pergola/arbor metal inserts

November 5, 2008

I am trying to duplicate this beautiful pergola that I saw at a public park. Does anyone know what these "inserts" are called and where I might find them?

view from below:


Comments (34)

  • kacy27

    one more try at linking picture. sorry. Hope you can help!

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • dc_pilgrim

    No idea on your question, but use the "HTML" option on photobucket here:


  • kacy27

    ahhh. thanks so much for your help, dc_pilgrim. Hopefully someone will see this gorgeous thing now and tell me where I can find it! I'm in Houston, so if I can't find an internet source soon, I'm heading to Mexico!

  • duluthinbloomz4

    Did you Google decorative metal work or decorative grillwork or decorative copper scrollwork?

    I would think this to be a custom job - not something you'd cut off a roll by the foot at a local Lowes.

  • kacy27

    Scrollwork was a good suggestion. Thanks duluth. I found something about plasma cutting. I'm wondering if the sheet metal is thick and sturdy enough for the Texas heat. The developer of the park has not been forthcoming about their source. Says it was a custom job. grrr.

  • pls8xx

    Look for someone with a waterjet cutting machine. If I understand correctly the cutting head is computer controlled much like an old flat bed pen plotter with software similar to a vinyl cutter.

  • stevega

    I second the waterjet cutting. They are easily programmable as pls8xx suggests and do not oxidize the cut surface as plasma does. The scrollwork doesn't appear to provide any structural support, so you may be able to use fairly thin sheet. I'm not sure what finish would retain the copper color outside in the Texas sun/rain. Copper gets a greeen patina. I'd be a little worried about corrosion dripping onto the surface below. It also looks like there are coppper joist hangers. They may be hard to find. It does look good.

  • karinl

    Search around the internet using the name of the park too; maybe you can find some discussion of it in industry circles or an ad made by the designer/manufacturer.


  • rosiew

    Kacy, this is fabulous looking. I'm designing a pergola also and would love you to share what information you find. Since this is at a public park, you very likely can get the info from the city or county that owns it. Good luck! Rosie in Sugar Hill, GA

  • deviant-duhziner

    I wish it was going to be that east Rosiew.
    The city can tell you who the landscape architectural firm was but the landscape architectural firm does not have to share its vendors or resources with you unless there is an issue of liability.

    The metal work appears custom made.
    I have never seen this pattern in any of my resource libraries.
    There are a number of sheet metal fabricators who you can purchase pre made cut out patterns from such as Janssons and McNichols, but I have never seen this pattern offered.

  • kacy27

    Rosie in Sugar Hill, this is kacy in Sugar Land. Good news! The community developer came thru for me. Bad news... Copper is $$$$. I don't know if it's okay to put websites on here but she gave me the link. The company is called "parasoleil" and they have a website. Now, if anybody has an idea on how I can duplicate this inexpensively, I'd love to hear. I'm happy to use lightweight sheet metal and nail it in. whatever

  • woodyoak zone 5 southern Ont., Canada

    I searched on that company name - gorgeous stuff! It makes me want to cover something :-) But I doubt it could take the snow load... It does give one ideas though... e.g. could you do something along the same lines but use wrought iron panels...?

  • deviant-duhziner

    thanks for the resource link.

  • rosiew

    I just spent about 30 minutes looking at this artist's designs. Will hope to visit him when I travel to Boulder.

    Woodyoak - snowloads in Colorado may not be as weighty as where you are, but I strongly suspect it would support the weight. These also have chinook winds in Boulder - mighty tempests, house-shaking.

    Kacy, truly hope you can find a substitute you'll be happy with. How I'd love to have the copper! It's akin to the difference in a Bentley and a Kia.

    Rosie in Sugar Hill, GA, poor but with expensive tastes

  • beach_rose

    Yes, it's beautiful. Makes me want a pergola.

    The trouble with copper in my neck of the woods is that people are breaking into unoccupied summer homes and stealing copper pipes, so residents come back in April to a big surprise. If they would rip out pipes, they wouldn't hesitate to pull copper off a pergola. Those screens look great also, but probably would disappear before long, even in a very low-crime neighborhood. If it can be done using a cheaper material not so attractive to metal poachers, that would be great.

  • deviant-duhziner

    Chances are that most copper thieves haven't been checking in with Standard and Poor's metal commodity futures.
    ... what have they been doing ? tsk tsk.
    Copper is down - way down. Like in the $1.60 per pound price. That's its lowest price in 3 years.

    As an alternative to copper, check other metals that are less expensive and that can be powder coated to a color of your liking.

  • kacy27

    Found out from community developer that the park pergola top is made out of powder-coated aluminum. That makes good sense I think. I have found steel fabricators who say they can duplicate this with a plasma something-or-other saw. I still might go to mexico, though. If I find it, I'll post with same subject. Now to get passed the homeowner's association!

  • rosiew

    Kacy, asking you to write me so I'll have your contact info. I would like to know what sort of pricing you're getting, etc. Powder coating might be an expensive option. Haven't priced in several years but seemed exhorbitant when I did. Many questions - delighted at your perseverence - you're my kinda gal.

    From Sugar Hill to Sugarland,

  • beach_rose

    Better still, you can post anything you learn to this forum. You have clearly generated some interest.

  • kacy27

    I'm building the pergola now and will probably figure out the shadowing material after Christmas. I'll post what I finally do and hopefully have pictures. thanks everybody.

  • rosiew

    Kacy in Sugar Land,

    Bumping this - and hoping for an update from you on source/pricing/etc of the metal inserts!

    Rosie, in Sugar Hill, GA

  • bindersbee

    This post is so timely for me. I'm working on a project for a client and they want a copper-clad wall. I can't wait to go check out that artists' work. THANK YOU for posting this!

    Secondly, I am not my trust fund client so I have to find cheaper ways of doing things. One thing that stands out to me is how the squares look like decorative vent covers. There has to be some sort of pre-fab squares you could buy that would work- stuff made for another purpose but McGivered (remember that show?) for your pergola.

    Try Outwater Plastics. They have all sorts of interior and exterior elements. And not everything they have is plastic- they do all sorts of materials. The catalog is over 1,000 pages.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Outwater

  • kacy27

    hi yall. Sorry, I haven't checked in a few weeks. I built the 12x40 pergola and covered it temporarily with lattice. I am going to Laredo on the Texas/Mexico border next week I think and will see if I can get what i need there. There are many things they make down there that use this scrolly sheet metal and if I can get it inexpensively there, I'm in. I have spoken to a sheet metal fabricator here in Houston and he thinks he can do it too. I'll post as soon as it's up. Thanks for the link bindersbee. wish I was trustfunded too. =)

  • kacy27

    updating my slow progress: I did NOT go to Laredo as planned. Heard it's kind of dangerous right now. But I did get a bid from a steel company. around $75/4x12 panel without powdercoating. Waiting to get that powdercoat bid and then I think I'll take this route. If anything new transpires, i will post. thanks for your interest

  • kacy27

    Here's what we finally did. We took the photo image to a steel fabricator in town. He stretched it out on photoshop, created 4x8 ft sheets of thin steel and we nailed them up there. Ignoring the candelabra, you can see the sheets. They cast the patterned shadow just like we wanted. The stretching of the pattern creates a few more dark shadows but it's all good. They've already started a pretty rusty patina. Powder-coating proved a little pricey for this project. Total start to finish for a 12x40' pergola: about $1200. Thanks for everyone's help. Sorry about the delay getting back.

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • woodyoak zone 5 southern Ont., Canada

    Looking good....! I like the candelabra too. Is the pergola over a dining area? It would be nice to see a picture of the whole space....

  • rosiew

    Kacy - it's spectacular! Will you tell us how much shading this provides?

    Your travertine looks fab too. I have nearly finished my peacock slate floor - now to constructing the pergola.

    You quoted $1200 - is that for the structural members AND the iron roof?

    Love love love what you've done. The long wait was worth it, I'll bet. I'd love to have more details, such as thickness of the metal, please.

    Rosie in Sugar Hill, GA

  • kacy27

    rosie, the $1200 was for the materials and fabrication of the steel sheets. They ended up making them in sizes to fit the 2'x4' openings rather than large sheets to lay on top; we screwed them into the existing pergola. shade is good. the exposure is southwest. Steel is pretty thin, I want to say they called it 16 guage? Looks about 1/8 to 3/16 inches. If you need to know actual specs, let me know. I'll be happy to put you in touch directly with the guy who helped me out at Steel Supply in Houston.

  • rosiew

    I just keep coming back to visit your photos, Kacy. So wonderful.

    I would much appreciate specs and also how to contact your guy at Steel Supply. Both of these will help me talk intelligently with fabricators in the Atlanta area.

    Enjoy! And thanks again for the inspiration.

    Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

  • CK Semlani

    can you please send me the contact name and number for the steel supply house as we as the link is for a company in mexico. I want to get this done for our pergola as well. I am in Houston. Did you put a polycarbonate sheet on top to prevent the rain from coming in the pergola?

  • PRO
    Revolutionary Gardens

    There's actually a company called fifthroom.com that sells panels like this.

  • cksemlani
    I checked them out and they are $6000 for a 12x16. I see prices on this thread for $1200 for a 12x40. Any other contacts would be appreciated.

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