For a pair of Southern California homeowners, the perfect home did not start out that way. Purchased in 2013 in the heart of the Hollywood Hills, the Rancho-style home was originally built in 1925. The home’s original footprint consisted of three detached structures dedicated to different aspects of living: one building was for cooking, one for entertaining, and one for sleeping. Various owners changed the original layout over the years to merge the three spaces into one connected U-shape home. The U-shape created an ideal outdoor courtyard area that was eventually shaded with a pergola constructed out of non-preservative treated Douglas-fir.
By the time the current homeowners purchased the home, both the interior and exterior spaces needed serious renovation. Focusing initially on the interiors, the family spent a year completely renovating the space from top to bottom to modernize and improve it.
Starting in 2017, after the interior renovations were done, the homeowners turned their focus to the courtyard area and the large Douglas-fir pergola, which supported a pair of massive, 60-year old trumpet vines that formed a canopy over the courtyard. “Douglas-fir was the wrong wood to use, altogether,” said the homeowner. “It was highly weathered, there were significant structural concerns, and it had to be replaced.”
Preserving the trumpet vines was of utmost importance to the homeowners. They knew they needed a strong and durable, as well as natural, non-toxic material for their new pergola. After researching materials, the homeowners determined that redwood would be the best structural support for the tree-like trumpet vines and chose construction heart grade 3×12, 8×8 and 8×12 redwood timbers – some that were cut to lengths of 20 feet to custom-fit the space. This choice also allowed the family to use a natural and sustainable product, which was a very important consideration for them when renovating their outdoor space.
Because redwood is naturally resistant to decay and termites, the homeowners were confident that the redwood could be left unfinished and remain in good condition for decades; an important consideration for preserving the health of the trumpet vines for the future.
Before work on the new outdoor structure could begin, contractors had to build temporary scaffolding to suspend the trumpet vines over the space to give enough clearance for the installation crew to construct the new redwood pergola underneath.
Once the vines were safely moved to their temporary home, the construction team opened exterior walls to bolt the metal braces and timbers into place to form the pergola. Contractors also reinstalled the outdoor lighting that was hardwired into the home, replaced the columns that the pergola rested on, and repaired the exterior stucco where holes had been made for the brackets.
The family now has a classic home outfitted with stunning redwood timbers that reinforce the distinct Hollywood Hills style the homeowners wanted to achieve with natural and local products. They were able to preserve and better a unique piece of their home’s history and charm by using a naturally sustainable material to support the vintage trumpet vines for decades to come.
To learn more about redwood, one of nature’s most environmentally friendly, beautiful and strong building materials, and to find local redwood dealers, visit www.GetRedwood.com.