Keep it simple with a basic design, but make it elegant by using classic proportions
by Kim Katwijk
There's a saying in the remodeling industry that the best customer is the one you already have, meaning someone who calls you back for multiple jobs. Few people buy more than one deck, but another way to capitalize on that principle is to build accessories like pergolas, trellises, privacy screens, arbors, and accents.
They make great up-sells and can add to your bottom line. Plus, they have multiple selling points they can define an outdoor room or an entry, screen an unpleasant view (or frame a pleasant one), set an ethnic tone (such as Japanese or Tuscan), picture-frame a bench, provide a structure on which to hang a swing, support climbing plants, give height to the deck, or just plain add fun to a deck design.
Presenting a client with two or three reasons for having one of these structures verbally paints a picture of the benefits and eases the sale: "This deck faces west and will be hot in the afternoon. A shade structure would let you use the deck more often and set your deck apart," or "Your neighbor's deck is pretty close. A privacy screen would look good and give you some separation." Once the purpose shade, privacy, looks has been decided, the design of the project begins.
I believe in the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) principle when it comes to designing pergolas and arbors.
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