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Old 07-21-2008, 10:50 AM   #1
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


We're moving to a new home that has a back porch with a pergola. I'm not clear on the point of the pergola - it doesn't protect you from the sun or the rain. Yet, some people pay lots of money for them:

http://www.costco.com/Common/Categor...909&lang=en-US

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Old 07-21-2008, 11:05 AM   #2
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


I think the purpose is for the Sun mostly... then the look... not for the rain for sure... as although it is open air... it probably block somewhat like 50% of the sun.... so it gives you some sun access to make you feel like outdoor but not completely cut off you from the sun...

I couldn't agree more on the cost part..... it just way too high for it trys to give...

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Old 07-21-2008, 01:26 PM   #3
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


Actually, for south facing decks, it can save you from the constant hot sun...especially in late afternoon/evening. WHen the sun is directly overhead, it may not do a lot of good...but at other times of day, a good pergola will block a lot of the sun/heat. An integrated awning system makes it even more useful.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:48 PM   #4
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


Really? I hadn't even thought of that, I must say...
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:05 PM   #5
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


I really like to have one... but the Costco is too costly ... I wonder if DIY... how much would it costs material-wise using ceder wood or treated lumber... this could be my next project if it costs good... anyone has experience?
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:35 PM   #6
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


THERE FOR THE GRAPE VINES HA. HA.
I can remember back when I was a kid ,Dad and my grandfather built one for his grape vines. We use to sit under there to get out of the sun. It was always cool And the smell was beautiful. Today I guess the people for got the grapes! I don't really know what there purpose is today!
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:32 PM   #7
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


A pergolla tells your neighbors... I got more money than I know what do with. Now, How Many Do You Want?
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:07 PM   #8
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


For climbing vines,
for shade (purlins spaced closely together will drop temp under pergola by a good 15 on sunny day),
for a structure you can hang roll-up shades off the side of to provide shade against late afternoon sun,
for hanging plant baskets,
for asthetics,
basically to help you define an outdoor room...

For the prices posted on the Costco pergolas, you might be better off hiring a craftsman that builds them for a living to erect one. (Once you buy it from Costco, you'll still have to put it together.) A craftsman-built pergola will be more stable and quite possibly better looking/more useful than the ones featured in that link.

Mac
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:58 PM   #9
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


Our yard is tiny, we wanted to create a focal point out in the yard when looking out the windows. It does give us some shade and a place for just to grow some vines. As someone else put it, it does define our outdoor living space. My husband and I built ours, it took a total of 2 months, but we only worked on weekends.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:33 AM   #10
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


Vines sound lovely! If you could give me some tips on how to get started on that I would really appreciate it.
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:45 PM   #11
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


Shapes and sizes:
I decided on a L shape to create a focal point, but more typical may be a straight line or rectangle.
The final height was something similar to the ceiling height of our home, so that it would feel like a extension of the house.
Design:
I downloaded Google's SketchUp, a 3d modeling software so that I could get an idea of what it would look like. This part took a lot of time and research to figure out how we were going to do all the supports.
I would suggest that you start to notice these structures in the neighborhood and observing how they were assembled. Once you find one you like take pics and reverse engineer it.

Simple right it's tough getting the final lumber dimension, so take it slow, make lots of sketches and triple check.
Good luck.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:34 AM   #12
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


http://www.popularmechanics.com/home...g/3352816.html

I found that from the internet and it seems a very easy one... very similiar idea with the one from the pictures above...

I still wonder how much this guy would cost in materials.... I know I can do some research in HD visit.... but if someone can gives a ball park neighbourhood figure to save those investigation work....
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:36 PM   #13
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


Cost goes up significantly with the lumber dimensions. We used con heart redwood and needed it to have some mass and was not interested in trying to build it up so we used 6x6's, 4x6's, and 2x4's to construct ours.
I can only imagine how much more it would have cost if I had hired someone else to do it.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:04 PM   #14
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


Hi la15ota, your pergola is nice.... Is there a good reason for you to pick an L shape... it is good for setting up plant... but show narrow it becomes not possible to put table and chair below it.... our backyard is also small... if I am going to do it... I would want a rectanglar/square one so that can eat undereneath.... and can be shaped from the sun...
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:55 PM   #15
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What is the purpose of a pergola?


Hi KUI****G, Yes the L shape doesn't allow for us to put a table and chairs under it. It was more of a focal point for the eye to look out upon. I didn't feel that a rectangle would help to enlarge our tiny space, I thought that it would emphasize how small it is.
Our plan is to have a seated wall built a foot back from the posts to allow for seating and to place a table and chairs in the center with a umbrella to add more shading.
In the end we'll need a extra umbrella because the sun shine in a way that no matter which way we designed it we'd still be in the sun.

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