Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DIY Pergola Swingest for the Backyard

We've been debating over a swing set for the backyard for months now, and just couldn't wrap our minds around spending hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for some wood, swings and a slide.  After some research, and a consultation with a man at our church who builds custom swingsets, we decided to tackle a major DIY project.  Thankfully, we were able to do this while Bradley's Dad was here to assist.


I have to say this is by far my favorite outdoor project yet!  Other than eating the veggies from the garden, the pergola even tops our raised bed vegetable garden.  In doing some research, Bradley discovered that most children don't really use the slide portion of a swingset, but the swings get used all the time.  So, we opted to simply have swings in the backyard for the girls.  They hang from hooks placed in the wood, and can easily be removed to put in a porch swing, or to leave empty for using the pergola as an outdoor sitting area {we're thinking re-sale here; not everyone wants swings in the backyard, but outdoor living space is highly desirable}.



Bradley designed this entire thing!  He and his dad spent about 2 full days cutting wood, pouring cement, measuring, and constructing this beautiful piece for the backyard.  My part?  Well, I'm just really happy because it created usable space out of a not-so-usable slope.  Bradley had to dig a spot out with a chisel {I think that's what he used} and it was hard work, but we now have a flat space that sits above the rest of the yard.  It's perfect!


They took the time to cut pieces out of the wood, using a homemade stencil, so that it has the finished curved look of a traditional pergola.



I really wanted this area to be grassy, and what do you know but the house across the street was at the tail end of construction and they were sodding the yard while this project was going on.  They discarded TONS of extra sod into the woods, so we scooped it up and it's growing quite nicely in its new home.


We're waiting to put just the right flowering vine to grow on the top of the pergola, and I envision twinkling white lights, a table and chairs, and an elegant meal for two at some point here during the summer.  Maybe something like this:

source

Hey, if we get enough requests here, Bradley might even be willing to give us a tutorial on how to do this!  So, if you're interested in the plans for a DIY Pergola, just leave a comment and I'll make sure my husband reads them all!

ps - this entire project cost just under $300.  Way less than buying a pre-made swing set and it can be used by all ages for enjoyment!

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28 comments:

  1. Wow! This looks great! Well done, Bradley!! Very impressive. I can't wait to see it with vines or lights ... and how great that it can be changed to whatever you want to have under it.

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  2. I love this! Not that there's anything wrong with a swing set in the backyard, but at first glance you don't even see the swings, so it just looks like a pergola. It's timeless; so smart!

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  3. Wow that looks awesome! You guys are such good DIYers!

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  4. Would LOVE a tutorial!

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  5. I love this idea! Bradley did a great job!! I'm sure the girls are excited about their new swings too! (Isn't it amazing how the Lord provides even the smallest things like grass!?)

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  6. AWESOME!!!! What a great project!!!!!! Great job Bradley!!

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  7. Would love a tutorial! Looks great!

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  8. I love it, how in the world did it cost under $300???!!! That is amazing! I would love to see how he did it, we are thinking about something like this off the master suite.

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  9. Lauren this is incredible! And I can't believe it was all for less than $300!!

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  10. I love this, Lauren! I know that we (and by we, I mean Justin... :) will need a tutorial soon! Probably my favorite post so far. Wonderful!! Happy swinging!

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  11. This looks amazing!!! Way to go Bradley! I love the curved edges - it gives it a nice finishing touch. And the grass growing under there looks so good, toO! I love the idea of lights and a romantic dinner out there! Maybe this fall we can come down and watch the kids inside and make a romantic dinner for you two out there! :)

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  12. Wow, this looks amazing- and so versatile, too!! We might need to add one of these to our backyard, so I would LOVE for Bradley to do a guest tutorial for us!!

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  13. Fabulous ! How long does it took it finished it?

    Verandahs Melbourne

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  14. I love this! It looks great. I've been thinking of making a pergola, but I never thought about incorporating swings into it. Great idea! Oh, and I would love a tutorial! :)

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  15. This pergola is going to look wonderful! What I like about it is you can remove the swing set and turn it into an area where you can spend time with your family. Bradley's done a great job with the swing set. I'm visualizing flowers and plants on the background, and you can also have a barbeque party here!

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  16. Mainly because i have the Super Skinny jeans as well as they honestly feel
    and resemble jeggings.. Or I thought i bought the super skinny and
    also they was jeggings?. Do the jeggings have actual zippers and pockets?
    .
    My web site > black leather leggings

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  17. This is very nice. I cannot believe it only cost $300. I hope a tutorial will follow.

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  18. So want the plans for this! We r building a swing set this summer I'm in love with this!

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  19. can you show the plans for this? it's just what i want for the grandkids!

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  20. Do you have the plans for this? Would love to make one for our daughter!

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  21. This is exactly what I'm looking for! If you could share with me the plans id be so appreciative!!

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  22. What string lighting did you use for that? I am looking to do something similar to our outdoor pergola. I love your write-up!

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  23. Very nice design. I'd like to do something very similar for my kids and would value your feedback since you've had it up for a while. It looks like the swings or chains could make contact with the front beam; Have there been any issues with that? The design looks quite substantial for a porch swing; Wondering if it has also been stable with kids swings, i.e. any issues with the posts shearing or concrete footings loosening?

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  24. Thanks for the info. I bought a fixer upper and now I'm working on the backyard, but I have been looking at decks for my home. Thanks again for all the info!

    Pergolas Melbourne

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  25. Can I ask a few design questions? Are those 6x6 or 8x8 posts? And the beams, 2x10? Rafters 2x8 and cross rafters 2x6? Also, what's the height from ground to rafters? And is there anything you would do different if building it again? It looks awesome! Thanks.

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  26. Would love a tutorial! Looks beautiful :)

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I would love to get your feedback on any post! Comments make my day, and I will do my best to get back with you as soon as I can. Thanks!