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How To Build An Easy Pergola

Enjoy Your New Structure And Shade

How to Build a Pergola | Mitre 10 Easy As DIY

As you can see by these photos, I went with a very rustic and simple design for my pergola. A lot of designs you may find have fancy cuts and more lumber than is needed but I think that this style goes well with my house.

Here are some side by side shots of my google SketchUp renderings and the finished product. My family and I are very happy with our pergola and it was the first of many backyard projects.

Hopefully this will help you with some ideas of designing and building some stylish shade for your yard.

THANK YOU for making it to the end!


A Pergola Can Be A Great Addition To Your Outdoor Space That Can Provide A Versatile Sheltered Area Although They Are Available Ready

Installing a timber pergola in your garden is a great way to introduce a focal point which will make your outdoor space instantly more appealing and welcoming. Usually freestanding, pergolas are made up of upright posts which support a roof grid of beams or rafters. But how difficult is it to build a pergola yourself? Our easy-to-follow steps will help a novice DIY-er create a simple structure in a weekend.

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.

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Diy Attached Pergola With Shade

This DIY pergola not only attaches to your house for easy building, it offers you some shade. You can put this right there on the side of your house, or at the back door, and use it for your patio set. It has a roof so you are protected from too much sunlight and you can even sit outdoors in the summer during mild rains without worries of getting wet.


Plans: myoutdoorplans

Stix Hollow Timber Posts

Cool idea to build a simple pergola over a small firepit + sitting area ...

Forget about searching the lumberyard for the straightest wood beams, figuring out how to transport them safely, and struggling to move them at every step of the building process.

The STIX Hollow Timber Posts in your LINX Pergola Kit are engineered, structural timber made from kiln-dried wood that offers limited twisting, warping, and splitting. And theyre two-thirds lighter than standard green lumber, so your back will thank you!

STIX Timber Hollow Post

TIP: The STIX hollow core is ideal for concealing electrical wire or cords. Upgrade your pergola by running electricity for lights so you can light up the night! Whether youre a fan of the retro Edison bulb, modern LED with color-changing options, or strings of festive lanterns, STIX let you run electricity to power the glow and ambiance you wantwithout any dangling cords.


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Diy Rustic Branch Pergola

You dont really even need to go out and spend money buying wood to build your own DIY pergola. You can use branches from trees that are right there in your yard. This lovely DIY pergola has a gorgeous rustic look. I love rustic DIY projects that have a farmhouse look and feel and this is definitely one of those. And, it is so easy to build.

Plans: motherearthnews

Join The Top Supports And The 45 Degree Boards

Are you still with me? Lets be honest, I would have skimmed all that if it were me. Or maybe I would slam my laptop closed and run way screaming Math! Noooooooo!

This step is best accomplished with three people. Or two very determined people I guess. We had to hold the 45 in place while also holding the top 2x4s and setting them in place. We set them with screws, then went back after everything was attached and bolted them in.


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Incorporate Seating Into Your Cheap Pergola Design

Include seating with your pergola design )

Many affordable off-the-shelf options include seating in their design, which is obviously much trickier to do if you are working on a DIY pergola project. However, incorporating seating into the structure can be more affordable than splashing out on separate garden benches too.

‘A ready-made pergola means no need for any heavy duty landscaping, but will still have a big impact on the overall space,’ says Wayfair’s resident style advisor Nadia McCowan Hill. ‘A simple wooden structure can be styled into a contemporary space to relax and entertain that includes seating.’

Diy Pergola With Louver By Hgtv

DIY: Easy to assemble mini pergola.

A beautiful DIY pergola ideas with louver roof panel which will shade your patio gorgeously. Here, the roof is actually adjustable so you can adjust the amount of sunlight for your patio.


It can be a good reference for you who have a small pergola or deck since the size of the pergola is not too big.

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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.

How To Build A Pergola Finishing Up

If you are painting your pergola you can fill in any holes from your recessed boards with a little wood putty. Otherwise paint, sand or leave the wood as is.


Also always protect your outside wood with paint or a sealer.

Now break out the steaks, invite your friends over and enjoy your new pergola! See learning how to build a pergola isnt so hard.

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Must Have Pergola Design Details:

  • Build with Cedar Wood
  • Cedar is a very durable and strong wood. We live in Colorado, where the sun is very strong and the humidity is low, so we needed a wood that can withstand the harsh elements here.
  • It is also naturally rot and insect resistant, so it is not typically treated with harmful chemicals like some other wood species. Finding a non-toxic material was important to us!
  • I also love how Cedar looks when it naturally ages. Cedar wood starts out with a red-yellow tone and turns to a beautiful silvery-gray as it patinas.
  • The other wood option that we considered was Redwood. It is very similar to Cedar but has a darker red-brown tone, and the wood grain tends to be more subtle and less rustic. We choose Cedar because we liked the lighter color and how turns gray when it ages.
  • Use 6×6 Beams for the Main Posts
  • While 4×4 beams are more readily available, it was important to me to use 6×6 beams. Because the overall size and scale of this pergola was going to feel big, I didnt want the scale of the posts to feel too small and flimsy. The scale of the 6×6 beams feels much more custom and in proportion to the rest of the pergola.
  • Use One Large Header vs. Two Thinner Boards
  • I saw a few pergola images where they used two thinner boards along the top header instead of one thicker board. Again, I feel the thicker board feels more custom and in proportion to the rest of the structure.
  • Simple and Clean Design
  • Narrow Spacing Between the Top Boards
  • Gazebos And Carports Vs Pergolas

    36+ Gorgeous Simple Backyard Ideas On Your Budget

    A related outdoor wooden structure is the gazebo. But gazebos always have a closed roof, which is not true of pergolas. Many gazebos are further distinguished from pergolas by having:

    • A rounded shape

    A “carport” is a structure defined more by its purpose than by how it is made. Carports are used to shelter one’s automobile at home in lieu of the more expensive option: a garage. The basic carport is a roof supported by posts. But we have seen more elaborate carports that are essentially pergolas co-opted for car storage.


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    How To Build A Pergola: 11 Steps To Pergola Success

    Learn how to build a pergola using our DIY guide and get your pergola up in no time at all

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    Knowing how to build a pergola is a highly rated DIY job for summer. And what better time to build yours than when warm weather is here? As is a little drizzle from time to time…

    A pergola will add structure and more interest to your outdoor space, whether you have a small decking area or are looking to zone a large patio space. Plus, it will create shelter and a little shade for when you need it, making al fresco dining or lounging all the more enjoyable.

    Follow our practical step-by-step guide to build yourself a pergola and enjoy more outdoors, in comfort and style. When you’re done, you can cover yours in evergreen vines, roses and whatever kind of climbing foliage you’d like to simply add a little more personality to your space.

    Cute Mini Diy Garage Pergola

    If you dont necessarily want a regular sized pergola in the yard but you do love the look of these structures, consider this DIY mini pergola that fits right over your garage door. This is a great way to improve your curb appeal and it will instantly increase the value of your home. Its a really simple one to build you can have it finished in just one day and it adds such beauty to the outside of your home.

    Plans: thisoldhouse

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    Easy Diy Pergola With Tables

    This easy to build pergola has tables built right in! This one is perfect for your outdoor entertaining and it is really simple to build. You dont even need that much wood! You can have this one finished in less than a weekend and then just sit back and enjoy the beauty that you have created. And, did I mention that it has tables built in? You create the tables while you are building the pergola its all in the same plan.

    Plans: instructables

    Diy Pergola With Build In Seating

    How To Build A Pergola (EASY!)

    Imaging having your own pergola that offers seating for all of your guests. This DIY pergola has beautiful built in seating and it is much easier to build than you may think. The design of this one is absolutely stunning and it seats so many people! If you tend to entertain a lot during the summer, then this is definitely the DIY pergola that you want to check out. This is a wonderful way to add some DIY decorative benches to your garden this spring.

    Plans: ana-white

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    Learn How To Build A Pergola To Dress Up A Patio Or Outdoor Room This Airy Yet Sturdy Structure Is A Terrific Way To Finish Off A Concrete Slab And Makes A Wonderful Diy Base For Climbing Plants

    Caitlin is the senior digital home editor at Better Homes & Gardens, where she covers all things home, including decorating and interior design, cleaning and organization, paint and color, home improvement, and more. She is a writer and editor with nearly a decade of interior design education and expertise. She has vast experience with digital publishing, including SEO, photoshoot production, video production, eCommerce content, print collaboration, and custom sales content. Caitlin graduated with a bachelor of journalism, with an emphasis in magazine editing, as well as a minor in textile and apparel management from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also received a multicultural certificate. Caitlin regularly attends trade shows and industry press conferences for market research and continued education.

    Rather than spending thousands of dollars to tear out a concrete slab and refill it with topsoil, consider building a pergola. Building a backyard pergola attached to the house or a freestanding DIY pergola can be completed in two or three weekends. Pergola materials are also fairly inexpensive.

    Attaching The Shade Joists

    Now that the main structure is built all that is left to do is to attach the shade joists. I chose 4″x4″x12′ lumber for mine but what you choose is entirely up to you. I originally had mine spaced at 16″ apart but I didn’t like the way that looked so I went back to Home Depot to buy several more 4x4s so that my final spacing is now only 10″ apart. This step is also much easier with some help cause they are heavy and the structure is tall. Place all your boards up on top and space them out according to your plans. There are many brackets available for stuff like this but I just used 3 1/2″ screws going in at a 45 degree angle on each side of the boards down through each cross beam. This was plenty to hold these boards on and my pergola is very sturdy.

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    Secure The Pergola Supports

    My design calls for the weight of the pergola to be sustained by the house itself rather than the pergola. The weight of a full pergola would be enough to crack paver stones, creating a potentially dangerous situation. Alternately we could dig out the pavers and create footings, which would be more than we wanted to do on this property.

    I should add that we stained all of the boards before attaching them. Except the 45s. I dont know why we didnt do the 45s first. Something to do with timing.

    Take a look at how gorgeous this color is. Its Brown Mahogany water based stain by General Finishes. I love these stains and really cannot say enough about them.

    Research Pergola Design Inspiration

    How to Build Your Own Pergola

    Before starting this Pergola project, I did a ton of research! is always my go-to search engine when beginning a project!

    I looked at so many different styles and sizes and ideas. Pergolas that were free-standing vs. attached to the house Pergolas with a traditional design style vs. more modern styles Cedar vs. Red Wood vs. Pressure Treated Wood

    I also looked into a few different package options. Some companies, like Home Depot, sell DIY Pergola Kits where they will send you the pre-cut pieces and you can then put it together. They also of course offer professional pergola installation.

    I can tell you that the price to pay for the professional installation would have been at least 3xs more than what we ended up paying! Even the pre-cut kits were much more expensive.

    I decided on a few key elements that I wanted to include in our Pergola Plans

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    Add Lighting To Elevate The Look Of A Cheap Pergola

    Even the most budget-friendly pergola can be transformed with the addition of some stylish pergola lighting ideas.

    The most affordable option is to go for something like these simple solar lanterns, which look stunning hanging from the timber roof beams. They’ll instantly enhance the atmosphere and turn a basic structure into a pretty focal point after dark.

    Alternatively, you could opt for a couple of sets of the best outdoor lights and wind them around the structure of your pergola for added impact.

    Weathered Pergola With Rocky Base By Anna White

    Having an earthy-themed pergola is always a good choice to make it blend well with the outdoor space surroundings. Its designed in unfinished style with the rocky base which beautifully flows with this backyards look.

    The pergola is huge enough to shade a 7-Piece patio dining set supported by the trees around.

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    My Favorite Patio Furniture Options From :

    Of course we also added some nice Patio Furniture! I love our outdoor sectional and how cozy the seating area is! Our exact one isnt available anymore but this outdoor sectional from Wayfair is similar! Or this large outdoor sectional looks like a great option too!

    Ive put together a Patio Furniture Round-Up here if you are looking for more Outdoor Furniture Options!

    Prepare Rafters And Crossbeams

    How to Build a Pergola Attached to Your House | Mitre 10 Easy As DIY

    The concrete needs about four days to cure before you build the pergola. This gives you plenty of time to prep the wood components.

    First, you will need to cut the cross beams and rafter pieces to length. After cutting the beam lengths, measure down three inches from one end and mark it.

    Then, drill a 5/16-inch hole along the marked lines. Next, attach the rafter to the beam using glue and screws.

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    Installing The Posts For A Pergola

    If using boltdowns or spikes, ensure you leave the correct distance between posts, giving yourself sufficient space for the rails. Once you are satisfied, install the boltdowns or spikes and insert the first two post but do not secure. Take a rail and place it across the posts. Using a spirit level, check that the rail is level and then secure the posts firmly into the boltdowns or spikes. You will need at least one other person for this stage but more will make it even easier! Do the same with the remaining two posts.


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