This step by step diy woodworking project is about 12x12 pergola plans. If you want to create a nice shaded area for you to spend the mornings and the hot summer days, this is the project to follow. I have designed this square pergola so you can get the job done quickly and enhance the look of your garden. Remember that you need to read the local building codes before starting the construction, so you comply with the legal requirements.
I recommend you to invest in the best materials you could afford. Therefore, you should buy weather-resistant lumber, such as pine or cedar. Always take accurate measurements before adjusting the size of the components at the proper size. Drill pilot holes trough the components before inserting the wood screws, to prevent the wood from splitting.
Made from this plan
12×12 Pergola Plans
- A – 4 pieces of 4×4 lumber – 144″ long POSTS
- B – 4 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 144″ long BEAMS
- C – 12 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 144″ long SHADE ELEMENTS
- D – 7 pieces of 1×2 lumber – 139″ long SLATS
- E – 16 pieces of 1×8 lumber – 36″ long SKIRTING
- F – 16 pieces of 1×3 lumber – 8 1/2″ long, 16 pieces of 1×1 lumber – 8′ long TRIMS
- 4 pieces of 4×4 lumber – 12′
- 16 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 12′
- 7 pieces of 1×2 lumber – 12′
- 2 pieces of 1×3 lumber – 8′
- 2 pieces of 1×1 lumber – 8′
- concrete tube
- 1 5/8″ screws, 2 1/2″ screws, 3 1/2″ screws
- rafter ties
- wood filler , wood glue, stain/paint
- Safety gloves, glasses
- Miter saw, jigsaw
- Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
- Drill machinery and drill bits
- One Week
How to build a 12×12 free standing pergola
The first step of the project is to set the posts for the 12×12 pergola. Therefore, use string and batter boards to lay out the location of the posts. Measure the diagonals and make adjustments till they are equal. Moreover, you need to apply the 3-4-5 rule to each of the four corners, so you make sure they are right angled.
You can set the 4×4 posts in concrete or you can pour footings and secure them in place with anchors. Dig 2-3′ deep holes and 14″ in diameter and then compact a layer of graves to the bottom. Fit the 12″ tubes and set the 4×4 posts into place.
Use a spirit level to plumb the posts and then secure them into place with temporarily braces. Pour the concrete in the tube forms and let it dry out for several days.
The next step of the outdoor project is to fit the skirting to the base of the posts. As you can easily notice in the plans, you need to make the skirting from 1×8 lumber. Use a table saw to make 45 degree bevel cuts to both ends of the pieces, making sure you rip them off to a width of 6 1/2″. Use 1 1/4″ brad nails and glue to secure the trims to the posts.
Use 1×3 slats for the top trims. Make 45 degree cuts to both ends of the trims and then set them into place with 1 1/2″ brad nails and glue.
Fit 1×1 detail trims to the posts, as shown in the diagram. Make 45 degree cuts to both ends of the pieces and then secure them into place with 1 1/2″ brad nails.
Use 2×6 lumber for the support beams. You could use 2×8 lumber or 2×10 lumber, if you are aiming for a bold statements. Use a jigsaw to make the decorative cuts to both ends of the beams and then smooth the edges with sandpaper.
Fit the support beams to the top of the posts, as shown in the diagram. Align the edges flush and clamp them into place tightly. Drill pilot holes and insert 7″ carriage bolts. Use a spirit level to plumb the walls and the check if the beams are level.
The next step of the project is to build the shade elements from 2×6 lumber. Make the notches to the beams, so you can fit them into place tightly. Moreover, you need to make the decorative cuts at both ends, as well.
Fit the shade elements to the top of the square pergola and place them equally spaced. Drill pilot holes and insert screws to lock them tightly to the support beams. Alternatively, you should use rafter ties to lock the components together tightly.
You can adjust the size between the shade elements, so you let more or less light to the covered area.
Last but not least, you should fit the 1×2 slats to the top of the pergola. Place the slats equally spaced and then insert 1 5/8″ screws, to lock them to the shade elements. These slats will keep the shade elements equally spaced and it will add an exquisite look to the project.
Last but not least, you should take care of the finishing touches. Fill the holes with wood putty and smooth the surface with 120-220 grit sandpaper. Apply a few coats of paint or stain to enhance the look of the project and to protect the components from decay and water damage.
This square pergola is the ideal place to sip your coffee during the mornings and take a healthy breath of fresh air. You can fit a few chairs and a nice table so you can socialize, work or read a good book.
If you like my project, don’t forget to SHARE it on Facebook and Pinterest. See my other pergola plans, as well, for more building inspiration.
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