New Garden Pergola or Arbor

Now that we have the construction of the new garden gate arch out of the way, we gave the foreman the go ahead and build a garden pergola adjacent to the front of the house. The idea for the garden pergola came when we realized we were running out of spaces in our wall-mounted rods for hanging baskets.

But that's not the only reason.

Our wall-mounted hanging rods, which is part of our garden nursery, is at the back of the house. The back of the house faces the east and it isn't as sunny as we'd like it. There is a neighbor's tree behind us that gives unnecessary shade for our backyard and back garden. So the back garden only gets filtered sunlight until around 10 am. Then it gets direct sunlight until 12 noon. Past that time, the house starts to shade the back garden as the sun moves to the west or the front of our house.

So we found the opportunity of having a pergola at the front of the house where it will get maximum direct sunlight for the latter half of the day. The pergola could have two purposes. The lattice on top of the pergola can serve as rods for the hanging baskets, or it would be a support structure for climbing vines.

Considerations for the Garden Pergola Construction

  • Garden Pergola Location

    Ordinarily, a typical rectangular garden pergola would have 4 posts. In the absence of posts, anchoring the pergola's beams to a vertical wall may be done. This is to keep the garden pergola stable with no sideways movement.

    In our front yard though, there are no spots where pergola posts may be installed. There is an existing concrete post and there's a concrete wall to put anchors. I was also wary about position the top frame of the pergola too close to the house. Because with the pergola too close, future maintenance work on the house's windows and roof gutters may become difficult.

    The foreman assured me however that they'll use a 2" x 4" tubular pipe that will be anchored end-to-end and without the need for posts. Not only that. The beams will be so strong that I could actually step and stand on the tubular pipe if I needed to do maintenance work on the roof gutters.

    Here's the whole garden pergola. Notice how it is quite near the house's bay windows.

  • Garden Pergola Design

    An issue with the foreman was the installation of the 2 tubular beams at the left side. His concern was finding the reinforcement bars inside the concrete beams. This will allow the workers to weld the tubular pipes into the bars for a good anchor. The trouble is the concrete beam has decorative concrete molding on it.

    That means chiseling and destroying the decorative concrete molding while searching for the rebars inside. He has a worker for the task but estimated that the work to restore the concrete moldings won't be as easy (read: lengthy or expensive).

    Shown below is the left side attachments and the finished work. Notice how the 2 tubular beams seem to float and just barely touching the concrete beams decorative moldings. The tubular beams are welded well into the concrete beams though. It isn't just obvious though because the decorative moldings have been restored well.

    The garden pergola's top isn't fancy at all. Atop the 2 tubular beams is the lattice made of 12 mm round steel bars that are spaced 12 inches apart.

  • Garden Pergola Dimensions

    The area dimensions of the garden pergola were calculated to suit the yard area infront of the house. The lattice will be made of steel bars that will accommodate the hooks of hanging baskets.

    1. Pergola Height
      • High enough so that even with plant baskets hanging, anyone can pass under without getting hit.
      • Low enough so plant baskets may be hung with minimal effort and with no need for a stool.

    2. Pergola Depth
      • Deep enough so it could accommodate climbing vines and hanging baskets.
      • Allow exposure to overhead sunlight.

      Shown below is the pergola's depth, roughly the space between the two beams.

    3. Pergola Width or Length
      • Should span the maximum length of the yard without the need for additional posts, ie, from beam to wall.
      • Lattice should provide crawl space at the end of the pergola for future maintenance of the high trellis on the wall.

      Here's the other end of the pergola with the beams welded into the reinforcement bars inside the walls. Notice the lattice does not extend to the whole length of the 2 beams. Space is provided to allow garden maintenance on the wall's high trellis.

  • Garden Pergola Finish

    The structure is all steel. Just like in the garden gate arch, the paint color chosen for the finish is maple (a shade of brown). The color matches the house's windows, and now the garden gate arch.

After this construction project was completed, there were still a few tubular pipes and round steel bars left. I saved them for use on a next fabrication project.

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