by Janice Anderssen
As the days get hotter and the sun becomes even more dangerous, building a wooden pergola makes perfect sense.
Not every home has a covered patio or place to get out of the sun and spend quality time in the garden. Climate change has definitely upped the summer temperatures in South Africa, and if you don’t already have a shady spot of relax outdoors during the day, building a wooden pergola is one project you might like to consider if you want to stay out of the sun.
We offer a list of timber and board suppliers on Home-Dzine, but affordable wood to consider for building your own pergola are:
Probably the most affordable option for a small pergola, and one where materials are easily available. However, it is important to shop for straight board, with little or no knots, and you won’t always find the quantity that you want in stock.
Additionally, because pine is a softwood, you will need to regularly apply protection to the finished pergola to prevent warping or bowing of the wood. Use an exterior sealer rather than a varnish, as a sealer expands and contracts with the wood itself, which is extremely important for outdoor situations.
While not as affordable as pine, if you purchase Meranti from a local timber merchant there is only a minor increase in the price, and it is worth paying a bit more for Meranti. This wood is far more resilient for outdoor use, and while it still requires regular maintenance, it offers a longer lasting alternative to pine.
In our Garden Project section you will find instructions for a variety of pergola options; from a wall-mounted pergola design, a free-standing pergola, and even a pergola swing.. While these may appear difficult at first glance, when you read through the instructions you will see that a pergola is basically a frame with a layered top, and you can design a pergola to suit your particular space.
The top section – or roof – of a pergola can be as simple as bamboo poles, willow branches, or timber beams – it all depends on how much you can afford to spend and how you want your pergola to look. You can even add even more shade by laying a full cover over the top of the pergola, or by draping canvas or shade cloth between the beams.
Building a pergola offers you the perfect setting to spend more time outdoors and keep cool while the temperature rises. This shady retreat can be erected over a weekend or two and will add value to your home when designed and built properly.
Take a look at some of the pergola designs and decide what fits with your budget and style of home.