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How to Build a Pergola Over a Deck

Pergolas are tasteful shade structures that enhance the beauty of an outdoor landscape without blocking too much sky. Decorative lighting makes this deck feel more like a living room than a backyard.

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  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $2,500 - $5,000

  • Difficulty

    Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Add a Crossbeam to the Deck Posts

The posts on either side of the deck act as the support beams for the pergola (Image 1). Hang a crossbeam from these posts, checking level as you work (Image 2).

Step 2: Attach the Ledger Board and Joist Hangers

Attach a ledger board onto the side of the house (Image 1) 6 inches higher than the cross beam, so that the shade members will rest on the cross beam and sit in joist hangers on the ledger board. Attach your joist hangers (Image 2), using a joist jig for consistent size, every 6 inches on center.

Step 3: Hang the Shade Members

Cut your shade members to size and hang them into the joist hanger, and resting on the crossbeam (Image 1). Toenail the shade members into the cross beam to secure. When all the shade members are installed, cut crossbeams that will rest on top of the shade members (Image 2).

Step 4: Finish the Pergola

Cut 2x3 inch notches into the cross members so that they will interlock with the shade members to create lattice. Stain and seal your pergola.

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