Building a Pergola

This project details the plans for building a pergola, a basic overhead structure for your deck.

Building the Pergola

This structure may look complicated, but taken step-by-step it is easy to build. The most difficult part is working above your head, so have a pair of stable stepladders on hand and enlist a reliable helper.

Because only one row of posts is used in this design, the pergola can be no wider than 6 feet. For more shade install at least two rows of posts with beams. Use 2x6s for beams and rafters that span up to 8 feet, and 2x8s for beams or rafters with spans of up to 11 feet.

The detailing of the pergola can be changed easily to suit your taste. Choose a simple or ornate design for the ends of the beams and rafters. Position the top pieces closer for more shade, farther apart for less shade.

Prestart Checklist

Time
Working with a helper, most of a day to build a three-tiered overhead with a lattice panel

Tools
Tape measure, hammer, drill, circular saw, post level, carpenter's level, layout square, ratchet and socket wrench, sandpaper

Skills
Measuring and cutting boards, checking posts for plumb, fastening while working on a ladder

Prep
Notch the decking so that posts can go tight up against the outside joist

Materials
4x4 posts, 2x6 rafters, 2x8 beams, 1x2 for top pieces; lattice, 2x4 and 2x2 frame for lattice; hurricane ties; 1-1/2-inch, 3-inch screws

Building an Overhead Structure

A doubled 2x8 beam supported by 4x4 posts is a firm base for this overhead structure made of 2x6 rafters and 2x2 top pieces.

Step 1

Cut posts to the desired height, and anchor them so they have lateral strength. In this case, posts are bolted to a joist and attached to a post anchor on a concrete patio. If you set posts in holes, cut them to height after the concrete sets.

Step 2

Cut the rafters to the same length, and mark them for the distance they will overhang. Clamp them together with their crowns facing up; lay out and mark them for the installation of top pieces.

Step 3

Cut two 2x8 beams to the same length. Hold them together with their crowns facing up, and lay out on their tops for rafters that are evenly spaced. To hold the rafters, install hurricane ties on one beam where they will be least visible. Attach the beams to the posts with 3-inch deck screws.

Step 4

Center each rafter on the beams, using the overhang mark made in Step 2. Attach each rafter with a hurricane tie on one beam and by toe-fastening screws into the other beam. Cut 2x2 top pieces to length. Mark for a 6-inch overhang at each end. Attach the top pieces to the rafters with 3-inch screws or nails. Sand any rough edges with medium-grit sandpaper.

Step 5

Cut 2x4s to span from post to post, and install them by drilling angled pilot holes and driving screws or nails. To provide a nailing surface for the lattice, attach a 2x2 nailer flush with the inside edges of the 2x4s and the 4x4 post.

Step 6

Cut a lattice panel to fit inside the frame and attach it to the nailers with nails or screws. Cut pieces of 2x2 and install them tightly to the lattice so that the lattice is sandwiched between two pieces of 2x2.


Comments (3)
8036650867
terrafirma808 wrote:

Where is the finished pic? Geez...

9/5/2011 08:02:29 PM Report Abuse
thehandieman68 wrote:

i want to build a pergola and i want to ad herrican ties.what type of screws should i use.

5/9/2011 03:28:51 PM Report Abuse
mathaliving wrote:

This is incomplete and has no finished product image.

7/20/2010 02:33:25 PM Report Abuse
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