How to Build a Pergola from Scratch

backyard pergolas how to

If you’re a homeowner, or anyone interested in building a pergola from scratch, this blog article is for you! 

Pergolas are a great addition to any backyard. They provide shade and privacy while still allowing you to enjoy the outdoors. If you’re handy and have some basic carpentry skills, almost anyone can build a pergola from scratch. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to getting you started!

Step 1: Choose the Location

When building pergolas, It’s important to pick a spot that’s level and has good drainage. You also want to make sure there are no underground utilities in the area where you’ll be digging the footing.

Step 2: Mark the Location

Mark the location of the footings with stakes and string. The size of the pergola will determine how far apart the footings need to be. Once you’ve marked the perimeter, dig the holes for the footings.

Step 3: Pour Concrete

Pour concrete into the footing holes and let it cure for 24 hours. Once the concrete is set, you can begin installing the posts. Be sure to use pressure-treated lumber for this project as it will be exposed to the elements for long periods of time, hopefully, many years!

Step 4: Attach the Beams

To attach the beams, you’ll need to use lag bolts or carriage bolts. Predrill holes for these so that they go in easily. Start at the top and work your way down, attaching each beam as you go.

Step 5: Add Cross Beams and Rafters

The final step is to add cross beams and rafters. These can be made from either pressure-treated lumber or cedar, depending on your preference. Again, predrill holes before attaching them with lag bolts or carriage bolts.

Once you move through these steps, you have yourself a basic pergola! Add accessories, engravings, or stains to get yours exactly as you want it. Building a pergola from scratch is a fun and rewarding weekend project. By following these simple steps, you’ll be enjoying your new outdoor space in no time!

If you have a vision for your dream backyard but don’t know where to start, we want to help. Call us and explore our projects to turn your vision into reality.