Pergola is a common structure in many household’s backyards These ‘non-walled’ installation offers better contact with nature while you are having your afternoon snacks or any other task with your friends. Now, on many occasions, your pergola height may seem a bit low, both in terms of visually and technically. If that is the case and you want to raise your pergola up for better comfort, a common question remains of ‘how to raise a pergola’.
To answer, you have to start with whether this can be done indeed. Yes, there are numerous ways you can raise a pergola or at least ‘look’ raised. These methods range from replacing the pillars with longer ones to placing lattice panels and many more. If you want to raise your pergola, then continue your reading to find out these methods thoroughly. Along with that, you may find it helpful to relevant topics such as when you need to raise your pergola, probable drawbacks, and tips to raise the pergola safely. So, let’s get started with everything you need to know about raising a pergola.
Is It Possible To Raise A Pergola?
By implying certain methods, it is possible to raise the height of a pergola. Some of these methods need materials integration, whereas some are just mare modification. But by all means, the user must ensure that after the raising the structural integrity has remained the same, or got even better. Otherwise, the pergola can get shaky quickly, leading to less durability or even can cause unwanted accidents.
7 Ways To Raise A Pergola
As mentioned earlier, there are several ways to raise a pergola’s height. Based on efficiency, ease of work, and durability, we have picked 7 of them for you:
1. Increase Main Pillar Height
Even if you have no clue how to raise a pergola, there is a high chance that replacing the existing pillars with longer ones must have come across your mind. If that is so, then you have made the right choice. A higher pillar means a raised pergola, as simple as that.
But it might not be as easy to accomplish as it sounds. You need to detach the roofs first. Then remove the pillars one by one. You might find it very difficult to remove the pillars if they are anchored using concrete or other permanent anchoring. Upon carefully removing all the pillars, you need to place longer pillars in. It is advised to choose the new pillars exactly like the old ones in terms of materials and mechanism. This way it will ensure better integrity and easy installation. Don’t forget to reattach the roof properly on the new pillar. See? Your pergola got raised!
2. Adding Angled Side Beams
Replacing the front and back side beams with angled ones is another effective, tricky, and unique way to raise a pergola. You might be wondering how that’s going to raise a pergola! Well, that’s why I said tricky and unique.
Well, if you stand in front of your pergola and observe its roof then you will see replacing those beams with slightly angled ones will create a curve on the rooftop. This way, the center portion will slightly raise. However, it will require total separation of all the possible wooden timbers of the roof and reattaching them again. Also, this method has some calculation and structural confusion for once. The front-facing timbers won’t be a problem to install. For sidewise installation, you can use flexible lattice panels to achieve a bend texture.
3. Pergola Extension Kits
Using pergola extension kits is another way to raise the pergola. This extension kit comes with all the required extension components. This includes metal or plastic-made extended pillar portions, extension brackets, etc. which are added on top of the existing wooden pillars. This method doesn’t need dismantling or disintegrating the overall pergola structure.
There are different types and shaped extension kits. You must measure the required perimeters before ordering the kit or you can discuss with the supplier regarding your setup. These will give you valuable insights on which one is the convenient extension kit. Their installation process is notified in the user manual or the supplier will help you to install the kit as part of the service agreement.
4. Lower The Deck
Who said you can’t raise your pergola height without actually raising it up? You can lower the surface deck which will technically raise the distance between the pergola surface and roof. By lowering the deck, I meant to remove any excessive high decking. A pergola on a high wooden deck isn’t rare. Although they work as a decorative addition, losing them may also help you discover your pergola in a new shape.
5. Adding Layer Of Beams
Every pergola has a separate piece of beams that runs horizontally between each of the columns/pillars. This creates an attaching bond between the pergola roof and free-standing pillars. Although you might not notice, these beams are pretty wide in shape. Adding another piece of such beams on top of the existing ones will certainly raise the pergola roof slightly higher.
One important note to take here is that the position of the beams is vital to keep the integrity between the roof and pillars. Any miscalculated modification in such a spot can put the pergola’s overall integrity at risk. That’s why take professional advice or help while doing so. You must keep the existing and later added beams to act like a single piece of beam. This way, there will be no loss or weakening point in between.
6. Raise The Attachments
Not all the pergolas are freestanding on bare pillars in your backyard or garden. Some can be attached to your main house structure. These pergolas aren’t called freestanding because they aren’t independently standing on their pillars. Rather the back portion is attached to the house structure. If you have such a pergola and you want to raise their height, then why not simply attach them even higher?
Although this only raises the pergola’s back portion and creates a slope towards to front, but it is worth the option to try. To do so, drill and set a new attachment point on the house wall, and do any modification needed on the front pillars to match the new angle.
7. Placing Lattice Panels
Lattice panel is a common face to add a decorative touch to your backyard leisure properties. They are made of wood or bamboo sliced pieces attached in zigzag or cross style. This creates hole-shaped designs in between, through which air and sunlight enter. You can add such lattice panels over your pergola’s existing roof. Though, adding such lattice panels will make your pergola look raised a bit from the outside, inside it will remain the same.
These lattice panels are great for minimizing sunlight entry and plant crawling plants. All of these together can provide you with a cooler environment with an aesthetically appealing look.
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When You Need To Raise A Pergola?
There can be multiple reasons that you may need or want to raise a pergola. Some of these reasons are mentioned below:
- Improper Shaping: The first and foremost reason to raise a pergola is improper shaping. A pergola’s height and width will be in a ratio that makes it aesthetically better looking. Imagine a pergola that is wider but lower in shape. That’s why the height should be adjusted as per the width.
- Lack Of Weather Elements: A low-height pergola can be a subject of low natural element entry. In order to catch sunlight for a longer portion of the day or get better air circulation, raising the pergola a bit higher can help.
- Surroundings Got Higher: Having high-rise trees or other structures around can prevent sunlight or fresh air from entering the pergola. Not only these but the surrounding surface can get raised over time due to development. To cope with that, you may need to raise your pergola height too.
- Planting: Plants, especially the crawling ones are a great initiative to add greenery and provide cover from heat. To house such a plant on the pergola roof, you may need to raise it higher. This way the plants will get better natural elements and at the same time you will not be bothered with plant branches falling on your face.
Possible Drawbacks Of A Raised Pergola
Just like raising a pergola provides various benefits, it can cause some disadvantages too. These drawbacks are often caused by improper planning and a lack of skilled execution. Some of such drawbacks are:
- Too Much Weather Elements: A raised pergola can be a subject of too much weather/natural element attraction. If your pergola is raised too much than required then it can get heated, rainwater can enter, and wind can have caught up; all of these in ‘too much’ amount. This can minimize your pergola comfort experience.
- Adds Further Cost: Raising a pergola can cost you a lot chunk of money. In most of the methods mentioned above, you will need additional materials to add. Also, the raising task can be complex and to keep the integrity intake, you might have to hire professionals. All of these can cost you a lot.
- Loosen The Integrity: A pergola made from scratch is sturdy and well-integrated. When you loosen the joins to replace any parts with longer ones, it can technically lose its default integrity in the process. This can cause the pergola to become shaky and less durable over time.
Tips To Raise A Pergola Perfectly
Everything in this world has some benefits and drawbacks at the same time. But if you feel the need to raise your perfectly & safely, the below points might help you:
- Understand The ‘‘Whys’’: Before raising a pergola, you have to understand why you want to raise it. Is it for changing the shape for a better look, is it a lack of elements, or anything else?
- Plan The ‘’Hows’’: Next, you have to observe your existing pergola’s overall structure and plan the suitable method based on reality. This planning section is very important to avoid any unwanted mess or result.
- Sunlight & Air Protection: You have to monitor your surroundings to get a sense of sunlight & airflow protection. The pergola should be raised to a height where it gets the ideal amount of sunlight and air unrestricted, throughout the year.
- Taking Professional Help: If you’re not confident enough, then you should ask professional help to do the task for you. Remember that, not everything is DIY-suitable. For efficiency and better accuracy, you might not be a match with a professional.
To have the best comforting result out of your pergola, it should be compelling height. An ideal-shaped pergola looks astonishing from far away and also provides decent natural element flow. To raise a pergola, there is a lot of method from which you can choose your convenient one. Some of these methods need heavy upgradation of the pergola and some are small modifications to make the pergola taller. In both cases, if you’re thinking of raising your pergola, you should prioritize safety and proper integration. Otherwise, all of your efforts, and money can go in vain by simply watching your pergola getting collapsed after a raise. So assess the methods mentioned above, and do the needful as per your desire.
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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.