Is It Difficult To Build A Wood Pergola Yourself
If you have reasonable carpentry skills, and a friend that is as capable (or more capable than you to help you out, theres no reason you cant build your own DIY wood pergola. Be careful not to make it too complicated.
There are a ton of DIY pergola plans out there that you can build yourself, which can be a little overwhelming.
How To Build A Pergola On A Concrete Patio In Two Days
Building a pergola is a quick way to add a touch of class to your outdoor space, and it’s certainly something a homeowner can tackle by him or herself, and can even finish in a couple of days if sufficiently motivated. Additionally, for those who aren’t very experienced in building things with wood, this is a good starter project to develop skills that will readily transfer to other projects.
I’ll note right away that I was able to build this pergola in two days however, I’ve done this sort of thing a few times now, and I have a lot of power tools that make the job easier. If your skills aren’t high and/or you have a limited tool set, it will take longer. Don’t despair though – this still makes a great fair-weather weekend project that can be built over a couple weeks.
In the steps that follow, I link to videos I made for the build. The links go directly to the timestamp in the video pertaining to that particular step, so don’t think I’m just spamming the same video over and over You can also watch the in-depth videos in this playlist. My intent for this Instructable, with the videos to complement, is to be the most comprehensive tutorial online for building a pergola.
Here Is How To Install A Footing And Start Building A Pergola The Same Day
The beauty of installing pergola footings this way is that you can literally have the footings and posts in place in as little as 30 to 45 minutes if your locations are already set. Best of all is you can start building the pergola right away.
You can see from the illustration that this footing assembly is ready to be installed into the ground. The auger will turn freely and the load plate will stay still as you drive the auger into the ground.
Wear work gloves and hold the auger vertically with one hand while the other hand holds the impact wrench. The wrench will not exert any continuous torque so it will be very easy to manage. Just let the tool and the auger do the work.
drive the auger down into the soil
Drive the auger into the ground until the load plate makes good solid contact with the stone dust soil and the upper surface of the plate contacts the nut above it.
You will feel the auger continue to try and pull into the ground. Once you feel that tension in the auger stop driving it down.
Do not continue driving the auger or you may just churn up the soil around the helical blade. During the next step, the load plate will be set into place.
compress the footing load plate against the soil
Using a socket or a wrench, tighten the upper nut against the load plate so the plate is compressed against the soil and so the underside of the footing load plate makes contact with the stop washer welded to the auger.
Attach 6×6 post saddle to footing
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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.
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Prepare The Crossbeams And Rafters
- While the concrete is curing, you can prepare the 2- x 6-inch crossbeams and rafters.
- The crossbeams carry the load of the pergola. You will need two beams on each side.
- Optional: Cut a decorative angle on the ends of the rafters. To make simple decorative ends, cut 45-degree angle on the bottom corner at each end of the rafters.
Tip: Buy the beams and rafters precut to the size you need. This will save you time when it comes to installation. Your local The Home Depot will cut lumber to the size you need.
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Install The Support Beams
The support beams are the next thing you should focus on when you are figuring out how to make a pergola.
2 x 8 beams are the best option when it comes to your pergola plans. You can also opt to leave the beams as they are, or you can use a jigsaw to cut or scallop out rounded edges, for a little more design. See our photos for example.
- Step 1: Pre-drill holes into the Beam ends.
- Step 2: Tack a temporary nail through the beam at each end. This will keep your beams in place while installing the carriage bolts.
- Step 3: Using a level, keep your work perfectly level.
- Step 4: Install the 9 carriage bolts that are at least 9 inches in length and secure with lock washers and lock nuts
- Step 5: After you have one support beam, mirror another beam parallel on the other side of the pergola
Build A Patio Pergola Attached To The House To Extend Your Living Space To The Yard A Diy Pergola Creates A Room Outside For Entertaining And Gathering
See how we built our patio pergola to help define the perfect gathering space for our family. We partnered with the Home Depot to turn our long side patio into a oasis on a budget.
A pergola attached to the house was the perfect solution to create an outdoor dining and kitchen area. Todays post shares the DIY pergola build.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
We wanted to share our patio pergola project in September. We bought the wood, made the plans, then the rains came! Oh my goodness, it rained and it rained and it rained! I dont ever remember that much rain in September.
The first month of fall is usually so nice. Not too hot, but still almost like summer. I think because I really wanted to build a big project outside, this year it decided to rain instead.
We managed to sneak in an evening of building and installed all the posts before it was too dark, but then when we had another day to build, it was raining again.
I am pretty sure our neighbors thought we were crazy. All we had were three half-painted posts coming out of our patio for weeks.
Thankfully, the first day of October, the rain stopped. It was cold, but I would much rather build in the cold than the heat so we got to work.
With the help of my father-in-law, we were able to get almost the entire 20 x 11 patio pergola built in 6 hours of work. Then another day of finishing up and painting and the DIY pergola is done!
Preparing And Measuring Your Space
Install Braces And Trim
To this point, you almost have your pergola plans completed. There are just a few more things to do with your free standing pergola plans. Braces and trim are next. When it comes to braces, you will need to stay with the same wood that you used for the support beams and cross beams.
For example, if you used 2 by 6 lumber, then use the same 2 by 6 wood for your diagonal sided braces. Cut them, by using a chop saw, at 45 degrees. Cut 8 diagonal braces to fit in between the cross beams and support beams around the posts. Fasten with screws, and you will really be on your way to finishing up your pergola.
When it comes to trim, cut pieces that cover the outsides of each post. Make sure the length and width are measured accurately for the best outcome. Most pergola plans will ask you to notch your trim effectively so it will fit sandwiched between your support beams.
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How Do You Secure/anchor A Pergola To The Ground
A pergola is a wooden structure generally used in gardens used for shade and decoration. Use vines over a pergola, or tie lattice to the top for a sunny area for outdoor enjoyment. Pergolas strength is dependent on how well its posts are attached to the soil. They can be built on a base of plastic, metal or concrete.
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What is a Pergola?
Lets first see what type of pergola needs to be built and what sort of purpose the pergola should serve.
A pergola is a lovely add-on to a yard and building one yourself can help save you thousands and you may get it done in a couple of weekends. A pergola or a patio umbrella might also be effective choices.
A gazebo not only increases the aesthetic appeal of your outdoors but in addition provides a room to relax and chat in your exteriors.
It is usually built in the shape of an octagon, but with the help of proper hexagonal gazebo plans you can build a distinctive gazebos with six sides.
If youre planning a pergola attached to your home, then it will give a lovely effect as people walk towards your property.
You can create a pergola on a slope, but it is going to require that you use various lengths of wood for the support beams. A pergola can be constructed in a weekend with a few people helping. A pergola is a gorgeous addition which you can make to your garden.
If youre thinking about building a wooden pergola, there are lots of alternatives to select from, including teak, redwood, and pine.
Well, the very first issue is that it must be a well shaded pergola. If youve got an attached pergola by means of your garden, then it can add a substantial quantity of shade if your garden receives lots of sunlight.
Begin with a general outdoor living program, then construct your space in stages as your budget and time allows.
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Cut Posts With A Jigsaw
Transfer your mark completely around the post using a combination square thats set from the bottom of the post. Cut the post with a 10-teeth-per-inch wood blade in your jigsaw. Youll need a fresh blade for every post you cut. We found the jigsaw a lot safer, quieter and less dusty than a circular saw. This composite polymer is only about 1/2 in. thick but pretty hard, so expect to eat up a new blade on each column.
Note: To make cutting the columns easier, lay them on sandbags or mulch bags to keep them from rolling or vibrating as you cut.
*** Thanksgiving Recipes ***
These roasted brussels sprouts get a fair amount of spice from the crushed red pepper flakes, which cuts
We love how the cinnamon-scented streusel topping lets the juicy berries peek through.
Poach quince in rosé with a dash of cocktail bitters and a few warm spices, then assemble into a tart
Alton Browns turkey brine recipe from Good Eats will give you a flavorful Thanksgiving turkey with juicy
Bone-in turkey breasts are easy to find, and as impressive as a whole bird when you roast them in butter
Leave the sausage, nuts, dried fruit behind in favor of this easy, vegetarian-friendly stuffing recipe
After trying every turkey-roasting method under the sun, Ive finally settled on this as absolutely the
Italian sausage and a heap of Parmesan cheese lend signature flair to the easy Thanksgiving dressing
Its all about the layers and ruffles in this dramatic seasonal pie.
This recipe was handed down by my great-grandmother. It is a family favorite that we make every Thanksgiving.
Cutting leeks into large pieces gives them a presence equal
This crunchy crumble is the perfect topping for an ice cream sundae, easy apple crumble, or our Build-Your-Own
I adapted this from a 50-year-old peach crisp recipe. Although it works well with peaches, it works even better with fresh, crisp cooking apples.
A simple dessert thats great served with ice cream.
It takes a little work, but it is worth it.
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Essential Diy Pergola Finishing Touches Installing The Bottle Opener
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.
Laying Out The Post Bases
The first step in building the pergola is to lay out the locations of the post bases. This is one step where a bit of attention to detail can save you headaches down the road, so take your time to lay things out correctly.
Start by establishing a chalk line for one of the edges of your posts. I chose the front edge for convenience and because prior measurements showed that the concrete slab didn’t have entirely square sides. This line will be the basis for your measurements from here on in.
Next, pick one side to start marking a line perpendicular to your first line. The easiest way to do this is with a couple of tape measures and establish a 3-4-5 right triangle. The 3- and 4-length sides will be the two perpendicular lines, and the 5-length is the diagonal distance between them. Thanks to geometry, we know that this forms a perfectly square corner.
Pick a point on your first line to be the Outer Corner of the post, measure 3 feet away from it, and place Mark #1. Next, take your second tape measure and extend it to show the 4-foot mark, and put the leading end of it on the Outer Corner mark. Use the other tape measure, extended to show 5 feet, and put the leading end on Mark #1. Where the 4-foot and 5-foot marks intersect, place Mark #2.
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Choosing A Site And Design
The patio is concrete, 12 X 24, and in very good condition . After looking at some pergola pics online for inspiration, we came up with a simple design, and after pricing materials, we decided on roof dimensions of 12 X 16. We went with a free-standing design, which, in addition to looking good, requires no permit, since it isnt attached to the house. Building codes vary widely, so check with your local inspector.
While my daughter rinsed the scuzz off the patio, my son-in-law and I went to the local home center, and managed to get everything onto my truck in one trip.
Prescriptions For A Perfect Pergola
Building a custom pergola, gazebo or patio cover is one of the best ways to enhance an outdoor living space. Beginning your project with a few simple construction tips in mind and the right hardware on hand can go a long way toward making your job easier, and toward creating a pergola thats both structurally sound and stylish. Here are four tips on how to build your perfect pergola or other backyard structure.
1. Anchor with Accuracy
Securely anchoring your wood post bases into the concrete slab is the first step toward building a safe pergola. Unlike cast-in-place anchors, which are placed in wet concrete and thus difficult to adjust once the substrate has set, anchor bolts allow for more accurate placement. You can measure, mark and adjust where the anchors will be set on the surface of the finished slab, ensuring a square footprint.
2. Do Away with Dust
A quick tip for making sure your adhesive is properly mixed: squirt some onto a piece of scrap cardboard until you see an even, consistent color. Then its ready for use.
3. Stay Square, Pursue Plumb
While using anchor bolts instead of cast-in-place anchors helps you achieve greater placement accuracy, our Outdoor Accents® adjustable post bases offer an additional level of precision. The innovative slotted hole in the bottom of the base allows you to move the piece around and adjust it into position.
4. Brace for Success
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Building A Pergola How It All Comes Together
A pergola is made up of 4 distinct parts: posts, header boards, purlins , and the top stringer boards. The number of purlins and top stringer boards will depend on how large of a structure you build, and how much shade you would like it to have.
Starting with our material list, we always cut out all of the pieces first From there, we move on to assembly. It makes the process go smooth, and allows for better and faster assembly if the parts are all cut first.
We use only 6 x 6 treated posts for strength and durability. Be sure to select the straightest posts in the pile at the lumber yard. It goes a long way in making the pergola easy to level and assemble.
The header boards are the double set of boards that attach to each side of the post. We secure ours with 10 bolts at each post. It takes a total of 8 bolts to attach all 4 header boards. With a basic jigsaw, decorative cuts can easily be cut into the ends.
We always use 2 x 8 or 2 x 10 boards for the header boards. They add strength and a beefy look to the finished pergola. You need a total of 4 header boards for a four post pergola.
The purlins are the main crossing boards of a pergola. We use 2 x 6 lumber for the purlins. This makes a huge difference! Many store-bought kits or commercial units skimp and use smaller boards. But 2 x 6 boards add big strength to the piece.
Putting It All Together