A pergola can be a nice addition to your backyard or garden. It is a simple structure made of vertical pillars that support cross-beams. The step-by-step instructions will help you create a simple design that can transform your yard. Anyone can learn how to build a pergola with these simple steps.
Post Hole Digger
Galvanized Deck Screws
Posts – 4X4s/2x6s/2x10s/2x4s
Easy Installation Steps for Building a Basic Wood Pergola
Choose a site for your new pergola and mark the four posts. Dig the four posts with a post-hole digger 24 inches deep and 9 inches wide. Add a few inches of gravel to the holes for drainage.
Insert four of the 4x4 posts into the holes. Make sure the posts are level and plumb. Temporarily hold them in place by bracing them with a 2x4. Mix and pour fast drying cement into the holes. Allow them to cure for 24 hours.
Span the pergola posts by cutting joist beams from 2x10 boards. For a decorative look on the end of the joist beams, you can use a jigsaw to create a straight or curved design on the wood. Clamp them into place temporarily while the holes are drilled through the beams and posts. Use 3-inch lag bolts to attach the beams to the support posts.
Cut stringers out of 2x6 boards to span and overhang the joist beams. Use a jigsaw to create a straight or curved design for a decorative look. Space the stringers perpendicular to the wood beams. Toenail them into place with 3-inch galvanized deck screws.
Uses for a Pergola
While it is not the perfect structure for shielding you from rain or wind because there are not any sides or a roof, it will generally provide shade for part of the day. Here are just a few ideas for your new pergola:
Vertical Garden - This structure is perfect for climbing plants and vines. You can incorporate a trellis or latticework into your pergola. The best plants for this type of garden include: trumpet vines, roses, grapevines, clematis, bittersweet, and honeysuckle. Consider growing it up the sides or over the top to produce added shade.
Patio/Deck Addition – Adding this to your patio or deck can allow you to create an outdoor living space. It creates a great place for you to lounge outdoors or for hosting an outdoor party. This type of structure can add character when you string lanterns around the cross-beams. Add wicker furniture and a fire pit to create an outdoor living room. Unique shade canopies tend to be great additions to a patio and deck. The options are endless!
Enchanted Pathway – You can create a long walkway connecting from your patio to your garden. Add in an archway to create a more decorative entrance way into your garden. Hang wisteria or other climbing flowers to create a relaxing place in which to take a walk. Make sure the wisteria is hung so that it does not touch your head as you walk through.
Stargazing/Sunset Area – A standing pergola is the perfect place to sit out on a bench to watch the stars or sunset. Keep a storage bench that can withstand the weather. Put a telescope inside the bench and a blanket or other items that will help you enjoy the night.
These are only a few ideas to get you started. Be creative and use your imagination. Canopy pergolas tend to be popular. Cedar is a good choice for a pergola. If you leave cedar unfinished, it will eventually turn a gray color. Consider applying an exterior stain or sealer. There are beautiful pergola kits available; however, pergola building plans are simple to follow and will allow you to construct a beautiful outdoor getaway.