Creating a Custom Pergola


Reference Number: KB-00889
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


QUESTION

I want to add a pergola, arbor, or trellis to my plan. How can I build my own custom pergola?



ANSWER

Creating a pergola similar to the one shown above in Home Designer is easy using the soffit tool and corbel symbols from the millwork section of the Library Browser. 

 

To create custom beams

  1. First, launch your Home Designer software program and open the plan in which you want to create your pergola.


  2. Select Build> Cabinet> Soffit  and click in floor plan view to place this rectangular object.



    Note: Landscape and Deck Designer users can use a Closed Box from the Geometric Shapes section of the Library Browser to accomplish the same effect.

  3. Using the Select Objects  tool, click on the soffit to select it, and select the Open Object  edit tool to display the Soffit Specification dialog.


  4. On the General panel, set the dimensions of the soffit, including its Height, Width, and Depth.


  5. Next, set the distance from the floor that you want this object to be.


    If you are unsure as to the dimensions that you want, or the distance from the floor that you need these first horizontal soffits to be, you may find it helpful to take a Cross Section/Elevation or Camera view and adjust the soffit's dimensions and distance from the ground in 3D.


  6. Go to the Materials panel and select the soffit to change its material.

    • Wood materials can be located in the Select Library Object dialog by clicking on the arrow  sign next to Materials


  7. Once you have finished making changes to your first soffit, click the OK button to apply the changes and close the Soffit Specification dialog.


  8. To quickly create copies of the first initial soffit, use the Select Objects  tool to select the soffit, then click on the Copy/Paste  edit tool.


  9. Click on the Sticky Mode  edit tool to create multiple copies by simply clicking in your plan to place copies of the original soffit until you have the number of copies that you want for this section of your pergola.

    Sticky mode is available to Home Designer version 8.0 and later users only. Prior version users will need to Copy and then Paste individually. 


  10. Once you have placed your copies, select each one and move it in to place.

    You may find it helpful to create a Manual Dimension  line across them to help position them equally apart.

Now you are ready to place a new, vertical soffit.

 

To create custom posts

  1. Use the same procedure as above for setting the appropriate Height, Width, Depth, Floor to Bottom distance and the object's material.


  2. You can take a Cross Section/Elevation  view, or 3D Camera  view, to double check the appearance of the soffit.


  3. Use the same Copy/Paste  and Sticky Mode  procedure outlined above to create the necessary copies of these vertical beams and then maneuver them in to place.

To add details to the structure

  1. If you are creating a stand-alone pergola, or one attached to the house that will be held up by columns, these can be located in the Library Browser under Millwork> Columns.


  2. Also in the Millwork category are Corbels, which can be resized and placed at the ends of your soffits for the effect created in the image above.


  3. Lattice materials can also be located in the Library Browser.


  4. To create the deck beneath this pergola, we used a combination of Deck Railings where we wanted the railing to display, and Straight Deck Edges where we did not require a railing.