Beautiful Backyard Retreats: Design your own Pergola

Beautiful Backyard Retreats: Design your own Pergola

             pergola weekend

            Just because summer is over, don’t wait until next year to build that great backyard pergola. Due to the simple design and inexpensive nature of a Pergola, this is a great weekend project and good for new DIYers. A great thing about a Pergola is the fact that it can be attached to your home or it can be free standing, so you can put them anywhere you need one.

Kit vs. Build your Own

You can purchase a Pergola kit for around $1000 and I have seen them go up to $5000, the kit will include pre-cut beams, posts and all of your hardware. You can save so much money by doing a little more work and skipping on the kit. On average a DIY Pergola will cost you about half the price of a prefab kit.

The concept is rather easy: 4 posts anchored with concrete, 2 end beams (support beams), stringers, and your cross beams. The size of the posts and beams will depend on the size of the Pergola.

pergola diy

4 Steps to Build a Pergola

1. Choose your site for your new Pergola, measure and mark the 4 corners where you will be securing the posts. Anchor and cement posts, allow 24 hours for them to set before you continue construction.

2. Attach your support beams. You can get that decorative finish by cutting the ends of the beams to your desired look.

3. Anchor your stringers to span and overhang the support beams.

4. Fit your top cross beams, and cut edges if desired.



Natural Swimming Pools: Eco Friendly


  Natural Swimming Pools: Eco Friendly


Photo: A builder's network

natural swimming pool

Natural swimming pools are Huge in European backyards. For one they are chemical free and better for the environment, and not to mention cheaper to maintain. Why is Europe the first one to implement natural swimming pools? What the heck are they and why don’t more American homes have them? It is true, we can all be a little cleanliness obsessed, but why aren’t we worried about the chemicals we use every day in our homes. The first thing I thought of when I heard about these gems: I loved the idea of a natural pool with fish, but I don’t know how I feel about swimming through plants and muck? We are in luck- Natural pools are designed so you don’t have to worry about this.


You could have a pool that is better for your family and the environment.

A natural swimming pool is a man-made swimming pond. They contain two pools, one where swimming occurs and then the one where the plant life lives. The two areas are separated with under water walls that stop just at the water surface to allow water to circulate evenly throughout the whole pool, but keep dirt, plants and aquatic life from going into the swimming area. Yes, this means you will not have to worry about fish or plants touching you while you swim! Due to the natural cycle of aquatic life and the plants that filter the pool and eat algae, you will never have to use harmful chemicals in your pool again. Natural swimming pools in reality are more “clean” than a standard chlorine pool where algae can take over if not at the right balance. Everyone has had that green pool once, if not twice before. A natural pool may be your solution.

Get that mountain clear lake water in your backyard, and create a yard that everyone is talking about.

natural pond

Natural swimming pools can be designed to fit any landscape idea, modern or can be blended in to make it seem like the “pond” was always there. You can even convert your chlorine pool into a natural pool with help from Natural Pool companies; there is an option for everyone. If you have ever wanted a pond, but don’t see the point when your family would benefit more from having a pool – now you can have both!

Photo: DIY cozy home