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Thread: DIY - Building a pergola

  1. #1
    Sansai WayneB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Cape Town, South Africa

    DIY - Building a pergola

    Hi All, i am busy planning some of the things i want to try and do during the summer. I want to add a pergola type thing over my pond for shade. I am fairly handy but I have never ever done anything like a pergola before so please help....any suggestion would be appreciated.

    I have a few requirements:

    The perogla must....
    1. be a DIY project. I can't afford to get professionals in.
    2. If possible be cheap to build.
    3. Be wind resistant.
    4. cover 80% of the pond.
    5. Must fit in undeneath the trees next to my pond...i will trim the branches but no trees will be removed.
    6. Its must be sloped so that anything falling on it - falls to the back.
    7. compliment the pond. I dont want it to look cheap.

    This is my idea so far.

    Current dimensions:
    Front Height - 2.2m / 2.3m
    Back Height - 1.8
    Width - 3m
    I am thinking about using marine treated rounded pine poles for the main "legs" and pine beems for the roof. I want to be able to stain the wood.

    Heres what the pond looks like at the momment.

    Thanks Wayne

  2. #2
    Tategoi powerman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    anacortes washington


    looks like you already have a pretty good plan.........what is the material that will cover the top and how will you attach it......are the marine treated poles going to be set in the earth or will they be bolted to poured footers....i think that setting them in the ground will make your pergola more stable....your dimensions are reasonable...when i built mine i had to upsize my beams due to length....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DIY - Building a pergola-p1000242.jpg   DIY - Building a pergola-p1000262.jpg   DIY - Building a pergola-p1000269.jpg  

  3. #3
    Sansai WayneB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Cape Town, South Africa
    The poles are going to be concreted into the earth. The poles that i have been looking at are 2.7m long and 20cm think.

    I am a bit worried about the beems that run accross the platform. How will i fasten them - do i just let them hook over the side beems?

    Another question is how am i going to fasten the side beems to the poles?...and will the poles handle the weight and the motion created by wind? Do i need to reinforce the corners...and if...How?

    The material the covers the top is stil open for debate but I am thinking about using a metrial called shade cloth / netting... its a a plastic / nylon material thats been weaved. You get it in different grades. I am thinking about using the one that allows 60% sun through. The alternative is a 20% or 0%.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Santaquin, Utah
    To attach the beams to the posts, a company named Fastenmaster sells 2 products that would work, timberloc & ledger loc. Bolth bolts come with there own bit, no pre drilling required. At each side I would use 4 or 5 bolts.

  5. #5
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Orlando, Florida
    Wayne: If you go toward the end of the thread on my pond build ('Polyurea Spray Liner Pond' in Best of Bito), you'll see how the shade structure over mine was put together. It may give you some ideas. Using treated wood for the uprights sounds fine IF they are set back from the pond sufficiently that no dripping from the lumber will get into the pond. The anti-rot chemicals are very harmful to the koi. The cross pieces should not be treated. I did not stain mine because of concern staining compounds might leach undesirable chemicals into the pond. Before you stain your wood, please research what you use to be certain you are not causing yourself a problem. Perhaps others can suggest a stain that is not potentially harmful. I have thought about the idea of staining and then coating in clear polyurethane to contain any potentially harmful leaching, but I never got the level of information I wanted to assure myself of the safety, so I 'go bare'.

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