Our Beautiful Wood Pergola on the Deck

June 17, 2015

A pretty pergola built on top of a wood deck. 

Our beautiful deck gazebo is done and we are thrilled with it! 

As with the rooms inside our house…now that one thing has been added I've created a whole new list of things I'd like to update as well. Ha! It never ends (but I like it that way). 

Yes, it is a beast!! 
wood gazebo on deck

First, here's a look at what we started with in this spot:  
metal pergola in wind

We had a large, metal pergola there before and as you can tell, it didn't fair well in the wind. Everything was bolted into the deck, but that fabric top acted as an umbrella and about took the whole thing away. 

So we decided to go with a sturdier option instead. :) 

Here's a pic of the building process of this pergola built on top of our deck: 
wood pergola on top of deck

The 4x4's were secured into the deck and the fence posts (that go down into the ground). This method has held up beautifully. 

Now let's see some of the details! Our contractors did such a fantastic job on this -- it is way nicer than we even imagined. It ended up taking much longer than estimated, which was fine because they were taking their time and adding lots of pretty details. 

We had to work with the odd shape of our deck -- each lowered section has quite a few angles. This wasn't a simple four post pergola -- there are nine in total. They ran the curved boards across the top and then also added that same look on the sides and corners as well: 
pergola on deck

They routered the edges on each one of those boards! So much work! It really is beautifully done.

You can see them on the sides better here -- the beams run one way but they added shorter ones on the sides to finish it off: 
hanging flowers from pergola

It's a detail we weren't expecting but love! You can see the flower baskets I hung on Monday -- I didn't want to spend a ton of money since I knew I wanted four. I got cheap baskets of $7 petunias and some $4 metal hanging baskets that were green. I sprayed them black -- much cheaper than buying nicer hanging baskets!

I got everything at Meijer, including the large hooks: 

hanging basket flowers on pergola

I absolutely LOVE how they look! The hanging baskets are one of those little things I've always wanted to have out here and I think they look lovely. 

For a little extra shade they added the smaller wood pieces across the top of the beams: 
large pergola on deck

These are 2x4's ripped in half. 

In the morning we have a ton of shade in here -- in the later part of the day there's none but that's fine with us. If I add drapes out here that will help. The beams offer some shade at the hottest part of the day for sure. 

The wood on the railing had to be removed to put the posts up and since it was warped anyway, we had them replace it. They made them SO much nicer than they were before! They also added them to the tops of the stair rails, which didn't have anything before: 
finishing off deck rails

So, now that it's done I have all kinds of things I'd like to do! The whole deck needs to be restrained badly -- but we'll wait on that and do it with the pergola. Since we can't stain it or the handrails for a few months (the treated wood needs to "cure" -- we are planning September), I'm focusing on the smaller projects. 

Now that the plants are done, my next step are the lights. I'm most excited about these! I ordered some with excellent reviews off of Amazon and within literally two minutes of taking them out of the package one bulb broke, then another broke and blew the entire strand. It's going great so far, she says sarcastically. I picked up some cheaper, plastic bulbs yesterday -- but they just don't have the same look. (They are basically Christmas tree lights with a plastic globe over the top.) 

Soooo…that is proving more difficult to figure out than I thought. Anyone have globe lights outside that they love? I listed the other projects for the pergola -- and yes, I'll do most of these before we stain and yes we'll have to take it down when we do that. We want to enjoy it all summer so it's worth it. :) 

We LOVE it and think it's just beautiful! It makes this outside space feel like a room for sure. I won't have a totally final reveal for you till fall, but I'll be sure and update you on anything I do until then! 

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  1. It looks great! I've always wanted a pergola.
    We have globe lights hanging under our covered porch and I had the same issue. While hanging them I broke a ton of bulbs and then blew the strand. If they're anything like the ones we have they might have a fuse in the plug that you can remove and swap out with a blown fuse. Mine are the clear glass bulbs on brown wiring from Bed Bath and Beyond. Good luck!

  2. They have carried these AT our Costco in AZ this summer (to save on shipping) and they look awesome. We would purchase them, but don't have a need at our home. They have GREAT reviews.
    Check them out: http://www.costco.com/Feit-Outdoor-Weatherproof-String-Light-Set%2c-48-ft%2c--24-Light-Sockets%2c-Includes-36-Bulbs.product.100140552.html
    They are pricey, but definitely look like they will hold up through weather. Good luck!

  3. I have pergola envy! Have you tried Costco? They had some vintage strings lights that looked to have a heavy duty cord. I think the strand was 48 ft. They seemed a little pricier than others I've looked at but they are also longer so maybe it works out to be about the same price. Good luck! Your flower baskets are beautiful! I wouldn't have thought to hang the hangar that way. I would have boringly hung it with the curve going up, not down.

  4. Looks fabulous. I love it. I am sure you will really enjoy it this summer.

  5. How much did it cost to do the pergola? I live in Indy and am thinking about installing one in our new house. Thanks!

  6. I purchased patio lights from http://www.partylights.com/ last year and they've held up very well. Bonus is that the bulbs aren't already screwed into the strands (they are packaged in their own box within the larger box) when they arrive so you can play around with your strands until you get your pattern just so then screw in the bulbs. They are a little pricey but industrial quality.

    1. Glad to hear someone say they hold up! I've looked at them online but wasn't sure if they'd be worth the cost.

  7. I ordered the "Christmas" lights with the dome over the top from Pottery Barn(because of the longer lengths they offered otherwise target had them as well) before I put them up I took the bulb out and spray painted the cording ORB. They look fantastic now! So much better without the green cord! I love them on. They add the perfect twinkle effect. I even enjoy them when I'm inside looking out!

  8. I have not been impressed with my globe lights from Target if that helps.

  9. Costco has string lights... and if you hate them, you can always return them there! :) Plus, they're super long... so you only need one strand!

  10. Beautiful progress, Sarah! It looks amazing and I can imagine how happy you must be!

  11. They're not globe lights but we inatalled a set of really nice outdoor string lights from Costco. My husband put them on a dimmer switch too. They look so pretty at night on our patio and add just the right amount of ambiance. Here's a link:
    Sarah K in California

  12. World Market has the best globe lights. I have had two strands for 7 years now and they still work great! And even though they are seven years old, I can still get the replacement bulbs. Each strand also comes with extra fuses. Be careful when hanging, though, because the glass is thin. Right now, I am missing four lights in one strand and it's still working great.

  13. I've gotten my outdoor globe lights at Target for $12.99/box. They have lasted several years with no issues!

  14. I second the World Market globe light love! We got a long string (24 I think) and they literally hung outside through the entire Chicago Winter and are still going strong. We set them to a timer to come on every night at 7 :)

  15. It's beautiful! I have globe lights from my Target. They are Target brand and I love them! We have them over our patio and even left them out thru Wisconsin winter (and turned them on nightly) and they have held up perfectly!

  16. That turned out amazing! I so want to build one of those in my backyard. Can't seem to get the hubby on board. Congrats, it looks awesome.

  17. It is lovely...would look good in my yard!

  18. Looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing pics and not making us wait for the full reveal...I I like seeing the steps as you go! Maybe next time you could get a pic from the yard side to show how it ties in with patio and house and the rest of the deck? Want to see this beauty from all sides :)

  19. This looks wonderful!! I'm so glad you shared this with us. It looks like a relaxing and beautiful space. Enjoy!

  20. NICE! I love the fact that the pergola is actually placed so it can be used without having to go to the farthest part of a yard and climbing in. Very smart addition as well as beautiful.

  21. It's beautiful. I have the strands of retro bulb lights hanging under my pergola. I bought them at target. They are indoor/outdoor. I wish I could attach a picture foe you. I used tea cup hooks to hang them and they work fabulously.

  22. QVC Eddison bulbs, plastic with Amber or bright white

  23. Looks great!!! I love it!!! I want a pergola sooo badly!!

  24. For extra shade under our Pergola, we had a local fabric shop make us a "sun shade" out of a woven vinyl type fabric and it just attaches to the under-side of the pergola (you don't really see it) and still lets light and air in but provides needed shade in the afternoon. We just unhook it in the winter and take it inside.

    1. Ours actually fits tightly to the lower beams and are hooked every ft or so. There is a grommet in the fabric and a twist closure on the wood. We live on the top of a hill and get wind. No problems... the only time we had a problem was when we forgot about it and the weight of the snow ripped it. Now we remember to remove in the fall. Love your lights that you added!

  25. That's a great idea! I may consider that. The way our backyard is situated the wind just rips through there -- we'd have to remove it before storms and I'm not sure I could keep up with that. But it has my wheels turning!

  26. Oh wow, the pergola looks amazing! I just adore your outdoor living spaces :)

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  27. Love the pergola!! I've always wanted one! Enjoy!


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