Arbors are traditionally small covered areas that grace walkways and gardens to provide a bit of shade or protection from the weather. They can be constructed out of a variety of materials to suit any home and garden, from traditional to contemporary, and can include benches to provide a secluded getaway for relaxing.
You can find arbor kits and plans at your local home improvement stores and online, allowing you to construct an arbor that suits your home and needs easily. Follow these simple steps on how to build an arbor for your backyard.
- First, you will want to determine the style of the arbor to suit your style and home. Do you want a focal point in an Asian influenced Zen garden? Would you prefer a traditional arbor that frames a walkway or one that provides a cozy nook away from the elements? Do you want something contemporary or rustic? Making these decisions will also help you determine the materials you will use. For rustic or traditional arbors you may be able to use reclaimed materials or metal hoops that can make construction much less expensive than using new wood.
- Once you have decided on the style and design of your arbor, decide where you will be constructing it. Measure the area and determine the dimensions needed. It is always better to measure twice and cut once! Make sure you consider height as well as width and depth. An arbor that is not tall enough will not provide enjoyment if you have to stoop to enter. An arbor that is too tall will look disproportionate in the area. If you determine your space isn’t adequate, you may need to re-evaluate your plans.
- Next, prepare the area. Make sure you have a level area and create anchor points to keep your arbor secure. Based on the design you can pour a small foundation, sink timbers in post holes, or secure hoops with sunken rebar.
- Now, you can assemble your arbor. Double check to make sure you have all the required materials and equipment and follow the plans to ensure a beautiful and sturdy end result.
Once the basic arbor is completed you can add your “options”. You can add a free standing bench if one is not built in, plant climbing vines to provide additional coverage, or add wind chimes or other accents for whimsy.