How to Build a Pergola

Before you start building a pergola, get permits from the local building departments. Make sure the area you plan to build on is clear of any debris.

Required Tools and Materials

Galvanized finishing nails
Wood glue
4 wood blocks
5 (or more) 2-x 4-inch boards
3-inch wood screws
Pick and shovel
Concrete
Water (for the concrete)
Eight 2-by-6-inch boards

Step 1

Mark one pergola corner using the stake. Mark the other corners with the tape measure and string. The stakes have to be an exact rectangle or square.

Step 2

Dig holes in the areas with the stakes. Make the holes as large as your measurements require. The bottom has to be even. Insert the joist supports in the holes.

Step 3

To continue building a pergola, start with the frames. Cut two 2-by-2-inch crossbeams, four 2-by-6-inch support beams and four 4-by-4-inch corner posts. Stain or paint the wood now.

Step 4

Combine the water and cement until the mixture gets wet. Put the mixture in the holes. Do not rattle the posts.

Step 5

Make the concrete posts after the concrete dries. Use the level to make sure it is aligned properly. Clamp the support of the post. Nail the post support after it dries.

Step 6

Put the other posts in place. Put support beams on two of the posts. There will be support beams on these posts. The other beams’ ends will be set on these.

Step 7

Connect the end of the post using four 3 inch wood screws. Put clamps for the opposing sides’ posts. Add the wood screws. Connect the beams at the parallel side in the same manner.

Step 8

Cut notches on the crossbeams with the jigsaw. Set the notches on the crossbeams on the support beams’ ends. Put screws in the support beams.

Step 9

Now you have to put two diagonal 2-by-6-inch boards at the upper corners. Cut to the desired length. The ends should be at 45 degree angles. Connect these to the support beams and the upper beams with screws.

Step 10

To make rafters, cut 2 x 4 boards in the same size as the crossbeams. Hold the rafter in place with clamps. Make notches and put the rafter on the crossbeams. Set the rafters on the same distance. Drill holes and connect with screws.

The final step to building a pergola is to create caps for the posts. You can opt for a simple flat cap or a pyramid shape. Use galvanized nails to secure the caps in place.

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