Decorative Arbor Designs and Plans


A unique circular garden arbor design with hemispherical curved top and circular side screens designed for Mark Cullen in Toronto.

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Decorative Arbor Designs For Mark Cullen

A stunning garden arbor design with hemispherical arched rafters and circular inserts on the side screen. Designed for Mark Cullen and installed in the King City Area.

We designed this curvy decorative garden arbor for training vines over as an accent in the side yard exposed to traffic.

These DIY Decorative Arbor Design and Plans are available at Lee Valley Tools. 

The Plans include all the dimensions, part descriptions, and step by step instructions.

A Garden Arbor with a Circular Rafter

Circular woodwork is classic. This garden arbor features circular rafters and an inset circular side trellis.

Its hard enough just building things square and level, but when you throw in circular parts, it takes it to a new level. We make it easy with our step by step plans though.

The mostly solid side screens will show off the vines as they grow over.

Using Sonotube Footings for an Arbor

We just don’t recommend sonotube footings for arbors. They just don’t have the mass to keep the concrete in the ground.

Though we did it in this instance at the customer’s request, it is something we just don’t do.

Our 2 part footing with the buried post can last more than 50 years if the post is epoxied.

This type of footing anchors the garden arbor and prevents heaving.

Just because the building department demands it–doesn’t make it right.

How do you Cut Curved Rafters for an Arbor?

Curved Rafters for an arbor can be cut from solid materials, laminated from solid materials or laminated from marine plywood.

It all depends on the size of the rafter whether you can get it out of a solid 2×10 or 2×12. You have to pay attention to the grain as well. You can do more with a furniture grade material, than what you can with standard framing materials.

The glue is important when you are laminating parts. Always use a waterproof epoxy for laminations.

We normally layout a template  (Included in Plans), which helps our builders get the curve right.

For repetitive parts, we will make a hard template out of masonite. This makes the layout as easy as tracing.

You can use a jigsaw or a bandsaw if you have access to one for cutting out the curved parts.

A belt sander or random orbital sander can be used to clean up the curves before painting.

Designer’s notes:

Sure, we started out building decks in Barrie, but that spread all over Toronto and Southern Ontario. Our expertise in larger projects gave us insights into structures for the garden that others just don’t have. Use our expertise to build better garden structures!

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