The pergola took precedence over the shed, as our house is very small, especially when compared with the behemoth in New Jersey.
We downgraded from three bedrooms, two living rooms, a dining room, a cavernous kitchen, a sun room, a laundry room and two baths with a jacuzzi to one living room, a kitchen, one bath and one and a half bedrooms (you would have to see it to understand what I mean…)
The weather here is ideal for eight months of the year to relax outside. Beside the awesome view and clear blue skies – no more clouds until next summer – there is a constant desert breeze. We have two months of winter where I actually have to wear long sleeve shirts outside; and we have two months of brutal heat.
The pergola serves as a wonderful living area, a nice place to sit and chill. The WiFi reaches out here, and Monsoon rains have given new life to the grass in the back yard. Our lawn is an annual death and resurrection story. The peach-faced love birds populate the desert willows behind the house, and I just saw a yellow-throated Vireo who was too elusive for a photo-op.
We will likely have to invest in a patio heater for the winter when the temps might dip to the 50’s in the evenings. The misting system and a swamp cooler will extend our outdoor season through all but the hottest summer days. The end result is more than worth the two weekends of 100° + degree temperatures where my clothes were saturated as if I had taken a dip in a swimming pool when Mike and I were building this thing. Now I can sit back, light up a cheap cigar and enjoy an ice cold Pabst Blue Ribbon, as I chill out before my afternoon nap, before heading into work tonight.