How to Build a Simple Pergola

There are fewer things more satisfying than building something unique with your own hands. DIY pergolas for your home are a great project. They’re fairly easy to construct, and you can even purchase a kit with everything you need included.

What is a Pergola?
A pergola is an open-air structure with four corner posts and a roof that can be left open and airy or covered. The roof can be ornate and gabled roof or flat; either way, they can be constructed to match the roof-line of your home for a clean, seamless line. They’re commonly used to provide shelter for an outdoor room or walkway.

How To Construct a Pergola
The first two things you should decide before you begin are the location and size of your pergola. To make the example easier to follow, these instructions will assume a 10’d x 10’w x 10’h size.

1. Measure and mark where your corner posts will go. The best size to use is a 6″ x 6″ post that’s 12′ in height.

2. Using a post digger, dig four holes, about two feet deep and ten feet apart. Make the holes wide enough so you can fill the rest of the hole with quick-setting concrete to hold the posts in place. After you set the posts and fill the holes with concrete, use a level to ensure that they’re even and brace the posts with 2″ x 4″s on each side to hole them in place until the concrete dries.

3. To make ends beams, use four 2″ x 12′ boards, two on each end, one on the top of the inside of the 6″ x 6″ beams, and one on the outside, so that the beams are sandwiched between them at the top. Make sure that they’re level on the top and ends; cut them long enough to leave a one-foot overhang on each end.

4. Mark the tops of all of the 2″ x 12″ end beams at intervals of 12″. Cut a notch at each mark that’s approximately 5 1/2″ deep and 1 1/2″ wide. These will be used to hold the cross beams more securely. The cross beams are constructed of 2″ x 6″ boards. Simply make certain they’re even after they’re pounded into the recesses in the 2″ x 12″s, then secure them in place with screws or nails.

5. Make brackets to provide extra support by cutting 2″ x 6″ boards at a 45-degree angle at each end, and screw or nail them near the top of the 6″ x 6″ beams and the inside of the inner 2″ x 12″. You can paint your pergola or leave it natural, but make sure to use a good water seal for protection.

Though this is a DIY project, you will need an extra pair of hands to help you hold things in place while you secure them. There are many different plans that you can find to build a similar structure in your yard.

 
 

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