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How To Build A Free Standing Pergola

Cut And Fit The Top Joists

How to Build a Free Standing Pergola

Using the same cutting process in step 3 measure, cut and taper the top joists to fit your pergola. Thankfully you can just measure one and repeat the same cuts on each of them.

To get the top joist spacings correct begin by lining up the two end joists so the corer of the top joists lines up with the outer edge of the barer joist and the outer edge of the posts.

Fix the joist in place with a nail or pin (dont hit this in too far as it will need to come out soon.

Measure the inner gap between the two outer top joists. Divide this by 5 and mark a line at that point then another 50mm to the left of that point.

Line each joist up with the outer edge line you have just made and fix them in place with a pin or nail.

Make any adjustments until it looks how to you want it

To securely fix the top joists you will nee d 2 screws for each end of each joist. Get the 6mm drill bit and attach some duct tape or electrical tape 1cm from the end of the drill bit so there is just 1 cm showing.

Drill a 45 degree diagonal hole in to each side of each joist where you will need to insert a screw to attach the top joist to the barer joist.

In the holes you have just drilled screw in a 80mm screw to attach the top joists to the barer joists.

This method fixes the joists more securely and hides the heads of the screws for a nice finish. Its tempting to skip the shallow pilot holes but that little bit of extra effort will make for a much nicer result.

The Garden Party Backyard Idea

This patio pergola is a backyard option designed to jazz up your outdoor area. Its perfect for recreational use, though My Outdoor Plans cautions that youll need to judiciously place it, otherwise there could be negative landscaping consequences.

It makes sense to do your homework prior to beginning one of these woodworking projects- there are so many different styles available to choose from that many builders often decide to mix-and-match elements from different design plans.

The materials list helpfully includes all of the different items youll need to assemble this particular pergola, including wooden posts, support beams, carriage bolts, shading elements, screws, slats, braces, and footings. They cautioned that if your home is in a particularly windy area, you might need to embed the posts in concrete or even lock down the entire structure with braces.

What Can A Pergola Be Made Of

According to John Mifsud of Hipages-listed company AA1 Drafting, a pergola can be made from timber, metal or aluminium.

Timber pergolas have the advantage of being a natural product with a natural look, feel and texture which many homeowners seek. Hardwood or treated pine are most common though both require regular maintenance in order to protect it from the elements, says John.

Metal pergolas, such as those made from Colorbond, wont rust and can be constructed quickly if bought in kit form, says John. They can cover a wide area with less structural support required than timber.

Aluminium pergolas are lightweight and strong options that also wont rust. Powder coated aluminium comes in a greater range of colour options and offers greater protection, says John.

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The Plant Deck Hangers Build

The Lowes deck pergola with plant hangers is a heavily customizable option that has a modern appeal with its exposed bolts and cables. Its identified as an advanced skill level plan that takes one weekend to build and will cost under $500 in total.

Youll need to have a couple of tools handy including a circular or compound miter saw, drill and bit set, as well as some treated lumber. The image shows a pergola designed to fit a 12 x 14 deck but Lowes instructions help you to customize it to fit your property.

They advise woodworkers to contact a local utility company to ensure that when you dig the post footings that you dont intercept any buried lines and pipes.

Since youll be working with pressure-treated lumber, they also advise that you take some safety precautions including wearing a dust mask and goggles to avoid exposure to unhealthy chemicals. Indeed, this is a particularly professional and attractive looking option.

Pergola Attached To A House Plans

Free Standing Pergolas

These are plans for a pergola that will actually be attached to the backside of your house. It is meant to cover a patio space so it can be better enjoyed.

I love these pergolas because they are a classic touch to any home and add a lot of style. Not to mention, pergolas make a space that is often too hot to enjoy a most enjoyable space.

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The Simple Backyard Curved Plan

If you dont want to bother with complex pergola plans and you have only basic woodworking knowledge, this simple backyard pergola is just what you need. The builder uses Google Sketch software to design his wooden pergola shade, and he advises that you do the same. There is also a video of the building process for your convenience.

The White Picket Fence Plan

You might build this deck pergola to cover the entire deck or only a portion of it. In contrast to other pergolas, this one has a checkered wooden frame instead of boards. Moreover, some of the squares have lattice woodwork. Depending on the amount of sunlight you want, you can add a lattice to every square or only in the corners.

This Japanese-style pergola is suitable for people who have rich experience in woodworking. It features a roof with support beams with shade elements. You can space as wide as you want, depending on how much shade you need. You can make it from cedar, redwood or pine, which are perfect for a humid environment. For a fancier look, you can also build brick and stone walls around the perimeter.

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X 16 Attached Patio Cover

Are you thinking about adding patio cover that attaches to your house? We have plans for that. Enjoy outdoor get-togethers under this attached patio cover. Building this structure with Outdoor Accents® code-listed decorative hardware will give it beauty and long-lasting strength.;

This three-post trellis comes in handy for modest outdoor spaces. Its triangle shape fits nicely into the corner of a backyard and provides an attractive and physical gathering space.

The Weekend Project Plan

How to Building a Freestanding Pergola

This simple pergola is a DIY project that you can complete during the weekend with inexpensive materials. If you want something fancier, you can easily customize it with additional decorative details or paint afterward. There are instructions on how to dig the foundations properly, but you will need help to place the beam pieces correctly so dont start the project alone. You can see that it sits atop a floating deck- which really complements this look.

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Is It Cheaper To Buy Or Build A Pergola

This is only really a question if you are thinking of a wooden structure. For the modern Vinyl, fiberglass or even metal structures then buying a kit or custom design are the only options.

If you are comparing like for like in wood, then Homeadvisor suggests in most cases a kit will be cheaper than a DIY construction. It will certainly be quicker to construct and many of the headaches involved with a self-design will be avoided.

Obviously the compromise is in being constrained to the designs and sizes available to buy. If, however, you are comparing the costs of a DIY project to a custom pergola built by a pro then DIY can be significantly less. As the structure is relatively simple, there are many free plans available online that include, how to, sizes and quantities.

Simple 4 Step Diy Pergola

This pergola is a bit smaller than some of the others but it is still fabulous and there are only four steps to building it. This is great for putting over your patio furniture or you could set it over a small flower garden or even use it as an entry into your backyard. The possibilities are endless and you are going to love how simple this one is to build.

Plans: diynetwork

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The Attached Wall Shady Pergola Blueprint

For people who lack a large yawn or dont want to bother with complicated constructions, this pergola attached to the house might be just the thing. It has a roof that will provide plenty of shade for your and your plants during the hot summer days.

Again, offers you easy to follow plans how to construct this attached pergola.

The Extra Fancy Backyard Build

How To Build A Freestanding Pergola

Thanks to these pergola plans available from you can have a fancy pergola to enjoy in your yard. What distinguishes it from other garden pergolas is the attached seating area. It might seem difficult to build at first, but there are plenty of elaborated instructions on the building process so you shouldnt have a problem.

The most important thing you have to remember about this wooden pergola with a roof is that it needs a stable foundation.

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Add Value And Appearance

As mentioned earlier, the roof of your pergola can have a large effect on the curb appeal of the project. Whether your design incorporates a shed, gable, or hip rafters, the goal is to build a functional, strong structure you can be proud of. Taking your time, doing your research, and working safely are key to the quality and functionality of your new pergola.

How To Build A Pergola Roof

If you are interested in building your own pergola, the main design consideration is usually the roof. Pergolas have been around for centuries and go by many names. The words arbor, pergoda, and pavilion are often used interchangeably, depending on where you live.

Pergolas consist mostly of rafters, with posts and beams providing the support. These rafters often become the platform for climbing vines and flowers, creating a beautiful and relaxing environment. However, a pergola is generally considered to provide shade, not protection from the elements, so we wont be discussing shingles and flashing, but rather the various rafter designs and benefits.

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Simple Diy Miniature Pergola

If all you want is to simply add some décor to the outside of your home, this DIY miniature pergola is perfect. It will only take you a few hours to build and it really does add some elegance to your doorways. You can use this over sliding glass doors or French doors or make it shorter and use it over a traditionally sized door. This is a great one for adding some extra curb appeal and it will raise your property value, as well.

Plans: workbenchmagazine

Critical Requirements For Digging Pergola Footings

How To Install A Freestanding Fiberglass Pergola Kit

Minimum Diameter

Dig a hole twelve to twenty-four inches in diameter. The diameter will be determined by how large the footing or pier size is.

Use a clam shell digger and a pry bar to help loosen stubborn rocks or cut roots if required. Alternatively rent a two-man twelve inch gas powered auger.

Large 24″ diameter bell formed footings usually require a front or back end loader with a hydraulic auger to get the job done.; This is what was done for the job shown in this photo.


If you experience seasonal freezing temperatures, make sure you dig your holes about twelve inches deeper than the average frost depth.

This might mean 48″ or deeper depending on your climate.

This ensures that the pergola posts never heave and displace the structure unevenly. The hole in the photo shown here was 60″ deep.;;

Back fill holes or around forms

As soon as the hole is properly dug, set your post or the footing.; If you are just dropping a pergola post into the hole, back fill soil around it after having made sure it is plumb.

If you plan on having a cement footing under the post, you will need a day for the cement to set up before you can place the pergola post on top.;;But as soon as you have your post in place, back fill around it while plumbing it vertical.;

Lastly, if you are using forms for a concrete pier, be sure to back fill soil around the forms as soon as you have them set in place.;

cover the tube forms from rain or debris

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The Grand Arbor Pergola Design

This magnificent freestanding pergola with a canopy is ideal for large lawns or backyards. It serves two functions a shade for you and a place for your climbing plants to thrive. What distinguishes it from other pergolas out there is the retractable canopy that you can fold up easily when you dont need it.

To built this beautiful cedar pergola, you need a circular saw if you are using 1-1/2 thick lumber or 12miter saw for thicker wood.

Attach Lattice To Finish The Construction

Prime the columns, and then paint them with a good-quality exterior trim paint. Dont use paint on the rest of the DIY pergola; instead, roll and brush the wood portions with solid-color stain.

Cut and nail the 1×4 fascia strips flush to the top of the beams and in between each pair of tails. Next, screw the 5/4 lattice strips across the rafter tops, letting them project 3 in. past the fascia.;Evenly space them across each section. Add more if you’d like to increase the shade below.

Now cut the sub-base pieces from treated 2×4. Screw the corners together with 3-in. deck screws. If you havent already done so, fit the patio stones back against the footings and glue the subbase to the patio surface. Then screw the molded base to the sub-base and caulk the seams with acrylic caulk.

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Measure Your Soffits To Determine The Diy Pergola Column Centers

If pergola designs include building close to the house, first measure the projection of your eaves. Keep the center of the posts nearest the house at least 7 in. farther from the house than this measurement;to accurately position the column centers near but not too close to the house. Drive remote stakes an equal distance from the house, attaching a string to help mark and align the outer post locations.

To keep the posts in alignment, stake your post locations using remote stakes with a string. With the stakes driven beyond the work area, youll be able to undo the string while you dig and then reattach it later to check for alignment. To check for left-to-right placement parallel to the house, just measure the distance from one of the remote stakes and write this measurement on a notepad. To make sure the layout is square, adjust the diagonal measurements of the postholes so theyre equal.

Pour The Concrete For Posts

  • Step 1:; Now that your post is in the ground, you will need to place concrete around it to make it even stronger. For your pergola plans, a 40-pound bag of ready-mix should be enough for this project. You will need to mix 6 gallons of water with the concrete ready mix.
  • Note:; If you mix too much water, your concrete will be weakened, it will take longer to dry, and your pergola could have structural problems.; If you do not use enough water, the concrete will never form properly, creating another set of problems. So you need to get the mix right by following the instructions. The mix should generally have a peanut butter type consistency, to be ready for use.
  • Step 2:; Pour the concrete into the hole surrounding your post, and use a stick to push through air pockets in the concrete. This way, the concrete will settle properly.
  • Step 3:; Allow the concrete to settle over a minimum of 48 hours before you proceed with the project.

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Getting Started On How To Build A Pergola

Heres a summer project designed to keep you cooler on even the hottest of days. The classical columns support an overhead wooden lattice that works like a big shade tree, letting only a portion of the suns radiance shine through.

What looks like the toughest part of this pergola plans project is actually the easiestthe graceful, solid-looking columns. Theyre not wood at all but a hollow-core composite material with amazing structural strength and durability. Weve designed the pergola plans so you simply slip these columns over treated 4×4 posts embedded in concrete. When screwed to the wooden posts, these columns provide a stable, solid base for the overhead lattice framework.

These paintable precast columns are available by special order at home centers. They come in a wide variety of diameters and heights and architectural styles.

Pressure-treated dimensional 2x8s and 2x10s make up the majority of the upper framework, and the decorative end pieces are cut with a jigsaw from our pergola plans. The whole project can be built in a couple of weekends, with another weekend for staining and painting.

We built our pergola over an existing stone patio; that saved a lot of patio work. If youre planning to install a patio as part of your overall project, youll need to allow extra time.

Pick Size Of Pergola To Build

Pergolas can come in many sizes and shapes. Traditionally, you can find pergolas between 8 to 10 feet to cover a backyard space.

Size should be determined by the seating group you plan on setting up, and of course the available space you have to build a pergola.

Depending on what material of wood you decide on, you should be able to construct your pergola for between $500 and $750 because you are doing it yourself and cutting out the costs for labor.

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