Thursday, January 19, 2006

Design Insights—Pergolas and Pools

Every month I get people asking for 20’ plus spans incorporated in pergolas.

Here’s an email from yesterday.

My question is that I want to build a pergola on part of my pool, my pool, the pergola would cover only ¼ of the pool, the problem is that the width of the pergola would have to be about 20 feet long across the pool and therefore we cannot place a column in the pool, would it be possible to not have a column in the middle on one side (the side that goes over the pool) of the pergola and still have the structure be safe? I would like to have the pergola made out of a non maintenance free material.

Thank you


People are constantly insisting that they want a pergola—but they don’t want to have posts obstructing the view. I am sure you will all agree that this kind of pergola structure and support for climbing vines is just messy and horrible. If I had to wake up every day and see this wood obstructing my view every day I don’t know if I would want to go on.
I am sure you will agree that this frames the pool, accents the view and just plain looks fabulous.

Pergolas get their strength from support posts and diagonal bracing. The more braces, the more wind it will resist and the longer the pergola will last. More posts, more braces, more strength, more durability.

Clustering posts in areas can create a feature as well as hide unsightly structures and elements in your neighbor’s yard.

By the way—the pergola project above is based on details included in this plan at Here's the link "Pergola Plans" $17.99 + ($3.00 S&H) It is Pergola Plan T005 pro.

So, in conclusion Parul,

No, you don’t want to leave posts out—celebrate your posts… make them beautiful and plentiful. Give them recessed panels and decorative braces, frame your view and create more points of interest with your pergolas.

Secondly, why do you want a pergola over your pool? Is it for avoiding a sun tan while using your floatation devices in your pool? Frame the pool, keep the space functional, traditional and build something gorgeous rather than a perched pergola that will blow over the first windy day.


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