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Are you dreaming of your morning coffee under a blue sky or hosting al fresco beneath the stars? Whatever your vision, a DIY pergola provides an area in your garden to relax, rest and entertain, creating an entirely new zone in your outdoor space. But, as with any DIY project, building your pergola can be a challenge!

To help your project get off to a good start, we have put together the essential steps and potential pitfalls you should be aware of.

DO: Plan Your Pergola

Before picking up a hammer or gathering your timber, be sure to plan your pergola project. From size and location to finding a few days when the weather looks clear, it is important to think ahead for a smooth, stress-free build. Be thorough when measuring your space and your timber boards, and finalise the features you want for your pergola.

DO NOT: Skimp on Quality Materials

Your pergola will only be as good as the materials you choose to build it with, regardless of your DIY skills! It is well worth investing in a high-quality timber which is suited to external applications and can handle rain, wind and insect attacks with ease. By opting for a high-quality timber species, your pergola will need less maintenance over the years to keep looking its best. It will last longer too, with premium hardwoods sticking around for decades thanks to their great durability.

Some of the suitable timber species to build your pergola from include:

DO: Build Sustainably

Every project you undertake will have an environmental footprint. Keep yours low by making sustainable choices when building your pergola. For example, by working with EcoChoice you can opt for timber sourced from responsible forests where conservation and biodiversity are always prioritised.

You can also look for local manufacturers for your material to reduce the carbon footprint of deliveries, and opt for eco-friendly wood treatments and finishes.

DO NOT: Forget About Proper Anchoring

Anchoring your pergola is essential if you want to relax outside safely. You can install your DIY pergola either to an existing structure, such as the side of your home, or freestanding, using sturdy anchors which suit the ground surface. If you do not properly anchor your pergola, you risk instability in bad weather or when leant against, and your DIY project might even collapse, so it is well worth taking anchoring seriously.

DO: Check Planning Permission

For any DIY build in your garden, it is always best to check planning permission rules before jumping straight in. For pergolas, most projects will not require permission from your council, but any design which is over 2.5 metres in height or takes up more than half of the outdoor space in your garden will need approval. If you are uncertain about whether your pergola needs permission, it is always best to check with your local authority to ensure you won’t be building it up just to have to knock it down.

Find Sustainable Timber at EcoChoice

If you are about to undertake a DIY pergola project, our team at EcoChoice are here to help. From making it easy to find the right sustainable timber species for your project to answering your questions about the best finishes, we will be happy to chat more about your construction. Get in touch today and let us get your pergola project started!

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Pergola over terrace and garden

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