Tag Archives: building a pergola

7 Tips on how to build a Pergola

A pergola can be described a walkway or shed at the exterior of a house which is constructed using beams and a simple covering in order to provide shade and improve the aesthetic value of the property.

There is a common perception that the construction of a pergola needs to be done by a professionals. This is not usually the case as a pergola is a simple structure and can be easily constructed by an individual provided that the individual has proper guidance on how to go about doing it. In view of this, the following is an overview of how to make a pergola that might go a long way in helping individuals who might decide to carry out this project on their own.

Materials needed In order to successfully build a Pergola:

  • Tape measure
  • Wood stakes
  • Plastic bucket
  • Spray paint
  • Auger
  • Posts
  • Level clamps
  • Hammer
  • Nail gun
  • Screws
  • 2 by 6 and 2 by 10 boards


Before you get started, it is important that you should come up with a plan for the area in which you want to construct a pergola. As a rule, the most preferable location for construction of this structure is usually the garden. Alternatively, an individual can also decide to construct a pergola on a pavement or footpath leading to a house so as to add aesthetic value to the property.

Steps to be followed to build a Pergola

  1. Purchase all the necessary materials needed for the construction. By ensuring that you have all the necessary materials prior to starting construction, your work would be greatly simplified since there would be no need to move around looking for materials. It is advisable that you make a list of all the required materials before heading out to make the purchases.
  2. Referring to the plan, measure out the required area for the construction of the pergola. The pergola can be in any shape but as a norm, four sided shapes are usually recommended. This is because the construction of a rectangular or square pergola is considered as being easier than the construction of complex shaped structures.
  3. After measuring and determining the dimensions required for the pergola, carefully note the four respective corners of the pergola and drive wooden stakes into the exact position of the corners. It is usually advisable to map out a reference point/corner from which the rest of the corners will be determined.
  4. After locating a corner, ensure that you mark it with a stake before moving on to the next corner. Take the plastic buckets and cut them into half. After doing this, place the bucket over each stake and mark the ground with a spray painter. This is usually done to determine the area on the ground where a hole is to be dug. When doing this, it is usually recommended that the circumference of the bucket being used should be sufficient to map out an appropriate area that would be neither too large nor too small.
  5. The next step is to excavate the soil to a depth of three foot on the area marked out by the spray paint. This is usually done by the use of a post hole digger. Pour some crushed rocks into the hole for drainage purposes and then insert the 6 by 6 poles into the hole. Attach boards to the four posts to keep them vertical after which you should pour a concrete mixture down the holes and leave them to dry for a day or two.
  6. After the concrete has sufficiently dried and is firmly rooted to the ground, you can continue with the rest of the construction process. Place 2 by 10 beams the top of the four posts all along the circumference. Drill holes on top of the beam and into the posts after which you should fasten the beam with screws. Position rafters on top of the structure and nail the rafters onto the structure. Place 2 by 6 boards upright down the length of the pergola and use a nail gun to secure boards to the structure


It is not necessary for a pergola to have a concrete floor. However, it can be incorporated into the design if an individual prefers having it. By following these steps on how to make a pergola, you can be well on your way to having your own pergola.