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How To Build Covered Pergola

The Garden Party Backyard Idea

How to Build a Pergola | Mitre 10 Easy As DIY

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.

The Windsor Shade Shelter Idea

This freestanding pergola shade is made of redwood, and it will cover an area of 96 square feet , but you can customize it to your preference by adding additional louvers and most. But the rafters shouldnt span more than 6 feet.


If you want, you can build this pergola shelter next to your house to keep your home cooler in the summer.

The Wooden Bench & Potting Table Plan

Mother Earth News provides instructions for assembling a rustic Pergola that is complemented by a potting table and bench. They describe wanting to create a structure that their plants can clamber up, saying they used grapevine, ash wood, and twisty apple limbs to make this ornamental option.

They were able to find some trash wood to use as well, saying that eastern or western, white or red cedar are good options because they are an elastic and tough type of wood with aromatic resin that naturally repels molds and insects.

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Diy Pergolas You Can Create For Your Own Backyard

Before we start talking about a tutorial or blueprints for these beauties, lets talk about what a pergola is. Its a garden feature that looks a bit like the top of a gazebo or sometimes describes as a covered walkway. It can be a really luxurious addition to a larger backyard and help to transform a space into something magical and brand new. Often made from lattice and wood bits, you can actually learn how to craft your own design and really personal your outdoor area.


You can obviously hire someone to make one for you, but its going to cost you about double than what it would to build it yourself. So, if youre handy enough, you can definitely get your pergola up in a couple of days, depending on the level of difficulty youre going for and the size of the project.

Join The Top Supports And The 45 Degree Boards

How to Build a Wood Pergola

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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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.

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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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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.

Also, check these links if you are looking for premade pergola plans or a custom pergola for your own yard.

How To Install Pergola Roofs

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

Whilst weve focused on open pergolas above, there are different types of roofs that can be added to protect you from the elements or turn the space into a gazebo. These include:

  • Gable pergola: A gabled roof is raised in a triangle shape, similar to a normal houses roof. Its aesthetically pleasing, allows water to run off, and creates a space that feels larger. To build a gabled pergola you need to construct and attach two roof faces that form in the middle to create a triangle.
  • Flat roof pergola: For a simple solution, a flat roof pergola can be achieved with a minimal budget. Clear plastic roofing panels can be quickly installed with a few screws, creating a waterproof space. Or, you can add flat wooden panels in a similar way.
  • Covered pergola: There are many other ways to cover a pergola, including plants, sheet wood, tiled roofs, drop cloths, vinyl, straw, fabric, curved roofs and a whole lot more. Our garden patio idea and gazebo idea guides have some great examples.

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The Pergola + Sitting Area

This pergola offers a gorgeous setting. It is actually added over a rounded sitting area on a deck. It is so gorgeous because it has built in benches that create a cozy seating area.


The pergola then goes over the already gorgeous sitting space. Not only is the space inviting but it should also be very comfortable thanks to the shade the pergola can offer.

Pergola Attached To A House Plans

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 Recycled Wood Build

This upcycled wood pergola was built from a demolished deck. The woodworker wanted to make it on the cheap. He was able to pick up all of the scrap lumber for free, but did have to spend a long time extracting all of the nails and screws from the lumber.

They decided to install this option on their outdoor deck where a preassembled gazebo had been situated for number of years. The roof eves beams have cut off ends that fill the gaps and hide the hangers and its strung up with Christmas lights that provide attractive evening ambiance for backyard barbecue cookouts.

The Backyard Roof Design

How to Build a Pergola

If you want a video walkthrough, this design comes with a helpful instructional video guide. The printable instructions cover how to build out this shady structure and even customize its dimensions for the best fit.

We found that the instructions were particularly helpful with the initial difficulty of installing vertical posts that are all the same height.

Indeed, the thorough design plans provided by Mother Earth News cover the installation of the pergola posts, how to make pyramid cuts, how to place the cross beams, shaping the lap joints, raising the roof boards, installing the lattice panels, and applying the finish.

They used peeled polls from foraged wood, though they remarked that this can be a little bit difficult because this found wood can be irregularly shaped.

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The Classic Column Build

This unique style pergola will provide shade to your patio or wood deck. It features classic columns which support a wooden lattice framework that dapples the light.

The columns are not that hard to build as you might think because you are not going to make them they are hollow-core and precast. Despite that, this is a complex pergola project, and it will take a couple of weekends.

How To Build A Pergola Attached To The House

For extra security, many choose to attach their pergola to their homes. This is also a useful option if you dont have the space for all four posts, as you can use the wall of the house to replace two of the posts. This is typically known as a wall leaning pergola or lean-to pergola.

If this is the type of pergola youd like its imperative you make the connection to your home as solid as possible. Or youll be faced with an unstable pergola that could injure you or damage your garden and home.

To build this type of pergola youll need to attach a strong ledger board to the house and install the posts before attaching the header boards. Once these are in place you can attach the header boards, purlins and top stringers.

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How To Build A Pergola Planter

If desired, you can anchor the four corners of your pergola with planter boxes. To build the four planter boxes around the pergola posts, attach 1x4s to 2×2 framing with 1-5/8-inch screws. Butt-join the corners, line with 4 mil plastic sheeting held in place with staples, and cover with 1×4 trim pieces. Top it off with a 1×4 ledge and fill it with soil.

Install The Secondary Beams

DIY Attached Pergola | Build It Better | EP. 01

This is one step where having a clamp or two is helpful. Hoist one of the secondary beams up to the top of the posts and rest it in the notch cut previously. If you have a clamp, use it to hold the beam in place. If not, hopefully someone can hold it there for you, otherwise you might be rolling the dice with it possibly dropping on your head.

Using the drill, pre-drill three holes in a triangular pattern where the beam sits on the post. Then drive home three of the HeadLOK screws to fasten the beam to the post. Repeat this on the other end of the secondary beam.

Place the second secondary beam on the opposite side of the post, and repeat the steps above to fasten it. Then, at the other end of the pergola, install the remaining two secondary beams. If you braced one post back to the other, as I did, you can remove this at this point since the beams are providing the same function.

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Diy Pergola Cover Ideas: 7 Ways To Protect Your Patio From Sun And Rain

In the summer, I love to grill and entertain outdoors. But since I live in an area that often gets lots of sun and afternoon rainstorms, my outdoor cookouts are either really hot or getting rained out. To fix that issue, I went on a hunt for ways I could cover the patio around my outdoor kitchen and came up with these DIY pergola cover ideas some that just provide lots of shade, and some that are waterproof.

Back in the spring, I did a that included sprucing up my outdoor kitchen area.

Now that its looking good, Ive been doing a lot more grilling out there.

And while I love my new updated cooking space, theres one thing missing. And thats a cover for the pergola that goes over my outdoor kitchen area.

While the pergola provides some shade, it isnt very helpful during the day when the sun is directly overhead And it doesnt provide any protection at all when its raining.

Not that I expect to be standing out there all day in the rain. But here in South Carolina, we tend to get a lot of 15 minute rain storms in the afternoon. Which always seem to occur right after I have put the food on the grill.

So I would love to be able to stay out there and not get soaked.

Which is why Ive been searching for DIY pergola cover ideas to provide some extra shade and rain protection for my little grilling area patio.

Can An Existing Deck Support A Pergola

When you build a freestanding pergola on a raised deck, you need to make sure its secure and structurally sound. A typical freestanding pergola will stand on four or more posts set in the ground with concrete to ensure structural integrity, but you may not be able to do this with a pergola on a deck. In some cases, the vertical beams of the pergola can replace the existing corner beams of your deck.

Generally, the support posts of a deck pergola should be securely attached to the joist structure under the decking, not the actual floorboards of the deck. The additional support that a pergola built on a deck needs can be achieved through strong hardware and secure bolts.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the post bases will be visible instead of buried underground, so its worth thinking about how to incorporate this into your deck and pergola design as this hardware can sometimes look quite industrial and out of place.

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The Arbor Seat Blueprint

This Pergola arbor seat was built to exist in an apple orchard. The builder designed it for his wife who wanted a meditative space for quiet contemplation outside. The instruction plans walk you through how to create the uprights, the latticed backs, the seat back, the sides, the seat base, and the roof. Prospective builders comment that theyve seen similar looking builds at their elderly relatives homes

Attach The Columns To The Posts

How to Make Simple Retractable Pergola Canopy

Now slip each column over its post. Strap a level near the base of each column and screw into the wood beneath. Predrill and countersink eight screw holes in the sides of the columns: four 6 in. from the bottom and four 30 in. from the bottom. Use 3-in. No. 12 exterior wood screws to anchor the columns to the wood posts. Plumb the column as you screw it to the post. Youll notice some play between the post and column. Opposing screws will tighten the entire assembly.

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Installation Steps For How To Build An Arbor

This overview gives you a glimpse of the play by play for how to build a trellis or arbor style pergola that youll love for years to come. Our border pergolas offer another option for enhancing your backyard living space with a design you can incorporate a hammock or hanging plants. This is a pergola DIY for the weekend warrior or a great family project.


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