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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pergola Designs Catch Your Eye

If you are interested in building a pergola in your yard and you have started searching for information on these back yard structures, I'll bet you are suddenly aware of how many there are in your own neighborhood. Once you know what you are looking for, you notice them everywhere. I took the above photo after going on my typical Sunday morning trail run and realizing that the house I passed every week had not one, but two pergolas in their yard!

The unique pergola designs along with their color and that there are more than one really caught my eye. The attached pergola above the patio closest to the house is a pretty common design. However, the free standing polygon in the corner of the yard with five posts is really quite unique. It does a great job of highlighting the unusual shape of the yard itself. The home owner's have placed their barbeque and seating out under that pergola allowing them a more open vantage point away from neighbors.

I think this yard showcases how much you can use your imagination when planning the pergola design you want to use. It is entirely possible to change up the shape, size and color quite easily. The best thing you can do is go out in your yard and look at the ground to determine the best and easiest place to secure posts either by digging in the ground or placing them in concrete brackets.In the example above what is not visible is that they added another concrete slab to that back corner so that both of their pergolas are placed in brackets. Using concrete is a great way to ensure that your pergola base is level and steady.

One other thing to consider in the placement of a pergola is the roof line. You want to check from the various places in your house and yard that the top of the pergola wont block any views you want to keep. Unless you are just automatically attaching the pergola to the house over an existing patio, you also might want to sit out on the spot where you intend to place the pergola to see if your neighbors look down on you or if your own view is going to be what you want.

However you choose to design your pergola, you will be pleasantly surprised at how many resources you can find to guide you in building this very easy back yard project.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Everything you need to know about do it yourself pergolas.

Have you been wondering about these backyard structures called pergolas? You see them everywhere across the country. Pergolas started out mostly on the east coast and in the south but their popularity has spread thanks to home improvement TV shows and, of course, the internet! Once you know what they are, you realize how many you have seen in your own neighborhood.

The picture above is of a pergola build over an entry gate. It's a fairly large one with three rows of supporting posts for a total of eight. Two in the front and then two rows of three on the inside of the gate. The roof line is very simple with just one layer of rafters and single beams spanning the posts.Since it really isn't providing a lot of shade, this pergola is primarily there to create a dramatic visual effect. It sure does that quite well! The use of the darker paint to match the trim on the house and the gate makes it really stand out especially among the lush green landscaping surrounding it.

On the surface, you might look at that and think it had to be quite expensive to build. However, it really is not at all that high priced and it is also much simpler to build than you might think at first glance. A great resource for information on everything pergolas can be found here. Take a quick survey and you will be given a code for a set of free pergola plans. You will also be enrolled in a very informative email series that will answer a lot of the questions you will have about building your own pergola. But, the best part is the discount link you will receive to the Guide to Building a Pergola in One Weekend. There you will see exactly how you can built any type of pergola - even one like the photo above - for less than $1000 and using just a few days of your time.