A Quick Look At The Pergola Installation Process

A pergola is an attractive addition to your yard that provides a lounging space with dappled or full shade. These structures can be built from scratch or put together from a kit. There are choices in materials and styles, so you have a lot of options for how the finished pergola looks. Here's what you should know about the installation process.

Choose The Design And Location

The installation method depends on the style of your pergola and where you plan to install it. You might want it to be freestanding and some distance from your house, or you may want it attached to your house and placed over a patio. 

You'll also need to choose between a wood, metal, or vinyl pergola, and decide if you want an open or solid roof. You can even choose if you want electrical hookups or cables for the TV added. An important step to consider is when to add the wires and cables if you want them. You may need to hire an electrician to run the wires from your home to the structure if the pergola will be set away from your house.

Once all these factors are known, your installer can obtain a permit if one is needed and plan the installation.

Start By Sinking The Posts

These structures are built on posts. The posts are sunk into the ground in a similar way that fence posts are installed. The installer digs holes, sinks the posts, and then adds cement to hold the posts in place. A typical freestanding structure uses four posts with one in each corner.

The posts are usually made from pressure-treated wood so they tolerate being in contact with the ground. However, they can be covered with column wrap to take on any appearance and shape you like.

Once the posts are in place and the cement has hardened, the installer can add beams to the tops of the posts to hold the roof rafters. The spacing of the rafters depends on whether you want a full roof or a roof that allows some sun to shine through. The wider the rafters, the more sun you'll get when you're lounging in your pergola.

The installer can also add wood strips to create a lattice effect on the roof. They might install a full roof instead that's made of wood or a sturdy cloth material that will fully protect you from the sun.

The final step in a wood pergola installation is to prime and paint the wood to give the wood color and protect it from rain. Vinyl and metal pergolas won't need to be painted.