How to Build a Pergola With Adjustable Roof Panels

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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Materials and Tools for Adding Louvered Panels

miter saw
safety glasses
drill with screwdriver bit
galvanized screws
2" x 4" cedar lumber
1" x 6" cedar lumber
louvered deck covering kit
lag bolts and washers
drill
socket wrench
long level
tape measure
carpenter's square
ladders

Steps for Adding Louvered Panels

1. Use cedar 2x4s to build a large, square frame to hold the four sets of louvered panels. Square up the corners and attach the boards with galvanized screws.

2. Cut a 2x4 to fit snugly across the middle of the frame and attach with screws. Cut two more 2x4s to divide the frame in half in the other direction. When complete, the frame should be divided into four equal parts.

3. Use screws to install the track system for the louvers on the inside of the frame. Make sure the tracks are level and lined up with each other. For this project, the crew ran the tracks in different directions for better control over the sunlight.

4. Use screws to attach the brackets to the track system. Double-check the dimensions and cut the cedar slats for the louvers, screwing them into the brackets. Following the manufacturer's directions, attach the control strips that allow the louvers to move together (Image 1).

5. Lift the panels into place and support with long planks resting on the deck. Lift the panels slightly above the frame and hammer them down into position; use a piece of scrap wood to avoid damaging the panels. Attach the panels to the framework with lag screws (Image 2).

Tip: Make sure to have plenty of help on hand to life the heavy, awkward panels into place. Use caution when working atop ladders or scaffolds.

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