I had been saving this post for a day like today. Nothing like sharing photos of sunnier, balmier days on a bone-chilling, rainy Saturday. Happy New Year to all!
The best laid plans are ones you can virtually create in 3D. Our south-facing rooftop patio is glorious three seasons of the year, but come summer, it is blazing hot and we can barely keep anything alive, let alone ourselves, up there through the heat. We got it into our heads that we needed a pergola to keep us cool. James and I tinkered around with Tinkercad and designed a custom pergola to cover part of our rooftop patio space while avoiding the existing (tiny!) door awning. You can see our design below.
A basic tenet of DIY -- know your limitations and when to seek help from the professionals. We realized that we could not attempt to build this structure by ourselves. After we designed the structure, we contacted our neighbor/architect/friend for a builder recommendation.
Two home visits by our builder, Dennis, 9 hours, and $850 later, our pergola was built. (NB: Dennis was the right choice for us because (1) he came highly recommended and (2) he also built a similar pergola on a sister townhouse a block away from us.)
These photos were taken after James finished painting.... and boy, it was a laborious job. After allowing the pressure-treated wood to cure for a few weeks, James set about painting the pergola on his own one weekend so that it matched the side of our house. He estimated that it took him close to 6 hours to do the job, which was, at times, perilous and unpleasantly hot. (Remember, we completed this project at the apex of summer in August.)
APRIL'S KEY TAKEAWAYS
- Safety first. Know your limitations and ask for help from the professionals when there ever is a safety or structural issue beyond your expertise!
- Get recommendations from friends for good builders and compare quotes. We originally thought a Lowe's or Home Depot pergola kit would be the way to go, but found that Dennis could get the job done for half the cost, labor and materials included.
- When planning the space, browse Houzz or Pinterest for ideas. You can see my inspiration photos from Houzz linked here.
JAMES' TWO CENTS
- Buy a middle-sized paint brush with a focus on maximum coverage and make it work.
- Use a ladder and a bungie cord to keep the paint at the level in which you are painting.
- Invest in some sunblock.
- Consider painting anytime other than the middle of August.
- Labor and materials -- $850.00
- Paint (1.5 gal.)-- $47.00
- Paint brushes -- $12.00