I want to add a pergola, arbor, or trellis to my plan. How can I build my own custom pergola?
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
First, launch your Home Designer software program and open the plan in which you want to create your pergola.
Select Build> Cabinet> Soffit and click in floor plan view to place this rectangular object.
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.
On the General panel, set the dimensions of the soffit, including its Height, Width, and Depth.
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.
Go to the Materials panel and select the soffit to change its material.
Wood materials can be located in the Select Material dialog by navigating to Materials> Wood.
Once you have finished making changes to your first soffit, click the OK button to apply the changes and close the Soffit Specification dialog.
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.
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.
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
Use the same procedure as above for setting the appropriate Height, Width, Depth, Floor to Bottom distance and the object's material.
You can take a Cross Section/Elevation view or a 3D Camera view to double check the appearance of the soffit.
Use the same Copy/Paste and Sticky Mode procedure outlined above to create the necessary copies of these posts and then maneuver them in to place.
To add details to the structure
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.
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 at the top of this article.
Lattice materials can also be located in the Library Browser.
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.