Curved roof pergolas are a luxurious design edition to any yard or patio. The elegant lines are truly no more difficult to build than a regular straight edge. There are many beautiful kits you can find such as the one in the photo above from Forever Redwood. They come complete with step by step instructions on how to build it along with all the attachment hardware needed. Boards are cut and stained according to the design you want and marked so that you are pretty much just putting slot A into tab B.
However, if you want to build the pergola yourself, a curved roof design is also an option and you shouldn’t be deterred from working with the roof pieces cut with a curve. From the example above you can see that redwood is an excellent choice for a pergola and will bend very nicely. Don’t worry! You don’t need to do any bending. A good lumberyard will be able to provide you with the curved pieces according to your required dimensions.
Notice that the ends of the curved rafters are kept with a straight cut. This is also true of other kits we’ve found as well. Once you have pieces curved and measured out for the correct arc, you really don’t want to mess with cutting fancy edges at that point. Some designers think any fancy edges are overkill and it certainly does keep the focus on the graceful lines if you keep it simple. But the example above also looks beautiful with the fancy edges reserved for the straight beams and top level of rafters.
The curved roof might be a little bit more cost, but we promise it will not add extra work to your building project. In the end, it would be something that will provide an even more unique look to your pergola design.
As you make your way around your neighborhood or the internet in your search for pergola plans and ideas for different possible designs, you might notice that they are quite popular structures to place around back yard water features. You can get very creative when thinking about where to place your pergola and what shape and size to use. The example above is a corner wrap design. It almost looks like two separate pergolas but the roof pieces do connect in the back. It is still a very simple design though with standard square posts on concrete, and single layer beams, rafters and slats. The overhang is quite short and end cuts are very basic.
You will notice that the majority of waterside pergolas will be made with a white vinyl material. This is the best type for withstanding the excess moisture of a pool or spa. It is a little more expensive at first, but then upkeep is minimal with no cost. Just hose off the pergola to keep it clean, but you wont need to reapply stain or treat it. The pergola above on a deck at the end of the pool is designed to match the pool’s rectangle shape. Six square posts are secure to the deck. Again the roof design is simple though the edges of this one have a more sharply angled cut and longer overhang.
There are times, of course, when wood is just what you happen to want and it also looks beautiful at the edge of a pool. The area surrounding the pool in this yard is a perfect compliment to the cedar pergola. The four post design is attached to the concrete with some nice base trim pieces and supporting knee braces between the beams and rafters that provide a more complete, elegantly curved look. The roof line is again, otherwise quite standard with just one layer of rafters and slats to provide just the right amount of shade for the seating area.
This pergola design is something you typically see at a resort. It is just there for style and does it ever work! The curved vinyl design set up on pillars provides a very regal boundary at the edge of the spa and pool seating area. There is no real shade being provided here since it is just a single line of posts holding up a minimal series of rafters on the curved beam. Extended trim pieces at the tops of the posts deliver additional style and support for the beam and rafters.
Bringing it back to a more useful example – the attached vinyl pergola above is a classic. The roof line is again quite simple, but the slats and rafters are cut a little thinner than usual and placed closer together to provide more shade.
Spa pergolas are truly inexpensive and easy to build. They typically have to cover a much smaller space such as the one above. The attached pergola with two square posts attached to the concrete only has 7 slats and 7 rafters so the material cost is quite low. The labor to build this would also be minimal. Two people could most likely put it up in one day.
Just like with pools, sometimes you still want to see wood around your spa, Pressure treated pine is the cheapest and as long as you are willing to spend a day every few years re-treating the wood it will last just fine. This is a very simple, four post square pergola with nice, thick roof pieces for maximum shade. This one could also be put up in one weekend by two people quite easily.
The spa pergola above is a little fancier than the others of course. This is a beautiful blend of different materials for the deck, fence and pergola. The posts are actually secured in the ground between flagstone pieces. You cannot properly secure a pergola on flagstone as it doesn’t provide sufficient stability. It’s best to remove the stone to dig holes for the posts. There are nice trim pieces added here on the posts and the top and the bottom including caps to match the fence posts. Like the previous two examples there is only one row each of 7 rafters and 7 slats so the basic pergola itself would not cost much more in materials or take much longer to build, if at all.
If these designs have inspired you, I encourage you to take a short survey and sign up for this email series and follow the steps to claim your free pergola plan and then to get the discount for the Guide to Building a Pergola in One Weekend. With all that information in hand, you will have what you need to create your own poolside pergola or spa pergola.
Pergola designs are endless. As soon as you start looking for one, you can easily be overwhelmed with the many options! Look at this one – could you have imagined those possibilities? Curved roof line, one wall with a set of screens you can open and close for privacy, post base accents, full lattice roof cover for extra shade and lights strung through them.
These options all together are probably quite expensive though probably not all that much more difficult to install on your own. The expense would just be in the extra material for the bases, wall & lattice pieces. Curving a roof is actually quite common with outdoor wood structures. Think of an arbor which nearly always has a curved roof. It might be a little more expensive and a little more complex planning out measurements for the proper angles, but the only pieces that are curved are the beams and rafters. Just choosing a curved roof design on your pergola would be enough to make it elegant and upscale.
The lattice slats can be purchased in sections and just attached to the rafters as you would simple, straight slat pieces. The purpose of it’s use here is to create more shade and the look of a more complete roof. The advantage is that they are very lightweight pieces and don’t add too much to the load that the posts and beam need to bear. A very creative solution.
The screen walls on a pergola are quite unusual. Since the houses here are close together, the homeowner’s were looking for a way to have greater privacy when they sit outside. The use of the screens that can open or close allows them to let in light if they want to, but to close it when they don’t. This addition is probably the most expensive one since they are solid screens with hinges that need to be properly installed. However, it is certainly something to consider if you privacy is an issue. If you only add this feature and eliminate the others it might not put you too much over budget.
The post bases are beautiful and since they are only used on two of the posts, probably not too high priced. It’s actually quite easy to attach base or top trim to posts even after a pergola is installed. These are simple trim pieces that can be nailed or screwed into place quite quickly.
If you are considering building your own pergola, here are 5 tips to follow before you get started.