How to Make a Pergola
Before beginning to build, determine the size of your pergola and decide which type of wood you want to use. Cedar is an excellent option for outdoor spaces, as the wood resists pests and stand up well to extreme weather. You can stain the wood, or allow it to age in response to the environment. You can learn how to make a pergola following these step-by-step instructions.
Installing Support Posts
A wooden pergola begins with installing the base and posts. If you are looking for a permanent outdoor space, pour a concrete base in the desired size, and allow the concrete to set. After the concrete sets. Prepare 4×4 posts at even intervals along the perimeter of the pergola base to form a rectangle.
Attach the posts to the concrete using steel post-base anchors. After setting the posts in the ground or anchoring the posts to the concrete, you are ready to begin installing the columns or roof.
The kit includes pre-cut posts and columns that fit over the wooden posts. After attaching the post to the concrete or burying it to the recommended depth, simply set the column over the post, and attach it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When building wooden pergolas without a concrete base, place the posts approximately 18 inches in the ground, or below the frost line.
Installing the Roof
All the posts should be the same height. To determine whether adjustments are necessary, span a 2×4 between two posts and place a level on the center of the 2×4. A kit allows you to easily set the appropriate roof supports into place, as the wood is pre-cut and ready to install. Learning how to make a pergola is simple when you are using a kit, as the clear, concise instructions are designed for those with little experience building.
You can also customize real wooden pergolas to fit the theme and decor of your property. Real wood can be sanded, stained and painted throughout the years to reflect an evolving style, or you can allow the wood to naturally age over time. With real wooden pergolas, the options for customization are endless.