How to Build Custom Pergolas: The Complete Guide
aluminum pergolas in Modesto

How to Build Custom Pergolas: The Complete Guide

Pergolas add a charming touch of nature to your garden. They are a great way to add vertical space in an enclosed space. Pergolas can also be used as a patio extension, a covered feeding area for pets, or a secondary space for gardening. They are also easy to add shade to a site and give your garden some much-needed natural sunlight. 


Pergolas require similar materials and design principles as other types of the trellis. The main difference is that pergolas are built to span from rafters to a canopy, frame, or wall. They can be made part of a more comprehensive structure like a deck, patio, or standalone. They can also be designed to fit in with the existing design of your garden.


Most pergolas are built using either wooden posts or steel trellises. If you’re building a pergola to use as a primary space for gardening, pick the type that will suit your needs and suit the environment it’s going to be used in. If it’s not practical for you to add a trellis on top of already-existing structures, then steel will be easier and cheaper on your wallet. Steel is lighter, so it can be placed into tight spaces that wood or PVC poles won’t be able to fit into. Wooden posts will take up more space but are cheaper than the steel version. After choosing the right type of pole for your needs, find a place where it can rest safely against an existing structure and be easy enough for you and anyone else who will have access to access during construction. 


This is especially important if you’re adding a pergola to an existing deck structure: ensure the structure it’s resting against isn’t vulnerable to damage. When available, add a support system to give it stability.


There will be three main sections of your aluminum pergolas in Modesto, CA. The first is the frame that will hold up the canopy and trellis and provide stability for the whole thing. The second is the canopy itself, which you’ll likely also want to use to grow plants inside. The final part of the pergola is often referred to as a trellis or handrail; this area should be sturdy enough to easily walk on it when standing under or on top of the structure (this can also be used as a support system). If your plan calls for this piece, make sure you have a strong design that won’t snap or break while someone is walking on it.