What to do with ugly pergola?

ireland381April 8, 2014

When we moved into our house a couple years ago, it came with an oddly-placed free-standing pergola in the backyard next to the patio, just sitting in the grass. I think it's hideous, at least the way it's placed; it just looks awkward.

I'm looking for ideas on what to do with it... I'd rather knock the thing down, but my husband is bound and determined to use it somehow. He wants to extend the patio in some way... I'm coming around to that idea, but we have a very small budget and pouring more concrete isn't going to happen... whatever we did would be DIY.

Would pavers to extend the patio look awful next to a poured concrete one, if I could even manage the project?

Or any other ideas for what to do with this thing?

btw, the house is directly to the right of the photo.

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wannabegardnr(7 Maryland)

add a picture from out in the yard looking back, so we get a better idea of the relation between house and this space.
I think the pergola itself is beautiful but not the placement.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 11:31AM
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Agreed, need a pic that shows relationship and overall scale.

This is potentially a diamond in the rough IF you can make some modifications. Any carpentry experience?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 12:15PM
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I see bricks/pavers in the patio along the edge. A patio made of that brick material under the pergola would tie the two areas together nicely.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 3:57PM
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Could be the angle of the picture, but how tall is it? Can you walk comfortable under it?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 4:13PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

On a budget, you could, rip out the lawn beneath the pergola, frame and level around the pergola, pour a lot of sand in there, compress it level. Lay pavers or brick, sweep sand over the pavers or brick, and you will have a cheap patio extension that will be beautiful!

I see a table, some lanterns, maybe some curtains at the corners...... Romance!!


This post was edited by desertdance on Tue, Apr 8, 14 at 16:27

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 4:24PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

It looks very sturdy and not that old. It would look a lot better if it had something growing on it. And I like the idea of putting pavers under it. I think if the concrete patio could be power washed, and maybe even stained, to make it look better, that and the addition of pavers under the pergola would make a world of difference. And they do have stains especially made for concrete patios. I'm not sure where you get them, or if they are a DIY project, but worth looking into.

And just throwing ideas out thereâ¦.use it for a hammock, but without knowing the dimensions, not sure if it's possible.

It's perfect for grapes, I would think. Or a rose, or clematis or both together.

Most pergolas are not that attractive when they are empty. It's the softening effect of the plants that made it blend into the landscape and soften hard edges.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 4:35PM
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It's hard to know how it would look to extend the patio without seeing a better pic of the area. I might hang a wooden swing inside and plant vining plants to soften it.
Here's another idea to create a raised planting bed to give it some "boundaries" instead of looking so "just stuck" in the lawn.

Here is one similarly situated. I can't really tell from the pic but it's next to a concrete patio and it might just be gravel, but the surrounding plants enclose it a bit to make it feel more like a little oasis.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 12:46AM
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Has Ireland abandoned the thread? There is no response to questions.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 11:53AM
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amanda_m(z7 MD)

We have one that looks very similar to that. It's not the pergola that is ugly, but the placement is kind of awkward. We put a beautiful stone "floor" under it, and are growing hardy kiwi on it. We have some cheap plastic chairs out there and our hope is that it will be a shady place to drink beer this summer!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 10:39AM
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mary4b(4b WI)

I think the pergola itself is attractive... Keeping in mind that you mentioned a budget, I would think pavers and all of that would sound pretty expensive.

I would soften the edges with shrubs and "invite" someone to go in by having lovely plantings all around it...lead a person in by making it look beautiful all around. You can even leave the grass as long as you allow enough space for the lawn mower to get in there. It could really be a beautiful, natural setting with shrubbery around it, a chair or two in there (that can be easily moved for the mower. Perhaps one or two hanging plants.

Grow a vine on 2 or 3 of the corners...just choose the vine carefully for your area and the light available, etc.

You have a diamond in the rough,you just need to decorate it...your fence, too, on the other side has a wonderful worn look that many people would love to have as a backdrop for a shrub/flower border.

I think your yard has some nice structural elements, you just need to start planting!

Finally, if you choose to take it down...sell it! I bet if you put a picture of that on Craigslist, there would be many who would come and take it down for you, and put it back together at their own place.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 11:02AM
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Curious: maybe the pergola was placed there because of the angle of the sun to provide shade to the patio behind it?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 2:33PM
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