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Sweat Equity vs. Sweet Retreat: Weighing the Effort of DIY Pergola Construction

Sweat Equity vs. Sweet Retreat: Weighing the Effort of DIY Pergola Construction

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Building a pergola is something that many people think about doing. It’s nice to have a place in your yard where you can relax and just enjoy viewing your garden.

Pergolas are good for providing a little bit of shade and they look aesthetically pleasing. Installing a pergola might be just what your property needs.

Of course, you might be concerned about how difficult building a pergola will be. Is building a pergola too tough for most amateurs?

Read on to learn more about pergolas and what it takes to build them. This will allow you to consider all of the important factors before deciding whether you wish to build your own.

Why Build a Pergola?

Deciding to build a pergola is a big choice. You might want to make sure that you’ll use it to the fullest before proceeding.

Why do some people want to build pergolas? Well, there are a number of benefits to having a pergola on your property that you should consider.

Having a pergola is going to add to the aesthetic appeal of the property. It makes your yard look that much nicer.

Pergolas are very eye-catching and they can become an important part of the landscape. Many people place freestanding pergolas in the middle of garden areas just because it’ll make everything look nicer.

Using a pergola as a sitting area is also quite common. People often place patio furniture underneath pergolas so they can host little parties or just enjoy lounging in the yard.

A pergola isn’t going to provide you with total shade, but it will give you a little bit of shade. Having some shade makes it easier to enjoy sitting outside during the summer.

You can also add shade cloths to them to create more shade when you need it. For many, having a pergola in the yard will make things more comfortable.

Is having a pergola necessary? Absolutely not.

That doesn’t mean that it isn’t enjoyable or that it can’t add value to your property. Pergolas are nice and they can make your yard even better if you choose to build one.

Do Pergolas Need Footings?

You can build a pergola without footings, but it’ll need some other solution to keep it secure. Typically, pergolas will either use continuous post footings or a concrete foundation.

It’s necessary to have something to secure the pergola to the ground. Otherwise, the pergola wouldn’t be sturdy and you wouldn’t be able to safely use it as intended.

Not all designs will utilize footings. Some pergolas that you buy will use footings while others will be designed with concrete foundations in mind.

If you hire someone to build a pergola for you, the workers might prefer using either footings or a concrete foundation. It depends on various factors.

Can You Use Deck Blocks?

Using deck blocks for a pergola will be a poor choice. Experts generally recommend using concrete footings instead.

Where to Build a Pergola

You can build a pergola pretty much anywhere that you want. There isn’t a restriction on where you can place them.

Of course, you might need to get a permit to build a pergola. Also, you might need to clear the idea with a homeowners’ association depending on where you live.

Aside from that, you can build a pergola in many spots. Many people have pergolas that are attached to their houses or their garages.

You can also build a pergola that is a freestanding structure. The pergola might be right in the middle of the yard or it might be positioned adjacent to your garden.

Build your pergola and place it wherever you think you will get the most use out of it. So long as you’re following any necessary laws in your area, it’s fine to place your pergola anywhere in your yard.

That being said, you likely will need to choose a spot in the yard that is level enough. Building a pergola and placing it on a slope is not wise.

So you might need to alter the landscape a bit to make a freestanding pergola practical in some parts of your yard. It’s certainly possible to make these adjustments if you’re willing to go to the effort, though.

What Materials Are Needed to Build a Pergola?

There are many materials that you can use to build a pergola. You can choose to build a pergola using wood or you can use vinyl.

Each option has its pros and cons that you’ll want to consider. There are pergolas that are made out of aluminum as well.

Different types of pergolas utilize different materials. So the exact list of materials that you’ll need will depend entirely on the design that you choose.

Ideally, you should look online and start considering your options. You’ll need to pick the main material and how you want to build the pergola.

Decide how large you want it to be and how you want to secure it to the ground. You’ll be using different types of screws, concrete, and many other things when building a pergola no matter what main material you choose.

You’re also going to need lots of different tools to get this job done. It’s common for people to use miter saws, cordless drills, posthole diggers, jigsaws, spades, hammers, routers, screwdrivers, and so much more to get the job done.

If you don’t own a lot of tools already it might not be practical to build your own pergola. You might have a better time hiring someone to do it for you.

Can You Build a Pergola With Trex?

Yes, you can build a pergola with Trex if you want to. There are pergola kits that are made using Trex that you can find being sold at stores.

Many people find these types of pergolas to be perfect for their needs. So it might be something that you’ll want to look into.

Can You Build a Pergola Next to a Fence?

You’re not supposed to build a pergola right next to a fence. It’s best to keep it some distance away from the fence.

Generally, you’re meant to keep the pergola five meters away from the fence. However, rules will differ based on where you live.

If there are no rules against doing so, you can build a pergola next to a fence. It just might not be practical to do so depending on the position of the pergola.

Building a Pergola Can Be Tough

It can be tough to build a pergola if you’re making one from scratch. The easiest route to take is to buy a pergola kit from a store.

This allows you to follow the instructions and install the pergola by putting all of the pieces together. So it’s a bit different than building your own pergola.

To build a pergola yourself you’d need some level of carpentry skill. If you don’t have any experience building things it might be better to start with something less involved than a pergola.

If you’re worried that building a pergola is too tough for you, it’s fine to hire professionals to get the job done. There should be companies in your area that will be happy to build a pergola for you.

There are people who build custom pergolas for homeowners. So you can have a unique pergola designed that will suit your home to a tee if that’s what you’re looking for.

Final Thoughts

Use this information to decide whether you want to build a pergola yourself or not. Building a pergola is a bit difficult when you lack experience, but there are things that can make your life easier.

For example, buying a pergola kit and installing it will be much simpler. It still takes time and effort to do this, but it’s much more straightforward than coming up with your own design.

If you have the carpentry skills, designing your own pergola could be a fun challenge. You need to choose the best materials and make sure that you come up with a design that makes sense for your property.

Should you lack the confidence to do this yourself, you can always reach out to local professionals. Decide what you want to do when the time is right.


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