16×16 Pergola Plans – Step by Step

This step by step diy woodworking project is about 16x16 pergola plans. I have designed this large square pergola so you can create some shade in your backyard efficiently. This pergola is sturdy, features an elegant design and it is easy to build. 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.

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16×16 Pergola Plans – Step by Step

Building a 16x16 pergola

Building a 16×16 pergola

 

Materials

  • A – 4 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 8′ long POSTS
  • B – 4 piece of 2×8 lumber – 18′ long SUPPORT BEAMS
  • C – 15 pieces of 2×8 lumber – 18′ long SHADE ELEMENTS
  • D – 11 pieces of 1×2 lumber – 18′ long TOP SLATS
  • E – 4 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 36″ long BRACES
  • F – 4 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 39 1/2″ long BRACES

Tools

Time

  • One Week

 

 

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How to build a 16×16 pergola

Building the posts

Building the posts

First of all, you need to cut the top of the pergola posts, as shown in the diagram. Use a circular saw to make the parallel cuts inside the marked areas and then get the job done with a chisel. Smooth the recess with sandpaper, making sure the corners are square.

Fitting the posts

Fitting the posts

Next, you need to layout the square 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.

Fitting the posts

Fitting the posts

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 gravel 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.

Support beams

Support beams

Use 2×8 lumber for the support beams. Make 45 degree cuts to both ends of the beams, for decorative purposes. Smooth the edges with sandpaper. You can play a little with the design of the decorative cuts so you add your personal touch to the outdoor project. Smooth the edges with sandpaper for a professional result.

Fitting the support beams

Fitting the support beams

Align the support beams to the top of the beams and then clamp them into place tightly. Drill pilot holes through the 6×6 posts and through the beams. Insert 6″ carriage bolts (two for each joint) and lock everything tightly. Make sure the beams are horizontal and check if the corners are square.

Building the rafters

Building the rafters

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.

Fitting the rafters

Fitting the rafters

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.

Fitting the top slats

Fitting the top slats

Last but not least, fit the 1×2 slats to the shade elements, as shown in the diagram. Drill pilot holes and insert 1 5/8″ screws to keep the rafters equally spaced.

Building the braces

Building the braces

In order to enhance the rigidity of the pergola, you need to add braces to the four corners of the large square pergola. Make 45 degree cuts to both ends of the braces, as shown in the diagram. Smooth the edges with sandpaper. Use 2×6 lumber for the red braces and 2×6 lumber for the yellow braces.

Fitting the braces

Fitting the braces

Fit the braces to the pergola, as shown in the diagram. Align the edges with attention, drill pilot holes and insert 4 1/2″ screws to lock them into place tightly. Use a spirit level to plumb the posts vertically before fitting the braces into place.

16x16 Pergola Plans - Step by Step

16×16 Pergola Plans – Step by Step

Last but not least, you need to take care of the finishing touches. Fill the holes with wood putty and then smooth the surface with sandpaper. Apply a few coats of paint or stain to enhance the look of the components and to protect them from the elements.

16x16 Pergola Plans

16×16 Pergola Plans

This 16×16 pergola is large enough for creating a really nice relaxation area in the backyard. With so much space you can fit a table, a few chairs and even a sofa. 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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