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HomeFurnitureHow To Install A Pergola On A Paver Patio

How To Install A Pergola On A Paver Patio

How To Anchor A Gazebo To Concrete Pavers Or On Grass To Secure Your Gazebo From Wind

Nadya Jones

Worried about your brand new gazebo flying away? You don’t have to anymore! 

Simply follow my step-by-step tutorials on how to secure a gazebo from wind, and you will get the best results ever! See for yourself!

Building a safe and protected home has always been my number one priority. This includes securing a gazebo to a stable surface to keep it from blowing away. Trust me, that innocent gazebo of yours can quickly turn into a health hazard if not anchored properly.

This prompted me to write a complete guide for securing a gazebo on concrete, pavers, and grass. With the help of my tutorials, you can now turn your gazebo into a safe shelter that you’ve always dreamed of having. Take a look! 


Now Let’s Install Pergola Footings The Faster Easier And Less Expensive Way

We are going to build this pergola without having to dig footings or pouring cement.  This method will use a footing system called the Deck Foot Anchor.  

It is a hybrid helical pier and surface resting load plate.  It will distribute the weight of the pergola to the footing’s load plate and the soil but it will also be securely anchored and embedded in the soil. 

This means you will enjoy some of the load bearing and stabilizing properties of a ground anchored footing without the cost, time and effort associated with digging holes and pouring cement.

Get The Tools you need

We are going to build this pergola much faster and easier. 

These pergola footings are going to be set on the Deck Foot Anchor which is a combination of a helical blade for anchoring to the soil and a large load plate that will distribute the weight of the pergola to the ground.

First, get the tools you need such as a spade for removing the sod, an impact wrench , a 12mm six point socket or an adjustable wrench.  With these tools at hand, you will ready to go.

Remove Sod and organic material at locations of pergola footings

Find the exact locations for each pergola post and use triangulation to do so. 

Using string and batter boards to layout a right angle triangle to get started.  If you use the Rule of Thumb and make a 6′ by 8′ triangle with a 10′ diagonal you will have a right angle to measure each footing location. 

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

Pergola Footings That Install With An Impact Wrench & Support 19000 Lbs

This footing system drives into the soil using a common lightweight, hand held electric impact wrench.

And it’s been load tested to support a minimum of 19,000 lbs per footing!  Now that is far more than your soil will ever support.  So it can surely support a common pergola structure.

The only thing that is going to prevent this from working for you is if your backyard is full of rocks.  In that case, get out your shovel and pick axe and start sweating.

Benefits Of Installing Pergola Footings With The Deck Foot Anchor

How To Install A Pergola On Paver Patio

Pergolas require a minimum of three and usually four or more footings.  Digging three or four holes will take you at least two or three hours depending on the soil type. 

digging and back-filling

If you choose set posts directly into the ground and just back-fill the post into the hole, you must ensure the post is treated specifically for ground contact.  And even then, you should expect the pergola posts will never last as long as those secured above the grade by metal post anchoring hardware.

digging, mixing & pouring cement

If you choose to use cement footings you will have to dig holes large enough to accommodate the diameter of the pier or the footing as well which can be significantly larger than the pier.

Then the next big step will be to mix and pour all the cement and then let it set for a day or two.  Some post anchoring hardware will have to be set into the wet cement accurately.  If done right, you should have very strong and stable pergola footings.


If you decide to use the Deck Foot Anchor to support your pergola, you can usually have four footings installed in thirty to forty minutes and begin building right away.  You will avoid the cost of cement and separate hardware.  The only hardware required is the Deck Foot Anchor.  And of course you will avoid the labor and time required for digging.

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, you’ll 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 they’re equal.

What Is A Good Way To Anchor/secure A Pergola To A Paver Patio


So I just laid a large-ish patio with pavers and now we’re wanting to build a 12’x12′ pergola on the main area.

I know ideally I should have planned the pergola before hand and set the posts first or at least left a few of the pavers out, but alas foresight wasn’t one of my strengths here.

So, the question now is how do we anchor the pergola to the patio? We don’t want to anchor to the house…so it’s just a freestanding, 4 post structure we’re going for.

I’ve read about using steel rods drilled into the pavers/ground as a way to anchor, but wasn’t sure if there were any better/easier ways of going about it.

Additional bits of info is that pavers are 3 inches thick plus 1″ of sand and 4″ of 3/4″ crushed mountain granite below those pavers and then just good ‘ole dirt below that.

So, any advice/tips on this would be great.

Built In Error Protection With The New Lateral Slide Aperture

The new lateral slide feature in the Deck Foot Anchor allows the post saddle to move up to 2-½” laterally in case you are not able to drive the anchor down in the exact location you wanted.  This also comes in handy when you want to set a beam directly on the saddle supported by three or more footings.

Installing A Pergola Column Using A Concrete Mounting Kit

fiberglass pergola

This video will save you time and help simplify the building of your pergola kit by walking you through the column installation process. We show you the tools that you’ll need and give you tips to assist in assembling your pergola.

If you have any questions about the installation process after watching this video, please contact us at 877.489.8064

Choosing The Right Location And Pergola Plans & Designs

Because this DIY pergola project is made to stand independent of the house, you can either locate it right near your house as we did or let it stand alone in the garden. You can also consider using wood chips or gravel as a floor or even pour a concrete slab underneath. By keeping it unattached , you don’t have to deal with moving existing gutters or matching eaves. You also don’t have to mess with frost footings . However, if you have clay soil, it’s best to dig to frost depth for your footings to prevent frost heave.

Our existing patio was built over a sand and compacted gravel base, so we removed only the stones necessary to dig the 12-in. diameter holes to secure the posts. You’ll most likely have a different situation. Build a pergola over an existing patio saves you a lot of time, money and work.

If you’ll be adding a patio later, be sure to pour all the footings at the finished patio height as part of your pergola designs. Keep in mind any slope you’ll include in the patio. Most patios slope about 1/8 in. per foot to drain.

How To Build A Pergola On A Concrete Patio In Two Days

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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 Anchor A Gazebo To Concrete With Planting Pots

Put The Gazebo Posts In The Planters 

To start this project, you will need four 5-gallon planting pots or buckets. Each planting pot will be assigned to a specific gazebo post. 

If your gazebo isn’t the standard square shape, you should match the number of planters to the number of posts

The easiest way to get the gazebo posts into planters is to get three of your family members to help you out. On the count of three, lift the gazebo and quickly place the planters underneath the posts. You can now move to the next step.  

Mix The Concrete 

You will first need to protect yourself with gloves and a face mask

Carefully empty the bag of concrete into an old bucket or a wheelbarrow, as shown in the video. Start adding water to the concrete, little by little. Stir constantly until you have achieved the desired consistency. 

The mixture shouldn’t be crumbly or too runny. It should hold its shape when you squeeze it in the palm of your hand.  

It is much easier to buy  , than to mix the cement and building sand in the right ratio on your own. 

Fill The Buckets And Decorate

The only thing left to do is to fill the planting pots with the concrete. You should hurry if you are using a quick-setting concrete, as it will set up in just 20 to 40 minutes. Otherwise, it takes up to 48 hours for regular concrete to dry and harden.  

While you are waiting for your project to dry, you can plan and prep your decorations. You can:

  • Decorate the planters with  . 

    Step 5: Mark The Posts For Cutting And Trim To Length

    How To Install A Pergola On A Paver Patio at Home ...

    The length of the posts is determined based on the offsets measured in the previous step. Begin by marking each post “A” through “D”, and then measure from the bottom of the post the offset length you previously recorded for each. Use a square to transfer this line across the width of the post.

    Next, start with the longest measured offset – let’s say 10″ for instance. The posts are 8 feet long, so the “leftover” length is = 7′-2″. Measure the “leftover” 7′-2″ from the offset marks you previously made on each post, and mark these at the top ends. Use a square to transfer this mark all around the posts so that you have a cut line wrapping around the post.

    Using a circular saw, cut along this line on each post, then flip the posts to cut the opposite face from the first cut. Use a reciprocating saw to finish the cut, assuming that your circular saw doesn’t cut all the way through with the first two passes.

    Step 6: 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.

    Hot Topics: Paver And Pergola Problems On The Patio

    Here on we enjoy providing a place where home improvement novices and experts can come together to share ideas and advice. Inside our Forums, users can browse threads to see what exchanges are taking place on a topic of interest or start their own dialogue by posting something for the community to take part in. With over 250,000 members and counting, this resource is quite active so each week we highlight one of the conversations that may just help you with that next DIY project.

    As we feature decks and patios at the start of the sunny season, the forum is also buzzing with outdoor spaces. In just one of the patio related threads, new homeowners get to laying pavers and putting up a pergola, and the other members point them in the right direction.

    Original Post: Young Couple Building Patio and Pergola

    Adam Kirby Member

    My wife and I are in the process of building a 450 square foot paver patio adjacent to our existing concrete slab. I’m sure we’ll have many questions regarding that but my question now is regarding the pergola we are planning.

    Highlights from the Thread

    BridgeMan45 Member

    Your local building department will have minimum requirements for embedment of the pergola columns. Or they may even require minimal concrete footings under each column.

    Pilot Dane Group Moderator

    Adam Kirby Member

    Thanks for all of the replies. I’m waiting on the building department to get back to me and I’ll keep y’all “posted”.

    Pilot Dane Group Moderator

    Common Characteristics For Digging Pergola Footings

    When most people think of pergola footings, the dreaded thought of digging deep holes, setting a post in it and back filling with cement fills their mind.  

    Options one and two depict this concept with subtle variations.  In both these scenarios, the posts are buried in the ground and therefore must be treated for ground contact.

    Others, get a bit more sophisticated and build a wide footing, then use tubular forms to pour cement and finally attach post anchoring hardware to the concrete footing.

    Options three to five depict this concept.  The pergola posts are secured to the pier by various connecting hardware.

    Step 4: Measure The Post Offsets Due To Patio Slope

    If your patio is anything like mine, it slopes away from your house for drainage. This presents the obvious problem that the posts can’t be all the same length, otherwise the top of the pergola won’t be level. To mitigate this, the post offsets must be measured from a reference point and all measured and cut accordingly.

    The sill of my patio door proved to be a convenient reference point. In order to measure off these, I put together a couple scraps of wood to extend the reference line out to the same line as the post bases. Then I clamped this extension to the door sill to hold it in place and tied one end of a string line to it. On the opposite end of the line of post bases, I drove in a wooden stake and tied the string line to it. You’ll want to make sure that the string line is very tight and is also level. This string line is now at the exact same elevation as the door sill.

    When you’re satisfied with the string line, measure the distance between the string and the bottom of the post base, and record this number. Do the same with the next post base in line, then repeat these steps for the other side of the pergola. You should have four measurements written down that correlate to each corner of the pergola. It will be convenient to name these “A” through “D” to keep things straight or some other naming scheme that suits your taste.

    In my case, since I had to contend with the second story overhang, I also measured this height with respect to the door sill.

    How To Set Up A Gazebo On Grass Concrete Or Pavers

    Gazebos are a convenient and attractive way to finish off a backyard by creating a focal point and providing a sheltered area to relax and enjoy time with friends. 

    On this website, we’ve reviewed some of the , and currently available, and there’s no doubt that there’s a certain enthusiasm growing for each style of structure when it comes to backyard entertaining.

    One thing that often makes folks leery about installing gazebos in their backyard is, besides the price tag, which can be hefty, is where and how to set them up.  Some common questions we hear are, “Will a handyman be needed?”, or “Do I need special tools to do this?” 

    Here we walk you through the process so that you can learn how to set up both hard top and soft top gazebos on a concrete patio, grass, or pavers. Setting up your own gazebo will save you money and give a sense of pride in having built it yourself!

    The assembly process is very similar for the first few steps when building either a soft or hard top. After selecting the location, you will have to level the foundation and, if the gazebo will be a permanent installation, set the posts in cement.

    Once the cement has cured to concrete, you can then go ahead with the final steps in the assembly process. We will go into greater detail later in the article.

    Before you begin assembling the gazebo, there are some things to take into consideration:

    Complete Guide: How To Anchor A Gazebo To Concrete

    Here are two ways you can secure a gazebo on concrete to keep it from blowing away.

  • Drill the gazebo directly into the concrete
  • Anchor the gazebo without drilling using weighted planters 
  • Drilling a gazebo into the concrete is the most reliable way to keep it from moving. However, this method will leave you with permanent holes in your concrete. So, make sure this is what you really want. 

    Luckily, I know a way to anchor a gazebo on concrete without damaging it. Find the tutorial below!   

    Critical Requirements For Digging Pergola Footings

    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

    How To Anchor A Gazebo To Concrete With Drilling

    Western Red Cedar Pergola & Paver Patio

    Drill The Holes 

    With a piece of tape, mark the length of the wedge anchor on a drill bit, so you don’t drill holes too deep. You want to create holes that are just the right size to achieve a snug and secure fit.  

    Now, locate the screw holes in the base of each post of the gazebo. Drill through these screw holes directly into the concrete. Do it slowly and steadily, so you don’t damage the posts or concrete. 

    Clean The Holes

    Don’t screw in the wedge anchors just yet! You first need to clean the holes using a vacuum cleaner. 

    Slide the gazebo posts aside and vacuum any dust that is stuck in the holes. This way, the wedge anchors will fit in perfectly. When done, move the gazebo back into place, aligning the holes in the concrete and the base of the posts.   

    Hammer The Wedge Anchors 

    Slide the washer onto each wedge anchor and screw the nut on the very top. By leaving the nut at the top, you can hammer the anchor without missing it. The threads will also stay protected this way. 

    Place each anchor into the appointed hole and hammer it down, leaving about a 1/3 inch or more sticking out. Use an open-end wrench to tighten the nut and lock the mechanism in place.  

    You are done! This anchoring method is strong enough to keep every in place.  


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