola kits you can order just as easily. They are also sold through home improvement centers all the same. And though these kits are easy to assemble in a couple of days, they do have limitations. The first is the overall size if you are looking for a larger pergola than what is currently available to buy right away.
If you’re set on building a pergola, it’s always more satisfying to custom build one using wood purchased from any lumberyard or lumber outlet. The lumber that you buy at home improvement centers is nice for smaller construction jobs, but you want to have framing that may offer a select wooden texture that a home improvement center cannot supply. This is evident when you want to have rustic wooden support beams.
Choose the right wood
Another key feature to remember is that outdoor wood will be subjected to all sorts of weather conditions. Pressure-treated wood is always better for outdoors but not entirely. Just finding the right outdoor wood can also depend on the wood type. Natural resistant wood like cypress, redwood, and pine is excellent, but don’t forget that white oak and Spanish cedar, and red cedar are good choices too.
Wood can also be treated to resist rotting and readily accepts a variety of sealers like lacquer and wood stains.
The best aesthetic design
Many websites give great ideas on building your own pergola, but some of the best designs are ones you find inspiration from. This is where you can collect ideas on existing pergola designs to get ideas on which shape is more suitable to your liking. These images or plans can be downloaded and saved in a collection to create an exact duplicate or combination of other pergolas that have features that appeal to your needs.
Anticipate future usage
Whether or not you decide to add something underneath a pergola in the future, it can be better safe than sorry to incorporate roofing needs that might protect future projects. And though you can still cover a roof that isn’t rainproof later, why not stay ahead of the game if you live in an area that gets more rain or bad weather. This way, you can protect your investment longer rather than let it be exposed to elements that might ruin a pergola prematurely.
Building a pergola
If you lack building or construction skills, it doesn’t hurt to ask around for help with this kind of construction. Within your circle of friends, there is always someone who knows someone when it comes to carpentry or woodworking. This is how you can further share your ideas with a collection of photos and see what is possible using contracted help that you can assist in the making and perhaps learn woodworking skills likewise.