Tiered Pergola Plans

This step by step diy woodworking project is about tiered pergola plans. I have designed this unique pergola so you can add a little charm to your backyard. You can build this tiered pergola so you can set a table with a few chairs or even a swing. 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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Tiered Pergola – Free DIY Plans

Building a tiered pergola

Building a tiered pergola

Materials

  • A – 4 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 132″ long, 4 pieces – 156″ long POSTS
  • B – 12 piece of 2×8 lumber – 144″ long SUPPORT BEAMS
  • C – 22 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 96″ long SHADE ELEMENTS
  • D – 11 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 144″ long SHADE ELEMENTS
  • E – 23 pieces of 1×2 lumber – 144″ long SLATS

Tools

Time

  • One Week

 

 

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Building a backyard pergola

Pergola postsPergola posts

Pergola posts

The first step of the project is to build the posts for the pergola. Therefore, you need to use 6×6 pressure treated lumber or some other weather resistant material, such as cedar or redwood. As you can notice in the plans, you need to set the posts into the ground for about 3′.

Fitting the posts

Fitting the posts

You can set the 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 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.

Laying out the posts

Laying out the posts

The first step of the project is to layout the backyard 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.

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.

Fitting the supports beams

Fitting the supports 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 9″ carriage bolts (two for each joint) and lock everything tightly. Make sure the beams are horizontal and check if the corners are square. The support beams should overhang on both sides for about 12″.

Support beams for the side pergolas

Support beams for the side pergolas

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. Use a circular saw to make the notches. Moreover, you need to make the decorative cuts at both ends, as well.

Fitting the side pergola rafters

Fitting the side pergola 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.

Main pergola rafters

Main pergola rafters

Build the rafters for the main pergola from 2×6 lumber. Use a circular saw to make the notches, so you can fit them to the support beams.

Fitting the rafters to the main pergola

Fitting the rafters to the main pergola

Fit the shade elements to the top of the main pergola and place them equally-spaced. Use screws and rafter ties to lock the shade elements into place tightly.

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.

Tiered Pergola Plans - Back view

Tiered Pergola Plans – Back view

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 decay.

Tiered Pergola Plans - Front view

Tiered Pergola Plans – Front view

You can pave the base of the pergola with stone. In addition, you can set a swing bench to one side of the pergola or make other updates to the project.

Tiered Pergola Plans

Tiered Pergola Plans

This pergola is relatively small, so it will create enough shade for a few chairs and a small table. You could even fit an lawn chair or a small 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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