Monday, July 02, 2012

Bright and White

Never underestimate how long it takes to think things through, especially if it's something you're not used to doing on a regular basis.  And yes I was reminded of that when we were figuring out how to build the pond pergola. Lots of thinking, planning, sketching, calculating, thinking again, etc. And then you pause and realise how much time it has taken going through the process without actually having something in front of you to see.

But as they say, half the work is in the planning and a well planned project makes for an easier task of getting the other half done.

However, the biggest factor that actually slowed things down was the weather. Beyond our control I'm afraid. Too dangerous to work when surfaces are slippery and electrical tools obviously cannot be used outdoors whilst it's raining. Keeping in mind that there is an 11 foot drop between the top of the pergola and the bottom surface of the pond, we have to be extra careful in building this pergola.

The man with the right power tools! Each pergola post needs to be supported by large metal rods drilled on both wood and concrete, then bonded into place, and Gaz Senior has the right tools to do just that (Thank you!)
So considering all, it was a slow process to start with but given one reasonable stretch of weekdays (doing things bit by bit in the evenings after work) followed by a fine weekend, things have moved much quicker. And now finally there is actually something substantial to see.

The cats have it easy!

All the wood had to be pre treated with a white undercoat before they were positioned into place. Thank goodness for quick drying undercoat, otherwise waiting for paint to dry for hours would have added considerable amount of time in finishing the project! As the whiteness is just an undercoat there was also no need to handle the wood with delicacy so on closer inspection there are smudges, smears, and scribbles all over.

First horizontal pieces up by the middle of the week
Just the two of us over the weekend, but with great weather things went up quicker!
Bright, white, and blue skies!
Gaz's Dad popping round for a quick look and giving his seal of approval
The real one in charge of the project...

We are about halfway through building the pergola at least. Once all of the joists are fastened into place (including the noggins) we can do all the wood filling, sanding, and screwing necessary before a final coat of external white paint can be applied. All the galvanised metal fittings will be blended away with white paint whilst the metal brackets at the base of each post will be hidden away with wood cladding round the posts and coping stones on top of thw walls. Sheets of polycarbonate panel will be fastened on top which will give shelter to the pond (and its future inhabitants) as well as keep most of the rain away. And once the polycarbonate roof is installed, fibreglassing can be done which will render the pond watertight.

View from within the pond
Two pennies for your thoughts. Apart from the metal rods and bonding, each post has to be bolted down with metal brackets. Running
out of washers right at the very end of bolting them down, we had to be creative and used a two pence coin instead.
Unconventional and economical to use too, as the washers cost 28p each, whilst this is only two pence.... 
With the pergola up, privacy of this area will also be gained
View from within the pond
View from the back room window
Hello, from Gaz and Mark!!
So far, so good! It's great feeling that we have picked up pace again. Which also reminds me, we have to buy really tall ladders or a work platform in the next few days, I have one heck of a paint job coming up!

Mark :-)


  1. This is looking really impressive lads! You must be getting very excited.

  2. Thanks Julia, not long to go, lets just hope we get some more sunny weather!

  3. Looks great. Love how you are adding that, it is wonderful and I love the pennies. What a cool idea!
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  4. what an immense project you have undertaken. Everything looks so professionally done though. Cant wait to see the next progress photos.

  5. From the beginning of that pond, i am thinking that is really a big and long project. And they now look very durable and will be perennially installed there! Congratulations.

  6. You guys are amazing!!! Seriously! This projects is beyond DYI....

  7. Totally agree with everyone, its amazing and very professional. I can't wait to see it finished.
    By the way isn't it treason to damage a coin of the realm? lol!

  8. Great job! It all looks like it fits in the landscape perfectly. That is going to be an awesome pond! Looking forward to seeing the finished product. Love, love, love the penny washers! I'll have to remember that one. By the way, I love that sunshiny-sky photo.

  9. Thanks for the encouraging words everyone, much appreciated :) There's still a few more joists to come up then at least that bit will be finished. It's very rainy here again and wondering how long this wet weather will last. Strange summer...

    I do like those penny washers, I think its good feng shui too using them like that, where they are incorporated permanently on to a structure :))

  10. Excellent guys and it kinda reminds me of Greece!?! All that white and blue skies, I guess. I'm relieved you didn't forget your noggins! D

  11. Love the pergola - I always find that the jobs I have been avoiding are often the ones done quickly but those that i think are quick jobs tend to go wrong and take ages! love the 2p washers!

  12. David, one must never forget ones noggins!! :)

    Thanks Ian, its a long project but all coming together now. The 2p washers seem to have been a bit of a hit!

  13. It is really coming together! Smart thinking about the two pence instead of a washer! You are right - the longest time sometimes of any project is the planning. But you seem to have planned all this out perfectly. I know you are as anxious as we all are to get water in the pond! It's going to be even more fabulous than I could have ever imagined!

  14. Thanks Holley! Hoping to finish the main pond at least this summer then do all the finer details of the rest of this garden later this year up to next year even. Getting fine details done takes time and we don't really want to scrimp on that one. We'll get there eventually :)

  15. Wow. How sturdy. AND beautiful!

  16. Excellent job - planning wise and in execution! I wish you more sunny weather just so I can see the finished product. I am excited as I'm sure the rest of your readers are.

  17. Thanks Bom, the weather this summer is really slowing us down, but we will get there in the end. We don't want to rush things so will just have to accept the weather we get!

  18. That looks wonderful. Great to see the progress, but the more you plan, the less you have to spend, and mistakes on ponds are really, really expensive (as I have learned, unfortunately). So getting it right the first time is the way to do it.


Thank you for taking the time to reply to our post, we love reading comments and hearing your views.

Due to the increased level of spam, please note comments on older posts are moderated and only published after approval. All new comments are read and any spam is deleted.