Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Pergola with a Roof? A Pavilion!

This Pergola with a full roof is more commonly known as a Pavilion. 

It has ornate pergola detailing and a full roof with eves-trough. The beams and posts scream pergola, but the roof makes it waterproof and full shade like a pavilion.

Before you tell me that there are no braces... that is what makes this one a little different. The structure is built in to the post assembly. designed a special fastening system just for structures like these. There is NO movement to this structure and it is adjustable if required to be tightened.

This one has shingle and a flat roof to fit within Oakville structural height restrictions.

This was designed by (Lawrence Winterburn) and built by Dan Maragno-- Our Oakville Builder.

To see more of Lawrence and Dan's pergolas, please visit our Pergolas section. To see more photos of this Pergola please click  Roofed Pergola


Monday, September 6, 2010

More Pergolas 2010

Pergolas with Canvas Awnings!

click to see more photos of this project!

This retractable canopy system can be fabricated for installation on nearly any size pergola. This pergola is 9 x 12' but these canopy systems can be made for up to 18 x 30'.

They are waterproof and carry a 12 year warranty on mechanicals and a 5 year Sunbrella warranty on the fabric.

You can go to to choose your fabric and let us take it from there.

The Design is by Lawrence Winterburn and it was built by Luke Simonovski-- our builder in East Toronto.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Pergolas 2010

A pergola by click large pergolas and large pergolas 2 to see more shots.
It is the time of year that I get to show off some of the work our builders have done this year. Pergolas can be the framework for outdoor rooms, a dining room in this case. You can also see the hot tub in the far end beneath this rather large pergola. This shot is the view from behind the bar with granite counter tops.

We designed benches for guests not taking part in the hot tub festivities and as a separation from the dining area.

Trelliswork adds to the look. This pergola was constructed of western red cedar for the lower parts--and pressure treated materials for the beams and rafters.

Semi-transparent stain can help disguise pressure treated materials in a subtle way. Many of our structures have 2 color finishes which also minimizes upkeep.

For more views of this spectacular pergola built in the Toronto area by our local builder Brian D'Souza and Crew.

To see more shots of this project click pergolas or pergolas2

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Curved Pergola Inspection

A Curved Pergola gone horribly wrong. ( did not build this pergola)

Best intentions won't build a pergola that lasts!

We were called in this month by a customer to give a quote on rebuilding a curved support beam on a pergola. This was obviously built by a well skilled carpenter that has likely built cabinetry. This builder knew something I could attempt to explain to a building department and have them stare back across the counter with an empty glazed over look.

"Box beams can be stronger than solid beams that weigh 3x more if built properly."

The trouble here was a poor choice of materials and adhesives and likely a bit of inexperience. This 5 year old pergola needs a new beam.

The moisture leaked through the connection points and caused the glue to let go when the "Interior Grade Materials" became saturated. As it became more wet, the sealants became porous and actually soaked up moisture from inside. They had leaks from within the beam and into the column caps that were a nasty looking brown color.

They used duracast columns by the look of it, and they held up perfectly.

This curved pergola beam looks to be made of western red cedar for the cap and interior, and they used "Bending Plywood", also known as flex ply, wacky wood or Wiggle Wood, for the exterior layer. They doubled up the flexply for strength and for a brief time it likely worked just fine!

There was no nailing blocks within the curved box beam either, which is something I would typically include.

These days there are better materials to use... We can build a box beam with a roof that you can easily expect permanent service from if maintained. (keep stain on it).

The cost of replacing the deficient pergola beam with one that will last was not feasible to this client. The builder initially had underbid, and the thought of paying nearly the same price they did initially was distasteful. Dan (our builder in Oakville--seen in the photo), has priced installing a square beam and also just removing the pergola for them altogether.

Such a waste!

If you want to know the right way to build a pergola... use our plans. (click) Our Pergola Plans


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Latest Trends in Pergolas

2010 is all about Adaptability!

Retractable canopies operated by a remote control is the latest feature to visit a yard near you.

The old wall mounted awnings are awkward and many homes don't have enough wall height to do it effectively. Nobody wants to duck their head to get under their awning. Mounting those old style awnings farther into the yard is tedious at best.

We've been designing pergolas to work with a new Canopy for a couple of years now so we are getting very good at it. The product is now 10 years old and has been retailing for about 3 years now.

There is a manual version and a motorized unit and each one is manufactured to fit your space exactly. Keep it square for the easiest installation and mount the canopy on a slope to channel water away from an area.

They can be mounted beneath nearly any pergola. If you want the motorized version it is a little more money and you will need power within 10 or so feet of the motor.

The Canvas Canopy has a 5 year warranty and the mechanicals carry a 12 year warranty.

Any relatively level structure with beams in the canopy area can be adapted to the system fairly easily. Of course it is better for us to design something that fits it perfectly and takes advantage of the unique capabilities of these canopies.

With a press of the button you can have your canopy pergola partially open, entirely closed or wide open. With the waterproof Sunbrella Fabric you can even have a sheltered sitting area for rainy days--never postpone that patio party again!

Get in touch with us today at 888 293 8938 to have a system designed just for your pergola. We can now walk you through the process of retrofitting your existing pergola. (expedite the process by sending photos and dimension maps by email to )