Project Pergola

I’ve learned a few lessons over the last 20-plus years, not the least of which is how fast 20 years goes by. When I built my first pergola on the spot where this new one stands, I simply stepped into the forest for a few hours with a chainsaw, cut some balsam fir poles, then used deck screws to assemble them into a structure that eventually became engulfed by climbing plants. If someone had told me back then that this original arbour would last until my then-toddler son would be driving my pickup truck on his own, I would have thought that was more than enough for a pergola to last.

As it turns out, as this same “toddler”—now taller than I am—helped me rip out the rotting old pergola to make room for this new one, I realized that my original

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