Outdoor Elegance

Pergola 9

Spring is almost upon us, and in a few weeks we’ll emerge from sun-starved hibernation to behold the fragrant, colorful rebirth of the magnificent outdoors.

For many of us, the most immediate and intimate access to Mother Nature is our own backyard.  The recent surge in popularity of custom outdoor living spaces confirms that now, more than ever, homeowners are embracing the fun and excitement of backyard living.  With the goal of spending more leisure time outdoors, an easy and affordable first step to enhancing your landscape is the addition of a garden pergola.

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The Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture defines a pergola as, “A garden structure with an open, wood-framed roof, often latticed, and supported by regularly spaced posts or columns.”  In fact, the word pergola is from the Latin pergula, meaning “projection.”  Pergolas were used in ancient Rome as early as 80 BC!

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A well-placed pergola has many benefits:

  • Defines an outdoor space without restricting it;
  • Provides a focal point in the backyard;
  • Extends living space while creating a connection to nature through the pergola’s open form;
  • Adds value to the property;
  • With the addition of hanging baskets and/or flowering vines, creates an explosion of color and increased shade; and
  • Creates a true haven for lounging and dining al fresco.


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While pergola designs are virtually limitless – confined only by the size of your outdoor space and breadth of your imagination – there are some best practices to consider when creating the right pergola for your space:

  • Make it large enough to accommodate lawn furniture, a barbecue, or even a hot tub, but scale the pergola so it will blend into the environment rather that dominate it.
  • If you’re using it to provide shade, space the joists roughly ten inches on center, and run the rafters perpendicular to the angle of the sun’s arc.  Another great way to increase shade is to interlace flowering vines through the rafters, or weave canvas between the beams and purlins.
  • Head room should not exceed 9′-0″.  Any taller than this, and you risk losing the appealing sense of enclosure.
  • If your pergola will be adjacent to your home, be aware of window and door heights so no views from inside are obstructed.

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After choosing the right design for your pergola, the next crucial decision regards building material.  In the past, a painted or stained wood – like Western Red Cedar – was the most common material used in the construction of pergolas.  While natural wood is still a fine choice, advancements in construction material technology have given homeowners many other affordable, low-maintenance choices.

Hands down, the best columns for pergolas are PolyStone®, a mixture of fiberglass, resin, and marble dust.  They are impervious to weather and insect infestation, guaranteed for life and, once painted, have the same architectural beauty and integrity as a custom wood column.

Regarding the overhead beams, rafters, and purlins, new technology has made pultruded fiberglass an exceptional choice, due to its easy customization, light weight, durability, and affordability.

Each material has its positives and negatives.  Speak with your Chadsworth consultant to ensure you are using the best possible material for your project.

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Regardless of size, design, or material, adding a pergola to your backyard will certainly increase the length and enjoyment of time spent outdoors.  So fire up the grill, gather friends and family, and prepare to love your new pergola!

Pergola 1

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Custom Pergola Sets | Radial, Curved & Straight Applications


Chadsworth specializes in fabricating custom pergola designs for your backyard, walkway or outdoor space.  We can create pergolas with both round and square columns in straight applications, radial, and curved.  Submit your specific pergola designs below.


View more of our Custom Pergolas

SUBMIT Your Plans

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Pergolas – Reminiscent of the Past

PERGOLA [pur-guh-luh]

For centuries, people have searched for systems of shade and hideouts from heat. The answer? Pergolas.

Elegantly adorned with climbing vines and fruit-bearing plants, the ancient pergolas quickly became the new architectural must-have.

Our depiction of the modern pergola is very similar, yet extremely different, than ancient pergola applications. Wait . . . similar and different? Blasphemy! A Pergolic Paradox.’

In fact, though, this is not a Trellis Travesty distorted by time.

The similarity: pergolas now, and then, could be seen in a garden and a gardens garden, too. What about entryways to the main house? Yes.  And backyard porticos? Absolutely. They were utilized to entertain guests and celebrate special occasions. Pergolas provided shade while also incorporating architectural beauty. Not all pergolas, though, were strictly for sun protection. Some were decorative  Fountain Pergolas, Poolside Pergolas, or simply a Free-standing pergola.

The difference: the most obvious, yet most rational variation among ancient and modern pergolas is material type. Today, we see aluminum components  rafters, beams, purlins, columns. Even with wooden pergolas, the design consists more so of intricately shaped columns or posts rather than tree logs. Yes, advancement of technology is the culprit. Imagine the ancient Egyptians hooking up a surround sound system within their hieroglyphically garnished outdoor pergola? I know what song youre thinking, too.

Pergolas are resurfacing. When the warm season rolls around, will your garden or backyard area be shaded?

Take a look at a few of Chadsworths Custom Pergola Designs.

The great thing about them . . . they are completely customizable.

We have more design options here  http://shop.columns.com/pergolas.aspx

The Column Guy


Chadsworth Columns Offers New, Cutting-Edge Home Products

Chadsworth Columns Offers New, Cutting-Edge Home Products

Leading manufacturer / distributor is accompanied by Focal Point and Atlandtic Premium Shutters™ to offer a variety of home products.

WILMINGTON, N.C., October 7, 2009 — For more than 20 years, Chadsworth Incorporated has served the building industry with their award-winning columns, pergolas and balustrades. Now, they are excited to expand their commitment to the building community with the addition of new home products from Focal Point and Atlantic Premium Shutters™. When asked by their customers to extend their quality craftsmanship to more products within the architectural scene, Chadsworth responded with only the best products to ensure customer satisfaction.

“Chadsworth’s business model is changing with the times,” says Jeffery L. Davis, founder and designer of Chadsworth Incorporated. “Where we used to be just a column manufacturer and distributor, we have now partnered with several top tier companies to distribute their brands of products. Now, our clients can come to us to purchase all the architectural elements for their building projects like moldings, door surrounds, shutters, etc. and enjoy the professionalism and expertise they have come to expect from a name like Chadsworth.”


Chadsworth is proud to introduce Focal Point’s superior polyurethane moldings and distinct architectural elements such as domes, wall niches, niche caps, rosettes, corbels, casings and more. The assortment of products can be found under ‘millwork’ on their web site (www.columns.com). Together, their aim is to transform your home or building into a place of unmatched elegance. Whether interiorly or exteriorly, you are assured to find an array of designs that represent genuine architectural integrity.


They also are excited to provide you with the most refined and best functioning shutters. That is why Chadsworth Incorporated is joined by Atlantic Premium Shutters™. Both their Architectural and Classic designs are hand crafted to your specifications, which adds beauty and durability to any shutter. Also, their shutters are comprised of composite wood and an innovative fiberglass to ensure moisture resistance, rot deterrence and termite prevention.


Chadsworth Incorporated is eager to provide you with all of your home or building necessities, and we would like to again welcome you to our new lines of products by Focal Point and Atlantic Premium Shutters™.


For more information, please visit their web site, www.columns.com, or call 800.486.2118.