Tips for Planning A Backyard Pergola

Tomorrow is officially the first day of summer, and our temps here in Southern Cal reflect just that.   Therefore the hot request we are getting from our client’s right now is for backyard pergolas.  Adding this type of feature to your home adds value, square footage, and a space to create  fun filled memories with family and friends.  In this post, we’ll share some quick tips on planning a pergola for your home as well as explore some interesting ideas to make your space unique.

For starters, you’ll want to find the perfect space in your yard, and one that is flat if possible.  If your land isn’t leveled already, that can be done by a construction professional.

Next, selecting a space with some trees for a bit of shade from another structure is best.  A pergola is meant to be open to the sun above, so on hot days a little shade will be welcome.

A fun way to add a little visual interest to your pergola is by adding laser cut sheet metal to the roof or custom wood work.  This details creates fun pattern play that simply adds another interesting layer, making your space fit your personality and style.

Think of a pergola as an added outdoor living space. Creating a space for outdoor dining to a home with a small dining room indoors would be an excellent solution to maximize space for your home.  Or, simply creating a fun outdoor space for your family to enjoy movie night via a large wide movie screening area as seen below.

Adding special touches makes your space your own, like the above with a rock path leading to the black pergola with globe chandeliers.  Or the poolisde pergola below with oversized beds and draping canopies for a dramatic solution for a shady spot to break from the hot sun.

Whether your pergola is free standing or attached, traditional or modern, creating an outdoor space to gather with friends will add value to your life as well as your home.  Relatively low in cost to build, a typical pergola can be built on the low end around $3500, but can climb upwards from there depending on your amenities.  For example a classic four post structure with comfy lounge chairs will cost less than one with an outdoor kitchen.  By definition a pergola is a four-pillared structures with an open, latticed roof, and are covered with concrete or a flagstone patio.  But even something as simple as mulch flooring and three pillars like the image below can break the rules, yet provide as much fun and relaxation as one on a grand scale with all the bells and whistles.

*JDG Tip-If you plan to go the DIY route, we recommend contacting your local utility companies to ensure you don’t dig post holes into underground utility lines.

Whatever your design style or budget, just make it functional, fun and most of all,  make it your own.

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2 thoughts on “Tips for Planning A Backyard Pergola”

  1. This article was such a great read and so helpful to the project that I want to start in my backyard. I like that you talked about not only how to plan for a pergola but how to decorate one. My favorite tip that you mentioned in the article was to find the perfect space for it in the yard and to make sure the land is leveled off and has a nice bit of shade if possible. Thanks for the great advice.

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