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Everything You Need To Know About Gazebos!

Everything You Need To Know About Gazebos!


A gazebo is a perfect addition and enhancement for any garden or yard. Not only does it provide an attractive feature and focal point to please the eye, but it increases the pleasure you derive from your outdoor space in an almost infinite number of ways. It enables you to expand your home’s living space, and greatly extend your enjoyment of outdoor living to three, or even four, seasons of the year.

A gazebo is a free-standing structure with a roof and open sides. Gazebos can be square, rectangular or round, but the most popular shape is a six-sided or eight-sided formation.

They can consist simply of a roof supported by posts, or can incorporate a low wall, two or three feet high, which makes it possible to add screens, doors and windows, and attach benches to the wall for permanent seating. However, gazebos can also be temporary structures, known as pop-up gazebos, which can be erected when and where you need them.



What Can I Do with a Gazebo?

The uses for an outdoor gazebo are so many and varied that they are limited only by your imagination. Its most common use is simply as a place of rest and relaxation, and as a shaded seating area.

Depending on size, you can put in garden furniture, such as recliners, tables and chairs, or even a garden bench or two, to maximize the family’s enjoyment of summer. This way you can also have an extra room to increase your living space.


A garden gazebo is ideal for social events too — it’s a perfect place to host a barbecue, or an outdoor party. A very popular use nowadays is as a venue for a garden wedding, for either the ceremony or the reception — for the ceremony, it’s an effective way to focus all eyes on the bride and groom.

If your gazebo is by the pool, it makes a delightful poolside retreat, where you can sip a glass of chilled lemonade after your dip in the water. Some people even use their outdoor gazebo as a fitness room, or as a place of prayer and meditation.

One increasingly popular use is as a hot tub gazebo, or a spa enclosure, providing privacy as well as protection from the elements. For gardeners, the gazebo is a good place to do sedentary jobs like potting plants, to avoid having to work in full sunshine. In fact, the possibilities are virtually unlimited.


What Are Gazebos Made Of?

Gazebos can be made of a wide variety of materials such as metal, wood, stone, or even of reinforced concrete. Nowadays an increasing number of gazebos are also being made from vinyl.

Metal Gazebos

A metal gazebo is usually constructed of aluminum, wrought iron or steel, aluminum being the cheapest, and wrought iron the most expensive. Steel gazebos are particularly durable and permanent, while aluminum is lightweight and strong.

However, people love wrought iron gazebos most of all, because they are so beautiful, and add an old-world elegance and charm to any garden setting. Whatever it is made of, the great thing about a metal gazebo is that it requires hardly any maintenance, and you never need to worry about it rotting, warping or being eaten by ants.



Wooden Gazebos

Wood is always a fantastic natural looking option when it comes to outdoor furniture and the same goes for its use with gazebos as well.  Unfortunately, while there are many gorgeous types of wood, not all can be used to build a gazebo.  Here are your top three wood options which are guaranteed to impress:

Pressure Treated Lumber

Pressure treated lumber is the most inexpensive option of the three.  It is normally either Fir or Pine which has been chemically treated.  This treatment allows the wood to be used outdoors without any problems.  It is good looking and strong.  Both Pine and Fir can range from slightly green in color to brown, it’s up to your preference.

As they age, they will in fact both slowly change to a handsome gray color.  A trick many wooden gazebo makers employ is to use pressure treated lumber in many of the parts which are hidden from view and switch to either Cedar or Redwood for the ones in plain sight, which can help save a few bucks as pressure treated lumber is cheaper than both of them.  Regardless of whether you use it to construct your entire gazebo or only part, it is a good, cheap, and reliable option.



Cedar is a very popular wood for building gazebos and for many good reasons.  Builders love it because it is lightweight and relatively soft. This means it’s easy to work with.  It is also very rustic looking and has a very pleasant aroma for which it is famous.  The most important feature however is its natural resistance to rot and decay, making it perfect for use outdoors.

It is available in a few different varieties such as Eastern and Western Red Cedar, with the Western type being the more popular as it is much more resistant to decay than the Eastern variety. The wood of all cedar is classified as either heartwood or sapwood. Heartwood which comes from the center of the tree is darker in color and higher in quality along with sapwood which comes from the outer area and is lighter in color.




Redwood is considered by many to be the best choice of wood for all outdoor projects. It is a strong wood making it very suitable for supporting your outdoor wooden gazebo.  This wood is very attractive and luckily also very easy to work with.  Redwood is particularly known for its natural rot-resistance and insect-resistance too.

The only drawback is that it is more expensive than other options, however when beauty and quality is concerned you really do get what you pay for.  Like with Cedar, all Redwood lumber is also classified as either heartwood or sapwood.


The trick when building a wooden gazebo from Redwood is that you can only use heartwood for areas which will be coming into contact with the ground.  And while heartwood is more expensive, you can still use sapwood for the other parts of your gazebo without any worry.

The special charm a wooden gazebo can bring to your outdoor space is like no other.  The natural feel, look, and smell of real wood can make your gazebo a special place to relax and will no doubt enhance the beauty of your yard or garden while fitting in perfectly with the natural surroundings.  Consider these 3 types of wood for your project and no matter which one you choose you can’t go wrong!

***If you decide on either Cedar or Redwood be sure to use only aluminum, stainless steel or galvanized steel hardware. If you do not, the wood may develop black stains or streaks from contact with other hardware materials notably iron. ***


Vinyl Gazebos

Vinyl gazebos also require minimal maintenance, and can look as attractive as real wood, without the problems of rot or warping. The only care they require is a hose-down about once a year. Another possibility for a gazebo is stone, including marble — a marble gazebo will look exceptionally beautiful, but will be very expensive, and is really for those who want an extremely formal garden layout, to complement a classical-style home.



Pop-Up Gazebos

A different style altogether is a pop-up gazebo, which you can use as and when required, for instance for a social event or a charity sale, and then dismantle it afterwards. You can find foldable pop-ups, which are made of sturdier materials and stay in one piece when taken down — thus making them easier to put up.

The more common type is the practical pop-up, which requires assembly, and can be quite complicated until you get the hang of it. They can be either open-sided or enclosed. If you are likely to use it regularly, pop-ups are the least expensive type of gazebo. However for one time events and parties many companies offer pop-up gazebo hire or rental.


Three Ways to Acquire a Gazebo

If you are wondering how to get hold of a garden gazebo, there are basically three ways you can do it. If you have good carpentry skills you can build it yourself from scratch, or, if you are not quite so handy, you can assemble it from a gazebo kit. Alternatively, you can hire a contractor to plan and build your gazebo for you, to your exact specifications.

Building the gazebo yourself from scratch requires not only a high level of carpentry skill, but also a good set of plans. If you are not experienced in drawing up plans, there are many companies that provide gazebo plans either for purchase or for free.

A more manageable approach for a DIY project is to assemble your gazebo from a kit. Gazebo kits are an excellent alternative to poring over plans, and buying and shaping the raw wood, though they do still need some carpentry skill. Kits come in an astonishing range of gazebo designs, so you are bound to find something that suits you.


You can find kits for a hot tub gazebo, a patio gazebo, and a wide selection of traditional gazebos. The gazebo kits are also very easy to assemble, assuming you have the basic skills — most of them come with clear directions, and include all the parts required to put it together. Hands down the best place to purchase is online in places like where you will almost always find huge discounts year-round and almost always free shipping too!

Hiring a contractor may not necessarily cost a great deal more than using one of the more expensive gazebo kits, and it means you can have your structure customized down to the smallest detail. This means that if you are dreaming of a unique gazebo that will amaze your neighbors, or if you have set your heart on a specific ornamentation or trim, you can have exactly what you want.



How to Choose Your Design

Whichever method you adopt, you still have to decide on your design, and there is such a vast assortment of gazebo designs to choose from that the decision can be very difficult. However, the most important consideration to bear in mind is that the style of your gazebo should fit in with the style of your house, garage and other permanent structures.

If it doesn’t, it will look out of place. For instance, it’s not ideal to use a traditional or classical design if you have a very modern style of house. As far as shape is concerned, you should think twice about installing a round gazebo, unless you have really set your heart on this design.

Not only does it not complement most house styles, but you have to have a very big structure to have enough space to fit your furniture in. A round table will fit very well into an octagonal structure, and this is what many people choose. A 14-foot octagon can easily accommodate six people, and leave ample room to move around.


If you are doing the work yourself, a plain square or rectangle will be the easiest to construct, although a square gazebo does not work very well with a round table. If you want to include a couple of recliners as well as dining furniture, a rectangle may be the best option.

Alternatively, you can choose what is termed a rectangular oval — that is, a rectangle with the two short ends having two panels that are joined to a point — which increases your available space considerably.

One decision you have to make is between a hard top gazebo and a soft top, or gazebo canopy. A hardtop gazebo features a solid roof, made of strong plastic or aluminum. The roof will have other substances mixed in with it, such as polycarbonate and acrylic, for complete protection from snow and rain.


A gazebo canopy can provide a luxurious look to your structure. There are different types of strong fabric you can choose from, including canvas, nylon and polyester. This will protect you from the sun, but not of course from snow and heavy rain.

Either a soft top or a hard top gazebo can have a roof structure that is either single tier or double tier. The single tier structure resembles a pyramid, and has a vented opening at the peak, to allow free movement of air. The double-tiered roof has a second roof frame on top, usually smaller than the lower tier.

Patio Gazebo

Rather than having a free-standing gazebo at the end of the garden, you may prefer to install a patio gazebo, which is designed to sit on your patio, or be fixed to the floor. If you are building a new patio, you can incorporate a patio gazebo into the design. Otherwise, you can modify your existing patio to accommodate one.

Usually, a patio gazebo is installed either by bolting it to your patio surface, or by drilling holes in the patio floor, and cementing the poles into the holes. However, some kinds of patio gazebo simply sit on the patio surface. If you want one of these, for the sake of simplicity, make sure that it is heavy enough and strong enough to withstand strong winds.



Hot Tub Gazebo

Yet another popular option is a hot tub gazebo. Hot tubs are becoming increasingly fashionable, and a hot tub gazebo can provide you with more opportunities to enjoy the experience without worrying about the weather. If you live in an urban area where houses are close together, you will also appreciate the extra privacy. An alternative to a hot tub gazebo is a spa gazebo.


There are two basic types of spa or hot tub gazebo: open and closed. The open type has the benefit of enabling you to look at the stars while soaking. However, if you live in an area with frequent rainfall, a closed gazebo makes more sense, and gives you more privacy too. A hot tub gazebo is most commonly constructed of red cedar.

If you have an existing spa or hot tub, it’s quite easy to find gazebo kits that enable you to build the structure around it. If you are installing a spa or hot tub gazebo from scratch, you need to choose the location carefully. It’s important to ensure not only that it is easy and convenient to use, but also that it enables access to electricity, plumbing and ventilation.



The 3 Season Gazebo

Unlike your typical gazebos, 3 season gazebos are entirely closed in by windows and screens. They can be any style or shape gazebo with any designated amount of sides. These can be a phenomenal way to enjoy the comfort of your gazebo even when the weather outside starts to change with the seasons.

With this type of gazebo you simply close your storm windows when it’s chilly like in the early spring and late fall to ensure a temperature which is much more suitable. These windows will ensure your view is not inhibited either. And when it is warmer out, all you need are your screens.


These gazebos are the best way to get the longest use of your outdoor space throughout the year in comfort. They also allow you to customize and decorate the inside of your gazebo much more than other options do. Because they are protected from the elements you can use furnishings inside one of these which would be quickly ruined otherwise and you can also leave them there permanently.

Some homeowners even use their 3 season gazebos as extra storage space in the colder months or just temporarily. An extra plus of this type of structure is that the screens of 3 season gazebos also keep out pesky mosquitoes and other biting insects which can quickly ruin an enjoyable evening in your favorite place to relax.



The Classic 8-Sided Gazebo

The enduring classic 8-sided version is what we most often picture in our minds when we imagine a gazebo. Their octagonal shape means that they are symmetrical when viewed from any and every angle which is extremely pleasing to the eye making it the perfect focal point or accent for any garden or yard.

It also means it looks fantastic when placed anywhere whether off to the side, in a hidden corner, in the center, or near the patio. While it does have 8 sides, they are not totally enclosed so that you can still feel totally open to the cool breeze and fresh air. This style of gazebo is raised off of the ground which adds a feeling of elevation as well making garden views that much better while you escape the summer sun.



A Lattice Gazebo

Similar to the 3 season gazebo a lattice gazebo can be any shape. However it is partially enclosed by lattice walls. Some but not all, even have lattice roofs. Lattice consists of strips of wood, metal, or plastic which are crossed to form diamond or square shaped spaces. The lattice walls can have round, square, or rectangular openings of varying sizes depending on the model you choose to purchase or build yourself.

And while you can leave your lattice as is, and it will provide you with a shady spot, most people choose to use it as support for climbing plants. A lattice gazebo covered in plants is like a garden hideaway. It creates a space like no other.

With walls that are alive they blend with the elements to make you really feel like you are part of nature especially because not only is it literally all around you and sometimes even above you, but you can actually reach out, touch it, and even smell it.

They can be exceptionally cool places to sit on a hot day and at night when lit from the inside, often evoke the feeling of being in a Chinese lantern, a unique and wonderful place to be and experience to say the least!



Location, Location, Location!

Choosing the right spot for your gazebo can have a dramatic effect on just how much you are able to enjoy it.  By answering 3 simple questions you can quickly narrow down the options and focus in on where your gazebo will work the best for you.

How Do You See Yourself Using Your Gazebo?

This is the most important question you need to answer because its function will go a huge way in helping to determine where you will place your gazebo.  If you ideally would like to use your gazebo for outdoor dining then it would be wise to pick a location closer to the house so you do not constantly have to run in and out for supplies.

If it is going to be a quiet spot to read, relax, or mediate, further back from your house will mean it will be much quieter and therefore a more convenient place to do all of these type of activities.  Gazebos are also commonly used near pools and outdoor kitchens as a shady spot to get out of the Sun that still allow you to be social because you’re still close to all the action.



What View Would Be Ideal From Your Gazebo?

You also need to decide what you ideally want to be looking out at from your gazebo.  If you have a water feature or pond, a gazebo placed next to either would be a phenomenal way to experience both to their maximum potential.

The sound and beauty of water with the comfort of a gazebo goes perfectly hand in hand.  Many pond owners use their gazebos as place to relax while being able to watch their fish swimming. A quiet corner garden is another view that is a popular choice and it one with the sweet fragrance of flowers.

And of course if you are lucky enough to have a view of the mountains, forest, a river, or a lake these also make great spots.  The most popular view people choose is actually that of their own house, so don’t overlook this as an option either.

Choosing a space that has a view of your house will give you a chance to not only admire your home but to keep an eye on the kids as well. It can also be just a great way to see your property as a whole!



What Would Be The Ideal View Of Your Gazebo?

Just like you want to have the best view possible from your gazebo, for many homeowners having a view of their gazebo is just as important.  This might sound silly but it’s not at all.  Gazebos are structures which add to the beauty of your property.

However, if your goal is privacy and you want to keep your gazebo in a quiet niche away from the house having a view of your gazebo from the house might not matter to you. If you have kids, this might be a different story as you might want to see them if they decide to play inside the gazebo.  Or maybe not.


It’s all a matter of your priorities and how you want to use your gazebo.  Many home owners simply purchase gazebos as ornamental structures to enhance the look of their property so they want them positioned to fill in an empty space or love the look of a gazebo next to a garden full of spring flowers.

They can also function to block out a street view or unsightly neighboring lot substituting ugliness for beauty effortlessly.  You might want to be able to see your gazebo from your kitchen window as you have your morning coffee, it’s up to you.


So if you are planning on installing a gazebo, don’t forget to ask yourself these 3 important questions.  They will keep you happy, relaxed, and enjoying your gazebo right where it should be, in the best location for you.

Other points you need to consider are whether you want it wired, and whether or not you want screens or windows. Electrical wiring can greatly increase the usefulness of the gazebo, and lighting can make it look incredibly attractive from a distance. Screens will deter mosquitoes and other uninvited guests from joining your dinner parties, while the addition of removable windows will make your gazebo much more versatile for year-round use.



Don’t Forget To Do These 5 Things When Planning Your Gazebo

Purchasing or building gazebos can be a very exciting task. Just knowing the shady relaxation that awaits you in your outdoor structure can be thrilling. However there are 5 things people usually forget to do when planning their gazebos. By taking action and doing these simple tasks before you purchase, install, or build your gazebo, you will save yourself time, money, and frustration.

1)Check The Drainage And The Soil

A spot which gets flooded easily or every time it rains is not where you want to place your gazebo. It’s a good idea to observe where the paths of water lead in your yard or garden when there is a heavy rain. While this might mean getting a little, or very, wet it will save you a ton of frustration and time, as a result of not installing your gazebo in a spot which becomes flooded.

If your gazebo will be close to your house you must also take into consideration your gutter downspouts, where they empty, and where the water that is emptied leads to as well. You will need to find a spot that has solid soil and does not accumulate water.



2)Find Out What’s Underneath The Soil

Once you find a spot with solid soil that doesn’t flood don’t just start digging. You need to find out what’s under the soil before you waste any time. There could be TV cables, electrical lines, gas lines, or plumbing drains beneath that perfect spot of yours’.

You don’t want to damage any of these; it’s just not worth the risk. Call your local utility company first, and they will come out and mark all lines if there are any. Best of all this will do so for free.



3)Check Your Local Building Codes

Building codes are the structural and safety outlines that we need to follow for all buildings and structures. Not complying with your local building codes can easily end in expensive fines which is something no homeowner wants. Be sure to call your local building department and find out what these local codes are. They many times are not the same as national or state codes, so it’s always worth the call.

You might have to deal with regular inspections or need a permit, or maybe not. Either way you want to give them a call and go over your plan with them to make sure it doesn’t need any modifications, and if it does what they are.



4)Check Your Local Zoning Laws

Your local zoning laws will tell you the restrictions you may have when it comes to your gazebo project. These can include quite a few important factors which can really impact your gazebo plans. They will tell you the size and height of the structures which can be installed on your property which can affect what type and maybe even the style of gazebo you ultimately choose.

The allowable lot coverage is another import restriction and one which will tell you the percentage of your property which can have buildings. This could potentially prevent you from installing a gazebo if you are over the limit. Zoning laws will also include easements, which are the restricted areas on your property that must not be built upon as they are allotted for utilities and or emergency access.

These can definitely influence where you place your gazebo. Another important zoning law can be how far your structure has to be setback from your property line; this too may impact your gazebo’s final location. Anyway, make sure you call your local zoning department to find out.



5)Talk To Your Neighbor(s)

The most overlooked action people forget to take is to talk to their neighbor(s) about their gazebo project. Many people don’t even consider it. However, being that most homeowners don’t like to have their gazebos right up against their own homes, it means that many times they are installed very close to property lines.

This can be a major source of friction and problems between neighbors, especially if they feel as if you are encroaching on their property. We are not all blessed with great neighbors and even if we are it’s always respectful and also just a nice gesture to inform them of your plan.

While it’s not necessary by any means, just the act of doing so can ease an uptight neighbor’s tensions and save you and your family years of aggravation and problems. It’s a simple gesture that can really be worth it!


Taking these 5 actions will put you ahead of the curve when it comes to dealing with potential gazebo problems. Not only will they eliminate the vast majority of potential ones, but they will make sure you don’t end up dealing with any unpleasant surprises after your build or install your gazebo. So have fun in your gazebo planning process and get these done before you purchase, install, or start building to quickly put you on the road to gazebo success.

Buying a gazebo is a big decision, and takes a little thought, but you won’t regret it. You’ll love the stunning array of options available, and you’ll delight in the beauty and comfort the gazebo adds to your home, as well as the way it opens up endless possibilities for your life. You may also, of course, receive a pleasant surprise when you find out how much value it has added to your property.

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Understanding Rattan Garden Furniture

Understanding Rattan Garden Furniture

Rattan Garden Furniture

The outdoor furnishings which you select for your garden or patio need to be welcoming, relaxing, and to project an image of elegance and charm. More and more people are finding that nothing enhances their outdoor space as perfectly as rattan garden furniture. It comes in an almost infinite range of designs, it’s incredibly versatile, and it adds a touch of style to even the most ordinary patio or lawn.

What Is Rattan Furniture?

Rattan, from which most of this furniture is made, is a unique palm plant found in parts of south-east Asia, and characterized by its slender stems and vine-like growing patterns. As its grain grows vertically, instead of fanning out like most hardwoods, it is considered one of the strongest woods in the world. To make rattan furniture, the straight wood is steamed, bent into the desired shape, and then dried — once dried, it retains its shape permanently.

Rattan Garden Furniture


Why Is Rattan Furniture Popular?

There are actually many reasons why rattan garden furniture is just so popular, however the top reasons are:

Stylish Looks That Instantly Add To Your Outdoor Space

More than any other reason, most homeowners are immediately drawn to the look of rattan.  Its woven texture and exotic appearance are incredibly appealing and of course very stylish as well.   Rattan furniture is so good looking in fact, that even the addition of one or two pieces, will greatly enhance the look of your garden or patio.

Rattan Garden Furniture

 Its Versatility

Unlike many other types of furniture, you can enjoy the beauty of rattan and the impact it makes just about anywhere because it is so versatile.  This wonderful material works with spaces of all styles and types and in all locations.  It doesn’t matter if you use it in your gazebo, next to a pond, near a garden, on a deck, or even on a balcony, it will look fantastic and really add to the look of the space as a whole.  And from more traditional to very modern in style it works with everything.

Rattan Garden Furniture


The Unusual Advantage of Being Light In Weight But Extra Strong

While virtually all other very tough outdoor furniture materials are heavy, rattan is light as a feather.  This remarkably rare pairing of both strength and almost weightlessness makes it the top and only choice for many people.  Since rattan is one of the strongest woods in the world it is perfectly suited for use outdoors.

Rattan Garden Furniture

Unlike other durable options like teak or wrought iron patio furniture its is so light that even a three-seater sofa is east to move, which  may seem hard to believe until you experience just how lightweight it is first hand.  You won’t have to worry about hurting your back, dropping and damaging the furniture itself, or having to enlist the help of family and friends when moving it to another location or re-arranging it.  With rattan garden furniture it’s a breeze.

Rattan Garden Furniture


 Easy To Maintain

Different from other woods which can be notoriously difficult to take care of, with rattan it is simple.  By following a few easy rules and very basic maintenance (listed further down) you’ll ensure your ability to enjoy this phenomenal natural product for years after your purchase.

Seemingly Endless Variety

Because the many advantages above are so appealing to consumers, rattan is always in demand which along with its ability to be shaped into almost any form has pushed manufacturers to produce it in an endless variety of shapes and sizes. This allows anyone regardless of how picky or demanding they are to find something they not only like, but love.

Rattan Garden Furniture


Varieties Of Rattan Furniture

As well as the confusion caused by using both terms wicker and rattan to refer to the furniture, further confusion is caused because a lot of furniture advertised as rattan is actually synthetic rattan, or rattan effect garden furniture. The reason synthetic rattan is produced is that natural rattan furniture does not always stand up particularly well to the climate of Britain or  the northern USA, and can be affected by mold if it gets wet too often. Synthetic rattan is usually impervious to the elements and more suitable for outdoor use.

Rattan Garden Furniture


Rattan effect garden furniture is often made from polyrattan, plastic, polythene or a polyethylene alternative which is designed to look identical to natural rattan, but is much more resistant to the weather. It is even lighter and stronger than natural rattan, extremely flexible, and can be woven into an infinite range of shapes, providing even more variety in your garden. Some types of polyethylene weave are also resistant to ultraviolet light so they will not fade.

Rattan Garden Furniture

Rattan effect garden furniture is usually cheaper than natural rattan furniture, as some people consider natural rattan to be more prestigious. While some homeowners think that the natural product looks better, many others consider the two  to just about identical, so it is really just a matter of personal preference. If you prefer natural rattan, you can make it more weather-proof by spraying it with a thin coat of water-sealant or lacquer.


Rattan Garden Furniture


Rattan Garden Furniture Sets

For anyone considering purchasing more than one piece of furniture, sets are the best option.  They often end up much cheaper per individual piece than if you were to buy them separately. Because rattan is available in such a variety of types of furniture, you will also see this reflected in sets, as there are ones which include all kinds such as outdoor chaise lounges, day beds, bistro sets,  sectional sofas, tables, chairs, and more in all shapes, sizes, and styles.  Going with a set also guarantees that all your furniture will match perfectly.  This can save you time and money trying to mix and match if you do end up purchasing more later on.

Rattan Garden Furniture

Rattan garden furniture sets can range from two or three pieces to up to around twenty in a very large set with multiple types of furniture included.  It really depends on what you need and what you’re looking for because there is definitely something for everyone and that can work well in every outdoor space.  Smaller sets with a few chairs and a table or maybe even a love seat are an easy way to add to the functionality and look of your garden or patio without having to shop around for any other individual items. Just take it out of the box and you are ready to enjoy.

Rattan Garden Furniture

For a larger space you might want to choose a set with 6 seater rattan garden furniture sofa or maybe something even bigger.  There are some sets with really huge sofas and couches available as well, most of which come in sections which means you can move the individual pieces around to form any configuration that fits your needs.  Dining sets are great options for anyone who loves to eat outdoors on a warm summer’s night. And of course the biggest sets like the one shown below which includes a nine piece sofa set, nine piece dining set, and two piece outdoor chaise lounge set, will have everything you need to make a large space look spectacular while staying comfy.

Rattan Garden Furniture



Rattan Cube Garden Furniture

If it’s a set you are after, then rattan cube garden furniture may be just what you are looking for. The design of these sets is particularly chic and stylish, and brings a highly sophisticated look to your patio or garden.  These sets are called cube furniture because of their shape. A set will usually consist of a rectangular or square table with a glass top, with a set of distinctively-shaped chairs, which when stowed under the table form a cube shape.

Some sets also have footstools which can be fitted under the chairs, before the chairs are fitted under the table.Apart from the impressive appearance, there are many other benefits to rattan cube garden furniture. The design is ergonomic and space-saving, and the sets look neat and tidy when not in use. Because most sets are made of synthetic material, they can be left in the garden all year round, and this also means they come in a variety of colors.

Rattan Garden Furniture

Round Rattan Garden Furniture

Even though the majority of furniture available is square or rectangular in shape there are plenty of circular-shaped options if you are looking for something round, particularly in sets.  Many people just find the look of curves much more appealing, and in fact round furniture is often the top choice to use in a patio or garden which is round-shaped itself as it will work to accent it.  Round rattan garden furniture also goes very well in corners, facing focal points, and can even be used as a focal point itself.  Just be sure that if you do use it as a focal point you include a round table to echo its shape on a smaller scale for the best effect. You can also use it to create your own private nook by having your furniture face a wall other area which closes it off.

Rattan Garden Furniture

The most common type are round sectional sofas and couches.  These usually come in sets of at least three pieces but can include much more depending on what you’re looking for.  There are many which will actually form a full circle and include a round coffee table for the center as well.  Some sets use a combination of different types of furniture to make a circle as opposed to sections of a sofa, for example it could be made up of love seats and ottomans; it’s just up to the particular set.


Rattan Garden Furniture


Day beds are another fun round rattan garden furniture option.  Because they are really like a blend of a couch, bed, and chaise lounge all in one, day beds are the ultimate way to relax outdoors.  On the deck, next to pool, on the patio, or in the garden, a rattan day bed will make unwinding look good.  Large enough to fit the whole family but small enough to be a romantic spot for two, a day bed is an investment that will be enjoyed and used to the fullest by every member of the household.

Rattan Garden Furniture

While some are one piece others are made up of a total of two or three as they include one or two ottomans that can be pushed together to be used as one unit or separated for extra seating when you have company, which is always very convenient. Sometimes adjustable canopies are included as well and are ideal for blocking out the sun, transforming them into a shady spot in seconds, and just adding to their already upscale look.  If a canopy does not come with your set, you can almost always purchase one separately from the manufacturer anyway.

Rattan Garden Furniture

Egg Rattan Garden Furniture

Just like the name suggests this is furniture that is shaped like an egg.  There are actually two main types of egg rattan garden furniture. The first are outdoor swing chairs which have an egg shaped chair suspended from an aluminum or steel post and base.  Normally they come with cushions and can be made for either one person or two and often times can be really modern looking in style.

While more expensive than a hammock, egg rattan garden furniture is considered even more comfy, much easier to get in and out of, and a lot safer too.  They make for an cozy spot to read a book, take a nap, drink some coffee, or just take in the outdoors that will quickly become everyone’s favorite place to relax.  The second type of egg rattan garden furniture which is not as common, is similar in concept to cube furniture as it is made up of a set of a table and chairs which instead of a cube  fold up to form an egg.

Rattan Garden Furniture


Rattan Garden Furniture With Storage

A wonderful way to get the most from your furniture is to choose pieces which also offer storage.  Fortunately because there is such a high demand for rattan there are quite a few options available. These can be both real rattan wood or rattan effect and are an attractive and intelligent way to save space.  In some cases no one will have any idea that the furniture they are sitting on or resting their things on is actually holding your extra accessories.

Rattan Garden Furniture

For a large amount of storage many homeowners choose what is called an outdoor storage bench.  These are simply a garden bench which has a hollow base that opens up to reveal a hidden storage space.  Deck boxes are another really popular option that can hold a ton of stuff and there are some very high quality choices made from both authentic wood and resin.

Many of these rectangular boxes have over one hundred gallons of storage space and some also lock as well.  A lot of deck boxes are actually also made to function as a backless bench to provide you with extra seating if you happen to need it.  Both rattan deck boxes and storage benches are perfect for keeping pool supplies, garden accessories, sporting goods, outdoor toys, and also provide a safe and dry place to store the cushions and pillows for your furniture itself when not in use.

Rattan Garden Furniture

For medium and smaller sized storage there are plenty of gorgeous coffee tables on the market which have an empty space inside to keep extra things.  Storage seats are also very functional and are a favorite of anyone who likes to grill or has an outdoor kitchen as they are just the right size for keeping extra charcoals and cooking accessories and do so in an attractive and practical way.  But of course they can be used to hold anything from cushions, to small garden tools, or even dog food.  Many people actually end up liking  their storage seats and coffee tables so much they end up using them indoors.

There are also many storage options for specific items that are made in rattan or resin to match your rattan garden furniture or that just look fantastic by themselves.  Rattan coolers, outdoor bars, privacy screens, and hose reels, are just a few of the many choices available.  Trash bins like the one shown below made from resin are particularly popular as they add to the look of your outdoor space while normal bins typically take away from it.

Rattan Garden Furniture


Typical Rattan Garden Furniture Colors

Normally you’ll find both natural and rattan effect furniture available in quite a few colors.  This typically means neutral ones such as: black, brown, gray, or white.  Luckily for homeowners neutral colors like these are actually the easiest to work with because they go well with any existing color scheme, style, or environment.  But, in the end of course it really is up to your own personal preference.

Rattan Garden Furniture

Both black and also brown are easily the most popular.  For this reason they are also the most widely available.  Black rattan garden furniture can be strikingly attractive, distinguished, and also look very modern.  Brown is this wood’s natural color and therefore appeals to many people whether in its original shade or stained.  While it does work just about anywhere brown rattan garden furniture looks particularly well in a yard or garden with other natural elements and can really function to make it look cohesive.  Gray can make for a weathered look and white a very clean one which can range from more classic all the way to modern depending on the specific model.

Rattan Garden Furniture


Cushions and Pillows For Style And Personalization

Most types of rattan garden furniture will come with comfy cushions and pillows as well which gives you yet another opportunity to make some more color decisions.  The majority of which, are solid colors however the colors they do come in have quite a large range.   This allows for some fantastic combinations.  Many homeowners choose to go with something more subdued such as gray, black, cream, ivory, or tan while others are more attracted to more striking pairings with turquoise, orange, red, or lime green.  Turquoise cushions and pillows can look particularly stunning when used with either white or black rattan garden furniture. Black cushions tend look amazing with gray rattan.  The contrast of black on white or white on black is always a stylish choice as well. But, like most things, it is ultimately up to you.

Rattan Garden Furniture_

That being said, when it comes to purchasing your own cushions and pillows, online there is almost always a never-ending supply of patterns, colors, designs, and motifs to allow you to add your very own personal style to both your furniture and outdoor space.  This can be anything from stripes, damask, paisley, or designer prints, to specific colors that suit your taste.  A fun way to choose is simply to think about what feel you are trying to go for. For example a pattern with flowers or palm leaves can really add a tropical ambiance to your patio, garden, or wherever you choose to use your furniture.  Picking colors which match or complement your house, or outdoor area is another simple way to get the most from your decision.

Rattan Garden Furniture

The highest quality cushions and pillows are normally made from polyester, and are resistant to water, stains, mold, and mildew.  Being able to withstand UV rays without fading is also huge advantage since they will most likely be out in the sun.  Some of the top brands include Pillow Perfect, Greendale Home Fashions, Manual Woodworker, and Waverly.

Rattan Garden Furniture


 Rattan Furniture Care

Although your rattan garden furniture is very durable, it needs to be treated with respect to ensure it gives you the best possible service. As it is so lightweight and easy to lift, you need to make sure you always do lift it when you need to move it — never drag it around, which can cause damage. It’s a good idea to protect the feet with rubber stoppers or felt pads, to prevent splintering or other damage.

Rattan Garden FurnitureRattan furniture is very easy to clean. For regular cleaning, you can just wipe it gently with a soft cloth moistened with a solution of dish washing liquid and water, and use a small brush or toothbrush to get dirt out of the crevices. If there are cushions, make sure the chairs are completely dry before putting the cushions back.

The furniture also benefits from a more thorough cleaning, about once a year. You can spray it with dishwashing solution and then hose it down,  but don’t forget to remove the cushions first. Make sure you dry it thoroughly with a hairdryer, or in the sun if it’s warm enough, as leaving it damp may cause mildew.

Rattan Garden Furniture

Normally, however, it’s not a good idea to leave your rattan furniture in the sun for long periods, as excessive heat can damage it over time. It can dry out all the natural moisture, leaving it brittle and more likely to fray. If your furniture is kept out in the open, rather than on a shaded veranda, you can use easily removable furniture covers to protect it when you’re not using it — this is a lot easier than constantly moving it in and out. Many stores that sell rattan furniture also sell covers as accessories.

If you find your furniture does crack and fray, you need to re-coat it. If you do not, the damage will gradually increase, eventually rendering it unserviceable. You can spray it with waterproof lacquer, but make sure it is completely dry first, as moisture trapped inside will cause further damage.

Rattan Garden Furniture


Covers For Rattan Garden Furniture

If you live in an area with intense sun, or frequent rain considering a cover for your furniture would be a good idea.  They are also ideal during the fall for making sure you don’t end up with wet or soggy leaves on your furniture which is no fun either.   For homeowners who choose to leave their rattan outdoors during the winter months a cover is a must to protect from both freezing rain and snow.  While it is a very durable material, by both maintaining and protecting your rattan you will be extending its life and beauty for many years.  Covers will also help you keep your cushions and pillows dry and safe as well.

Rattan Garden Furniture

Normally rattan garden furniture covers are either tan or gray in color, and can be many different shapes and sizes to fit the actual piece or pieces it is made to protect.  For example there are covers for single chairs, sofas, chaise lounges, love seats, etc.   Some consumers purposely select covers which are much larger so they can accommodate multiple pieces or even entire sets.  And if you do have a large or even extra large set there are covers made for those too so don’t worry.

The most common materials are vinyl and polyester and top brands will usually be treated for extra protection from UV rays.  Covers which are made specifically for rattan are the best option.   These are made from vinyl as it is heavier than polyester, which is important as rattan garden furniture is light in weight and without one could blow over in very heavy winds.  Straps which attach to the legs of the furniture will ensure the cover itself will stay on even in the windiest of conditions.    Many covers made for rattan will also use a soft material on the inside like fleece, to make sure that the wood does not get scratched.

Rattan Garden Furniture


The Smartest Way To Buy Rattan Garden Furniture

If you decide to purchase rattan locally from a furniture shop it can sometimes be very frustrating.  This is because many stores may only carry a few options and the prices are often times way too expensive.  Unfortunately this often turns many people off to rattan initially and they end up going with furniture made from a cheaper or less desirable material.  If you are going to buy from a local shop you are best off waiting for a rattan garden furniture sale.

However, depending where you live this may not be for a while and you’ll end up missing out on the enjoyment and relaxation you could be having in the meantime.  The best case scenario would be to find a rattan garden furniture clearance sale from a shop that is going out of business, yet you would have to know exactly what you wanted and move fast because it probably wouldn’t last long at clearance prices without someone else snatching it up first.

Rattan Garden Furniture

The best way to buy rattan garden furniture, without a doubt is online.  While you might get lucky and find something in a shop near you, the internet has the best deals and prices because there is the most competition.  Also whereas a store might only lower its prices during certain times of the year like the winter months, online deals are abundant 365 days a year.  It’s also very common to find luxury rattan garden furniture for heavily discounted prices.  Online in places like Amazon you’ll find an enormous variety of choices in every size, shape, and color you can think of both for individual pieces and sets.

Rattan Garden Furniture

In fact the easiest way to guarantee you get the most value for your money is in purchasing a set.  You will almost always pay a lot less per piece especially in sets with many pieces as the price per piece will usually decrease as the number of pieces in the set gets higher. To further entice consumers many manufacturers and sellers will provide free shipping as well on already discounted prices, which is always great since it saves you both hassle and even more money.  And of course many sets include extras like free furniture covers to add to their appeal too.

Rattan Garden Furniture

While some homeowners are hesitant to buy furniture online, really this fear is unfounded.  If you do have a local furniture shop near you, you can always visit the showroom to help get acquainted with what type of rattan you prefer and then find something similar but less expensive online.  This is easy to do as all good brands should have clear professional pictures in various positions and even settings to help make sure you are picking what you really want.   Purchasing from a reputable brand and or one which has many positive reviews will virtually guarantee you end up with a winner and at a discount.

Rattan Garden Furniture


Top Rattan Garden Furniture Brands

Fortunately for consumers there are many well-trusted brands to choose from.  Whiles some of the companies mentioned below concentrate specifically on rattan others are reputable outdoor furniture manufacturers that while they do make other things also have some fabulous rattan products as well.

One of the biggest names that specializes in rattan garden furniture is Ohana.  With Ohana you get an incredibly high-quality and sturdy product with tons of convenient features from a company that has a very wide selection (particularly when it comes to sets) and that has excellent customer service to boot.    Another very well-known brand is Luxxella which offers rattan that can handle all weather and climate conditions, extra comfy pillows, a three year warranty, and best of all highly reduced prices for the level of quality you’re get.    Rattan Garden FurnitureHarmonia Living might be a little more expensive than other brands but all of their products are well worth the price.  They use top-notch materials that are guaranteed to give you years of use.  With thick gauge aluminum frames, high grade recyclable all weather rattan, and Sunbrella cushions made specifically for the outdoors, they make for a smart buy.

Outsunny offers very reasonably priced and good-looking sets along with other outdoor décor, gazebos, and patio covers to keep you cool.  LexMod has some gorgeous and modern looking furniture particularly outdoor chaise lounges, day beds, and sofa sets all made from rattan.  From outdoor dining sets to sofas and bars Mango Home also has some handsome rattan options that will make your outdoor space look unbelievable.

Rattan Garden Furniture


Keter a leading supplier of plastic outdoor furniture and storage has quite a few best-selling rattan effect garden furniture sets and pieces (like the bar/cooler above) that are very budget friendly yet outdoor tough.   Known for their extremely high quality resin products Suncast has got some fantastic rattan effect storage options that all have top ratings, and are number one sellers in their category. The indoor and outdoor furniture company Crosley, has some very charming outdoor rattan furniture collections that range from light to dark in color and offer some really functional and stylish storage options as well.

For rattan rockers, recliners, dining and seating sets  that are designed for maximum comfort La-Z-Boy Outdoor may have what you need.  Patio Sense, maker of outdoor heating and patio products, sells a few very inviting chairs and bistro sets made from rattan that look much more expensive than they are if you are looking to make an impression and not spend too much cash.  Even Cosco has a few inexpensive decent quality sets that you can buy online without having to become a member or even leave your home.

Rattan Garden Furniture

Whatever your budget, it is well worth making rattan garden furniture the centerpiece of your garden or patio design. Not only does it transform the entire appearance of your outdoor space, but it is absolutely eco-friendly, so you are doing your bit for the environment too. You save money, save labor, and create an amazing atmosphere for relaxation with both family and friends.

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The Complete Guide To Pergolas

The Complete Guide To Pergolas


Used by the ancient Egyptians to beat the heat when walking from building to building and to grow climbing plants like grapes, pergolas are one of the oldest types of garden architecture that have stood the test of time. Today, with advancements in designs and materials they can serve us in a multitude of ways which add beauty, convenience, relaxation, and more to our lives and homes.

So Exactly What is a Pergola?

Pergolas have a unique design which separates them from other outdoor structures. They are normally made up of four posts which support a roof made up of beams or slats. Unlike other options there are no walls, leaving all four sides completely open. The beams above are spaced so they do not form a closed roof.


Although they are normally square or rectangular they can be a few other shapes as well. It is this simple yet intelligent layout that really makes a pergola such a useful garden or patio structure because it allows the homeowner to:

Maximize The View And Their Enjoyment Of It

No walls means you have an unobstructed view of your yard. This is often the perfect solution if you have a particularly attractive: view, focal point, or garden you would like to enjoy while relaxing.

Keep Cool And In The Shade

Since there is nothing to block them, cool breezes flow freely through the structure. The slat style roof also blocks the majority of the sun’s harsh rays giving you a shady yet still open space. This makes pergolas a superb spot for all sorts of activities from dining with the family to sitting in the hot tub after a hard day’s work.


Create A Living Structure

One of the best parts of owning one of these is that they are designed with climbing plants in mind. As they creep up the columns and eventually onto the roof and even hang down from it, you will get even more shade plus some added natural beauty and fragrance. There are many different types of flowers and vines which can really make a statement.

Block Out Neighbors Or Unsightly Views

Not every yard, garden, or patio is perfect, in fact far from it and neither are neighbors or their properties. There are often things or we would like to block out and keep from sight. You can use one to keep features on your own property out of view but pergolas are also commonly used as a privacy screen to block out neighbors. There are many accessories which you can add on to help you accomplish this.

Add Style

With many types, sizes, materials, and even shapes to choose from this is one landscape feature that can really add some style to your outdoor space and set it apart. From traditional to modern and Asian to Mediterranean you can create any style or theme you’d like or add to your existing one. Pergolas are also an excellent way to do so without having to do any major renovations.



Increase The Value Of The Property

While this is not usually the primary reason people purchase them, it’s the truth. This is because they add to the curb appeal and functionality of your home. And that can really tip the scales when it comes to choosing whether or not to buy one or deciding between a pergola and another option.

They are an investment not only in your relaxation and enjoyment but one which will increase the value of your house and property at the same time.

Typical Pergola Materials


A wooden pergola can be a fantastic looking natural choice. Wood always goes well in any outdoor setting and many homeowners adore its charm. Cedar is probably the most popular of all types of wood used. A cedar pergola is naturally resistant to both decay and rot and will also have the famous cedar smell. The oils produced by the wood itself also help to repel water and insects.


Redwood is another common choice and considered one of the best woods for pergolas and gazebos due to its strength and good- looks. Like one made from cedar, a redwood pergola is naturally resistant to rot and insects. While they may be more expensive than other options they are also more durable.

You will often find both cedar and redwood pergolas stained or finished to look like other woods, such as walnut for example so you get their toughness but in the color you prefer most.


Pressure treated wood; normally either fir or pine is yet another way to go. These have a very wide range of colors from brown to green and are chemically treated to be able to handle the outdoors. Pergolas made from pressure treated wood are very strong but also usually pricier.

Of course there are many other different woods to choose from as well. Oak pergolas can make for a dependable and long-lasting outdoor structure and there are even bamboo pergolas for someone looking for a taste of the exotic that is tough-as-nails.


Metal pergolas can actually be any one of a variety of different types of metal such as steel, aluminium, or wrought iron. The vast majority of the time, regardless of the metal used they will be black. This is because a black pergola just looks stunning when made from any of these and actually can look from antique in style all the way to modern.

Gunmetal grey is another fantastic color choice for metal. Aluminium pergolas are the most common since they are generally the least expensive and also fairly light in weight while at the same time very sturdy. Steel of course is extremely strong and will last for years into the future.

Both aluminium and steel pergolas will have a powder coated finish for extra protection. The most costly but also often times most ornate are made from iron. A wrought iron pergola can look incredibly upscale and requires very little maintenance.



Vinyl has become more and more popular in recent years. This is because they are often cheaper than wooden ones, lightweight, and are very easy to care for. A vinyl pergola requires literally no maintenance other than the occasional cleaning from a hose and for this reason many are advertised as “maintenance-free”.

You won’t have to worry about rot or cracking as with some types of wood. Typically you will find them in white color. However while white vinyl pergolas are without a doubt the most common some are grey, and others are brown or tan to resemble real wood.

A few even use a combination of vinyl and wood pulp to make a structure which looks so much like wood it can be hard to tell the difference but with all the benefits of vinyl. For extra strength some models will have beams and supports that are reinforced with steel.


Buying A Pergola

When purchasing a pergola you have three options: buying a kit, having one custom made, or building one yourself. Which one you choose depends on your needs, budget, and skills.

Pergola Kits

The majority of consumers go with kits for a good few reasons. They come in a variety of convenient and attractive styles, sizes, types, and in wood, metal, and vinyl. In terms of shape they are usually square or rectangular. Square pergola kits can be found as small as 6.5’ x 6.5’, but more often 8’ x 8’, 10’ x 10’, and 12’ x 12’.    Rectangular options will typically be 8’ x 10’,   10’ x 12’, or 12’ x 14’, while some are even larger.

Kits also don’t require you to be a professional in order to install them. Most will take two people and few hours to do so. Since they can be put together by the average person and include all the hardware, some kits are advertised as DIY pergola kits.


However you can almost always pay for installation from the manufacturer or hire someone to do it for you privately. Price-wise kits are very reasonable. Online is the best way to shop since you will find highly discounted deals year-round and most of the times with free-shipping as well.

The majority of manufacturers will offer also accessories such as covers and curtains that made to match and fit your specific model as well, which also makes kits very appealing.

Custom Made Pergolas    

For very specific preferences your best bet is to get one custom made. While they may be more expensive than a kit, they are designed with your unique specifications in mind so you’ll be sure that they fit the dimensions and style of your space perfectly. Many homeowners choose to go with a custom made option if they really want a pergola but there space is too small for a standard kit or they require one which is much larger.

It is also a smart choice if you want a round pergola or another shape other than square or rectangular, such as triangular. And of course if you are looking to use only certain types of wood or stone this is your best bet.

Building A Pergola

If you have the time, skills, and tools building your own can be an incredibly rewarding and sometimes less expensive choice. This usually but not always, means doing so out of wood.  By far the easiest way to accomplish a project like this is to first purchase pergola plans.  High quality plans will often include detailed step-by-step instructions for multiple types of structures, helpful advice, and many times an array of pergola pictures to give you inspiration.



Common Pergola Designs And Types

While most are free standing pergolas there are many different designs and types to choose from, some which are more suited for certain functions or areas than others.

Wall Pergola (also called an attached pergola or lean to pergola)

A popular choice for someone looking to save some space is what is called a wall pergola. Unlike the standard variety which stands on four posts, these use only two and attach to the wall of your house for support. Since they are typically smaller they are a great choice for decks and patios where they can provide you with a shady spot to sit outdoors.

A wall pergola can also be used to shade windows and is an excellent way to connect detached buildings to the house such as a garage or pool house. Many homeowners use them as a transitional space between indoors and out and of course to add to the look of their house itself.



Window Pergola

Some attached options don’t have any legs at all. A window pergola is much smaller than the normal variety, and is used to increase the curb appeal of a home by installing it on walls above windows or doors on the house and/or garage. While they are not going to provide the benefits of a full-sized model they will help to shade the interior of the home, cost much less, and make a great accent piece particularly if you own a larger pergola already.



Corner Pergola

A corner pergola as its name suggests is made to fit in corners. Because of this they normally have three legs and are shaped like a triangle. They are not as common as other types but can still be found in kits or of course be custom made. Adding one in the corner can help you to get the most from a space which many people simply overlook.

Whether it’s the corner of a deck, patio, yard, or garden they let even homeowners with limited space enjoy being able to own a pergola. These are also a very popular for use above outdoor kitchens or barbeque areas.

Tuscan Pergola

Probably the most unique looking variety, a Tuscan pergola, typically uses grand looking round columns for support. While some columns are made from stone many are actually made from a variety of materials to give you the look of real stone without the weight and price.

Adding one to a Mediterranean style garden is a great way to add to the theme that will surely make a huge impact on your outdoor space. In fact, they are so striking and lavish in appearance that they are often used as the main focal point of the entire yard.


Japanese Pergola

Wooden roof beams that curve upwards similar to much of the architecture in Japan are often used to create a Japanese pergola. This could be just what is needed for an Asian style garden and always looks sublime when placed near a koi pond, water feature, or close to some ornamental bamboo.

Amish Pergola

Handmade wooden furniture is one of the specialties of the Amish people. They are well-known for using only the highest quality woods and being expert craftsmen. Since they are made by hand and from real wood no two Amish pergolas are exactly the same, each will have its own charm, distinct grain, and coloration.



Arched Pergola

Another decorative take on the standard type is the arched pergola. An arched roof can make for a breath taking focal point that adds value to your property and commands attention. They are also a stylish way to add some height. Many can be quite large too. Because of this you will sometimes see them used as a car port, over walkways, or anywhere that needs some shade.

Many kits have arched roofs and if you want one which is much larger or to your own specifications there are many builders who specialize in custom made arched options and can make them in virtually any size, style, and arch height.



Louvered Pergola

Unlike other choices a louvered pergola uses angled slats on the roof above. Because they are angled they block out more of the sun’s rays which can be a lifesaver in really hot areas. These slats are normally adjustable and that is very convenient because as the angle of the sun in the sky changes during the day you can ensure you let only the amount of light in that you want giving you full control.

A louvered pergola will let you warm up the patio, keep cool, or look at the stars depending on what you need at the moment. Many can be quite modern in style and even will automatically adjust the angle of the slats at the touch of a button.



Outdoor Kitchen Pergola

Outdoor kitchens are always a fabulous place to cook and enjoy your garden or patio with your family and friends. However, sometimes they need to be shaded from the sun so you can keep cool while entertaining, preparing food, eating, or just relaxing. An outdoor kitchen pergola does this with style. It adds value and beauty to your home but also makes your outdoor kitchen even more functional and comfortable for everyone.

You can purchase kits that fit over your kitchen, are specifically made for mounting to a barbecue island, or many people get them custom made in order to cover a larger or uniquely shaped space. Since they cover the actual barbeque of the kitchen they are sometimes also advertised as or referred to as a barbeque pergola.



Pergola Accessories


Many pergolas come with covers that will need to be replaced after being in the elements for a few years. Pergola covers are also a smart choice for someone who would like protection from both the rain and sun. By adding a cover you are able to enjoy your pergola any time of the day and in most weather conditions.

Most manufacturers will sell replacements but there are many high-quality universal covers that go with just about any model and size. A large number of these are tan in color, since it goes so well with just about any color structure.

PergolaSome pergola covers have grommets to let rain through and also to allow you to tie it to the beams or posts. Others come with rope ties or a sleeve to which a weighted rod is inserted which keeps the cover in place even in very high winds. And of course you can always purchase rolls of shade fabric and attach them yourself.

A retractable cover is yet another way to go. Many people prefer these because you can open or close them to meet your needs at the moment. Retractable pergola covers are also an excellent choice for people who like to look at the stars but may live in a very rainy area or one which gets very bright or strong sun during the day.

Pergola Curtains

Not all protection comes from above. Pergola curtains are also an option that will block out the sun but provide privacy too. Not all structures come with curtains but there are many extremely high-quality attractive outdoor curtains which can be purchased and attached using curtain rods.

When used near a pool they can really add a tropical feel to your space. They are also a good choice if you are using your pergola to cover your hot tub since they will help to obscure the view of prying neighbors.



Privacy Screens And Walls

Privacy screens and walls can be attached to or placed near your pergola to block out the sun’s rays and keep things private too. Some manufacturers offer privacy walls specifically made for certain models so they match, and fit snugly between the posts blocking an entire side completely. But buying a privacy wall on your own is easy as well. Privacy screens come in a wide variety of materials like cloth and wood.


Depending where you live you may require a little more to keep you comfortable. If that is the case an outdoor ceiling fan is the best solution. They also are a terrific way to keep pesky insects like mosquitoes from ruining your fun since they simply can’t fly in the air stream of a fan.

A wet rated indoor/outdoor ceiling fan as opposed to a damp rated one is really the smartest because they can get really wet without any problem or danger whatsoever. Just be sure to choose a fan which is proportional to the size of your structure. So if it’s large, choose a bigger one, if it’s a small pergola choose a fan with smaller blades.


And of course to ensure your fan matches and makes your space look fantastic always go for one that works with what you’ve already got. That means it matches the colors, style, and material of your home, furniture, accessories, or pergola itself.


One thing that should definitely not be overlooked when planning is lighting. Keeping in mind how you will be using your structure will help you to quickly choose the right pergola lights. There are many different ways to create the ambiance you are looking for, and here are some of the best pergola lighting ideas:

String Lights

The simplest and most inexpensive choice is to use string lights. With many shapes, sizes, colors and varying brightness to choose from you can really have some fun with these while adding a romantic feel to your pergola that won’t break the bank. Simply intertwine the string with the beams above and plug them into an outdoor outlet or outlet which has been built in to the pergola itself and you’re done!



Mounted Light Fixtures

More difficult to wire in but a great tool which can add light and also help to create a cohesive looking outdoor space that goes with the style of your home are light fixtures which are mounted on the posts. These are lantern style lights which tend to illuminate where your pergola is but provide dim lighting inside of it.

Built-in Lights

Built-in lights can be used to highlight the structure of your pergola without being too overpowering. Add them to the beams above either in all four corners or using smaller bulbs evenly spaced in each beam or every other beam. Most homeowners who decide on built-in lights use them with an attached pergola since it has easy access to electricity and will run the wires across the top of the beams to keep them hidden.

Hanging Lights

Ideal for an outdoor kitchen pergola or one placed over a dining area hanging lights give you an upscale look with enough illumination to cook, eat, and entertain your guests. Hanging lights can really make your outdoor structure look like an extension of your home and are like with built-in lights very popular with owners of attached pergolas since they provide an easy way to connect the wiring.




Usually requiring a professional to install but well-worth it up-lighting can really increase the appearance of your pergola which also means your outdoor space as a whole. Lights are placed in the ground or flooring shining upwards. These can have a very dramatic effect when set against the base of the posts. Up-lighting will give you soft lighting that’s not too bright, and absolutely splendid for romantic evenings.

Don’t Forget Some Plants

Climbing plants can add color, beauty, fragrance, and shade to your pergola and outdoor space. There are many magnificent plants to choose from that will make you feel like you are in your own private heaven and blur the line between your garden and home. Some of the most popular are: roses, grapes, hydrangea, jasmine, trumpet vines, clematis, and wisteria. Many homeowners place large pots containing the plants of their choice next to the support posts with poles to train them to climb upwards.



The Best Pergola Spots

On The Deck

For many people  their deck is where they spend the majority of their time relaxing outdoors. Since it is up against your home, you get to enjoy the outdoors yet have all the advantages you need close at hand. A deck pergola can be attached to the wall or be free standing.

Triangular models may be used in corners if you have limited space, or if that’s just where you prefer to use one. They will shade your deck and many times the inside of your home if they are close to doors or windows.

On The Patio

Patios can get pretty hot in the warmer months of the year, and depending on where that is it could be year-round. Adding a patio pergola will let you use it when you thought you couldn’t and make it much more comfortable in the process.

It will also help to protect your furniture from the sun’s rays which can many times lead to damage. If your patio is closer to the house you might want to consider an attached structure which will make for an easy lighting job but it’s up to you!



In The Garden Or Yard

When thinking about adding one to your garden or backyard keeping a few things in mind will help you out a lot. Be sure to place it in a spot where there is proper drainage. You don’t want to setup a gorgeous garden pergola only to be unable to use for days after it rains. Take a quick look the next time it rains and see where the water on your property tends to accumulate if at all.

Also, think about your view from the structure. Placing it where you have a view of a flower garden, your home, pond, or distant mountain scenery can take the experience of sitting in one to a whole new level. If you have children you may want to have it facing their play area or the pool so you can keep a watchful eye on them while treating yourself to some much needed relaxation.

Or you may just want to create a secluded spot separated from everything else. Use your preference, needs, and the features of your property to help you decide.


Don’t overlook taking into consideration the view from your home. Being able to place your garden pergola where you can not only get the best use of it but also where you are able to admire its good looks from a window, back, porch, deck, or patio is an extra plus.

Over The Hot Tub

Hot tubs are one of the top ways to unwind. Yet, when it’s too sunny, it’s not always so comfortable to stay in too long. Plus, many of us live in residential neighborhoods where our neighbors can see into our backyards which is not something that you want to think about when sitting in one. A hot tub pergola can transform your hot tub into your own personal and private oasis.

It is easy to find and install a kit that will fit over any size tub. Many people who own a pergola already choose to purchase a portable spa and place it inside. There are many accessories to help you get the most privacy possible. You can attach lattice to the sides, privacy screens or walls, curtains, and of course covers.

If you use a cover you can use your hot tub even in the rain and block out even more sun. Retractable covers are especially popular for hot tub pergolas because you can open them to see the stars on a clear night which can be very romantic.



Next To The Pool

A classic spot is next to the swimming pool since they just work so well there. Having a place to get out of the sun and dry off for a while that is still outdoors is a must when owning a pool. They can function as shady spot where parents can relax and still be responsible for swimming kids, just quietly read a book, or have an afternoon drink.

Placed behind a pool, they usually offer a phenomenal looking view which can really make your property look incredible. Pool pergolas also make romantic places to dine in the evening, with the proper lighting of course. It’s actually quite common for swimming pool owners to buy the largest kit they can or have one custom made in order to fit their outdoor kitchen, bar, and dining area all near the pool as well, keeping everything convenient and cool.


It’s easy to see why the pergola has lasted since ancient times. With so many options and ways to use them, they will not only enhance your property and its value but the quality of your life too. For an outdoor structure that defines function, openness, and beauty pergolas can’t be beat.

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The Evolution Of Composite Decking

The Evolution Of Composite Decking

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Today decks are a must-have for the modern home, but they have been around for more than five decades providing a space for families to enjoy the nature and space common to backyards.

The growth and diversification of the entire decking industry has been significant with changes in technology and availability due to globalisation. Here we will focus on the inception and evolution of composite decking.

Regarding composite decking, it’s important to differentiate between the first, second and third generations which have had marked changes in their structure and success.

At the beginning of the ‘90s, it became apparent that there was a scarcity of trees due to deforestation affecting the availability and price of timber for decking. The innovation in response to the necessity came in 1992 when Trex created the composite decking board which combined wood and plastic.

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These decking boards were produced using reclaimed plastics mixed with a ground or shredded wood filler. They were intended and sold as an exceedingly durable and low-maintenance alternative to the wood planks which required treatment during and after installation.

Composite decking enjoyed rapid growth early on thanks to these selling points, becoming very popular with homeowners. However, there were unexpected challenges in the application and long-term use for this brand-new product.

In the first generation composite;

  • The organic material that was exposed allowed the growth of mold and mildew leading to de-lamination.
  • The mixture of wood and plastic was not as stiff as timber planks which forced contractors to build a more comprehensive substructure to support the boards.
  • The traditional decking screws used on composite boards would cause a mushroom effect around the head of the screw which could be beaten down but added time and cost to the project.
  • Composites would sag, crumble and crack over time when exposed to direct sunlight.

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So alongside massive growth, there was a dissatisfaction that the product didn’t fulfil its initial promise to installers and homeowners. On top of all this, owners typically paid twice the price for composite materials as the expectation was that of a superior product with a longer lifespan.

At the turn of the century, after the explosion in popularity, the second generation of composite decking was introduced as the number of products grew substantially due to new technology.

Some companies decided to remove the organic wood component from the composite decking and use only the plastic component; these were called plastic or PVC decking materials. Coming up with solutions to the problems inherent in composite decking board caused a new set of challenges with the variety and inconsistency of the products being produced.

PVC deck boards had some shortcomings as they would become brittle or start sagging over time, split with temperature fluctuations and still suffered mould growth in environments where they were always wet. There advances however in making the deck mimic timber in better ways with printed or embossed wood grains and limited discoloration due to sunlight over time.

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In 2009 the third generation of composite decking was conceived that combined the durability and environmentally recycled plastic along with the organic wood. The new method of creating composite boards utilized what was called cap stock.

By wrapping the organic mix of material in the core with a weatherproof plastic barrier the third generation of composite decking allowed for the continued and sustained growth of the entire product category.

The capping made it possible to create stronger and more resilient decking containing UV inhibitors, anti-oxidants and colors added at just the right time. The composite board is either covered by plastic on three of six flat surfaces, or four of the six sides as it allows for easy moisture transfer between the deck board and the environment.

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Capped composite decking is more expensive than traditional composite and timber decking because of the more involved manufacturing process in adding the second, co-extruded layer to the board. As end-user expectations have evolved, manufacturers and materials suppliers have worked hard to keep pace.

In summary, the evolution of composite decking has been challenging and reflected the benefit of increasing and new technologies to benefit both manufacturers and homeowners to result in a quality product.

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Ask your manufacturer or supplier which generation of composite decking they carry and whether they have cap stock because an investment in your garden or outdoor space should last you and bring you as much enjoyment for as long as possible.

Author Bio:

After many years in the carpentry industry, Adrian founded Decking Perth to help Perth become smarter decking buyers.

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