A pergola adds splendour to your crib

By Ritah Monica Mukasa

A pergola is an outdoor frame feature made out of wood or metal, built in an open space or attached to a structure

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After all the hefty, stressful hustles of the day, the pergola welcomes you home to a relaxing environment, endowed with Mother Nature in pure beauty.

According to Catherine Nakamya, a landscaper, a pergola is an outdoor frame feature made out of wood or metal, built in an open space or attached to a structure

It is completely different from an arbour, a gazebo or trellises which all fall in the same class.

“It is based on posts covered with a roof or arch.  However, the roofing grid of the pergola can either be left open or covered to offer shelter, add privacy and shade like a natural extension of the home with an outdoor sitting area. It also obstructs unwanted views,” Nakate explains.

Features of a pergola

Nakate says, a pergola may be freestanding or attached to a house allowing trailing or creeping plants to spread up and over it to provide a welcome shade in a sunny patch.  

They are basically two types of pergolas, those erected on the walk ways and those in the backyard, designed with curtains, sofas and plants like a modern gazebo.

“Pergolas can be placed at the entrance to your garden, over a pathway and against a wall to shade a seating area. They’re quite easy to build from scratch using treated softwood. Make sure you paint the cut ends of the timbers and the feet of the posts with wood preservative before you start,” she affirms.

Pergolas are designed in different shapes of square, rectangle or curved measuring from 4 *6, 5 * 6 and 6*6.

However, Ivan Nkata, an interior designer says, a metallic pergola is more durable, artistic and cost effective than a wooden one which requires expensive pressure treated poles that are changed over a small period of time.  For the roofing, plastic glass or tumplines are used on the backyard pergola.  

How to make it yourself

Nkata explains that, for the backyard pergola, after choosing the area, dig the foundation about two inches and place the bars in four corners with the plate on top.

Tile the floor and start designing the roof and interior with soft furniture, curtains and plants.  You can choose one side for a bush garden and the other for a fabric curtain.

The walk way pergola, measure the distance in which you want to erect it, say from the gate to the main house and start planting  local poles.  First dip the poles’ feet in oil and wrap each in a polythene bag to deter termites from accessing them.

Using construction nails, fix the top poles and plant the cripplers.

The cost

Nakamya says, a 6*6 backyard metallic pergola costs not less than shs12 millions depending on the cost of the materials.

A 5*6 cost shs8millions, 4*6 goes for shs6.5millions.  For the labour, she charges from shs2.5millions.