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How to Build a Wood Pergola

Pergolas provide some much needed shade from the summer sun.

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  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate

Highlights:

Step 1: Select Site, Set Posts

Select the site for the pergola and mark the placement of the four posts. Use a post-hole digger or two-person auger to dig holes to a depth of 24 inches and width of 9 inches. Add a few inches of gravel to the bottom of the holes for drainage. Insert 4x4 posts into the holes. 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.

Step 2: Attach Joist Beams

Cut joist beams from 2x10 boards to span the pergola posts. To create a decorative look on the end of the joist beams, draw a straight or curved design on the wood and cut along the line with a jigsaw. Temporarily clamp in place while holes are drilled through the beams and posts. Attach the beams to the posts using 3-inch lag bolts.

Step 3: Attach Stringers

Cut the stringers from 2x6 boards to span and overhang the joist beams. To create a decorative look on the end of the stringers, draw a straight or curved design on the wood and cut along the line with a jigsaw. Evenly space the stringers perpendicular to the beams and toenail in place using 3-inch galvanized deck screws.

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