Pergola Planning and Design
A set of pergola plans can quickly turn anyone into a craftsman of garden decor. A pergola is a centuries-old gazebo-style structure which is typically made of wood. Pergola design uses a crisscross lattice structure which is supported by four support columns.
At first glance, a pergola may look like an awning or gazebo, but it actually has openings in the top. You may wonder what good a pergola is if it can’t keep the sun and rain out. The lattices are actually designed to support vines plants such as Honeysuckle or Wisteria, both of which are flowering vines.
The plants create shaded protection as they grow thicker on the top. A fully complete pergola with vines can make for an exceptional garden structure, whether it is placed over a pond, near the pool, or directly in the garden.
Building with Pergola Plans
The basic design and construction methods for pergolas do not vary much, as pergola design is quite simplistic. The simple design makes them relatively easy to build. Users can tweak the plans to create a pergola of any desired width.
Most are square in shape, but can also be rectangular.
The installation process starts with four wooden beams, usually made of or sheathed in cedar. Securing the beams to your pre-poured concrete foundation is done using steel base post anchors.
If no concrete base is present, the posts must be set into the ground securely.
Once all four pergola beams are in the ground, two support beams must be attached to each side with screws. The beams are attached at the same level, with the posts sandwiched in between.
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After cutting the curved notches on the end according to the pergola plans, clamp the beams to the posts and use a level to ensure straightness. Secure the beams with screws. Now, cross beams will connect the two sides together.
A dado blade or table saw is required to cut notches into the cross beams which will allow them to fit snuggly over the support beams on either side.
After cutting notches on a series of top slats, they can be nailed over the top as cross-sections. Wood toppers will be nailed to the corners for added stability. You can then apply stain if desired, followed up by a coat of weather sealer. Take a look at one of many pergola pictures on the internet to help gauge the type of pergola you want to create.
Pergola Kits Make Things Easier
With pergola kits, you do not have to seek out all the supplies for building a pergola. These precision-made kits give you the wood, mounting hardware, and even elaborate brick support columns, depending on the design.
Painted models are weatherproof, saving you the time of sealing the wood. No cutting tools are needed, as the lengths and notches have already been cut for you. Holes are pre-drilled in exacting locations.
These kits are designed to withstand intense wind and load, a feat that cannot be guaranteed with homemade designs. All sizes are available, ranging from small 8×8’s to 14×14-plus.
To save on shipping and completely eliminate weather damages, some manufacturers make fiberglass beams. They never rot, rust, or need maintenance, and they can be re-painted to any color you desire.
If building your own pergola from scratch is your goal, there are kits which include only the hardware. Mounting brackets, toppers, nails and screws are packed in kits which give you everything needed, minus the beams.
Pergolas may not be that great when it comes to rain and sunlight shielding, but they have a design which leaves your garden feeling open and airy. Enclosed shades can make your garden feel small and dark.
They are commonly placed over walkways or on top of structures such as garden statues, fountains, ponds, and flower beds. They are the perfect combination of natural architecture and nature, combining vine plants with an earth-friendly wooden design.
It is a popular practice to grow grape vines on pergolas, acting as fine decoration, delectable eating or home wine brewing.
Flowered vine plants can add wonderful color.