How to Build a Pergola DIY

Pergola DIY plan: informative and practical guide on how to build a pergola, from the choice of material to the identification of necessary tools, the choice of location to the project preparation, the indication point by point the necessary operations to achieve the goal.

pergola DIY plan

Building a pergola: Preliminary considerations

The pergola, consisting of a wooden structure, masonry or metal and a roof that houses evergreens or deciduous, aims to protect from the sun, while ensuring a comfortable living outdoors even during very hot periods of the summer season by hosting the ‘children’s play area, picnic area with its barbecue, etc.

Among the plants most suitable for the pergola, we remember the bougainvillea, the passionflower, the creeper, etc.

how to build pergola diy

Pergola and shed: differences

The pergola differs from the shed because, unlike the latter which is typically anchored to a wall of the building, is an independent structure to be built in any point of the garden, such as gazebos, as well as does not create a true surface protection below, since it does not present a real cover, but is intended to host plants, typically vines. The fact remains that the arbor can be placed against a wall of the house.

backyard makeover pergola with bohemian style

Materials: strengths and weaknesses

As we have seen, the structure of a pergola can be wood, wood and masonry, metal. Like all alternatives, the different materials have advantages and disadvantages.

Wood is definitely the material that best integrates with the natural environment designed to host it and is the least expensive, but need more care and maintenance.

The masonry structures and / or metal require less maintenance and are more durable, but they are more expensive and are a factor of breakage that have little or nothing in common with the natural environment.

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Permissions required: legislation

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In general, in the absence of constraints on the landscape, the orientation of the T.A.R. of the various regions, the Technical Offices of Municipalities and Civil Engineering, is not to consider the pergolas new construction or renovation, provided by small size and it is clear and unambiguous the character of temporary, ancillary and destination: create d ‘area shade, to repair and protect from the sun during the summer seasons.

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Certainly the artifact must not create any inconvenience to other condos, they constitute any barrier to light. In the presence of pergolas, size, materials, anchoring system and base, can cast doubt, be sure to contact the Technical Department of your local council.

If the characteristics are such that the authorization by the competent technician, must also comply with the distances from other structures or buildings (boundary walls, wooden houses, etc.)

how to build a pergola

How to make a pergola with wooden frame: Project. Considering the space available, we assume to build a quadrangular base pergola 340cmx440cm, high 220cm from the ground.

The project includes four poles to be fixed with a casting of cement mortar, in as many holes. The poles will be drowned in the pouring of concrete of about 40cm. We chose to cement the poles directly but, alternatively, in place of the poles could cementing of the door-posts to which anchor the beams, once the concrete has dried completely, and it is possible to anchor the door-posts directly to a concrete floor already exists.

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If done in a workmanlike manner, this second option maintains the poles slightly off of the ground allowing the wood to breathe and quickly dispose of his arch enemy: moisture. The cemented poles and to a greater extent than those buried in the ground definitely at greater risk.

To the pairs of poles, along the longer side, the two beams will be fixed, with bolts passing round head, transversely to which are nailed to the joists to distance of about 35 cm, depending on the plant species that will have to accommodate.

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floating deck pergola outdoor dining room

Materials needed : • 4 pali- pillars, section 12x12cm 260cm long; • 2 beams 12x12cm 440cm length; • No. 8 through bolts from 15cm, to attach the beams to the posts (2 for each anchor point); • 13 6×8 joists, 340cm length, fixed crosswise to the beams; • 8 strips 5x5cm length 120cm, to lock the posts in the holes before the pouring of concrete; • carpenter’s nails to attach the joists to the beams; • gravel; • cement mortar; • impregnating wood.

You will buy: poles, beams and pellets and rails at an outlets that also provide cutting service; gravel and cement mortar premixed at a shop of construction materials; nails, bolts and impregnating at a hardware store. Points at the wood, in addition to cutting of all wooden elements, you run an interlocking in half log at the two ends of the two beams and one of the two ends of the four poles.

Tools: tape measure; meter; 4 pellets and a long rope twenty meters; mallet; spade; pick; bricklayer bucket; trowel; trowel; shovel; plumb line; level-in spirit; cordless drill fitted with a tip diameter of 10mm wood; building slip; brush to move the impregnating.

triangle pergola

Operational procedure:

Step 1 Established the place to build the pergola, with the aid of the measurement tape, the mallet and 4 poles, delimiting the perimeter of the pergola.

Step 2 At the four corners (marked by 4 poles), without using your spade, and if necessary the pick, dug just 4 holes 35×35 to 45cm deep. Arrange on the bottom of the hole a layer of gravel of 5cm.

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Step 3 In each of the 4 holes dropped a pole, from the opposite end to the one that presents the interlocking means in wood. Fixed individual posts with a pair of 5x5cm strips, which inchioderete front.

Step 4 Prepare the cement mortar, which in view of the amount you can knead the ground with the help of the shovel. Without using your spirit level and plumb, make sure of the exact verticality of the poles, while the metric wheel controlled the distance between them that in view of the stakes here, to be 326cm and 426cm respectively. Performed the above checks, see to the poured concrete.

Step 5 Spent 36-48 hours, depending on the weather conditions, ie when the concrete is dry completion, remove from the posts of support slats. By serving the building slip resting the beam on the first pair of poles, matching the joints. Performed for each anchor point two through holes, spacing them properly and firmly fixed the beam to the pole with carriage bolts. Repeat this for the second beam.

Step 6 By serving the building slip, hammer and nails carpenter, set the joists crosswise to the rafters. It just has to give a protective coat of primer to the whole structure, and preceded by a woodworm hand. The pergola is ready to host plants.

Maintenance In order to protect the wood over time from the attacks of pests and weather, every 2-3 years retries with the impregnated.

Useful information If you intend to take advantage of the pergola even during the winter period, you can opt for a cover in the middle onduline transparent PVC sandwich arranged in a double layer of reeds. In this case, be sure to provide the coverage required slope for rainwater runoff.


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