The Pergola

I really wanted some sort of structure on my deck. Actually, I really want a 4-season-porch, but that’s not happening this year. I thought about buying another metal canopy like the one I have down by the pool, but the wind makes me nervous. I’m pretty sure the frame would get twisted and trashed in just one season.

I pinned ideas. I watched YouTube videos. I drew my plan.

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I wasn’t sure about the roof part on my first trip to the hardware store. I was really intrigued by the clear roofing material that would provide protection from the rain, but didn’t quite understand how to build my pergola with a slant to have the rain flow off of that kind of a roof. For my first trip, I ended up just getting the frame. I would decide on the type of roof later. Building a pergola isn’t really a 1-person job, but I did it and it only took me 1.5 days (with rain delays)!

Day 1 – Trip #1 to Home Depot: braces, legs and the perimeter of the roof.

Day 1 – Trip #2 to Home Depot: roof boards, and string lights.

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Day 1 – Trip 3 to Home Depot: We had a storm come through. I hadn’t bolted anything prior to the storm. The pergola was still held together with just screws. It started to lean and I started to freak out. We had straight winds and rain and I scurried to get scrap boards to screw the pergola to the deck posts. I needed more braces and bolts! On this last trip to Home Depot, I’m positive that I showed up looking like a crazy person. I got what I needed and was on the deck adding bolts and braces to the pergola until 10pm!

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Day 2: Finish adding all bolts and additional supports, including a bench that ties the pergola to a deck footer. Add curtains using pvc for the rod. The PVC and curtains are from my Pinterest fail project last year.

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I’ll stain it later on, but the wood needs to weather a bit first…

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Pinterest Fail: PVC Pipe Pergola

What the hell was I thinking? Summer temperatures had hit and I had ants in my pants to create a backyard oasis. I didn’t have any yard furniture, my deck was in shabby shape and desperately needed stain, and my pool was green. As always, I was on Pinterest looking for fun DIY projects that I could do on my own to spiff it all up for as little cash as possible.

I found a ton of pins with PVC used to build pergola-types of enclosures. You use plumbers pipe attachments to screw it down. It all seemed so easy and looked great in the pictures! I’d even found a way to make the PVC look like wood!

I headed to get my materials, in my tiny car. I had the PVC cut at Home Depot because my car can only fit things that are 9 feet long or less from dash to hatch. 😀

    

The painting and staining was really similar to what I’d already done on my garage door and front door. I literally used the same materials and it turned out okay.

So far, I was still pleased with the project. I got all of the poles up and headed to the fabric store. I sewed a top hem on each of the panels to hang them up. The fabric was WAY more expensive than I had planned at $400.00! The price for the fabric is when I started to realize that I should probably have done something different than this Pinterest PVC Pergola thing, but I was in too far with the project at this point. I got the curtains hung and added string lights.

  

OMG. What had I built? It wasn’t good. It looked like I was either hosting a wedding or a witch gathering. It was even worse when I’d come home from work after a rainy and windy day and found it had come apart, leaving $400 of wet fabric on the deck, mixed in mud from plants that it had knocked down.

By then I’d also gotten a glimpse of what this looked like from the street as I drove up to my house. This thing was embarrassing from every angle and I had to take it down…kind of.

I really loved the string lights on at night, so I left 3 poles up. They held the string lights up and it didn’t look *that* bad (when it was dark out).