How To Build A Pergola: Pergola Kits
If you are planning on building your own patio cover and are not an experienced contractor or handyman, you might want to consider a pergola kit. You can shop online or at a local home improvement center or garden center to find wood or vinyl pergola kits for as little as $300. These kits come with everything you need other than the tools so costs can be kept to a minimum if you are providing the tools and labor. Keep in mind that this price is for a small, entry-level pergola and that prices increase as you look at larger sizes, custom kits, or pergolas with additional options, such as a fabric cover. Higher-end kits can easily cost upwards of $5,000.
Putting together a pergola kit is usually a one-day project if you have someone who can lend a hand.
Depending on the size of your pergola and the type of structure, you may need a permit. If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association, you will likely need to get approval before you begin your build.
How To Build A Stunning Pergola
Pergolas provide shade for your patio and can add an element of design to your backyard. Read this to learn how to build a pergola in your yard.
Typically found in gardens and backyards, a pergola is a structure that says, Sit here. Lets visit awhile. It includes vertical posts supporting a lattice of crossbeams that provide limited shade. Pergolas come in all shapes and sizes and help to define an outdoor space, often for backyard entertaining. Vines like wisteria, honeysuckle, and jasmine provide additional shade on hot summer days.
Always check with your homeowners association and your countys building department before erecting any structure in your yard. Ask about permits and local codes, particularly the depth required for setting your posts.
Conceptual Design And Planning
—-Before starting a pergola project, check your local building code and permitting requirements for such a structure. These vary by jurisdiction, so I can’t provide any advice beyond contacting your local municipality.—-
All good designs start with a sketch.
I first started with a couple rough sketches on some scratch paper, just to get the idea out of my head. After that, I took measurements of my patio to determine the size of the pergola that could physically fit in the space. I have an added constraint in that the second story of my house overhangs the patio slightly , so I had to modify the “typical” pergola layout somewhat.
I find that generating a model in SketchUp is very beneficial to get a sense of the look of a project and its relation to physical space. There are even plugins that automatically generate a bill of material for the required wood pieces, saving having to tally everything manually.
Obviously, you’re not married to your initial design, and you’ll see as the project progresses that I deviated a bit from the initial design.
With your design settled upon, determine the required quantities of material and place the order at your local lumberyard. Fair warning, some boards may be special order and take a while to come in. I think my order ultimately took about a month to be delivered.
You May Like: How Do I Keep Flies Away From My Patio
In A Hurry Heres Our Top Picks
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.
Set Posts In Concrete
As you dig your holes, put the soil in a wheelbarrow and find a place to relocate it away from your site. Save any gravel or sand to reinstall pavers. You may need to move a post slightly. We shifted one post near the house to create an entry along the steps.
Reconnect your layout string to make sure the holes are aligned. Cut your forming tubes and insert them into the holes. Level the tops of the forming tubes until theyre flush with the patio surface. If you mix the concrete on site, youll need about five bags of Quikrete or Sakrete concrete mix per hole, for a total of 30 bags. Add your 60-in. posts and pour concrete around them.
As you set your posts, reposition your string line about 1-3/4 in. to allow for the post thickness and then align the posts with your string line as you pour in the concrete.
Note: If you have a post thats 1/2 in. out of whack, dont sweat it. Youll be able to align the tops of the columns later when you install the overhead beam. Once the posts are embedded in concrete, let the concrete harden for a minimum of two days.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Patio Furniture Cushions
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.
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.
You May Like: How To Build Pergola Roof
How To Build A Pergola On A Cement Patio
Image By: Glenn Frazzer Via Youtube
I have always admired the regal look of a pergola. Im not sure where the pergola originated, but they look lovely when they are covered with vines. I have dreamed of having one on my back patio for such a long time, but I thought the price point was out of my range. I saw this awesome video tutorial by Glenn Frazzee on Youtube and realized my dream may be doable. I will need a little help doing this, but good Lord willing and the creek dont rise, I may be able to make this gorgeous pergola.
- 5/8 by 6 1/2 Titan concrete anchors
- 40 structural wood screws
- 32 4 1/2 structural wood screws
- Number 2 galvanized framing nails
- Boards for temporary bracing
X 12 Pergola Without Knee Bracing
This sturdy 10 x 12 pergola is a great addition to almost any outdoor living space. Its built with Simpson Strong-Tie® connectors and fasteners, including Outdoor Accents®decorative hardware and the MPBZ moment post base. The innovative design of the post base greatly reduces the need for knee bracing.
Don’t Miss: How To Build A Privacy Screen For Patio
Tools For Building A Pergola
Learning how to make a pergola isnt difficult. To get started building a pergola, youll need several tools and materials, including:
Precisely how much lumber youll need will depend on the space you want to fill. As for the type, pressure-treated lumber is a cost-effective choice for building a pergola, but there are many alternatives that make sense, such as composite. Browse through our collection of pergola ideas and designs for inspiration!
How Tall Do You Want Your Pergola
Its a matter of choice, but you probably dont want to make the pergola too tall. For the Big Kahuna, Sombrero, and Melbourne, 8 or 10-foot posts suit most situations unless youre installing your posts more than 2 in the ground.
For the Fedora, we recommend 10 posts on a slab or footer and 12 posts if going in the ground. Smaller kits generally look better with a shorter post. But, keep in mind things like ceiling fans or other accessories, head room for tall people, standing up in a hot tub or dancing on tables!
To determine the length below ground, we recommend at least 2 feet or more depending upon the frost line and building codes in your area. Do you live in a northern state where the ground is frozen for certain months out of the year, or a southern state where the ground does not freeze? If you live where the ground freezes you will want to be sure that you set your posts or footings deeper than the frost line. This will ensure that frost heave will not pop your pergola out of the ground like a cork. The correct depth can be determined by checking with your local building code department or online resource. In warmer climates you may be able to use 10 posts, which would be buried 2 in the ground, and colder climates will most likely use 12 posts which would be buried 3-4 in the ground.
Read Also: Can A Propane Patio Heater Be Used In A Garage
How To Build A Pergola From Scratch
If you are not opting for professional pergola installation and are not a particularly handy builder, it is best to choose a DIY pergola kit. This will save you from measuring mistakes, cutting mishaps, and multiple trips to the store for forgotten joists or more bolts. But, if you have a strong do-it-yourself spirit and are determined to build your patio cover from scratch, here is some basic information about costs, materials, and project steps to help you get started.
Costs vary greatly depending on the type of materials used and the size of your pergola. For example, pine is about half the price of higher-end woods, such as teak.
The following assumes you are building a wood pergola since that is the most common material for pergolas built without kits.
Mark Top Tenons Cut Tenons And Chamfer Edges
The tops of the posts need to be cut into a tenon to hold the secondary beams. To do so, measure down from the newly-cut top of the posts to the depth of the secondary beams, in this case 7-1/4″ for the 2×8 boards. Make a mark and square it across the width of the post with a speed square. Transfer this mark all around the post.
Next, measure in from one face to the thickness of the secondary beam, 1-1/2″ for these. Mark this for the full depth of the beam, which I did with a combination square, but which you can easily do by making two marks and connecting them with a straight edge. Do this for both opposing faces of the post to establish the cut lines for the tenon.
Using the circular saw, set it to cut the depth of the secondary beam , and make a cross-cut to establish the shoulder of the tenon. Roll the post and make the same cut on the opposite face.
Reset the circular saw to its maximum cut depth and roll the post 90 degrees to begin cutting the cheeks of the tenon. You want to stop when the saw blade meets the shoulder cut that you previously established. Don’t over-run the shoulder cut, or your joint will look quite bad. Make the other cheek cut on the same side of the post, then roll it to cut the cheeks on the opposite face. Finally, finish the cut with the reciprocating saw.
You May Like: How To Hang Patio Lights
This Post Details How We Built Our Cedar Pergola On Our Concrete Patio With A Modern Wood Slatted Privacy Wall
Ok friends, here it is! My long over-due pergola post! Ive been meaning to get more detailed DIY Pergola Plans up on here for a while and was finally able to get some good photos this weekend!
We built this pergola on our concrete patio last summer and it is by-far my favorite DIY project weve ever done! It completely transformed the look and feel of our backyard and patio space!
How To Build A Pergola On A Deck
At deck planning stage, you should be working on the design of the pergola so that the structure can be put in place at the same time as you are building deck stair supports or building deck railing supports.
Youll need to consider the size and function of your pergola shade ideas. Do you plan to cover your entire deck or the section of the deck which is immersed in the most sunlight? How will the pergola be used in your day-to-day life?
New York-based landscape designer Kristen Monji, from Birch + Basil likes to ensure the pergola covers the seating area on the deck. I’ll take a look at how much space we’ll need for that and then add an additional two-three feet or so at least on each side to make sure there’s enough coverage and shade.
We’ve done pergolas over dining areas too, but over the lounge area is usually more preferable since this is where people will spend the majority of their time while seated outdoors, Kristen confirms.
Avoid installing pergola posts that can block heavily trafficked areas. Plus, consider whether you need a permit to construct it. Most large decks are fine, but adding a pergola can make it subject to more rigorous city codes.
You will need:
- Pre-made pergola kit, or timber or composite if building posts, beams, and rafters from scratch
- Heavy-duty bolts
Recommended Reading: How Thick Should A Patio Concrete Slab Be
How To Build A Freestanding Pergola
Our pergola kits are designed for easy installation, coming with instructions laying out all distances between posts, beams, and joists.
When installing your freestanding pergola you must first mark out the distances between posts on the ground. Our pergola kits come with a choice of staddle stones or wood in a concrete footing. But for this guide, well focus on concrete, which will provide a solid installation anywhere in your garden. Well be showing you how to install a traditional four-post square pergola, but larger pergolas are also available.
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!
Read Also: How To Clean Aluminum Patio Table
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.
How To Build Your Pergola The Simple Steps To Success
Over the years, we ended up creating quite a few more pergolas for friends, neighbors and family. Below, we share the simple secrets and tips we have learned over the years to create a beautiful structure that lasts. All of course, with keeping an eye on the budget!
Here is a look below at our biggest keys to success, step by step:
#1 Choosing The Right Lumber
Building a strong, attractive pergola all starts with choosing the right lumber. One thing we have learned is that 4 x 4 posts are simply not strong enough to hold up over time. Nor is wood that is 1 inch thick or less for the top of the structure.
We use only 6 x 6 treated posts, and 2x treated lumber for building our pergolas. Although there are thinner and less costly options, the thickness of 2x lumber gives the piece massive long-term strength and durability.
As for what type of wood to use, we have found treated lumber to be the most economical and durable choice. By far! Cedar is an option, but the cost of cedar is astronomical. And in many cases, cedar will still warp and twist.
Treated lumber has come a long way in the past few years. Its also extremely versatile. It can be left to weather to a natural grey patina, or painted or stained to match existing colors. And it builds one beautiful, strong and affordable pergola!
What Does It Cost To Build Your Own Pergola
Read Also: How To Keep Pets Off Patio Furniture