Tools and Materials for a DIY Pergola:

  • 2 x 10 Wood Boards
  • 2 x 6 Wood Boards
  • 4 x 4 Wood Posts
  • Tape Measure
  • Clamps
  • Washers
  • Wood Sealant
  • Wood Stain
  • Nuts
  • Leveler
  • Saw (Circular Preferred)
  • Power Drill

How to Build a DIY Pergola:

  1. Create the Frame: Determine the area in which the pergola will be installed. Once this has been marked, install a 4 x 4 wood post at each corner of the area. Make sure the posts are secure as they will support the remainder of the structure. Next, measure and cut the 2 x 6 wood boards (if needed) to frame out the top of the pergola. These boards should be secured onto each wood post to create the base of the lattice structure that will come later.
  2. Prepare and Install the Joist Hangers: Shade members will the elements that create the lattice top for the pergola. On the side of the frame that is closest to the house, install a ledger board – this board should be secure 6 inches higher than the frame of the pergola. Next, install joist hangers 6 inches apart from one another along the ledger board.
  3. Prepare and Install the Shade Members: Determine the length of the shade members based on the size of the pergola from and the desired overhang of the structure. Using the 2 x 10 wood boards, cut the shade members to the appropriate size. Install the shade members using the installed joist hangers and laying them across the frame parallel to the house. Once the parallel shade members are in place, cut 2 x 3 inch notches in the perpendicular shade members and lay them across the opposite direction, using the notched, nuts and washers to secure them into place.
  4. Paint, Seal and Enjoy: Once all the elements have been installed and tested for stability, it is time to put the finishing touched on the pergola. Sand and stain all the wood pieces and allow to dry completely. Then, seal the structure with an all-weather sealant. Finally, lay back and enjoy your new pergola!