How to Build a Pergola on a Patio – Easy DIY Guide

How to Build a Pergola on a Patio – Easy DIY Guide

Have you ever thought of pergolas as your choice of home renovations? When it comes to mind for this project, many homeowners will choose a new kitchen, tile bathroom, or bedroom walls, and forget their outdoor space. The outdoor structure is also a fantastic way to enhance your home’s value and appeal with some typical features such as a patio, deck, or just a pergola.

A pergola can create a similar effect for your backyard space but is more cost-effective, especially when you want a DIY pergola. So, how to attach a pergola to your home space step by step? Let’s go with Decking Pros NW to figure out the easiest DIY construction guide!

Or call us today at (206) 279-1450 for full-service consultation!

1. What Is a Pergola?

Pergola also builds way back to the Renaissance era.

Patio pergola prfcoojects are often erected to cover deck patios or as the centerpiece of European-style outdoor spaces. Today, this pergola is favored by the simple stylization, function, utility, and aesthetics that it brings.

Pergola is considered a model of a flower and vines planter. However, it will not be the same as the hut or hut structures because the pergola has four empty faces. The top of the pergola can be a roof, planting flowers, vines, or green hanging pots. And below the pergola, you can put rest tables and chairs to relax on the patio, chat, and relax, observing the surrounding space.

Since the pergola will shade the patio, it makes sitting in the yard at the weekend very refreshing.

Outdoor dining with your entire family on the patio pergola is so classic. Suitable for any styles, from small to large houses, if you have a garden, you should install a fantastic pergola for many fantastic reasons.

Pergola in front of the house will create an airy green outdoor space, bringing family members a sense of lightness and peace. The patio pergola at the back of the house is also a cozy corner for your family. Take advantage of the sun to plant flowers, plant trees, put a set of tables and chairs underneath, so the whole family has an exciting place to play as if in a tourist area you don’t have to go far. It also increases the aesthetic beauty of the entire outdoor space of the house.

Some people misunderstand them with an arbor. Arbor has a small and relatively simple architecture compared to the larger pergola. Arbor usually has a curved structure at the top like a dome, while pergola is built on four solid columns and a flat roof. Pergola is made from wood, while Arbor now uses vinyl material to construct.

Some more decking construction and patio here!

2. Guide on Building a Pergola on Your House’s Patio

Before getting into pergola installation, you have to create a design for your outdoor pergola building and choose a suitable space for your pergola. It could be your garden or backyard – every corner makes you comfortable in the right place for a pergola. After building your design, it’s time to work!

You can find some fantastic ideas for pergolas right here.

a. The Process to Build a Pergola

Step 1: determine the patio pergola column centers, and measure your soffits

The first-ever step to build a pergola is measuring the rim of your eaves if your pergola project includes building close to the house. To accurate the position, the column centers near but not too close to your home.

Keep the post center nearest the house at least seven in. farther away than this measurement. Attach a string to the small stakes and drive them an equal distance from the home to designate and align the outer areas.

Stake your post locations with remote posts and a string to keep them aligned. You’ll be able to untie the rope while digging and rejoin it afterward to check for alignment because the stakes are pushed beyond the work area. Mark the distance from one of the posts and check for the left-to-right place; the posts should be parallel to the house.

Step 2:Place the pergola posts down in the concrete

Place the soil in a wheelbarrow and move it away from your position as you elevate your holes. Any pebbles or sand should be kept for reconstructed pavers. A post may need to be moved moderately. We moved one of the steps closer to the house to create an entryway.

To ensure that the holes are aligned:

  1. Reconnect your layout string.
  2. Cut the forming tubes to size and place them in the pits.
  3. Adjust the forming tubes’ tops until they’re flush with the patio’s surface.
  4. You’ll need roughly five Quikrete or Sakrete concrete bags to mix each hole if you combine the concrete on site.

Approximately 30-40 sacks of concrete are required. That’s plenty to deliver to the job site by your local home center or lumberyard. When ordering a ready-mixed delivery, specify 1/2 cubic yard. Place your posts into the ground and pour the concrete mixture in.

Reposition your string line about one-fourth or one-third inch to account for post width, and then align the posts with your string line as you pour in the concrete. Don’t worry if your post is 1/2 inch out of alignment. When you install the overhead beam, you’ll be able to line up the tops of the columns. Let the concrete dry roughly two days after the posts have been embedded in it.

Step 3: Pergola Columns should be cut to length and fastened to the posts.

Turning the column backward, placing them over the posts, marking each post’s bottoms for trimming accompanied by enumerating. This step ensured that we just cut the tails. The cut creates a reference point and attaches a story pole to the house.

Step 4: Mark the Posts for dividing

You’ll need to cut each post precisely to maintain the pergola’s roof even and level across the entire top side. Attach a story to a straight 24 and level the bottom of each post against the house with your height. For the cutoff height of your columns, measure down 10-1/2 in. from the top of your fascia board.

Step 5: Divide Posts 

Using a combination square set from the bottom of the post, transfer your mark fully around the base. In your circular saw, cut the bar with a 10-teeth-per-inch wood blade. For each post you missed, you’ll need a new edge.  A circular saw is okay, but a jigsaw is less noisy and safer. Expect to eat up a new blade on each column because this composite material is only approximately 1/2 thick yet extremely hard.

Visit our gallery for more ideas HERE.

Step 6: Install Wood Plugs in the Pergola Columns

To suit the inside of your posts, cut five x0.5 inch circle wood plugs. For each column top, glue and screw a pair together, then glue the plugs flush into the top of each column. Use 2-inch deck screws to secure the pins to the columns.

Step 7: Attach shims to posts

1×4 treated pine is screwed to the side of each 44. This will strengthen the post and allow it to touch the hollow column’s inside edge.

Step 8: Attach the Columns to the Posts

Place each post on top of its respective pillar. Screw a level into the wood beneath each column towards the bottom. Drill and countersink eight screw holes on the columns’ sides: four-six inches from the bottom and four 30 from the bottom. Secure the columns to the posts with 3-inch no.12 external wood screws.

As you screw the column to the post, plum it. You’ll see that the post and column interact in some way. The tightening of the complete assembly will be accomplished by opposing screws.

Step 9: Set the Beam Over the Pergola Columns

After that, place the molded base on top of the column, followed by the capital. It’s better to wait until the project is nearly finished before fastening these in place. Cut the front and back 210 beams (E) to length, making them three in. shorter than the outside of the column tops, and walk them up the ladder. If a column won’t straighten, have someone force it straight up and down, then secure it with the steel brackets above.

Step 10: Secure the Beam in Place with Angle Brackets.

So that the beam is flush with the front outer edge of the column, screw it to the wood plug. With 1-1/4 in. Simpson bracket screws, use angle brackets as illustrated. The opposite beam is next screwed in place, followed by the F1 and F2 intermediate shafts.

Step 11: Attach the pergola Ledger Strips to the Beams

Cut your 12 ledgers and screw them 0.5 inches up from the bottom of each beam with a 1-inch nail every eight-inch, once all the 210 beams are in place. For the 28 flat rafters, these will serve as ledgers. Screw the beam to the wood plug to flush with the column’s front outside edge.

Step 12: Place the Rafters on the Ledgers

Now measure and cut each 2×8 flat pergola rafter to length, make sure it has the same size. But if you have trouble positioning your posts before, you might need to alter them. Along the two beams, mark the 6-inch length in the center. Set the 2×8 flat rafters, keep them verticle and use three 3-inch-deck nails to secure each end to the 2×10 beams. Screw or hammer them in place one at a time, aligning them with your marks from the rear of each shaft.

Step 13: Fasten the Rafters in Place

To fasten opposing 28 flat rafters, drive screws at an angle. Per end, use three 3-inch screws.

Step 14: Attach the Capitals

Once you’ve finished the rafters, use 2×0.5 inch deck screws to secure each capital to the underside of the beams. Drill or hammer the resin-cast capitals flush with the bottom of the 210 beams.

Step 15: Mark and Cut the Rafter Tails

Using the grid template shown in, cut the decorative pergola rafter tails from treated 2×10 lumber. Mark the first one as the pattern and trace it over and over again for consistency. With a belt sander or a compact drum sander, sand the delicate contours. Choose knotless decks and place them in the shade; avoid direct sun.

Step 16: Make the Lattice Strips

Cut the three in. comprehensive tail tips from 5/4 decking. With a hand plane or a router, round over the cut ends. To make the lattice strips, do a 1/4-inch round-over on each edge. Apply a solid-color stain to the tails and tops after sanding the edges with 100-grit sandpaper.

Before you pre-stain the treated wood pieces, make sure they’re scorched. Allow two days to cure in a shady area if they feel cool before applying the solid-color stain. If you rush the process, the paint may blister or roll off.

Step 17: Assemble the Rafter Tail

After the stain has cured, fasten the tops to the tails with 2-1/2 in. deck screws over the tops of each flat rafter and beam end. Then screw the rafter tail into place from the backside of F1. Cut the tail tips short on the attachments that protrude from the corners and screw them in place from the back of the front beam.

Install PVC Vent Pieces in Columns Insert 6-inch long 0.5-inch PVC pieces with 90-degree fittings into 0.75-inch holes drilled in the PVC. These tiny pipes act as ventilators, allowing any excess moisture in the columns to be sucked away. You are on the way to completing your patio pergola.

Step 18: Attach Lattice to Finish the Construction

After priming, apply a coat of high-quality exterior trim paint to the columns. Instead of painting the rest of the DIY pergola, use a solid-color stain and apply it with a roller and brush. Cut the 14 fascia strips flush with the tops of the beams and between each pair of tails, and nail them in place.

Allow the frame strips to protrude three inches beyond the fascia by screwing them across the rafter tops. Make sure that they’re appropriately distributed throughout each part. Add extra if you want the shade to be darker. 24×3 inch deck screws are used to link the corners of the treated sub-base components. Then screw the formed base to the sub-base and seal the gaps using acrylic caulk. You finally finish building a pergola.

Let’s hire some Seattle contractors to help you!

b. Pergola Material

There are two main materials used for building a pergola, including:

  • Wood
  • Composite

Depending on their natural characteristics, a pergola will be built with the aim to satisfy your home’s needs. Let’s find out which one would be the best choice for your home garden.

Wood pergola

Wood is widely used in construction and, perhaps, building a pergola for outdoor activities because of its unique properties. This material can be insulated, insulated, easily sawn, drilled, cut or joined, or grafted. The wood has a beautiful grain – the color and shape of the grain depend on the different wood species . Therefore, wood is a material with high aesthetics, suitable for current interior designs.

Products made from natural wood are always diverse in design and style. These products are often sculpted with very sophisticated patterns to increase beauty and elegance. The prints are usually not carved evenly; there are shallow and deep places depending on the artist. Therefore, you need to be careful when choosing these products.

About the structure, you can observe the texture of the wooden head to know if it is natural wood. Natural lumber will always have grains that run from the front to the side and go to the back of the product, creating a unified block. At the same time, the grains also have a harmonious interweaving with each other. It is a real investment for your patio pergola.

Composite pergola

Composite wood is used a lot for outdoor pergola installation. The main applications such as swimming pool, decking, and paving on the terrace to create an outdoor space, almost all high-class buildings such as hotels, resorts, and villas are indispensable for the presence of this new material. It is such a versatile material with high durability and lifespan but still guarantees the outer look.

Composite is a decorative louver for your patio pergola, or west-facing houses have their unique design for the project; the climbing flower truss, also known as the pergola truss, also uses composite material or lumber. It doesn’t bring as much as the aesthetic feeling, but it is still a great choice for your patio pergola.

3. Is a DIY Pergola on Your Patio Possible?

Yes, it is possible to build a pergola on the patio in your house by yourself. Hiring a pergola builder is much easier. The steps mentioned above are arduous, to be honest. If you are not familiar with hammers, saws, nails, or any tools, that would be a real challenge for yourself and your family. DIY pergola outdoor is complicated, but it isn’t impossible.

DIY pergola requires some handy tools on hand and a specific design to follow. Watch the steps we mentioned and choose the suitable material.

Mini Portable Saw Machine

To cut large wooden bars, you need mini portable steel saw with a capacity of 800W or more. That is the minimum requirement to do the job. With a compact design, and a portable circular saw weighing 1kg, you will be able to carry it without feeling uncomfortable.

Sanding Machine

To have beautiful work requires the craftsman to be meticulous in every detail. So a sanding machine will be a good choice for you!

The primary use of this product line is to clean wooden surfaces. Make the product shiny, and smoother to ensure aesthetics.

Multi-function Drilling and Cutting Tools

Most DIYers equip themselves with a set of multi-tools for drilling and cutting. Because of its compact design, it can be easily carried around.

Hand Tools

Professional hand tools such as chisels, files, sandpaper, etc., to be able to do the job effectively.

Marker Pen

Maybe if you don’t prompt, you’ll forget the carpenter’s marker. After measuring, you need to mark the position to be performed to avoid deviation and the wrong place. This home woodworking tool you can use with pens in the family!

Hopefully, these are the essentials that you should have to create your perfect pergola like this.

In addition to the pergola, you like to make wooden products yourself at home with efficient woodworking tools in life. These tools can also repair table shelves, kitchens, shoe racks, and wooden chair legs quickly. Investing in these tools is not a waste at all.

To conclude, the pergola is a minor detail that you can add to your house. It is such a grand building that every homeowner, affordable-versatile, don’t hesitate, let’s build on in your home.

For further information about how to build a pergola, contact us right today for a free consultation:

Phone: (206) 279-1450



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