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Building a pergola - canvas on the sides?

Posted by lisa.in.wi 4 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 29, 10 at 14:25

My husband is going to build our pergola next month (finally!) and I'm thinking about the sides. Not only for privacy but for blocking the wind. We have 1.5 acres and it can get really breezy in our area... there is nothing to stop the wind. I have this idea in my head and I'm not sure that it'll work, so chime in if you have thoughts or ideas!

I'm picturing heavy pieces of canvas, probably 2 or 3 on each side, since our pergola will be about 15' long. I'm thinking that they could be kept up when not in use (somehow attached to the top of the pergola) and then lifted down when in use.

Could this work? What method could I use of holding them down when in use? Other thoughts or ideas? My sister said to do a trellis with climbing vines, but I think I like the option of having it open or closed (and I don't want to trim the vines so they don't go over the top either).

Thank you!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Building a pergola - canvas on the sides?

You will have trouble getting them to stay up and trouble getting them down. Then if it is windy you'll have the trouble of them blowing in on you unless they are secured to the bottom somehow.

It would make more sense to have some kind of blind that would roll up and down, perhaps bamboo blinds


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RE: Building a pergola - canvas on the sides?

That's what I'm trying to figure out... how to secure them up at the top and how to secure them to the bottom.


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RE: Building a pergola - canvas on the sides?

I would forget the canvas and instead plant a tall evergreen hedge the length of the pergola.....maybe box? Or maybe something that flowers with fragrance, like viburum


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RE: Building a pergola - canvas on the sides?

Hmmm, "heavy pieces of canvas" are going to act like a sail, and your pergola is at risk of getting blown into the next county, and ripped-out of whatever header secures it to the house.

You should be thinking instead "shade cloth" which is loose-woven so that the fabrice doesn't act as a wind-catching sail. Think "tennis court screens" which intend to block the wind for better tennis...

If you get, say, a SHADE47 cloth (from amleo.com) which is grommetted every 2 feet, you secure your cloth permanently at the top and roll-it-up & tie-it-off when not in use. when deployed you should secure it with rubber bungees or some such to take-up some of the natural flex that will occur on windy days.


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RE: Building a pergola - canvas on the sides?

I like the evergreen hedge idea, it's exactly what I would suggest.

Though, if you don't like that, you might consider adding a lattice section. Covering the space with a large section of lattice would keep with your pergola's theme, allow a lot of light in, but really help break the wind.


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