Outdoor Living: Build a Trellis!

Looking Forward to Spring?

We’re getting closer and closer to that wonderful day, the first day of Spring! That means it’s time to start thinking about this year’s outdoor projects!

These pictures show you a couple versions of a neat little project that can be done in a weekend. I would tell you what it is, but I don’t know!

Pergola or Trellis?

I’m just about ready to give up on figuring out exactly what constitutes a pergola and what would be more aptly named a trellis! If you want to start down that dark path, you can start here. I’ll just call it a trellis and be done with it!

Here is another one:

By whatever name, these structures are really great to have. They:

  • are quick and easy projects
  • don’t have to cost a fortune (but can spend a fortune if you really go for it)
  • add interest to exterior areas
  • help frame exterior rooms
  • provide shade and structure without blocking all light
  • provide a place for hanging plants and vines to grow

It’s fun to get creative with the design of a trellis and if you look around you’ll find some great ideas out there. I’m a big fan of the traditional on this. I like the standard “lazy S” curve at the ends of the boards, and I like them painted white.

Modern materials add a maintenance free option if you’re willing to give up some “real wood” nuances. (I’m not so willing) A couple of well known materials would be Azek, which is a solid white material that works much like wood, and Trex which is a composite material that many have seen used in decks.

There are also some new materials available in recycled plastic that come in different colors. I’m not very familiar with these, but I like the idea of some color.

In the end, I’m a wood guy and I want mine made out of real lumber. Cypress, Redwood, Cedar, and regular pressure treated lumber are all good options. Anything that is rot and bug resistant.

I want to do all kinds of neat tricks to it and I want it to weather a little over time. I’m just a fan of natural materials, I guess.

However you do it, whatever you call it, and outdoor structure such as these shown are a great project to start off your year of outdoor living!

Send me some pictures!

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What do you think?



  1. 5

    Hmmm, yes, I love trellises! Thinking about what I can do in addition to a fence around my new side yard. I want some parts of the fence to be higher, but I need to be able to see through part of it because we have a view out one direction. This might be a good solution to work into the plan!!

  2. 6

    Hmmm…I was planning to purchase one of those ginormous standing umbrellas to replace a tree that had to be cut down. I might have to reconsider, though. A trellis/pergola seems like a good idea. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. 7

    I my gosh…. I am so glad you posted this… I have a large problem … a neighbor cut down all the trees in his yard and left them for 2 years still…. lying all over the yard is soooo ugly.. and now when I sit out on my new deck I can see right in two of my neighbors houses… not that I care but it is not the relaxing feeling I was going for, soooo I thought this would be awesome and I could hang large hanging plants on it and give some privacy.

  4. 8

    Oh, I think I just found something that would work for our situation! 🙂 Thank you for sharing this option!

  5. 9

    I want a trellis SO BADLY!!! We didn’t get the covered patio on our new home (because we were fighting with the builder and missed the chance – ugh!), so we really need something like this over it to provide a little shade. I’m forwarding your post to my DH right now to give him a little hint.