Our Wonderful Followers who come back again and again to read about us...

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Day 42 - Time For Trellis Grids on the Pergola

It is now day 42 of our quarantine. I keep counting the days on the calendar and wonder when we're going to be able to finally return back to normal?  We need to isolate and let this virus die out, and hopefully get a vaccine or an immunity process to protect the vulnerable (like us).

Our governor in Wisconsin released a plan with various measured steps to release certain businesses and put some things back into action. Of course, it all depends on the testing numbers and a percentage of decrease for a set number of days before phase one can be put into action. Cleverly, it's called the Badger Bounce-Back, named after Bucky Badger who is the Wisconsin University sports mascot.  But until we have 14 days of decline in numbers, nothing can be put into motion.

In the meantime... although it was a cold and windy day yesterday, complete with some thunder, lightning and hail, we started the next step of our project.

The next task that we are wishing to create for our pergola are two trellis grids that go on each side of the columns, facing the street. In front of these grids, on the ground, I will put two white cement planters with ivy plants. Hopefully, the ivy will grow up intertwining amongst the trellis grids and really add a nice design feature to the facade of the home.

On the back side of the pergola walkway, facing the backyard, I plan to put two full panels of red painted lattice that matches what we have underneath the front porch. This will be a nice backdrop behind the white trellis grid as you look from the front to the rear.

I drew up some ideas about how to make the white trellis grids that will go on the street side of the pergola. The main goal is not to have it attached to either building in anyway. Then it is not a fixture and is not taxable. Nothing gets dug into the ground either. So these trellises need to attach firmly to the bottom walkway base and the top of pergola.

We both came up with various ideas, and scrambled among our squirreled away reserve of building materials. We had the center grids, already in pieces, left over from the original purchase of the pergola that I painted from Blue to White.

We needed sturdy framing around the edges. Steve had three large long two-by-fours. I mean real original two-by-fours that are 2in by 4in left over from when we removed the single stall garage door on the attached garage. That is how they made lumber a hundred years ago. These were removed during the process of closing up the garage door opening to make the three windows for the She Shed. Steve used all new lumber in that new opening when he added the header and King studs with newer dimensional lumber.  Glad he saved the old stuff. Reuse - Repurpose - Recycle.

He took these old huge two-by-fours and I helped him run them through his table saw one at a time to cut them down to a usable size for our trellis grids.

I painted them up with two coats of the red paint that matches our trim and shutters on the house.  Glad I still have half a bucket of that red on hand.

After they were dry, with some careful measuring and planning, we were able to cut them up into the correct sizes needed to make the trellis grid frames.

We used a square to make sure they were correct level and even. We had to construct them inside of the garage on sawhorses because the weather outside was blustering and stormy.

Once the two main frames were together, we took one out and dry fitted it into place on the side of the pergola. Yes! It was going to work. We rushed it back inside as we were blowing away from the wind and it was starting to rain.  No time for a picture.

The temperature dropped quickly from the mid-60s down to the forties in less than 1 hour. Storm clouds were rolling in and it really was getting nasty outside.

Safe inside Steve's warm cozy garage, we started measuring and figuring out the spaces for the white grids. They were made in opposites, so one can go on each side of the columns of the pergola facing towards the street.

Using a little bit of math and a little bit of dumb luck, we spaced out the little white pieces as evenly as we could. Some were warped a little bit, but we did the best we could.

I wanted to mimic the white grid pattern of the French doors and French Windows of the She Shed.

The second one went faster than the first one, because we could lay it right on top of the first one and construct it in the same way, just making sure it was opposite in configuration so one could go on the left and one could go on the right of the columns.

I touched up any little boo boos we did to the paint during our assembly process. They are now standing up in the garage drying overnight.  This is the "back side" facing out right now.  The "outward finished side" is up against the wall.

 In the morning 
we will be able to attach them 
if the weather cooperates.

(the grey weathered lattice panels in the background will be cut and painted red in the next step, that will go on the backside of the pergola facing the backyard.)

When I was done dabbing up the paint, we dashed back into the house, and the rain and thunderstorms erupted into a layer of hail!!! 

It cleared up for just a tiny bit before dinner time. We were able to open the side door on the she shed that leads out to the dogs' potty yard. I had four more white brackets for decorating the wooden screen doors. This is the wooden screen door we bought last year from Home Depot. We trimmed that up with four more of the white brackets to make it look pretty too. Even though others don't see it from the street, we see it every day multiple times while we let the dogs in and out.  

Ahhhh Pretty! 

It then began to rain again, and eventually turned into icky windy wintery weather. It was a good evening to stay in, play cribbage, and watch a little TV.



  1. Are you planning to plant English ivy? It is an invasive plant. I'm sure that there are other vines that would work and not be invasive and perhaps even have showy flowers.

    1. I hear what you are saying. No, this is regular garden center ivy that you put in hanging baskets. Nothing like that survives over the winter here in Wisconsin anyhow. I have some from last year that I took inside and I kept growing all winter long. I snip long stragglers off and stick in water and it grows more roots. Then I move them into pots of dirt to transfer outside in the summer.

  2. Always having to work around the weather.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. Looking good, it will look awesome when all is in place. Your pride in your home is so evident!


Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog! I moderate all comments so it may take a little while for your comment to appear.