Affordable Ideas for a Pergola in the Garden
If you don't already have a pergola or shade structure in the garden, here are a few ideas to inspire you to pop into Builders and buy all you need to make one.
A pergola is a structure that provides a covering for a spot in the garden where you can entertain, dine or relax. There are all types of styles and designs for building a pergola as well as different materials that can be used. We offer some ideas for building an affordable pergola for your garden, whether you can an open frame on which you can grow creepers or climbers or fit a covering that provides shade. All the ideas shown below won't cost a fortune and can probably be completed in a few weekends to provide the perfect solution for when spring and summer come back around.
What is a Pergola?
By definition, a pergola is a framework that is freestanding or attached to the wall of a house that can be used as a decoration or shade structure for an outdoor area. A pergola is usually erected over an area where you sit or dine, where you entertain, or it can be erected over a deck or hot tub.
The Most Affordable Pergola Design
- Untreated Non-PAR SA Pine
If you have decided a pergola is what you garden needs, keeping to a basic design will cost you far less than other options. A framework that costs of uprights and cross beams for the roof and nothing else will keep the cost low, as will using untreated SA Pine that is not PAR. For those that don't know, PAR stands for planed all round and any pine that is not PAR has a rough finish and comes in different sizes than PAR pine does. The reason for this is that it does not go through the process of being planed all round (PAR) and it is this process that trims (planes) the board to standard sizes. Non-PAR pine does have a rough finish, but it is much cheaper and does the same job.
Builders stock a variety of untreated pine that can be used for constructing a pergola and if properly treated with an exterior sealer or weatherproofing product, should last just as long.
- Treated Gum Poles
Gum poles are another affordable alternative for building a pergola and can be purchased at most larger hardware stores or timber merchants. They are just as easy to use as untreated pine and can be quickly erected without any specialist power tools.
Design a pergola that evolves into more over time. Start with the basic frame and then incorporate other materials, such as roofing, as and when you can afford to.
- Simple Design and Layout
Foregoing any type of roof covering, or using local thatch grasses, will keep the cost down. Bougainvillea might be considered by many to be a nuisance but there is no doubt that it is fast-growing and will quickly spread out and cover the roof structure with a beautifully vivid display of colour. And yes, it can be messy when the flowers drop but it does look oh so gorgeous when in full flower. Plus, bougainvillea aren't fussy for attention and as long as they have a sunny position they will flourish.
There are plenty of other plants that will provide cover but if you want shade cover as quickly as possible, discuss this with the experts at your local garden centre.
Building a DIY pergola does not have to be a difficult of expensive project. There are plenty of materials out there that would serve well for the basic structure and that includes untreated pine, gum poles, or even reclaimed wood.