4 Steps for the Perfect Pergola
Last Updated Mar 8, 2013 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
Pergolas are no longer just a structure thrown up in the backyard to give you some shade. They are now essential additions to the home, providing a beautiful, versatile outdoor area that you’ll want to spend all your time in! To help you get the pergola of your dreams, we’ve found four steps that you’ll want to follow to get things just right. For more information or advice, just speak to your local pergola
1. Choose the Materials
When it comes to building a pergola, the first choice you have to make is to decide what you want it to be made of. Timber is a perennially popular choice as it looks absolutely wonderful and is quite cost effective. However, it does require ongoing maintenance to protect it from the ravages of the outdoors. Steel is also very popular as it is strong and virtually maintenance free as it won’t rust, rot, decay or require repainting. A newer option that you may want to consider is aluminium as it is very light, strong and low maintenance. It’s the perfect option if you live near the coast as it won’t be affected by salt in the air.
2. Decide on the Roof
Pergolas can have a roof or not. In fact, the traditional pergola only has slats set across the top support beams to provide a small amount of shade and to act as support for climbing plants. However, many people do want a roof so they can enjoy their pergola no matter what the weather and you have a range of choices from the traditional Colorbond or zincalume through to polycarbonate, thatching, or even retractable roofing that gives you the best of both worlds!
3. Set the Design
The pergola is a huge feature in the backyard so you want to make sure that you get the design just right. There are several kits and standard designs that you can choose from that look great and come in all styles and sizes. Just because it’s a kit doesn’t mean that it is boring! Alternatively, if you have a bit more room in the budget and you want something that perfectly fits in with your landscape, custom designing your pergola is an excellent option. Custom pergolas allow you to incorporate any challenges that you may face and add in a few extra mod cons that kit pergolas don’t have such as lighting, screens and so on.
While you might be happy with just a standard pergola, a few extra mod cons can take your pergola from average to WOW! Think retractable screens around the sides to create an enclosed room, a ceiling fan to cool you down on hot days, lighting so you can use your pergola all day long, a fire pit for warmth, cosy furniture to relax on and so forth. These optional extras will increase the overall price of your pergola but you’ll get so much more out of them that you’ll forget all about how much you spent!