Los Angeles wooden arbor, pergola, patio cover, fence, deck, driveway gate, entry gate, garden gate, tree house and play house designer and builder.

Peter A. Kirsch-Korff

Beautiful Wood Arbors, Pergolas & Patio Covers


Los Angeles      Pasadena      Hancock Park      Malibu      Bradbury


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Spanish Bungalow Dining Pergola - Los Angeles, CA  
Mission Dining Pergola    Craftsman Wood Dining Pergola - Los Angeles, CA   Los Angeles Wood Pergola   Spanish Bungalow Dining Pergola - Los Angeles, CA    

Contemporay Wood Pool Pergola - Los Angeles, CA   Mission Style Wood Trellis - Altadena, CA    Free Standing Wood Garden Arbor - Pasadena    Wood Grape Arbor    Hawaiian Style Wood Arbor    Wood Arbor Poolside (Detail) - Pasadena, California

Wood Arbors, Pergolas, Patio Covers & Trellises

Looking for a beautiful, affordable wood arbor, dining pergola, patio cover, gazebo or garden trellis? I design and build custom wood arbors to reflect the architectural style of your home, whether you have a Spanish bungalow, Craftsman home, Mission style hacienda or Mediterranean villa.

I focus on building structures that are not only beautiful, but excellent value for the money and built to last. The right craftsmanship, building techniques and materials make all the difference in whether your arbor or pergola will last 5, 10 or 15 years.

That is one of the reasons why I do all the work myself, so I can control the quality of construction and you don't have to deal with crews of workmen you have never met. My clients also hate having construction start and stop and stretch out for weeks, so I build for one homeowner at a time and stay on your project until it is done - usually completing most projects in one to three weeks. And I create a singular design for each client which reflects the unique look and feel of your home and garden.

Below is my portfolio of arbor photos, as well as pricing for wood arbors in the Los Angeles area and a detailed arbor design guide. I hope these will help you find the right builder and design an arbor you will enjoy for years to come.

 

 

Portfolio of Wood Arbors, Pergolas, Patio Covers & Trellises

My online portfolio features photos of my work so you can get an idea of the styles and types of wood arbors, pergolas, patio covers and trellises I can build. To see more details about a project, just click on a photo.

As a first step, I recommend that you look at lots of different arbors and pergolas to discover what you do and don't like. You can mix and match design ideas and functionality to create the overhead structure. So take a look at the photos below and online. If you see what you want (or something close), we can use that as a starting point for a client inspired design. For even more design ideas, check out the resources below. Then read over my design guide to get a really good idea of what you want, and the budget you want to spend.

When you are ready to get started, contact me and we can set up an appointment to tour your location, discuss design options and establish a budget, so I can give you a detailed estimate.

 

Spanish & Mission Style Pergolas, Patio Covers & Trellises

   

Spanish Bungalow Dining Pergola - Los Angeles, CA     Mission Style Wood Trellis - Altadena, CA

Spanish Bungalow Dining Pergola               Mission Fence & Trellis with Arbor  

  

Mission Sytle Wood Dining Arbor - Los Angeles, California     Ironwood & Redwood Deck with Arbor (detail)  - Los Angeles

Mission Style Dining Pergola                       Mangaris™ & Redwood Arbor, Deck, Benches

 

  Wood Patio Cover with Lattice II - South Pasadena, California

 Spanish Bungalow Lattice Patio Cover

 

Craftsman Style Arbors

 

Craftsman Wood Dining Pergola - Los Angeles, CA (featured in HGTV Landscapers Challenge show episode LSC-1010: A Backyard Adventure)     Free Standing Wood Garden Arbor - Pasadena

Craftsman Wood Dining Arbor                        Garden Entertaining Arbor   

 

Contemporary Patio Covers & Arbors

  

Modern Wood Dining ARbor wwith Lattice Panels     Spanish & Craftsman Inspired Wood Pergola designed and built in the San Gabriel Valley (Los Angeles), CA

Patio Cover with Lattice                                          Contemporary Style Pool Pergola

  

Wood Patio Cover Design with Lattice - Pasadena / Los Angeles, California)     Deck over Concrete Patio with Arbor - Encino, CA                                 

Open Lattice Patio Cover                                               Redwood Arbor with Deck

 

Classical, Ranch & Other Styles of Arbors, Pergolas & Trellises

    

Wood Arbor Poolside (Detail) - Pasadena, California     Hawaiian Style Wood Arbor - South Pasadena (Los Angeles County)     Grape Arbor (Modren Style) - West Los Angeles, CA

Architectural Trellis               Hawaiian Wood Arbor          Modern Grape Arbor

 

Wood Pergola Over Brick Walkway  - Glendale/Los Angeles, California     Architectural Style Wood Trellis Arbor - Pasadena, California

Wood Pergola & Breezeway                            Architectural Wood Trellis       

 

Arbor with Gate in Pacific Palisades (serving Santa Monica, Malibu, Pacific Palisades     Redwood Deck & Arbor with lattice under deck enclosure

Arbor over Tennis Court Gate                                           Redwood Arbor over Backyard Deck

 

 

 

Prices For Custom Wood Arbors, Pergolas & Patio Covers

The prices below are for well built wood arbors that look good and last for years. Unfortunately, not all wood arbors are built well, and it can be difficult for a layman to tell the difference between a well built arbor and one that will start leaning in a few years. Good quality material and hardware, combined with superior building skills, make all the difference.

The cost depends on the type of arbor, pergola, patio cover or trellis you are looking for: basic, custom or high end.

  • A basic arbor or pergola is a simple wood structure and runs $2,000 to $4,000. For this type of structure you want to find a basic arbor builder, so please see my related links.

  • A custom arbor or patio cover costs from $5,000 to $10,000 based on complexity, overall size, height, beam size and wood type.

  • A high end arbor or pergola reflects an investment in your home and can cost from $10,000 to $20,000+.

If you are purchasing a pre-made arbor, gazebo or trellis, remember to include the cost of on-site installation in your budget. You can also read about comparing estimates for more information.

 

Design Guide for Arbors, Pergolas & Patio Covers

This design guide provides information on how to create a great arbor or patio cover design which reflects the architectural look of your home and meets your functionality needs and budget.

 

Types of Structures

There are several types of structures you can have built, and what they are called depends on how you will use them:

  • an arbor is an open beamed structure set in a garden and is designed to support plants

  • a pergola is traditionally a covered walkway but also refers to an open beamed structure used for dining and entertaining

  • a patio cover is a temporary or permanent covering placed over an existing raised platform, patio area or concrete pad

  • a gazebo is usually a structure used for shelter and viewing the garden

  • a pavilion is a roofed, outdoor room with open sides

 

Design Elements For Wood Arbors, Pergolas & Patio Covers

The style of your arbor, pergola or patio cover is created with design and construction components. By changing these key design elements and details, you can create a specific style or a totally unique design:

  • post size (4 x 4, 6 x 6 or round columns)
  • cross beam and rafter size
  • joinery techniques (decorative pegs, notched or interlocking beams)
  • overhead pattern and complexity (1,2,3+ tiers of beams, corbels and rafters)
  • finishing touches (decorative end beam cuts)
  • wood texture, color and finish
  • decorative metalwork
  • night time and accent lighting

 

Harmonizing Your Arbor With Your Home & Garden

Your arbor, pergola or patio cover should harmonize with the style of your home and garden:

  • a formal structure for a formal garden
  • a classic design for a classically laid out garden
  • a flowing design for a garden with swept paths and flowing planting borders

If your home has a distinctive architectural or artistic style, you may want to have your arbor, pergola or patio cover match it.

  • Craftsman & Greene and Greene Arbors ~ Start with smooth planed wood beams and posts. Add in simple yet strongly defined joinery. Add in "japanese" style joinery and decorative pegs for a Greene & Greene look. Embellish with latticed accents, trellises, craftsman style lighting fixtures and copper accents for this style.

  • Mission & Spanish Arbors ~ Use large, heavy beams, corbels and decorative beam end cuts to create this look. Then add rough metal work and period lighting to complete it.

  • Modern & Asian Arbors ~ Create a sleek design that echoes the elegance and simplicity of these styles. Accent with minimalist or traditional Asian lighting fixtures for nighttime use and garden viewing.

  • Medieval, Tudor & Mediterranean Arbors ~ Start with heavy beams and posts and assemble them using simple period joinery. Use carved accents, decorative metalwork and candle lanterns for finish accents. Stain or paint a dark color.

In addition, the overall dimensions should also fit with the proportions of your garden, home and other outdoor structures. If your arbor is intended to support plants, the size and proportions should be appropriate and provide enough strength for the size, weight and density of the plant. For example, wisteria (a common Southern California arbor vine) requires a much more substantial structure over its lifetime, than does a climbing rose.

The final color should compliment the colors used in your landscaping. If you want to blend into the landscaping, the natural color of the wood or browns and greens work well. If you want the structure to stand out or highlight nearby plants, strong colors like white or black can be used.

 

Design Criteria & Location Considerations

  • Use ~ The first step is to determine all the ways you plan to use the structure. That will help determine design requirements and the right type of structure to build. Arbors are typically associated with growing and supporting plants. Pavilions are roofed, open rooms. Pergolas are a blend of the two and create semi open roofed spaces for entertaining. Whichever structure is appropriate, design issues will include:

    • roof support strength (heavier plants require larger beams)
    • ceiling patterns (open beam, patterned, lattice or trellis)
    • decorative rafter cuts
    • number and height of tiers (multiple levels of overhead beams and rafters)
    • built-in activity features (benches, storage, fire pits, and barbecues)
    • utilities (electricity for lights for night time reading or entertaining, outlets for stereo and appliances, gas for overhead heaters, and water for overhead misters)

  • Size & Shape ~ The minimum size will be determined by the activities and furniture you want under it (or nearby). The design will also be influenced by the need to keep it in proportion to the size and spaciousness of the surrounding structures and garden. The shape can be customized to fit and compliment natural features in your garden, such as wrapping around or enclosing a tree, reflecting the curve of a stream or conforming to a rock formation.

  • Access ~ Pathways and gates should be designed to provide convenient access to and from the structure, house, garden and other key areas, such as the driveway, pool or tennis court.

  • View ~ Determine the garden and house views you want, and if any views need to screened off for privacy. Framed openings can be created to enhance viewing of special garden features like ponds, herb gardens, or sundials.

  • Sunlight ~ The amount of sunlight and heat exposure can be a factor in orienting the structure and its roof design. Consider where furniture should be placed to catch the sunlight or shade. Also consider if you want to install temporary overhead shading during the summer months or shelter during the winter months if your foliage (such as grape leaves) is not abundant enough.

  • Water ~ Excessive moisture (from sprinklers and deep shade) can lead to premature aging, musty smells and structural damage from rot. The structure should be designed to shed rain and dew readily and dry out thoroughly, especially if it will be covered by vines or plants. Good drainage away from the area is also required.

  • Wind ~ In areas with high winds or gusts, you may want to create an area protected from the wind. Strong or regular winds may require a more substantial design to handle the force or building it in a more protected area.

 

Wood, Hardware & Design Options For Arbors & Pergolas

  • Materials ~ Your arbor, pergola or pavilion can be built of Redwood, Mangaris™ (Red Balau) or other woods. More expensive woods can be used for joint accents, decorative pegs and trim. The substructure framing should be built of pressure treated wood for durability. See below for details.

  • Finishes ~ Heat and light contribute to weathering, so a UV protection finish is very important. If it will eventually be covered with hard to remove plants, applying a thorough coating is critical. Stains (clear, tinted, or solid) and paint are popular finish choices.

  • Custom Touches ~ Post feet can be boxed with decorative trim. Decorative beam end cuts can echo those used on the house. Post caps and finials can match those used on fences, gates and other structures. Access panels for utilities can be inset or trimmed with molding. Beams and rafters can be notched and stacked in tiers for additional strength and visual interest.

  • Built-ins ~ Consider how built-in features can enhance your usage. Benches (with built in storage) can be added and fireplaces can add romance and warmth to increase usage during the evenings and winter months.

  • Metalwork ~ Blackened, wrought iron or copper post braces, lanterns and accents can add style, strength and functionality.

  • Lighting ~ The placement and type of lighting can evoke both a style and a mood. Lanterns hung from ceiling beams, side mounted sconces, track or spot lighting or a central chandelier all create an immediate sense of style. Low mood lighting can softly illuminate pathways and steps as well as create a romantic atmosphere.

 

Selecting The Right Wood For Your Arbor or Pergola

To make sure you are delighted with your custom arbor, pergola, patio cover or trellis -- you want to choose the right building material. In Los Angeles, the popular wood (and composite) choices allow you to make tradeoffs in terms of cost, quality, color, visual appearance, ease of maintenance and the ability to resist the elements (water, sun and pests).

You need to select materials for ...

  • the framing (posts and cross pieces) used to support the weight of the your arbor
  • the wood used for roofing, trim and accents

 

Wood For Framing & Substructures

The first type of wood to choose is for your framing -- the structure that holds your arbor upright and to which you attach the beams, lattice and roofing.

  • Pressure Treated Wood ~ For hidden framing, I only use pressure treated lumber (see photo). This wood is treated with a variety of chemicals to make it resistant to termites and rot. In the last few years, a major change has been made to the preservatives used -- they are safer for the environment but less effective.

  • Redwood ~ For visible framing, such as arbor posts and cross beams you can upgrade to redwood for a better appearance.

 

Wood Choices For Arbors, Pergolas, Patio Covers and Trellises

There are two choices for these larger structures. Based on your needs and budget, I can also build out of other woods.

  • Redwood ~ A distinctive pink/red colored wood which ages to gray. The red heartwood is naturally resistant to damage from termites and moisture. Any white part of a redwood board, known as sapwood, has little resistance to termites and rot. I use Construction Grade Heart Redwood, commonly known as Con Heart (see photo), which has no sapwood and some knots. For a beautiful and durable structure, this is your most cost effective choice. I can also use more expensive grades of redwood, if your budget permits.

  • Mangaris (Red Balau) ~ A dense grained, reddish-brown hardwood (see photo) from Indonesia/Thailand that ages to a silver gray like Teak. It stains up like Mahogany and is more durable than Redwood. For a high end structure of exceptional durability and striking looks, consider Mangaris. See the rich color of the unstained wood (see photo).

 

Related Links and Resources

I specialize in creating client inspired designs. So if you see what you want (or something close), we can use that as a starting point for your design.

If you need ideas and inspiration, check out these resources, clip magazine pictures, look through your vacation photos and keep an eye out for what you like in the neighborhood.

Here are a few books I recommend.

 

Garden Structures (Smith & Hawken)  

This book has lots of ideas and photos of arbors, trellises and other garden elements such as fences, pergolas and patio covers. LA Public Library book

 

American Horticultural Society Practical Guides: Arches & Pergolas  

From the simple to the complex, there are lots of ideas about how to design and build great vertical structures that enhance the mood and style of your outdoor garden.

 

 

 

Trellises, Arbors and Pergolas: Ideas and Plans for Garden Structures by Better Homes and Gardens

This book is an excellent resource for ideas with photos and designs for specific styles as well as showing design variations.  LA Public Library book


 

 

Trellises and Arbors by Scott Atkinson

This book offers lots of photos of over 100 gardens with arbors and trellises. Use it to get ideas and be inspired. LA Public Library book

 

 

Trellises & Arbors: Landscape & Design Ideas, Plus Projects by Bill Hylton

This book features 42 designs for arbors and trellises in a variety of styles.   LA Public Library book

 

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Gazebos & Other Outdoor Structures  by the Editors of Creative Homeowner

This book is full of ideas for outdoor retreats and structures, such as gazebos, pavilions, arbors and pergolas.

 

 

 

Fences, Gates and Trellises by James Barrett

This book features many inspirational photos and ideas for trellises and more.

 




I also recommend checking out these online resources for more ideas.

 

Out of Area Builders

Unfortunately, since I build everything on site, I can not build and ship you an arbor or pergola.

If you live outside of the Los Angeles area and want to find a beautiful pre-made arbor or local builder, check out these online sites:

 

 

Permission is granted to anyone who wants to
use my work for inspiration outside of the LA area.


Redwood Garden Arbor - Pasadena
Pasadena Mangaris TM deck before patio cover
Modern Horizontal Wood Fence - Los Angeles, CA
Asian Gate - Los Angeles Gate Builder
Wooden Treehouse with Club House - Malibu
Pool Equipment Enclosure - Beverly Hills, CA

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Serving the Los Angeles area communities of Altadena, Arcadia, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Bradbury, Brentwood, Chino Hills, Claremont, Diamond Bar, Encino, Glendale, Glendora, Granada Hills, Hancock Park, Hidden Hills, Hollywood, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta-Montrose, Los Angeles, Los Feliz, Malibu, Monrovia, Northridge, North Hills, Pacific Palisades, Pasadena, Pomona, Porter Ranch, Rancho Cucumonga, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, South Pasadena, Studio City, Van Nuys, West Hills, West Hollywood, Westwood, and West Los Angeles.

California Licensed Contractor #701028