Your home is your oasis – but can you say the same about your backyard? If your backyard is neglected, barren, or boring, it’s far from an oasis.
But your backyard doesn’t have to be ugly. You can turn it into your own private oasis, and you can start with a simple pergola.
Wondering how to build a pergola? It’s not as hard as it seems! Here’s a quick and easy guide to building your backyard pergola.
Identify a Location
The first step is to identify the location you want for your pergola. A pergola won’t block out all of the sun, but it will create a dappled sunlight effect. That’s why many folks try to determine how to build a pergola on a deck or a patio – they want to lounge or dine in the shade.
If you don’t have a patio yet search online for nearby landscapers that can build paver patios. This type of patio gives you lots of options for designs, colors, and textures. Check it out – there are lots of paver patio styles available.
A quick tip: check your local building codes. You may need a permit, depending on your local laws.
Once you’ve identified a location, it’s time to gather your materials. Start by choosing the right type of wood. You will need at least 4 posts and 4 beams, as well as enough wood for your slats and joists (the exact amount will depend on the size of your pergola and the look you are going for).
Bolts or screws will be required. You may also need a jigsaw, wheelbarrow, and fast-drying cement, depending on the desired joist design and location of your pergola.
Install Your Support Posts
Now you’re ready to dig holes for your support posts. For safety, consult your local utility companies to ensure you won’t be digging into any buried cables. If you have access to an earth auger, they will make the process easier and give you a uniform hole size.
Set the posts, using a level to make sure they are plumb. Mix fast-drying cement in a wheelbarrow and pour it into the post holes, stopping at least an inch from the top (the concrete will expand).
You can also use ground screws instead of concrete for securing your pergola. For wood surfaces, 90-degree brackets suffice. Hammer drive anchors can be used for concrete patios.
Build Your Roof
Secure both of your cross beams to the posts. Lay your joists perpendicular to the cross beams and secure them in place.
Often, joists are notched or cut with a specific shape. If you are artistic, you can create your own end design for the joists, or you can follow a pattern online. A louvered roof pergola for example, is becoming really popular with homeowners today, so you should check it out. Either option will involve drawing a design on the wood and cutting with a jigsaw.
Now You Know How to Build a Pergola
These are the basic steps of how to build a pergola. It doesn’t have to cost a small fortune, and you don’t need expert DIY skills. Backyard renovations don’t come much easier than this, and once it’s completed, you will have a low-maintenance way of enjoying the shade.
For more home improvement ideas, check out the rest of our site.