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Are You A DIY Pergola Builder? What You Should And Shouldn’t Be Doing


These days, pergolas have become a popular feature of many contemporary homes. They offer shade, décor and a multifunctional outdoor space that can be used for all sorts of applications. If you are planning to become a DIY pergola builder, however, there are a few important things that you need to keep in mind to ensure that your project goes off without a hitch.

  • Determine whether you need permits
    Many local councils will actually require you to obtain a permit before construction can commence. This could include a planning and a building permit. Keep in mind that what applies in one council area may not apply to another, so don’t assume that the permit requirement is the same if you have moved between municipalities.
  • Determine the exact spot for the pergola
    These structures aren’t exactly portable, so it’s important that you’ve chosen the perfect spot before construction commences. Think about how you use the space on your property and the position of the sun at certain times of the day when making your decision. If you have a pool, for example, you might want to overlook it.
  • Determine the type of plants and flowers
    The last thing you want is to have insects invading your newly built sanctuary, so ensure that you choose your plants and flowers wisely (as many can attract bugs). It is also an idea to steer clear of plants with thorns, particularly if you have small children, and to avoid anything that family members are allergic to (such as pollen).
  • Determine the appropriate size
    One of the most important steps for a DIY pergola builder is to determine a size that is appropriate for the property. You might like the idea of a big one, but it could easily dwarf your yard or generate some complaints from the neighbours. At the end of the day, the structure should be large enough to accommodate your chosen furniture.
  • Don’t build too close to utility lines
    It is imperative that you have called your utilities companies before construction commences, as this can help to avoid accidently hitting an electricity or gas line. There is a variety of ‘dial before you dig’ hotlines that you can call, just ensure that you place markers where these lines are to ensure that they’re avoided.
  • Don’t spend too much money on the project
    Whilst you might not be planning to move in the near future, you should ensure that you’ll at least recoup the costs of the pergola. It is possible to build using high quality materials without breaking the bank. A structure worth a few thousand dollars might look fantastic, but you’re never going to recoup the money that you spent on it.

Whilst a pergola is certainly a fantastic feature to have on your property, it is essential that it has been erected properly. This is why, if you are planning to be a DIY pergola builder, it is important that you have considered each of the points outlined above. They will give you the best chances at success, ensuring that your family and friends will enjoy the space for years to come.

Are You A DIY Pergola Builder? What You Should And Shouldn’t Be Doing
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.

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