Your Ultimate Guide To Pergola’s

Here at A Better Driveway, we know the ins and outs of what makes the perfect concrete driveway in Melbourne – but that’s not where our expertise end. We also love giving advice when it comes to yard renovations and accessories – which is why for today’s blog we’re going to be presenting you with all the information you’ll need to know to purchase or build your own pergola. And, with so many different shapes, sizes and designs to choose from – we know you’re going to be itching to get out there and get one yourself.


The basics

Pergola’s can simultaneously act as fantastic conversion pieces as well as practical additions to any front or backyard. A typical pergola is supported by four posts at each corner and will feature an uncovered roof with beams going across it which in sunny conditions can cast great shadows below. The best part is you can turn your pergola into anything you want – it can be a simple wooden structure with a grass or concrete floor, or you can turn it into a comprehensive structure with a marble floor that connects to your home.


What can I use it for?

Pergola’s are great for lounging under since some have open roofs – you can place a banana lounge or two underneath and relax in the sun. If you’re looking for a wider use, then you can place a dining table or even a ping pong table. Think of it as a miniature outdoor room – which could act as a living room or dining room for example. Depending on the size it can become a really versatile space that you’ll use a lot more than you realise.


Do I need to get a permit to have one?

According to the Victorian Building Authority, a Pergola is defined by being “an open structure that is unroofed but may have a covering of open weave permeable material”. In this case, you do not need a permit provided it:

  • Occupies less than 20m2 of floor size;
  • Is no taller than 3.6m; and
  • Is no further than 2.5m in front of the front wall of your home (this last rule would only apply to front yard pergola’s.)

When it comes to close-roofed pergola’s then the game changes and you’ll most likely need a building permit – especially if you’re thinking of making it quite grandiose. However, if what your planning falls into the above guidelines then you won’t need to bother with a permit and, if you’ve got something pretty lowkey in mind, you might want to even consider building it yourself.


Building your own

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is find a location to build on. Since you’ll be putting the supports into the ground you should check (before you do any digging) to ensure there are no plumbing, gas or electrical pipes beneath where you’re planning to build.
  2. Gather the appropriate materials – you’ll basically be needing a fair bit of timber (the exact amount will depend on the dimensions you choose so measure before you buy) in addition to:
    • Concrete;
    • A circular saw;
    • A hand saw;
    • PPE equipment;
    • A hammer;
    • A drill;
    • A ladder;
    • Screws; and
    • A shovel.
  3. If you’re looking to paint and/or treat the timber, then now is the perfect time to do it. You should also cut your support posts appropriately. Remember to cut the tops on an angle so when you lay the top beams across them, they can fit snuggly.
  4. Dig four holes at each corner of the site, place your support posts in there and fill them up with concrete.
  5. Place and drill your four roof beams in position – connecting each post – and then measure, mark and cut the rest of the roof beams and drill them into position – completing your pergola. You can also use a crisscrossed wooden fence piece to place on the roof if you so choose.


Are you looking for concrete driveway services in Melbourne?

A Better Driveway is the best place for any concrete driveway in Melbourne. We can provide high calibre exposed aggregate, coloured concrete and textured concrete solutions and will work with you to find a combination that best fits your needs.

Interested in knowing more? Get in touch with our concrete driveway experts by filling out the contact sheet on our website or by calling (03) 9308 6112.