Thursday, February 21, 2008

DIY Pergolas as an Entrance to a Yard

Pergolas of this type are very Traditional in North America. Similar to what would be deemed a Lath House in some parts of the world. It features a large laminated curve (that can be deleted if too difficult to achieve). Pergolas like this can be used as an entrance to a yard or portion of a yard.

This Do It Yourself Pergola Plan walks you through the process of building the P121 Pergola. Ideally suited to the entrance to a yard or a separation hedge between two parts of a property it utilizes internal benches to serve as a nifty little hideaway spot in the garden.

These Pergola Plans include Step by Step Instructions, Material list, Cut List (to tell you which piece comes from what stick of lumber), Full size Templates, Curve Templates, Two options for benches (high back and flat), as well as a stain application guide to make it nearly maintainence free. (5 years without staining if you follow the instructions).

This pergola can be stretched slightly by adding to the center of the curve, or stretching the bench areas--but do it equally and maintain the balance of the structure.

The arch is about 5' as is, and the structure is roughly 7' deep, 9' high and 9'wide.

The best part about Plans for Pergolas from is that they offer Support by Email while you build! If there is ever anything that isn't crystal clear, send a note with a description and you will receive an answer normally within 24 hours.

BTW, if you have a builder locally they can supply this structure installed.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

How to Build Pergolas on Existing Decks pt.1

When you want to add a pergola an existing deck the first consideration is whether the deck will support the additional weight.

Aesthetics is the second Concern. What will it look like? What style will suit the home? How much do you leave and what do you change? What details should we use?

This house was in a planned community near Guelph Ontario. Anything we did required drawings to be submitted and approved by a planning comittee. We do hundreds of designs like this. It all comes down to rules. My rules dictate Balance, openness and steering towards the best view.

I suggested the best course of action here was to open the deck to a patio eventually to add more capacity for gatherings, however phase one will update the tired builders deck with new rails, bigger steps and a pergola... and all within a few thousand budget.

These clients expressed a desire for low maintenance without rebuilding everything. I advised them that without changing the decking so that it could be pre-stained they will have to do that every couple of years. However, by pre-staining the new rails and pergola portion, even pressure treated materials should last a few years without needing recoats. Pre-staining is a lot of work and many people choose to do this portion themselves--rather than hiring us to do it. Compared to a typical stain job on a deck it is about 3x the work.

We anchored the posts and assembled everything on site. This pergola is open in the center to make it feel more like a courtyard. The larger wrap around steps make it feel less closterphobic and allow more of the view in to the living room as well. The details are simple and understated--there is nothing worse than a deck that entirely upstages a home. Too much is a tragic mistake in Exterior Design.

Plans for this pergola and deck project are easily adaptable for size. Most homes are slightly different in layout and this plan can be used on a straight or L shaped rear wall alike.

They show the details for the deck platform, pergola supports, anchoring into the understructure, the trellis screens, simple handrails and the pergola--along with rafter tail templates. Simply transfer them onto hardboard and use them to layout the full size cuts. We won't make you work from graph paper.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

P012 Pergola Plans

These Pergola Plans are popular among people with large yards.

This project can be built from Pt, Cedar, Redwood, Cypress or combinations of any of the above.

It is reccomended for areas that suffer from sustained strong winds over 100mph if hurricane clips are used. The large braces and footings in concrete bases 4' deep help it to resist racking and layover.

These plans can be stretched to 12' between supports using the same size materials to make it about 14 x 40' or build a single 10' x 10' section with a simple trelliswork within 2 sides. It could also be adapted to 40' x 40' in intersecting rows.
The plans contain detailed drawings and cutaway details to show how everything is assembled.

16 pages 11 x 17" Sheets of Elevations, Layout Plans, Total Material List and full size templates for making the knee braces and beam - rafter cuts easily, as well as designer's notes and a stain guide to help durability.
This is a plan that should be attempted by experienced or pro-woodworkers. There are many cuts to be made, some tapers as well as ripping on tablesaw. Structures of this capacity should last more than 30 years before significant repairs are required.

We will cover some much more simple pergola projects later on.

This plan is available at
To view all the pergola plans from

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Pergolas are all about adding vertical interest and drawing the eye. This pergola is viewed from the neighbor's vantage. It makes you want to investigate. There is nothing more inviting than well designed pergolas.

You can view the most creative and inspired pergolas at our portfolio of pergolas.
You can view our Diy Pergola Plans here.