Pergola Construction - Stage 1

The Andalucian pergola or "chambau" as it is localy known can be built from various materials and be a variety of shapes and sizes. Any patio area should be regarded as an extra room outside the cave or house, in this case we decided to enclose half of our patio under some welcome shade - BBQ and cooking area on one side, pergola on the other. Enclosed within the coral it should hopefully be a cosy place to eat and relax.

Tools for the job:

Cement, sand, rocks (or brick), club hammer, bolster chisel, wood chisel, float, drill, screws (6"), nails (5-6") measure, spirit level, band saw.

To compliment the stone coral we decided to build the frame from old rustic wooden beams - these are available cut and delivered from 5 euros per meter. The quality of the wood is very good, the beams are rescued from finca's and cortijo's are very heavy but will need treatment (more on that later)

The first job is to create a "housing" for the main beams, these are the beams that will go into the wall. With a breeze block or stone wall this is a case of chiseling out a hole from the facia of the cave. Do make the hole larger than the beam end by around 2-3 inches - the reason is that it gives you more room to play with when levelling up and making true. (the beams can be manouvered and chocked in a bigger hole)

With old beams being so heavy carefull measurments are needed, its best to create the frame so it is ready to assemble and put in place. In our case the uprights were to be placed directly onto the patio surface, no holes could be dug to sink the beams into the ground as the conctrete is 10" thick and underneath are electric cables and water pipes. (this may be the case with many reformed caves that have patios, however there is a solution)

The trusty wood chisel has always come in handy, measuring up for where the beams meet creates strength in the frame and sections created for counter-sunk screws are much easier for final assembly. With beams being 6 inches thick it is essential to counter sink the screws...

Next up: A helping hand and frame assembly.

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