DIY Pergola Plans

This step by step diy woodworking project is about diy pergola plans. If you want to learn more about building an exquisite pergola for your backyard, we recommend you to check out this step by step article. In most of the cases, building a pergola requires a permit so its is advisable to go to your town hall and ask for the legal requirements you have to comply to.

Before starting the actual construction project, we recommend you to plan everything, as to save money and to keep the costs under control. Adjust the size and the design of the pergola to suit your needs. In addition, we recommend you to invest in high-quality materials, such as pine, redwood or cedar, as they have a nice finish and are highly durable, especially in a humid environment.

If you don’t have a rich expertise in woodworking field, you should ask a friend to give you a hand with the project. There are many things that you could go wrong, so make sure you plan everything and invest in quality materials. Select the lumber with attention, making sure the components are perfectly straight and in a very good condition. Use a carpentry square to check if the corners are right-angled.

 

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DIY Pergola Plans

Building a free standing pergola

Building a free standing pergola

 

Materials

  • A – 4 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 96″ long LEGS
  • B – 4 piece of 2×10 lumber – 168″ long SUPPORT BEAMS
  • C – 8 pieces of 2×8 lumber – 144″ long SHADE ELEMENTS
  • D – 11 pieces of 1×1 lumber – 135″ long SLATS
  • E – 16 pieces of 1×3 lumber – 8 1/2″ long TRIMS

 

Tools

  • Safety gloves, glasses, Miter saw, jigsaw
  • Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
  • Drill machinery and drill bits

 

Tips

  • Apply several coats of wood stain to the wooden components
  • Fill the holes with wood filler and smooth the surface

 

Time

  • One Day

 

Related

 

 

Building a patio pergola

Laying out the pergola

Laying out the pergola

 

The first step of the woodworking project is to lay out the pergola in a professional manner. Therefore, use batter boards to lay out the posts as showed in the diagram. Make sure the corners are square by checking if the diagonals are square. In addition, apply the 3-4-5 rule to every corner in order to double check the accuracy of the layout.

 

Building the posts

Building the posts

 

Drill 3′ deep holes and set the posts in concrete, if you want to create a rigid structure. Alternatively, you could set post anchors to the concrete footings and fit the 6×6 posts into place using lag screws.

 

Fitting the posts

Fitting the posts

 

Irrespective of your choice, make sure you plumb the posts with a spirit level and you use temporarily braces to hold them into place until the concrete has dried out.

 

Building the support beams

Building the support beams

 

Build the support beams out of 2×10 lumber. Make sure you select the straightest beams you can find, otherwise the end result won’t have a neat aspect. Smooth the cut edges with fine-grit sandpaper in order to get a professional result.

 

Cutting the decorative ends of the support beams

Cutting the decorative ends of the support beams

 

In order to add character to your project, we recommend you to cut the ends in a decorative manner. Use the instructions in the diagram to mark the cut lines and use a jigsaw to make the cuts. Smooth the edges with fine-grit sandpaper and remove the excess with a damp cloth.

 

Fitting the support beams

Fitting the support beams

 

Clamp the support beams to the posts and make sure they are perfectly horizontal, by using a nice spirit level. In addition, align both ends of the beams for a professional result. Leave about 4 1/2″ from the top of the posts to the support beams. Afterwards, drill pilot holes through both the beams and the posts. Insert 7 1/2″ carriage bolts to secure the components together tightly. Two or three bolts on each joint will add enough support to the structure.

 

Fitting the trims to the posts

Fitting the trims to the posts

 

If you want to enhance the look of the backyard pergola, we recommend you to fit 2×4 trims to the top of the posts, just under the support beams. Cut both ends of the trims at 45 degrees and secure them to the posts using glue and finishing nails. Leave no gaps between the components for a professional result.

 

Building the shade elements

Building the shade elements

 

Next, you have to build the shade elements for the pergola out of 2×8 lumber. Therefore, mark the cut elements to the slats and get the job done with a jigsaw. Smooth the cut edges with sandpaper and remove the residues properly. It is essential to make 1 1/2″ x 3″ notches to the component, otherwise it won’t fit properly to the support beams.

 

Building the ends of the shade elements

Building the ends of the shade elements



Mark the cut lines on the beams and get the job done with a circular saw and with a jigsaw. Smooth the cut lines with sandpaper.

 

Fitting the shade elements

Fitting the shade elements

 

Fit the shade elements to the support beams, as described in the diagram. Drill pilot holes through the components and insert 6″ into the support beams. Leave no gaps between the components and use a spirit level to make sure the shade elements are perfectly horizontal.

 

Fitting the shade beams

Fitting the shade beams

 

Use the information in the diagram to space the shade elements properly. You can increase or decrease the distance between the components according to how much light you want to get through the roof.

 

Fitting the top slats

Fitting the top slats

 

One of the last steps of the project is to attach the 1×1 slats to the top of the pergola. They will keep the shade elements properly and prevent them from moving off the position. Cut the ends at 45 degrees for a personal touch. Make sure you place the slats equally-spaced for a symmetrical effect.

 

Building the stone base

Building the stone base

 

If you want to enhance the look of the pergola, you could build brick and stone walls around the perimeter of the pergola. Adjust the design of the walls to suit your needs. Invest in quality materials for a durable and professional result.

 

DIY Pergola Plans

DIY Pergola Plans

 

Last but not least, we recommend you to take care of the finishing touches. Fill the holes with wood filler and let it to dry out for several hours. Afterwards, smooth the wooden surface with fine-grit sandpaper and vacuum the residues. Drill pilot holes through the back of the desk and insert long screws into the wall studs.

Smart Tip: Apply several coats of stain or paint to the wooden components, if you want to protect them from decay and to enhance the look of the backyard pergola.

 

 

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