Do you have any idea how easy it would be to adapt any set of pergola plans into your own? Unless you have a very large, level yard that is essentially a blank canvas allowing you to install or build just about any pergola design or pergola kit available, then you most likely need to create your own unique set of pergola plans. Drawing out your own will ensure that the pergola fits your yard exactly to your needs.
Perhaps you want to cover a concrete patio that was poured just outside the sliding glass door leading to your back yard. Instead of having the four posts and second set of beams pictured above, you would have a ledger board attached to the facing of the house and the roof pieces would only have fancy end cuts on one end. The pieces that attached into the ledger board would have a standard flat edge cut. You would also only have two knee braces or angled support boards.
Maybe you do want a detached pergola, but just in a different size. The pergola pictured above has a roof line dimension of 10 x 15. That might be too large for your space so you adjust your plans accordingly. A square roof line of 10 x 10 or 12 x 12 is also quite common and easy to draw. You would perhaps have a few less rafters. For instance, in the drawing above there are 9 rafter pieces spanning the 15 foot length. Reducing it to 12 feet might drop the rafter count down to 8.
Of course, roof dimensions alone do not drive the number of rafters and slats on your pergola design. The amount of shade you desire is also a huge factor. You many want more slats across the rafters to increase the shade provided. Or, you may want to keep it open and light and not even have that second layer of slats at all.
Pay attention to the overhang dimensions as well. In the sample above, the roof piece extend out one foot on either side of the posts. Visually, you want to plan that out in your yard to see if that will create the site line you desire. It is always a good idea to place some temporary stakes and string up some construction line to test out what views might be blocked.
As always, once you do draw out your own pergola plans, you will still want a step by step guide on how to build from your plans. With plans and a guide, you will have no trouble building your own pergola.
This is a frequently asked question on the pergoladiy surveys. Many people watch the home improvement shows which inspire them to embark on all sorts of projects and inevitably they find out that things are not always as easy as they look on TV!
However, creating your own pergola plans and then following them to build your own pergola is not one of those. Yes, it really is that easy! It is especially easy if you start off with a set of existing plans or pergola kit assembly instructions and adapt them for your own yard.
This layout for the framework and base of an attached pergola is the perfect foundation to start out if you want to an attached design. It does not matter what material you will be using, or whether you will be putting your posts in the ground, on a deck or in concrete. This basic layout works for anything. The point is to get the idea of the angles and placement in your yard. Projection means the amount of overhang that the roof edges will have. Typically, a rafter piece will project 6 inches out from the posts on both sides. That is not a hard and fast rule, just a general guideline. Just make sure you do account for that overhang when measuring out the dimensions you want. You don’t want the roof pieces to be blocking any views or hitting any trees or other structures.
With a detached pergola, the layout is much simpler. It is all about here you want it in your yard, what shape and how big or small. If you already have an existing hardscaped patio area that makes your decision even easier. Just lay out the markings for post placement according to where you want it on the patio. Always check your diagonals to make sure the dimensions you set will provide straight and true edges and angles.
From there it is just a matter of the style you want and the amount of shade you need. Single or double beamed? Two layers of rafters or rafters and slats? How close together? Curved or straight? No matter what you decide on those, as long as you have your foundation drawn out, you will be set to get started.
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As you think about the pergola design you would like to build in your yard, keep in mind how the roof will look from all sight lines. Consider too, just how much shade you want it to provide and what is the best placement for you to take advantage of that shade from all possible sunshine angles. It can be quite easy to overlook the many details of your pergola roof but you really don’t want to fall into that trap!
In the photo above this redwood pergola rafters and slats are the same two inch width. This provides a uniform square pattern on the ground that is very appealing to the eye in combination with the concrete pavers. The slats are also placed quite close together to increase the shaded areas. While increasing the slat and or rafter count will increase the overall costs of the pergola, if the ultimate goal is to cool off a particularly hot and sunny spot, then it will be worth the small increase.
You should also put up some construction stakes and line to give yourself a preview of what your pergola will look like before you get started. If you have a two story house you want to get an idea of what a view like the one above would look like. Will the pergola roof block or distract from any existing views that you want to keep? What about your nearest neighbors? If there are no local home owner’s or permitting rules instructing you on height or view blocking limitations, you should still be a courteous neighbor and try not to build anything that will be an eyesore.
Finally, you should go an sit out where you want to build your pergola if the area is to be designed for seating. Look around you and see what your views will be like. Look up and see who is potentially looking down on you! What will the wind be like in that spot? Will you perhaps want to put up a partial lattice wall on any particular side for either privacy or wind protection? If you take the time to think about all these little details you will be even more happy with the pergola design you choose.
Better to layout and preview your pergola plan twice, and on build it once than the other way around!
As always, for the best darn email tips and instructions on how to build a pergola, visit PergolaDIY.
It is entirely possible to draw up your pergola plans and then build a pergola in just a couple of days. There are a few things to consider at first, of course. For instance – where are you going to put your pergola? Will it be attached or detached? How will you secure the posts? There are many possibilities of course, but once you narrow those down you will have taken a huge step towards getting started.
Make sure you have a clear, level spot chosen, especially if you are digging your posts into the ground. If you are securing them onto a cement patio or on a deck, then your foundation is most likely level and ready. Use construction stakes and string to lay out post placement and measure the distances. Come up with your roof design. How far out do you want the rafters and to come out from the posts? Do you want a single or double beam design? A single layer of rafters, or will you ad slats on top for even more shade cover? Remember that the more weight at the top that you add, the stronger your posts need to be. The standard is to use 6×6 posts since they will support most designs. Columns are another option that delivers a completely different look to the pergola.
There are so many options, but if you look at it one feature at a time you really can narrow down exactly the design you want. There is an excellent, free email series you can receive just by taking a survey and signing up at this site. As an added benefit, people who sign up for the email series receive a substantial discount on the guide they also provide. It is a fantastic resource and if you do purchase their Guide to Building a Pergola in One Weekend you will have everything at your fingertips to help you answer all the questions asked above. You will know how to create your design, which materials would be best for you and also know the exact steps you will need to take – and tools to use – to build your own pergola. It is a fast, easy and inexpensive project and you will enjoy the results for many years.
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Handy pergola plans provide step by step instructions, materials options and detailed shopping lists. In just one weekend you can have a beautiful pergola in your yard. The best part is you can choose just about any pergola design you want. The variations are endless. Our guide will include additional information on how to draw your own plans to fit the unique design you choose for your yard.
Building a pergola is a very rewarding project. When you do it yourself you will save a lot of money and be able to take pride in your own handiwork. They are simple and very versatile and can add to the overall value of your home. Mostly though, you will be able to relax and enjoy the new cover for your outdoor barbeque and eating area, or the new place for displaying your hanging flowers and vines, or any other number of potential uses.