Improving our home flow

Improving our home flow

Are You Sure You Want to Build Your Own Pergola?

Timmothy Mitchelle

A pergola or arbour of any sort can add visual interest and a bit of shade to an outdoor space, and work as a nice anchor if you want to hang curtains for privacy and sun protection. You may be thinking of building your own pergola, as these structures are usually nothing more than several beams attached to one another; however, the job may not be as simple as you assume. Consider a few factors that will help you decide if you should build your own pergola or have a builder do this for you.


Choosing the material for a pergola may actually be a bit complicated. Wood is very natural and attractive, but many exotic hardwoods are so dense that they're difficult to cut and shape with ordinary household saws and sanders. You may wind up actually damaging your tools when you try to cut through teak, bamboo, and other similar woods.

Softwoods like pine are easier to shape and form, but they need to be treated properly so they don't absorb moisture and humidity and don't allow for an insect infestation. Wood may also be heavier than you expect, so you need to ensure the beams holding the structure in place are properly anchored. Metal can be lighter and won't allow for insect infestation, but unless you're handy with a blowtorch, it can be difficult to cut metal to size for your pergola.


You may assume that a pergola is just some straight wooden slats all joined together, but as said, the design may not be that simple. Having the slats of the roof on an angle will provide shade from the brightest areas of sunlight, and you need to figure the height of a pergola so it doesn't overpower a patio area or block your view from inside the home. For a traditional pergola, you may want the ends of the roof slats to be curved, and this can take some skill with a jigsaw.

A pergola builder may also offer some options that you had not considered on your own, such as hinges for the roof slats that work with a crank, so you can change the direction of those slats for maximum protection from the elements. Built-in hooks for holding curtains or for hanging plants from the roof rafters can be good if you want to add these features to your pergola, or you might want a built-in canopy at one end for added shade around an eating space.


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About Me
Improving our home flow

Our home has been added to over the last few decades in a lot of little ways, with small additions and extensions. We have enough space overall, but the house doesn't flow very all, as we have all of these little rooms, and they are all joined together in funny ways that don't entirely make sense in terms of how we use the house. That's why we are taking out some of the entries and walls and creating living zones and spaces that suit us. This blog is all about how to transform your house from a mismatch of rooms into a modern home.