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How to Build a Spanish-Style Arbor

These step-by-step instructions demonstrate how to create a Spanish-style arbor topped with distinctive tiles that lend a bit of sophistication to a patio.

More in Outdoors

  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Cut the Lumber

Sketch out the design. The arbor for this Mediterranean-inspired patio consists of two tall posts, connected by 2x8s mounted on spacers. Spanish-style rounded roof tiles top off the structure.

Measure and cut the lumber for the project based on the design. Use pressure-treated 4x4s for the posts, 2x8s for the crossbeams and scraps of 2" x 8" for the spacers. Make sure to cut the posts long enough to sit securely in the ground.

Step 2: Install the Posts

Use a post-hole digger or a utility loader with an auger attachment to dig holes for the posts. Slip the posts into the holes, level and plumb the posts and backfill with quick-drying concrete.

Even up the posts. Once the concrete has dried and the posts are secure, check the tops of the posts to make sure they are level and trim off one post with a reciprocating saw if needed.

Safety Alert: Reciprocating saws can have a powerful kick that can make them difficult to control. Use a hand saw or have a helper trim the posts if you are not confident. Be especially careful when working atop a ladder.


Step 3: Attach the Crossbeams

Measure and mark the position for the spacer blocks on the posts, using a string level to line up the marks. Use screws to attach the spacer blocks to the posts, then to attach the 2" x 8" crossbeams to the spacer blocks.

Tip: Use galvanized screws for this and other outdoor projects to prevent rust.

Step 4: Attach the Tiles

Raise the roof. Dry-fit the half-round terra-cotta roof tiles on top of the crossbeams to even out the spacing. The bottom course of tiles lays with the rounded side downward; the rounded side goes up for the top tiles (Image 1).

Remove the top row of tiles and attach the bottom row by nailing through the holes in the tiles. Repeat for the top row (Image 2).

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