How to Build a Wood Pergola
Pergolas provide some much needed shade from the summer sun. Learn how to build a pergola with these step-by-step instructions.
Materials and Tools:
4" x 4" pressure-treated posts
2" x 4" pressure-treated boards
2" x 6" pressure-treated boards
2" x 10" pressure-treated boards
galvanized deck screws
post hole digger
1. Select the site for the pergola and mark the placement of the four posts. Use a post-hole digger or two-person auger to dig holes to a depth of 24" and width of 9". Add a few inches of gravel to the bottom of the holes for drainage. Insert 4" x 4" posts in holes. Ensure the posts are level and plumb. Attach temporary 2" x 4" bracing to hold in place. Mix fast-drying cement according to the manufacturer's directions and pour into holes. Let cure for 24 hours.
2. Cut joist beams from 2" x 10" boards to span the pergola posts. To create a decorative look on the end of the joist beams, draw a straight or curved design on the wood and cut along the line with a jigsaw. Temporarily clamp in place while holes are drilled through the beams and posts. Attach the beams to the posts using 3" lag bolts.
3. Cut the stringers from 2" x 6" boards to span and overhang the joist beams. To create a decorative look on the end of the stringers, draw a straight or curved design on the wood and cut along the line with a jigsaw. Evenly space the stringers perpendicular to the beams and toenail in place using 3" galvanized deck screws.
Pergola With Natural Charm 01:21
Watch a pergola being built with a tree growing right through the center.
Frame Your Walkway: Build a Pergola
A shady, plant-covered pergola is a real treat on a hot summer's day, or the perfect spot for outdoor entertaining. Here, we show you how to build a pergola from a kit, which you can find at your local garden store.
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Add shade and style to your backyard with a garden pergola.
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Don't let the sweltering sun prevent you from enjoying your patio during the summer months. Learn how to build a pergola with adjustable roof panels that lets you dial just the right amount of shade.
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Instead of putting up an entire fence, build a barrier with wood panels.
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Discover why today's arches and pergolas are no more than a new look at an old type of structure.
Choosing Materials for Arches and Pergolas
Lend a little bit of style to your arch or pergola with these tips for selecting materials that will enhance the natural beauty of any garden space.
Traditional Uses for Arches and Pergolas
Classic arches and pergolas are optimal for preserving shade and adding an inviting touch to any garden space.
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Carter Oosterhouse shows how to build a wooden gate for a fence using sustainable western red cedar.
Build a Mailbox
Create a decorative mailbox for some curb appeal.
How to Plan a Pergola
Get all the info you'll need on how to plan a pergola, then begin designing an attractive focal point for your outdoor living space.
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