How To Build A Pergola

A Pergola will give you many years of enjoyment in your backyard, especially if you have a lake. Also a Pergola can allow you to connect with Mother Nature by allowing certain vines and branches to grow uninhibited, thereby allowing you to have a place of peace, a spot of serenity and a small part of a perfect world all to yourself. And the Chinese understood this long ago, and so this is why they are Masters at building Pergolas and have gladly passed on their knowledge to you. So now you must hurry up and build your own Pergola, you must gather up all the materials and you must get all your friends to come and help you for this Saturday project. All because you deserve this, you must have your own and you have to align with the different types of energy of the universe. And so this is why today I am sharing with You How To Build A Pergola, so you become co-creator with God, each time that you start from scratch and build something great like a Pergola. So Here We Go With The Instructions:

Installing the Posts
The posts are composed of pressure-treated 4 x 4 cores that are sheathed with 1 x cedar. We secured the post cores to a concrete pad with steel post-base anchors. If you're not building on a pad, use longer posts and set them in the earth below the frost line. 

Lay out the post positions and mark the screw locations [1]


We used 1/4-in. Tapcon screws that thread into 3/16-in. holes bored with a hammer drill [2]


Hold each post plumb and drive nails through the anchors into the wood [3]. If necessary, brace the posts so they stay plumb. 


Attaching the Support Beams
Cut the four 2 x 6 cedar support beams to length, use a template to mark the curved notches at the ends and cut the notches with a jigsaw. Clamp the beams in place, and check that they're level and that the posts are plumb. 

Then secure each end with four 3-in. No. 10 screws [4]


When adding the second of each pair of beams, check that they're level across the top edges [5]


Adding the Crossbeams
The 2 x 6 crossbeams are notched to fit over the support beams. 

Cut the notches with a dado blade in the table saw [6], or lay out each notch and use a jigsaw to remove the waste. 


Then, make the curved end cuts [7]


Install the crossbeam pairs at the posts first. When they're in place, bore screwholes down through their top edges and screw crossbeams to the support beams [8]. Then add the three remaining pairs with similar spacing. 


Post Trim and Braces
Cut the post trimpieces to length and width. Note that you'll need to notch some of the pieces to fit between the support beams, or you can make filler blocks to cover the post cores at these areas. Instead of trying for perfectly flush corners, we dimensioned the trim to leave a 1/8-in. shadow line, or reveal. 

Secure the trimpieces to the posts with construction adhesive and galvanized finishing nails [9]


Use 2 x 6 stock for the diagonal braces. Cut the ends to length at 45 degrees, and use a flexible stick to lay out the shallow curve on the lower edge of each brace. Fasten the braces to the posts and beams with screws [10]


Fitting the Top Slats
Cut the five 2 x 4 slats to length and shape the ends. 

Clamp each slat in place and mark the crossbeam notch positions [11]


If you use a table saw and dado blade to make the cuts, be sure to support the long stock at the opposite end [12]


Then, bore pilot holes and attach the slats with 3-in. No. 10 screws [13]


Capping the Posts
To make the post caps, cut square blanks and then set the table saw blade to 15 degrees for shaping the bevels. 

Use a longer board with a stop across the end as a sled to guide each blank through the blade [14]. Clamp the blanks to the sled when making the cuts. 


Secure the caps with 6d galvanized finishing nails and construction adhesive [15]

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