I thought I would post details of what we did, the cost for the project and how it has held up for us. Ahem. I meant to post last August. Now it is January 2015 and I am finally getting to this project 🙂 Perfect timing for those that might be considering spring and summer projects – plus we have lived with it for several months so I can tell you how it held up to some pretty nasty storms over the winter.
EDITED: Now it is April 2016 and the project still looks exactly the same. The pictures in this post are updated to reflect how to the pergola still looks over a year later. We did add a TV to the pergola so I will show you how we did that.
This project was pretty awesome. We live in Northern California and the winds here can be incredibly strong plus it gets very hot in summer. We purchased a gazebo several years ago for about $300 and held up for exactly one summer. It was really hard to disassemble so we wound up keeping it up for fall and winter and it took a beating. In late winter I went outside after a nasty wind storm and very literally found the entire gazebo structure in the pool. That was super fun to fish out and I was already unhappy because the gazebo was dark brown and the colors of the fabric had really faded in the sun and just looked shabby. After just a few months- boo!
So we decided a more solid structure was in order. We did request quotes from contractors and looked at some pre-made kits from home improvement stores and discovered it would be about $700 to $2000 for a pergola. Ouch! More then we wanted to spend on this project.
We had discussed just building our own from scratch and one day my husband comes back with the supplies from Home Depot and boom! He was ready to get started :).
So when it was all said and done we spent roughly $400 on materials and it took about 2 days. My husband did most of it by himself and two of those days were weekends so he spent probably 2 almost full days on the project and then a few hours after work on it. At least $100 of the budget was sun shades so if you don’t need those, your project will be cheaper.
This project is one of those that seems more complicated or difficult then it really is and doesn’t require tons of fancy tools or special skills.
The most important thing about this project is ensuring the structure is very safe and sound and I think we did do that. I can tell you we had a few nasty storms over the winter and the pergola did not budge at all. It still looks really great!