Do you want to make a pergola for your garden? In this guide we show you how to do that very easily step by step. Read on quick!
Pergolas are super popular in the garden or in the front yard. In addition to being very beautiful and decorative, a pergola in the garden also offers other advantages. For example, you can use it to make a garden canopy, so that you can sit in the garden even when it rains. You can turn it into a shade, with a sun cloth on the roof of the pergola. And you can also have a pergola beautifully overgrown with different types of climbing plants.
The construction of a pergola consists of vertical posts on which horizontal beams rest. You can place them at the entrance of your garden, over a garden path, against your house or just somewhere free-standing in the garden. Depending on what the purpose of the pergola is, and also on your personal wishes, you determine how the pergola will look like. In this guide, we’ll show you how to make a freestanding pergola consisting of six vertical wooden posts, topped with seven horizontal cross posts. In addition, trellis screens have been placed on the two long sides, on which climbing plants can grow.
This pergola making guide consists of two parts. The first section is vertical construction with the vertical wooden posts, and the second section includes the wooden cross beams on the roof of the pergola and the trellis screens on the two long sides.
What do you need?
- Six vertical wooden posts;
- Two long wooden horizontal beams;
- Seven wooden joists;
- Temporary support beams;
- Four trellis screens;
- Long nails or screws;
- Earth auger;
- Fast cement.
Create a vertical pergola construction
Place the three upright wooden posts for one side of the pergola on the ground. Cut two 1.22m pieces of wood and use them to mark the correct distance between the posts, top and bottom.
Put a crossbar in place, at the top of the three posts. Make sure that 20 cm protrudes from both sides of the vertical crossbar. Then mark the outline of the vertical bar. Since the wood may not be identical, it’s a good idea to number each horizontal post and vertical bar with pencil so you can re-match them properly. Repeat this process with the other side of the pergola.
Use a chisel, saw and mallet to create the openings in the horizontal crossbar where the three vertical posts will fit with the top. Make sure it gets a neat, tight fit.
Make the profiles at the ends of the crossbar. Then measure 25mm from the top and 75mm from the outside edge. Draw a line between these points with a pencil and stretch the square along the adjacent faces of the wood. Then saw off the marked wedge – or if you prefer, you can come up with a decorative profile yourself.
Use the construction as a guide to help you mark the holes in the front of the ground. Square the ends with a piece of wood and align them exactly parallel with a measurement of 1.32m. This will give you the exact position for the center of each post hole. Mark these with sticks, then remove the wood and use an auger to make the holes in the ground with a depth of 450 mm.
Place the vertical wooden posts in the openings of the wooden crossbar. Then drill holes and the crossbar and secure them with two 125mm galvanized nails. You can also use screws of the same length.
Use the 1.22 m long timber to accurately arrange the uprights and try the square to make sure they are square to the rafter. After that, fix the structure with three pieces of wood.
Place the structure in the holes in the ground and support it with temporary support posts. Check again that the posts are vertical and in line with each other and that the crossbar is level.
Now position the other side of the pergola and use a spirit level to make sure both rafters are at the same height. You may need to adjust the depth of the holes in the ground. When the posts are level, you can pour in the quick cement. Then fill the post with soil.
Horizontal beams and trellis screens
Now that the vertical construction of the pergola is in place, the horizontal beams (uprights) and the trellis screens can be placed.
First place the two outer cross beams on the construction, then the middle cross beam. Then the four remaining cross beams can be placed, evenly distributed between the three already installed beams. Use the long galvanized nails or screws to nail the joists.
Drill pilot holes and nail the first trellis screen in place with 65mm galvanized nails. Don’t forget to leave a gap between the bottom of the trellis screen and the ground to prevent rot.
Then the other three trellis screens can be attached to the pergola in the same way.
A pergola in the garden
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