Our Quiet Spot In The Garden
by Mark Pring
(Risca South Wales)
We have a dining room that opens out on to hard standing which although nice on its own needed a bit of smartning up.
If you opened the doors when it was raining then the water lashed straight against the doors and we were often soaked.
So it was decided to build a pergola.
In fairness we did hunt through page after page on the Internet but everything was too dear or to flimsy.
I searched for plans for pergolas and thankfully came across Di's website.
Wow, what a revelation!
We had recently had the patio slabs removed and a new patio hard standing laid and weren't sure how deep the concrete was so we decided to do as suggested and build the uprights into large flower pots filled with Postcrete from b&q.
This worked very well and the end result is both solid and practical.
All in this cost around £350 but that was absolutely everything.
Timber was bought online and delivered to the house for a nominal £5 charge and plastic corrugated sheets were purchased and delivered from wickes.
A side note here is to do your research and compare prices as even though there were delivery costs we ended up buying all materials from b&q, wickes and our local diy timber stockist as there was a huge difference in prices and actual material sizes.
An example of this would be the double wall flat plastic roof sheets from b&q were £57 per 2.5m sheet and the corrugated sheets were around £27 each, but for the same corrugated sheets, 100mm or so less width, dropped down to £16 a sheet.
It meant that we had to purchase 5 sheets instead of 4 but all in cost less.
I followed the free standing pergola plans on Di's website and, although I started out reading thoroughly several times, by the time I started to build it I had in fact gone off piste a bit but was overall confident in the process.
I have added guttering to the front which runs straight into a drain along side and have added several solar powered lights since.
I have to confess that I'm no Nick Knowles, but I'm very happy with the outcome and believe that it should provide many years of shelter.
A final note to add to this would be that numerous people have looked at it and think that it is fabulous, but the best part is that a week after building it we had torrential rain and very heavy high winds and to be fair there was absolutely no movement on any of the structure, and the corrugated sheets stayed on, so thank you for the free plans and I'm off now to see what else I can build for our garden!