You can build your own outdoor pergola!


An outdoor pergola is a structure built outdoors that covers an area or section of land. People commonly build them in their gardens or backyards. The truth is that building one can significantly increase the value of your home while providing an aesthetic value you can appreciate every time you step outdoors. It's also much easier to do than most people think. Some people think that taking on a project like building a pergola is something they can't do on their own, but it is more than possible to do so with success provided that one has the proper materials, tools, construction plans, motivation, and attitude.

What options are available in building a pergola?

There are a number of different ways to build a pergola. Some are built with a slatted open design so they may offer a slight amount of protection from rain, snow, and other inclement weather. Others can be built with roof panels that can be adjusted, which allows for greater protection. A simple pergola that is constructed over an area slated for barbecuing or patio use can keep people from burning up in the sun. It is even possible to increase the aesthetic beauty in an outdoor pergola through the planting of flowers and vines that can wind their way up and around the pergola.

Where do you find construction plans?

There are several hardware and DIY stores that provide manuals for people interested in building their own outdoor pergolas. Such manuals will be available for the creation of different styles of pergolas at different levels of difficulty. A number of websites also offer instructions. However, the following guide will allow you to build your own custom outdoor pergola per your specifications.

What kinds of materials will you need?

You will need:

* Hammer

* Ladder

* Level

* Jigsaw

* Circular saw

* Safety glasses

* Reciprocating Saw

* Socket wrench and cokets

* Tape measure

* Deck screws

* Drill

* Cedar posts that are weather proof and 12' x 4" x 4"

* 2" x 12" Cedar lumber

* Gravel

* Digger

* Washers and lag bolts

You will need to figure how much you need of any given accessory by deciding how large you want your pergola to be. It will be important to first sketch out your pergola and do all of your measuring in advance for your intended height, width, and length of your custom outdoor pergola.

The actual building process

The first step is to measure the sites for your supporting cedar posts. Dig four holes into the ground through the digger that are roughly 9 inches wide and 2 feet deep. Fill them partially with gravel and put in the 4" x 4" posts. Check to make sure everything is level before pouring in cement that will dry quickly. Let everything set for a day. Make sure these posts are measured correctly since they will support the loads for the pergola's roof.

Next, get your 2" lumber and cut the horizontal connecting beams. These are also known as joist beams; make sure the lumber is the lumber you decided would work for joist beams ahead of time. You might want to use decorative angling here on the ends of the beams, as these portions will form the top and leading portions of your pergola once it is done. Hold them in place with clamps until you have your holes drilled and everything connected with washers and lag bolts.


Finally, cut out the connecting beams for the top portions of your pergola. Be sure to space them evenly, and nail them solidly to your pergola with your deck screws. You can paint the wood if you like to make it more attractive. That's it!

Anna Kec

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