Building A Custom Pergola Attached To Your Home

This easy-to-follow article provides the step-by-step instructions, so that you can learn to build a pergola attached to your home. Even though this is a complex woodworking project, you can easily accomplish the job by yourself if you follow our tutorial. An attached pergola is incredibly functional, and it creates an outdoor room where you can relax alone or entertain friends. Since there are a variety of different designs, this tutorial covers the basics that are applicable in your custom pergola.

Laying Out Your Pergola
Setting out the corners of the pergola is essential, and we recommend accurate measurements. If you do not have much experience in construction projects, you can benefit from the assistance of a handy friend. Most jobs also proceed smoother with help from a friend, and a pergola can be started and finished over the course of a weekend.

A customized pergola is a great way to add value to your home, and the structures are durable while they provide an outdoor room for your family. Since the type of materials that are used affects the quality of your project, we recommend using pressure-treated lumber, cedar or redwood. These materials are ideal for exterior applications and are designed to resist decay and insects.

-8-9-feet-long 4×4 or 6×6 posts
-3-, 4- and 6-inch wood screws or nails.
-Concrete tube forms
-Adjustable metal post anchors
-2×10 Supports
-2×8 Ledgers
-2×2 slats for shade
-Cement, sand and gravel

Attaching your Pergola
Pergola 300x222 Building A Custom Pergola Attached To Your HomeAfter you have decided the length and width of your pergola, it is time to lay out the corners. To finish your construction project like a pro, batter boards should be set at each of the two corners away from the home. A string line is then run between the home and the boards. This line is the perimeter of your new pergola and provides the exact location for each of the supporting posts.

Using the string line as a guide, a 3-feet-deep hole is required for each of the posts. In the bottom of the hole, a layer of sand or gravel ensures a solid foundation. Tube forms are then set into the hold and are anchored directly to the posts. We recommend setting the posts, plumbing them with a level, and allowing the cement to set for at least 48 hours.

Once the cement has hardened, you can install the 2×8 ledger board against the home. This board needs to be level and should be secured with 4-inch galvanized screws or nails. Now that you have the ledger board attached to the home, you can run the remaining 2×10 beams around the perimeter. The beams should rest on top of the posts for a secure foundation.

Adding Shade Elements
Shade elements can easily turn your outdoor room into a comfortable oasis during the summer and an inviting retreat in the fall and spring as well. Adding more 2×2 slats creates more shade, and fewer slats allow more sun to enter your pergola. Either method works and depends on your landscape and your desires. The slats should be installed perpendicular to the shortest dimension of your pergola, and steel anchors are readily available to ensure the shades are securely held in place.

Adding a Decorative Touch with Custom Shade Elements
Fastening the shade elements square is fine, but cutting a design into the edges of the boards makes a customized pergola. You can easily make up your own pattern. After one of the boards has been cut to your liking, simply use this as a pattern and you can trace the rest of the shade boards from the same piece of lumber.

Finishing the Pergola with Putty and Stain
Completing your project like a professional( will ensure a lasting pergola that provides years of service to your family. It is essential to cover any small holes with putty to prevent water damage. Sometimes, nails and screws will leave minor holes, but these are easily patched with wood putty. Sealing the lumber with a quality stain is also a good idea and will allow you to enjoy your pergola with fewer routine maintenance chores. We recommend applying several coats of a high-quality polyurethane stain that is designed for exterior woodworking projects.


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