How to Build a Pergola

It’s nice to go out and walk under a pergola. The shade from the vine overgrowth is nice during a hot summer day. The aroma is quite relaxing. Building a pergola is simple. Just a little planning and you can have a wonderful addition to your home or garden.

Required Materials/Tools

  • 4×4″ post stock
  • 2×4″ stock
  • 2×8″ stock
  • Foundation tubes
  • Post anchors
  • Bolts and screws
  • Hammer and nails
  • Paint or wood stain
  • Stakes
  • Ratchet and bolts
  • Shovel
  • A drill
  • Hammer and nails or nail gun
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw table (to cut boards to length)


  1. First we need to set up the lay out. Have a good idea where you want your pergola to go.
  2. Take the wooden steaks and steak out the area you are going to set up the pergola.
  3. We need to lay out the foundations of the pergola. Dig post holes where posts are going to go in. Be mindfull of how big the pergola is and that it will bear a lot of weight, accommodate the size of the pergola with the proper amount of foundation posts.
  4. When digging the post holes, be sure to go 4 ft deep. This is below the frost line and will keep the cement from cracking. Be sure to dig a few inches wider than the post.
  5. Mix the concrete and pour it into the concrete tubes. They should be about 3″ below ground level.
  6. Set the post anchors into the cement before it hardens.
  7. Place the posts into the anchors and use some strapping to support them. Distribute the headers evenly and lay them out with a level. Mark the level line around the post. Cut the posts to length.
  8. Mark the headers to length and cut them to size. We need to make sure they all look alike. Use a level to cut them.
  9. Cut the cross members to length. Make sure to inspect them and look for bends in the wood. These we shouldn’t use. Now that we have all the pieces ready.
  10. We should paint them and let them dry. Use an outdoor paint and be sure it’s waterproof. It’s easier to do this step before assembly.
  11. While we let the paint dry, we need to be sure to install any patio or flooring before we start construction.
  12. Now it’s time to attach the posts into their anchors. When the posts are in the anchors, you need to tighten them and then countersink the bolt holes that are on the posts and headers.
  13. Take the corner blocks and cut them to size. These will be where the headers and posts will meet. Countersink the supports.
  14. Screw the corner supports into place.
  15. Take the cross members and lay them out on top of the headers. You need to attach them to the longer header boards. If you are using a middle header for support, you need to nail here.

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