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How Hard Is It To Build A Pergola

Where Can You Place A Pergola

How to Build a Pergola over a Patio

Everywhere actually! Most people think of a pergola when they think of a pergola placed in the garden or on a terrace… But a pergola also offers many possibilities on a balcony! Especially on a balcony, you are often limited by the rules of the landlord or owners’ association and a pergola gives many possibilities to arrange good sunprotection, without having to drill into walls or ceilings!In our blog post How to creat shadow on a balcony? we will give you more information about how to install a pergola, shade sail or blind / sunscreen on your balcony, without drilling holes!

Create And Attach Brackets

For our masonry block walls, we used Sleeve Anchors to attach the brackets. We drilled holes from the back of the brackets then lined up and leveled on the wall before marking the holes.

If you have wood trim, secure with 3-inch exterior wood screws.

Use washers to space the brackets off the wall to allow water runoff.

Wood Types For Pergola And Gazebo

  • Pressure Treated Wood budget choice for constructions with lower demands on appearance
  • Red Cedar and Redwood pricey alternative and naturally protected wood
  • Tropical Hardwood expensive and beautiful alternative but hard to source FSC certified wood
  • Modified Wood the best choice for optimal appearance, price and performance

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Install Wood Plugs In The Pergola Columns

Cut 5-1/2 in. round treated wood plugs to fit the inside of your columns. Glue and screw together a pair for each column top, then glue the plugs flush into the top of each column. Secure the plugs to the columns with 2-in. deck screws.

Note: Drive a screw into the top of each plug to use as a handle to position the plug.

What Type Of Wood Is Best For A Pergola

47 Pergola Patio Attached To House Railings

Generally Cedar and Redwood are considered the most attractive and best types of lumber to use for building a Pergola. Both species of wood are rot and insect resistant naturally, and have an inherent beauty in the wood.

However, if you wish to save money, we recommend using pressure-treated lumber . This lumber has a greenish color when new, which fades to grey as it ages. If you intend to stain or paint your pergola after it ages, pressure-treated lumber is a great cost-saving option.

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Vines May Be More Trouble Than Theyre Worth

Its easy to see a picture of a vine-covered pergola and think that it looks nice. From afar, it doesnt seem like too much work, right? But youd be surprised at the time and effort it takes to maintain a great looking pergola.

Sometimes, getting the vines to grow can be difficult. Once they do start growing, it can be hard to keep up with them. Plus, unless you choose an evergreen species, youll have to deal with a bunch of extra dead leaves when autumn comes. If you want a pergola simply for plant space or vines, be sure that you have the time and inclination to keep up with it.

How To Install Pergola Post Brackets

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For many people, installing a wood post into a hole with post-formulated quick-set concrete is the way to go. However, we recommend installing steel brackets for pergola posts for a couple of reasons. First, you arent wasting multiple feet of your expensive pergola post lumber by shoving it 4-6 into the ground, which gives you better height options for your pergola overall and/or a less expensive project. Second, installing steel brackets makes the actual installation of the pergola posts a much smoother and more accurate project. We highly recommend this method, although if youre bent on the post-in-concrete method, you can check that out here where we talk about installing deck footings.

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The Additional Pergola Plans Series

There are additional pergola plans that you can use, too, as well as the free pergola plans, all with free rafter tail templates. These plans were created as bespoke structures for people who asked for specific plans to create a pergola they really wanted in their garden.

Most can be made by adapting the principles used in the free pergola plans. Some of us, however, need a little more help with building these more unusual designs.

Each contain detailed building instructions for that particular style – simple diagrams and pictures – making DIY construction a breeze… and they all come with 18 free rafter tail templates.

Take a look at the stunning corner design, with it’s wonderful radiating rafters.

The attached lean-to pergola can be used on a patio wall, as a porch, carport or, more usually, a fantastic extension to the house.

People love the hexagonal plans. There are alternative ones that include a pitched roof, too. So many interesting possibilities!

What about the asian style structure with its beautiful curved rafters?

Make all sorts of different pergolas, arches or a heavenly arbour, using the arbour pergola plans.

And last but not least – fancy an arbour with an integral seat built in? There’s the beautifully romantic seated arbour with either straight or curved rafters.

“What a refreshing email to find you so helpful and forthcoming with assistance. There should be more people like you in the world.”

Debbie. Isle of Man, United Kingdom.

Essential Diy Pergola Finishing Touches Installing The Bottle Opener

DIY Overview: A Pergola on Concrete Patio in 3 Days. Itâs Possible!

The final step to the perfect pergola, and one often overlooked by the novice, is to install a durable, good-looking bottle opener on one of the posts, preferably at a height and location that doesnt require leaving ones chair to use. After that, its just a matter of moving the patio furniture and grill under the freshly-screwed joists , and kicking back in your home-made shade with a fat, juicy burger and an ice-cold beer.

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How To Build A Pergola Adding The End Beams

We will add the first layer of beams, the outer beams . We will sandwich the 6 x 6 with two 2 x 12 beams. We know we want the overall height of our pergola to be at about 10 feet so we need to have the bottom of our 2 x 12 at 9 feet. Mark each post on both sides at 9 feet. The easiest way to attach the 2 x 12s is to place a scrap piece of wood at the 9 foot mark and either hammer it in or hold it with a vise. I suggest hammering it in. This piece of scrap wood will give you a brace to support the beam while you attach it to the 6 x 6. Dont forget to measure to make sure your 2 x 12 is centered.

Once the 2 x 12 is in place drill through the beam and post with a paddle bit and attach the beams to the post with a lag bolt, washer and nut.

After all four beams are attached to the 6 x 6s trim any of the 6 x 6 above the 2 x 12s off with your reciprocating saw.

Cost Of Building A Pergola

There is no disputing that pergolas are beautiful and practical additions to outdoor space. If you are planning on building one you need to know the various materials that you can use and the costs involved. The cost of building will depend on non materials used, the size of the pergola and if DIY or hire a professional.

The average cost of building a custom pergola through DIY comes to about $3000. If you choose to hire a professional to do it, the cost can go up to $3500 for a pergola of about 10 foot x10 foot

Here is the breakdown of materials that can be used to build a pergola, their cost and cost of labor where a professional contractor is involved. Please note that the price estimates are based on a pergola size of the 10x 1l0 foot.


You can choose to enhance you pergola further by either painting or staining.

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Maintenance And Repairs For Pergolas

A pergola does not require too many repairs or costly maintenance routine. In fact, maintaining your pergola is easy and is something you can do effortlessly without taking too much of your time.

Here is all that you need to do to maintain your pergola in good shape:

  • Reseal once a year or every two years
  • If you have painted your pergola, clean regularly according to the manufacturerâs instructions
  • Keep checking the fasteners from time to time to make sure they are still tight and in place
  • To keep the vinyl pergolas clean, wash with water and soap
  • When cleaning the wooden pergolas with a power washer use low settings to avoid causing damages to the wood


Chipsâ sometimes the wooden pergolas can chip with time. If this happens, you can use wood putty to repair the areas that are chipping. If the wood is painted, you can sand it and then repaint over.

Sagging and rottingâ this is common with wood pergolas. The beam and rafters may rot or sag as they age. If this happens, inspect to see which beams or rafters are sagging or rotting and remove them. Replace them with new ones.

Leaning over timeâ if this happens, pull the pergola using ropes and stakes and level it back. Alternatively, you can dig around the base of postholes and attach braces around the perimeter to secure the posts firmly, on top and bottom. However, if the posts seem weak and the leaning is extensive, you can call a professional to repair to avoid the risk of the pergola collapsing on you.

Free Pergola Planner Software

How to build a pergola on a patio

If youre feeling creative take our free Pergola Planner Software for a spin. Pergola Planner, released as a companion to our Deck Planner Software, is an easy to use pergola design program. Pergola Planner allows homeowners to upload an image of their house or backyard so they can see what the finished pergola could look like. Watch the Pergola Planner tutorial for a quick introduction to the software. Design your dream backyard today!

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Red Pergola With Ivy From Anna White

An awesome DIY pergola ideas with a decorative look which will bring the style of your outdoor space to a whole new level. The pergola is finished in redwood look and combined with the white lattice accent and greeneries.

For sure, the design of this pergola is so inspiring to copy when you want to add another focal point in your backyard.

Cost Of A Diy Pergola

A DIY pergola is always the most cost-effective method, as hiring a contractor and labor costs are not a factor.

There are many different ways to construct a DIY pergola the most straightforward route would be to purchase a kit from a reputable manufacturer however, this is often more expensive than building from scratch.

If you are handy, you could always get the tools needed and start from scratch. In this section, Ill go over a few different ways to take the DIY approach to build a pergola.

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How To Build A Pergola Adding Cross Beams

Next decide if you want to put an angle on these beams or leave them flat, we added a 45 degree angle. You can either cut this with a miter saw or use a carpenter square to draw a 45 degree angle and cut it with a skill saw. If you want something a little more ornate then you can use your jig saw to cut the pattern.

Once your 2 x 12s are cut out and your 2 x 6s are cut, place the 2 x 6 in the cut out hole of the 2 x 12. It may take some adjusting, a little extra cutting of the slot and some hammering to get the 2 x 6 in place. Once it is in, nail or screw it in. Repeat this with all the 2 x 6s.

Western Red Cedar And Redwood

How to Build a Pergola | Mitre 10 Easy As DIY

Western Red Cedar and Redwood are the two most commonly used woods for pergolas, aside from pressure-treated wood.

Western Red Cedar and Redwood are both naturally stunning woods and often lumped together. However, there are a few key differences between the two. First off, despite having red in both names, Redwood has the darker red-brown hue while WRC is more on the yellow side. Secondly, Redwood can be found with a larger grade variety and its grain tends to be more on the subtle side compared to the more rustic and pronounced grain of clear WRC.

Both species are naturally rot- and insect-resistant, so you dont have to worry about harmful chemicals. Plus theyre both rather durable woods, Redwood being only slightly stronger than WRC. However, depending on where you are located, you may find these to be rather expensive options with limited availability, which can be very frustrating.

If youre wanting a more rustic and natural looking pergola, Western Red Cedar and Redwood are both good options. Just be sure to check local pricing and availability before you commit to this type of wood for your pergola.

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Preparing And Measuring Your Space

  • 1Research zoning laws in your area. States and towns have zoning laws that restrict certain kinds of construction. Call your local building commission or zoning department to make sure that you can build a pergola on your property. You can also find zoning ordinances on your local towns website.XResearch source
  • In some cases youll have to get a permit before you can start building.
  • If you’re in an urban area, you’ll have to consider the “setbacks” set by the cities.XExpert Source
  • Let’s Review Your Traditional Footing Options

    1. Post set in hole on flat concrete footing. Back filled with soil or cement.

    2. Post set in hole with pyramid concrete footing. Back filled with soil or cement.

    3. Flat footing with concrete pier and concealed post base.

    4. Flat footing with concrete pier and common post base.

    5. Bell form footing with concrete pier and concealed post base.

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    Installing A Clear Pergola Roof Was The Best Decision Ever It Has Turned Our Side Yard Is A Three Season Patio That We Can Enjoy In Any Weather

    We love our new patio pergola, but the only thing that could make it better was installing a clear pergola roof. Now even if it decides to rain for an entire month , we can still enjoy gatherings on the patio.

    Adding a roof to a pergola seems like a big deal, but we partnered with the Home Depot to make it easy! Now we cannot wait for another storm so we can test out our new clear pergola roof.

    This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    After installing the SunTuf corrugated roofing on the kids outdoor playhouse, I knew I wanted to use it again. It looks so nice and is absolutely DIY friendly.

    But my favorite part is that it lets the light in but blocks out the UV rays. Blocking UV rays on the patio means all our patio furniture will last longer. No more fading and sun bleaching! And we can enjoy the patio even if the weather decides to rain out another of our parties!

    The biggest decision we had was whether to use the same Solar Gray color on the patio as we had on the playhouse roof. I love that the playhouse has the extra shading so the kids can play in it all summer long and it stays a bit cooler.

    Originally I had planned on using the shading color for the patio pergola too. Then I realized the patio is completely shaded by the house in the late afternoon on and our neighbors trees block most of the direct sun in the morning, so we would only have direct sun for a small portion of the day.

    The Free Pergola Plans

    How to Build a Wood Pergola

    The free pergola plans are intended to show beginners how to build a pergola – from getting ideas, finding tools and materials, and last, but not least, easy step by step construction, creating a low cost, beautiful, free-standing wooden garden feature to enjoy for many years to come.

    Building one of these wonderful structures can be very satisfying, as well as great fun, and you definitely won’t need an engineering degree to understand them!

    “Thank you for the free pergola plans – your site is a wealth of useful information that I am looking forward to enjoying!”


    Need really simple pergola plans, with very little cutting and notching? There are two styles to choose from. Both can be built very quickly – maybe even in an afternoon!

    Imagine how proud you’ll feel when you show everyone your creation… and imagine your sense of achievement when you see your arbour clothed in wonderful, fragrant climbing plants!

    “We are very impressed by your free pergola plans and have been motivated to build our own. We are impressed at your magnanimity in making such accurate plans freely available for everyone. We like the idea of the corner design which would really suit our garden needs and were wondering when plans for this might be available for sale. Many thanks.”

    GerryN Somerset, United Kingdom.

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    How To Build A Diy Pergola

    There are a few different ways to build a pergola. A couple of the most popular is building from a kit, gathering the materials needed, and building the entire structure from scratch.

    A pergola is a somewhat simple structure however, it is essential to note that it is a very labor-intensive process. Lets start with the basics.

    A basic pergola is usually 8 feet by 16 feet, and you build the support structure using six posts. The top of the pergola usually consists of 1-by-3s, which is great for hanging decorations or plants.

    One of the most challenging parts of building a pergola is digging the holes for the support posts from my experience. Although you can do this manually, it is very labor-intensive.

    Therefore, I recommend using an earth auger to make the process easier and less time-consuming. However, if the soil is soft, it may be more effective to dig the holes manually. It really depends on the condition of your soil at the time youll be digging.

    Finally, I would recommend checking with your local municipality, as building a pergola may require a permit, especially in densely populated residential areas.

    In the past, I had to apply for an outdoor detached accessory structure permit however, you should consult your local code office, as these regulations may differ by area.


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