Building Pergola: A Simple Concept

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A wooden pergola can improve the beauty of your outdoor space. Setting up a pergola in the backyard of your house can be a veritable beautification means, and that can offer you shade and protection from the sun's damaging rays. It can lower the temperature by several degrees as well. However, there are several beautification methods of the backyard of a house such as umbrellas, retractable canopies, etc. and they can also offer such facilities. But, a pergola is much superior to those other methods. Moreover, those methods are subject to wind and weather damages.

On the contrary, wooden arched pergolas can give attractive, solemn, permanent and foursquare solutions against any kind of weathering effects. These features are starkly missing in other methods. A pergola can be a handsome addition to any outdoor space. Building a pergola is a straightforward method and that can be carried through by the do-it-yourself (DIY) method on a single weekend.

On discovering the right place around anywhere in the backyard of your house to build a pergola, start drawing outline of a pergola on paper and conceptualizing as to how the pergola should be looking like. To begin with building a pergola, illustration on paper is very important, because an outline will help immeasurably to build a suitable pergola that may match with your predilection appreciably. For example, if you have a 12-foot-by-12-foot space in the backyard of your house, you cannot afford to cover up all the space completely. You need to leave a measurable space all around, more or less equally so that water can drain out. Again, while planning to build a pergola, it will be wise to measure out the four corners of the pergola to ensure that the measurements are exact. Diagonal measurement between the corners is necessary when a square pergola is being planned to build. Top of all, underground utilities and wiring installations are to be located and marked before starting to dig holes for fixing the posts of pergola in the very beginning in order to avoid untoward and vexing issues like disconnection of electricity.

Fixing Corner Post of Pergola:

Dig four holes of at least three feet deep for the corner posts. As corner posts of a pergola are generally 4-inch-by-4-inch (approx.), the holes should be minimum 10-inch in diameter. These posts may generally extend up to 8-feet 6-inches above the ground level. So, it is imperative for you to ensure that your material is long and strong enough to allow this height once the post is secured in the ground. The posts need to be trimmed after being fixed into the hole if it is found out to be too tall. With fixing the corner post in the hole, start pouring in dry concrete to make it a tight fixture. After this, you need to make sure that the top-level of all corner posts is perfectly equal in all directions. To allow the cement to settle before pouring in sufficient water, tap the post with hammer, and allow the concrete to dry before proceeding further. Mount boards on each side of the post, and let the top be extended above the post. By doing this, creation of slots to insert beams is possible. This process needs to be performed for all other posts as well in the same way.

Constructing Beams & Rafters:

It is easy to build two beams out of 2-inch-by-8-inch boards. To improve cosmetic look, angling the ends of these boards is necessary. Wood glue and screws are to be used to secure the board joints. With the completion of beams, they need to be installed on the top of the corner posts, allowing them to rest on the slot. Then, screws are to be used to secure the beams in place. Now, the rafters are to be constructed, and a space on each end of the rafters should be cut out. Then, they are to be placed on the top of the beams.

Building Optional Rafters:

Building second layer of rafters may be required if a bit more shade is being sought. This layer of rafter should be arranged perpendicularly. Make sure that the second rafter has been secured properly. This will help strengthen the structure of pergola. All the more, looks of the structure may increase immensely and, at the same time, plants can be grown over the structure.

However, make sure that a good design has been prepared before one begins to build a pergola. The above-mentioned measurement and details may vary. So, taking an expert advice is a good idea to ensure proper assembly.
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