Visualising what sort of pergola you'd like to put up is the easy part. While pergolas are fairly simple structures, technically speaking there are still a few things to consider if you want to ensure that your pergola is structurally sound, safe from weather and termite damage, and appropriately built.
Seemingly simple things like whether or not (and how) your pergola is attached to the house and what sorts of lighting and electrical fittings you can use are actually regulated by law too - for important safety reasons.
Not all timbers are suitable for all aspects of the construction of pergolas and gazebos. Some may be ideal for infills, but not for structural beams. Likewise, not all timbers suit all climates.
The shape and design of your pergola will affect how strong it is, and how effective it is at providing shade, shelter and comfort. See what kinds of variations exist in designs and how they compare.
The size of the pergola you choose to build will have a direct bearing not just on its need to support itself, but may also affect how it's able to be attached to other structures.
If you're installing a deck, it's important to first prepare the site and ensure that it's free from things like poor drainage, reactive soil or termites, which are likely to damage the decking in the longer term.
The footings and supports used for your pergola will directly affect how stable it is. They will also determine how resistant it is to rot and termites, among other things.
Depending on what sort of pergola you're planning, how big it is and what materials you plan on using, cost and price can vary wildly. Find out how different choices will affect the cost of your pergola.
If you're planning to do any evening entertaining at all, safe and effective pergola lighting is a big deal. Find out how best to light your pergola or gazebo, and what sorts of things will make a difference.