DIY Network

How to Build a Decorative Wood Arbor

Decorative arbors provide the perfect support for climbing plants like roses and clematis.

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an arbor looks good as an entranceway to garden Watch Video
  • Time

    2 hours

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Select Site, Set Posts

Select the site for the arbor and mark the placement of the two posts. Use a post-hole digger to dig holes to a depth of 30 inches and width of 12 inches. Add a few inches of gravel to the bottom of the holes for drainage. Insert a 4x4 post in each hole. Ensure the posts are level and plumb. Attach temporary 2x4 bracing to hold in place. Mix fast-drying cement according to manufacturer's directions and pour in holes. Let cure for 24 hours.

gravel in bottom of holes approves drainage

Step 2: Attach Beams

Cut two 1x6 boards slightly longer than the opening of the arbor. Draw a decorative design on all ends of the beams and cut out the design using a jigsaw. Use 3-inch galvanized deck screws to attach the beams to the front and back of the 4x4 posts.

Step 3: Attach Rafters

Cut eight pieces of 2x2 to 8-foot lengths. Notch off a decorative 45-degree angle cut on each end. Space these rafters evenly along the top of the 1x6 boards. Use 3-inch galvanized deck screws to secure the boards in place.

Step 4: Plant

Dig holes at the base of the arbor and plant climbing plants.