Living in Utah is wonderful but, man, that sun is HOT! We needed a solution to beat the heat on our west facing porch. The pergola design allows for shade when needed and retractable curtains when the sun goes down.
We started the project by installing three vertical beams. The 4×4 vertical beams were incorporated into our existing railing.
A 4×4 board was placed across the top of the vertical beams, and two 2×6’s were added for a decorative finish.
We attached a decoratively cut 2×6 board to the house using long outdoor screws. To that, we attached horizontal boards using adjustable metal joists. The right end of the horizontal boards were attached to the 4×4 header using simple 90 degree connectors.
The design of the curtains was important. They needed to be retractable and durable to withstand all kinds of weather. The tracks that the curtains run on was made out of 1/8th inch aircraft cable secured with screw eyes and turnbuckles. Make sure to buy or borrow a swagging tool to tighten the metal sleeves to make the end loop.
The curtain is attached to the aircraft cable using 1/2 inch conduit and key rings. The design for these curtains was found here. The fabric I used came from a breathable shade sail. Many sizes and colors are available through awnings-usa.com.
One final aircraft cable was installed inside the pergola header. A hole was drilled through the middle vertical beam so that the cable could extend through. The curtain is attached using grommets (craft store) and carabiners (HomeDepot).
The final touches were these Velcro tie backs…… Isn’t Utah gorgeous?!