A pergola is a combination of everything that defines the outdoor experience, visual appeal, a touch of nature in your home, and an easy solution for therapy. After all, a simple structure of four beams with some potted plants can help you unwind instantly, without any effort at all when life is way too hectic.
Living in a high-profile, urban city often deprives us of the luxury of the outdoors or natural landscapes. The easiest way to bring an element of nature, a woodsy feel, and an upgrade to your backyard is to build a pergola in the space you have.
You may wonder really why it’s necessary or beneficial to build a pergola, even if it is an uncomplicated structure with no solid walls or roofs but merely vertical and roof beams. Hence, here are some of the best reasons that may convince you that life will get a little better with a pergola in your home.
1. No one can resist the charm and appeal of an elegant outdoor dining area or an entertainment lounge right in your backyard. Apart from the added definition, your patio, deck, or backyard would be the most cost-effective, convenient, and within–reach place to entertain or have dinner gatherings in style.
2. People are fortunate to have some outdoor space in their homes where they can enjoy some personal time, but the lack of privacy can be off-putting. A pergola gives you privacy even when you’re spending time outside because it does not put you on display while relaxing. Yes, the structure may be open, but you can always make it more private with latticework, curtain drapes, or even screens on the sides of the pergola.
3. Pergolas have been a popular choice for creating home gardens. Build a pergola in your home and dedicate it as a garden space, with potted plants and plants hanging from boards. Pergolas are the best to nurture plants like wisteria, ivy, honeysuckle, clematis, and grapevines. These plants grow upwards from the ground, so you can only imagine what an ethereal natural ceiling they would create as they intertwine on your boards. And while we’re at it, you may also imagine sipping some cold beer on a summer day, right under the magic of your plant-blessed pergola.
4. Talking about summers, who doesn’t love the idea of summer salads and cold lunches right in their backyards? You can have a treat every weekend with the family under the pergola outside.
5. Experts tell us that attractive landscaping drives up the value of your home by almost twenty percent. Now gazebos might not be budget-friendly for everyone, but pergolas certainly are. Imagine using something as simple and natural as reclaimed wood and adding tremendous value to your home with something as creative as a pergola?
6. Pergolas do perfect DIY projects too because they’re not at all complicated or highly technical. If you cannot afford to hire expensive interior designers or architects to oomph up your place, consider building a pergola on your own. You can achieve one on your own with the right guide and the right materials.
WHY RECLAIMED WOOD IS THE BEST MATERIAL FOR PERGOLAS
Pergolas are affordable structures, and you can build one with any material, including vinyl, cedar, and metal. However, experts believe that reclaimed wood is by far the best choice for pergolas for a variety of reasons.
You may be familiar with the term ‘reclaimed wood.’ For those who’re not, reclaimed lumber wood is lumber that has lived a sturdy life before and is still worthy for new purposes. Many benefits of this type of wood make it a better choice, among other materials, for certain types of projects.
Let’s look at why reclaimed wood is a worthy choice for pergolas:
- Reclaimed wood is versatile, so you can easily construct roof beams and the vertical beams of the pergola using reclaimed wood. In fact, you can even construct flooring, paneling, and stools for your pergola with the same reclaimed wood.
- Reclaimed wood pergolas are a guilt–free indulgence. When you use reclaimed lumber, you are minimizing the need for newly sourced wood, hence, the decrease in deforestation. If it comes from solid harvesting, reclaimed lumber is the best renewable resource wherein you minimize the environmental hazards and landfill waste in building new things.
- The major attraction of a pergola is the outdoorsy, natural appeal it adds to your home. Imagine how much more appealing a reclaimed wood pergola would be, with the stories its appearance promises to tell? Reclaimed wood usually comes from old barns, crates, ships, railroads, decommissioned buildings, etc., and the weather-beaten look has an unbeatable and undeniable charm.
As mentioned earlier, pergolas are simple and uncomplicated structures. If you have a particular liking for DIY projects or enjoy the thrill of experimenting safely with things in your house, a pergola is the best option for you.
Even if you prefer a more lavish pergola with the right professional to do it, the process of building one remains the same. Here is a step-by-step guide to how you can build a pergola.
HOW TO BUILD A PERGOLA WITH RECLAIMED WOOD
Here is an example of a great builder. The steps are simple to follow:
1. To begin with, you can use four telephone poles (if you can get your hands on them.) You need to push the poles approximately 2.5 feet deep into the ground. There are certain attributes of telephone poles that make them a better choice for this project. These include:
- Bugs do not like telephone poles and, thus, do not plague them.
- Telephone poles usually have pre-sealing against weather-related problems.
- With all the other weight you need to put on the poles, they will still only settle about 1 inch.
- If you can’t get telephone poles, you can buy posts at the lumber yard.
2. The next step is the most vital, and you need to be extra thorough in it. You need to you’re your reclaimed wood. You see, the market may feature unreliable dealers who try to pass on fake reclaimed wood to you. It is not an uncommon fact that reclaimed wood is expensive, mainly because of its strength, durability, and toughness factor. You need to do your research to find an authentic and genuine source where you will get the reclaimed wood you need for your pergola. With thorough research and verification, you will be able to find several people with solid aged wood to give to you. If you are lucky enough, you may be able to find some that you don’t have to pay for!
3. Once you take possession of your reclaimed wood, you need to clean it first before anything else. By cleaning up, we mean the process of removing the nails and washing the dirt and mud off.
4. You can then shift your focus to the floor frame. You don’t really want the frame to touch the ground, so you must set the floor two inches above ground level. You need to follow this precisely for settling the floor frame well. ( As an example, this builder took a frame of 2 x 6 for the floor. He then set up the center brace from the front to the back, using cross boards to prevent bowing. He then set the floorboards from corner to corner so that no slacking or bounce would occur anywhere on the boards. Set apart the boards by .25 inches to allow some cool air to flow in.
5. Next, measure the length of the roof from the base of the floor. The builder maintained a difference of 8 inches from the back. Use a string for this step so that when you cut the tops off the poles, the angle will be useful in helping you put the roof up.
6. Next, for the walls, you need to set the studs 16 inches apart. Mount the header to the roof’s base to give it more straightness.
7. You can use particle board for the walls. This one will have another layer of wood covering it so that you can rest assured it will remain covered. However, you can also treat the board first to keep the weather from harming it. Melted beeswax is one of the best options for insulators. The hotter the wax gets, the deeper it goes.
8. Once you put the wall up, you can begin working on the roof. It would be wise to use the 2 x 6 measurement again. For added security, you can insert a temporary stud to make sure there are no accidental falls. You may use particle board for the roofs, too, but it is better to apply waterproof caulking on the edges. Also, make sure you treat the wood with beeswax before putting on a tin roof.
9. The handrail is the trickiest part. Take a 4 x 4 and trim it down to a 3 x 3 to fit the inside of the post. You can cut a 3 x 3 hole in the floor to be able to insert the main handrail post in it. Once you are done with this, use the reclaimed wood fence for the outside of the wall after you ensure it is level equally.
10. You will note how the builder had left a port open on the eves of the roof. This allows the hot air to escape and the cool air to come through the floor. Hence, the pergola remains pleasantly cool.
11. Add your siding. You can use your reclaimed wood planks and attach them with liquid construction adhesive and nails. Rockin’ Wood sells planks already cut in 48” lengths. You can check out their website Rockinwoodusa.com.
Pergolas are the easiest additions to make when you want to increase the style, attraction, and value of your home. From being an easy picnic spot for summer lunches to being an elegant venue for cozy and romantic outdoor dinners, there is no end to the versatility a pergola brings to your space.