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How to Install Arbor Posts

Placing and securing the arbor posts takes place after the lumber has been painted.

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Step 1: Paint the Wood

The arbor will be constructed of wood and galvanized wood-fasteners. For simplicity, paint all of the wood components for the arbor before starting construction. The simplest and quickest method for doing this is to lay the lumber pieces out as shown, and paint them all together using a paint roller. To provide good protection against the elements, we used two coats of heavy-duty latex primer followed by two coats of paint. Tip: We used untreated lumber since treated lumber has a tendency to twist and warp as it cures.

lay lumber for arbor out and paint all at once

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 2: Anchor the Posts

The posts for the arbor are anchored using galvanized anchor brackets (Image 1). The brackets are anchored to the stone and concrete floor using screws and bolts with wedge anchors. Once the positions of your posts are determined, use one of the anchor plates as a template to draw a pattern for placement of the posts and their fasteners (Image 2). Wedge anchors are the ideal fastener for this application. They have an outer sleeve that expands as the bolt is tightened down into a predrilled hole. (Image 3).

Step 3: Pre-Drill Bolt Holes, Test-Fit Bracket

Pre-drill the holes for the bolts and anchors using a 3/4" masonry bit. Drill to the correct depth. Next, hammer in the wedge anchor, then test-fit the bracket in position. Mark to pre-drill the holes for the smaller screws, then drill those pilot holes.

test fit bracket and pre drill pilot holes

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 4: Fasten Base Plate and Insert Concrete Screws

Fasten the bracket base-plate by attaching two washers and a nut over the wedge anchor and tightening down securely. Insert the concrete screws using a cordless drill.

arbor hardware fastened and tightened securely

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 5: Place Post, Check Level and Secure

With the bracket secured, position the post in the base-plate. This plate will anchor the post and will hold it slightly above the patio to help prevent wood rot. Check for level and plumb. Then secure the post to the bracket with wood screws.

position post in base plate

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 6: Stabilize the Posts

The posts are stabilized temporarily using scrap 2x4's to hold them secure and plumb while the overhead portion of the arbor is constructed. Before attaching the headers across the posts, cut some scrap 2x4's and screw one end into the post as shown (Image 1). The 2x4 should extend downward diagonally to the ground. At the lower end, drive a stake into the ground. Make sure that the attached post is plumb and level, then secure the lower end of the brace to the stake using wood screws (Image 2).

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