It is not difficult to see the attractions of a pergola, given that they have the feel of a room entirely exposed to the great outdoors. This goes a long way to explaining the pergola boom currently gripping the nation. You are basically are getting a hybrid indoor/outdoor space where you can entertain friends and family or simply while a lazy Sunday afternoon. But before you go out and contract a specialist
to install your dream pergola it makes sense to get your head around some crucial elements of these structures.
1. Planning Your Pergola
The first consideration for any home improvement project is your budget. This will ultimately determine the size, scale and materials for your pergola. It also gives installers an idea of what you want to spend. Identifying a suitable site should be the next item on your planning agenda, and should take into account the drainage and overall suitability of the site in relation to your home. Other practical considerations include the proximity of power points as you may require your pergola to have lighting for entertaining at night.
2. Choosing Materials
Traditionally pergolas are a timber structure, but steel and aluminium are increasingly popular and more durable alternatives. Timber does have the advantage of lending a certain charm to an installation, but depending on the styling of your home opt for what looks best. If you are going to go for timber then ensure your installer is using seasoned, treated wood that is rated for outdoor use. Besides this element you also need to consider the suitability and durability of the footings, fastenings and stain that you will be using – as these will all affect the long term durability and safety of your pergola.
3. Identifying a Pergola Design
The design of your pergola is an entirely personal choice, but points to bear in mind include how it sits against the styling of your home, its shape and size. It can also be a freestanding structure or be integrated onto your home. Roofing is another consideration in terms of overall design. This will largely be determined by your lifestyle and budget – as a roof does offer more versatility but will mean an additional cost. If you don’t opt for a fully clad roof then there are other attractive options. These include trellised versions that allow you to green your pergola or alternatively fit adjustable shade cloth, thatch and even bamboo for screening.
4. Pergola Red Tape
Any reputable, registered pergola installer will be aware of the various regulations governing the erection of a pergola. And while you are not generally required to obtain a building permit, larger pergolas may require one. If you live in a bushfire zone or cyclone prone area then your structure will also have to satisfy the local requirements for these natural events. Consulting with your local council is the safest bet in this regard.
5. Choosing a Pergola Pro
And while there is the temptation to choose a pergola installer purely based on price, take the time to consider a couple of other criteria. Besides finding out if they are a registered entity your pergola specialist should also have the appropriate qualification and a track record of producing a high standard of workmanship - with a client record to prove this.
With this knowledge you are now in a better position to approach a pergola specialist and get your project off the ground.