A New Pergola on the Deck!

June 03, 2015

Today I'm focusing on a project I'm NOT doing myself, and sometimes (especially after the project gone wrong this weekend), that is a wonderful, fantastic, beautiful thing. I mean, bliss

This one was actually my husband's idea and when he said we should go ahead with it I was all, dude let's do this thing. And let's hire someone else to do this thing. :) 

Let's take you back a bit first -- to how this part of our deck looked a few years ago

metal gazebo on deck

I mean…lovely, right? We LOVED it. I believe we got the metal gazebo from Sears and for the first couple of years it did great. 

THEN. We a particularly windy fall and winter one year and this happened: 
It was a total disaster -- there was broken glass everywhere from our lights we had in there. Then we had some early heavy snow and couldn't get outside to dismantle it. We had to wait for a warmer winter day to get it taken apart. 

We had another metal pergola on the other side of the deck that held up a little better and longer, but not much -- it was bent and a mess too. (That's the one I took down earlier this year.) 

Sooooo…I've learned that metal and fabric don't work back here. But because we get full sun out here all day long, we wanted something for some shade. For the past couple of years we've just had our table and chairs over in that spot: 

deck seating areas

When we have the umbrella up it's pretty cool under there, but we don't use the space nearly as much as we used to when we had more shade. My husband has really been missing it, so that's why we went ahead with a new, sturdy, wood pergola that isn't going anywhere.

They started it this week and I'm already THRILLED with the potential: 
wood pergola

They've got a few more days to go but I'm so excited about this!!

As you can see we're not attaching it to the house -- we have a walkway on the deck between this sunken part and the house and we want to keep that open.

I did consider building our own and even looked into plans -- but we quickly realized we would need to get down under the deck, dig holes and use cement to get it done and decided to hire out:

wood pergola on deck

Though after some inspection the guys doing the work (they are the "guys" we use for all big projects and always do a great job for a greater price - email me if you are in the Indy area and want their number) decided not to dig into the ground. Instead they are securing everything to the railing supports (that are in the ground) with very long bolts and the base that goes around the bottom of this section of the deck. It's crazy secure and I have no doubt it's going to hold up great. After seeing what they've done already I'm glad we're not doing it. :)

It will be done this week and I already have a very long list of projects to complete once they're done. Thankfully they are all fairly simple and inexpensive ones!

I've dreamed of adding globe lights like these out there again since the metal gazebo fell:

globe lights on deck

I just love them. They finish off an outdoor space so beautifully.

We had them up before and it was so pretty at night: 

metal gazebo on deck

This time I want even more! We have an outlet off the deck so thankfully the power is already there. 

The great thing about that metal version was it had curtains that were great for keeping bugs out. We'd like to add a little privacy this time too, so I'll be adding drop cloth curtains out there like these: 

drop cloth drapes outside

I think I'll just add them along the one side where we have closer neighbors, but they'll stay open most of the time. 

And of course…another dreamy detail I've always wanted to add are some hanging flower baskets.
I cannot wait!! 

The guys are adding a lot of pretty details I wouldn't have considered too, so I'm excited to see the final result. 

I still have to decide what color we'll stain it -- we'll do that part ourselves. (We need to wait a bit since this is treated lumber.) I'm thinking we'll just do a redwood tone like the deck, but I'm not positive yet. White would look good with the railings but I tend to like a darker pergola. Any thoughts? 

We plan to move the outdoor table and chairs down the the patio and put the outdoor sofa (craigslist find years ago) back up in this area. I still have some figuring out to do with the set up. The way the top will be designed we should have really good shade under here all day. 

We've always felt like that spot is calling out for a pergola and I am so excited this is happening. I hope to show you the finished area in a few weeks and of course I'll share the projects I mentioned here along the way. 

Now, I'm off to finish up the one I started that will. not. end. I'll share that with you this week. :) 

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  1. Love it! Please let us know where you buy the lights from. I'm looking for some as well but they all come in strands of just 10 and I would need way more than that. I've also been eying some Sunbrella curtains but they are so dang expensive. I bet I could paint a navy stripe on the drop cloth idea that you posted!

  2. Sarah,

    With your reveal will you please let us know the cost of the pergola? I am building a home in Brownsburg and have thought about adding a pergola down the road. May need to get their contact info from you too. They seem to do great work!


  3. I second Mary's reply! I'm currently looking into doing a pergola at our house (we have had the same experience with metal gazebos!) and curious to know the cost! Love the curtains, I have plans in mind to do the same! It will be beautiful! Good luck, can't wait to see the end!!


  4. How exciting!! It's going to be a beautiful outdoor oasis!!:-)

  5. Man, I've emailed you a few times asking about these "guys" you hire. I live in Fishers, and could really use some help. I will try again today :-/

  6. We just installed these string lights from Costco on our back patio. My husband even hooked them up to a dimmer switch for ambiance! Love them!
    Sarah K

  7. I can't wait to see it Sarah! I'm with you on the globe lights - I want them in mass quantities, all over the place. We took out our pond this year and put in a paver patio that I absolutely LOVE (especially since we hired out the work - that was a smart move, otherwise who knows how long it would have taken?!). Now we just need to furnish it (and eventually add an outdoor fireplace). But I love it so much already!

  8. Love your setup. Am particularly anxious to see the roof on your pergola.

  9. Oh wow, it's going to be amazing! I think it could look really good white, it already looks good! It will be a real asset in your garden and it's great that you will get the weather to use it.

  10. We are planning on putting in a pergola at some point- I can't wait to read up on all the details, and see the finished product! We get a TON of sun- so I am especially interested in the curtains and how much shade it provides.

  11. The perfect place to spend some time with a cup of tea, a beautiful and breathtaking view. Your photos are gorgeous like always! Wish I have a place like that. Keep on inspiring! :)

    Paula @ Park Point Residences

  12. Wow that looks like a dream. So cozy and peaceful. I can't wait to follow the progress of this project. I'm new here, but looks like I'll be sticking around. I'm also obsessed with the little glove lights and hope to have them in our outdoor space one day. I'm from Oklahoma and those metal ones don't last long either. Especially during the spring. This looks like a great option though. So cute!

  13. It's going to be beautiful!!!! We DIYed a pergola last year and it's the best thing we ever did for our backyard. I stained ours a dark brown using SW Deckscapes and have been thoroughly impressed. We are in the harsh south Texas heat, two miles from the ocean, and the stain has protected it extremely well so far (granted, it's only been a year). Water just beads up on it. Oh, and I found our clear globe lights at World Market and used a bunch of coupons on them :) Can't wait to see how this comes along!

  14. I love this idea! I think either one would work, the red stain would make the deck look whole but the white would be bright and stand out and work with the railing. If It was me I would do white :) just for a statement.

    Cant wait to see the finished product!

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs

  15. I'm excited for you! I'm in the mood to work outdoors also and enjoyed this post and look forward to more inspiration.

  16. I have drop cloth curtains on my screened porch, they work great,I take them down in the fall when I put most of the outdoor furniture away. I saw really nice long strands of lights at Costco FYI. Enjoy!

  17. I found your site very beautiful and distinguished too. Thank you for your good work and continue.

  18. Can't wait to see the finished project! We have to have a gazebo out back on the patio or we would be like rotisserie chicken in the summer. Our first one was destroyed in a wind storm a few years back. It actually got lifted over a 10 ft hedge and over the fence into the neighbors yard! We then bought a much heavier, sturdier version at Target. We take the top off in the winter and so far it has held up ok, but rust is sneaking up on it. I wish we could put something more permanent like yours back there, but ours is a concrete patio:(

  19. Cannot wait to see!! I love white but personally would lean towards a dark stain... mainly because I have a white plant hanger/privacy screen on one end of my deck, and when the sun hits it the white gets VERY bright, my eyes kind of hurt looking at it. : ) If you'll be able to see the pergola from a lot of windows in your house this is something I'd keep in mind.

  20. I did the drop cloth curtains for our pergola and they were beautiful, especially for the price to make them! The trouble was that they were heavy and took forever to dry after it rained. It didn't take long for them to start looking gross. If I try them again I will look for a lighter weight and make them easier to take down to wash. Can't wait to see what you decide on!

  21. that deck is AMAZING, I always like to add a Moroccan pouf like from eBay, Etsy, or a website like http://beldinest.com/ . I want to do my deck like that!

  22. How exciting! Congratulations!! (I know they're not cheap but oh so worth the expense!!)

  23. I'm excited for you! Your house is very beautiful.

  24. Would love to do this to our deck but we are too lazy to have to stain the pergola every couple of years...LOL!!!


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