This diy step by step article is about pergola plans free. Building a large patio pergola is an easy and fun project, provided you use the right plans, tools and techniques for your needs and tastes. A wooden pergola is the perfect solution for your family, if you like spending time in your garden and want to build a basic construction very quickly.
Generally speaking, there are many designs and ideas you can choose from, to turn your dreams into reality, but it is also essential to select the right location, use proper materials and master several woodworking techniques, before starting the actual construction. In this article about free pergola plans we show you how to build a basic pergola, along with the techniques and materials required for the job.
Nevertheless, you have to remember that it is possible to adjust its dimensions to fit your needs, while using the same carpentry methods. Installing the wooden posts, the support beams or the shade elements is easy and straight forward, if you align them in a professional manner at both ends, by using a spirit level.
In order to build a patio pergola, you need the following:
Materials for a 10’x10′ pergola:
- A – 4 pieces of 4×4 or 6×6 lumber, 9′ long POSTS
- B – 4 pieces of 2×10 lumber, 12′ long SUPPORT BEAMS
- C – 8 carriage bots, 7” long BOLTS
- D – 7-14 pieces of 2×6 lumber, 12-14′ long CROSSBEAMS
- E – 4-8 pieces of 2×2 lumber, 11-12′ long SLATS
- 4 tube forms
- cement, sand, gravel
- 4 adjustable post anchors
- 6” screws – to secure the crossbeams
- 3” screws – to secure the slats
- Safety gloves, glasses
- Circular saw, miter saw
- Drill machinery and drill bits
- Hammer, spirit level, carpentry pencil
- Ladder, posthole digger
- Power mixer
- Lay out the pergola is a professional manner, using batter boards and string
- Plumb the posts using post level clips and braces (a level that reads in both directions simultaneously)
- Use adjustable post anchors to secure the 4×4 wooden posts
- Don’t buy lumber that is or it’s likely to get cracked or twisted
- Don’t over-tighten the galvanized screws
- One weekend, two workers
Pergola plans free
Building a 10×10′ patio pergola should be a fun project for any do-it-yourself-er, as it is a great opportunity to learn new carpentry techniques and to create an unique construction in your backyard. Nevertheless, if you want a straight-forward process, you should plan everything from the very beginning, including the design of the pergola or the materials and tools required for the job.
Smart tip: Align the components properly before driving in the screws, otherwise the pergola won’t have a neat appearance. Moreover, measure everything several times, to make sure the wooden elements will fit together properly.
Pergola Building Plans
First of all, you have to lay out the pergola after you have chosen the place where you want to build it. In order to get the job done like a pro, we recommend you to build batter boards from 2x4s and string, as in the image. Measure the diagonals to make sure they are equal, otherwise the corners won’t be right angled.
Smart tip: Use the 3-4-5 rule along each corner to ensure the angles are of 90º.
Generally speaking, there are many ways in which you could anchor the posts into place. On one hand, you could dig 2-3′ deep holes, pour 2” of concrete, set the posts (plumb them with a level) and brace them with 2×4 slats, before filling the hole with compound.
Secondly, you could place a tube form and install the adjustable anchor in concrete, or secure a post hardware to a concrete slab with anchor bolts.
After you have set the location of the posts, you have to dig 3′ deep holes (10-15” in diameter) pour a 3” layer of gravel and compact it thoroughly. Next, we recommend you to use tube forms, mix a small quantity of concrete (2 parts cement, 3 parts sand, 4 parts gravel and water) and pour it until you have filled the forms.
After you have leveled the surface with a trowel, you should install adjustable posts anchors. Leave the concrete to dry out for several days and install the posts.
If you work by yourself, the best way to install the 4×4 or 6×6 posts into position is to brace them on two directions, plumb them with a spirit level and then drive in the screws or bolts.
As you can see in the image, this project is about a 10’x10′ pergola, but you can adjust these dimensions according to your needs and tastes. Therefore, you can make it larger or even choose to build a rectangular pergola.
After you have secured the four posts into position, you should lock the support beams by driving in 7” carriage bolts. In most of the cases, the support beams should be build from 2×10 timber, but you can use 2×6 or 2×8 as well.
As you can see in the image, the 2×10 support beams should be about 12′ long, but you can build them a little longer if you want make them stand out. In order to support the shade elements you have to install two beams on two sides of each posts.
The support beams and the shade elements have decorative end cuts to provide a nice look to their design. The size of the cuts should vary according to the size of the beams you use, but in our case we have used the right proportions to fit with the rest of the pergola elements.
Secure the beams by driving in two 7” bolts at both ends. Drill pilot holes before inserting the screws to prevent the wood from splitting.
After you have installed the support beams on one side of the pergola, you have to proceed in the same manner for the opposite side. Work with great care when cutting the ends of the wooden boards, to obtain a neat look and design.
In order to get the job done quickly and accurately, we recommend you to cut out the ends by using a jigsaw with a sharp blade. Use a spirit level to make sure the beams are aligned properly and perfectly horizontal.
Free Pergola Plans
The next step of the diy pergola project is to install the shade elements. If you use the right plans for your needs tastes, you will build a large patio pergola which will add value to your property and become the focus point of your backyard.
Use 2×6 wooden boards to build the shade elements and place them on top of the beam supports every 12-16”. Use a spirit level to plumb the crossbeams, before inserting the screws.
Securing the shade elements into position can be done in several ways, but you should choose the most convenient method. First, you could use 14′ long 2×6 beams, cut their ends as in the image, and fasten them to the support beams with screws.
Use several C-clamps or ask a friend to hold them into place, while you toenail them using 4” screws. It is essential to plumb the crossbeams with a spirit level, therefore pay attention to this step if you want to get a professional result.
The second method is to cut notches in the 2×6 boards. This technique might look complex, but it is straight forward, if you use the right plans.
Smart tip: Don’t forget that the dimension of the notches vary with the size of the posts you use. If you have installed 6×6 posts, you have to leave 5 1/2” between the notches. Afterwards, drive in 6” screws through the top of the slats in the support beams, or toenail them with 4” screws.
Place the shade elements every 1′ if you want to leave the pergola like this, or every 2′ if you want to cover it with fiberglass panels. As you have seen, a pergola is a nice and quick project for anyone who wants to create a cozy place to take dinner or to read a good book.
Smart tip: Work with great care and use a spirit level regularly, to make sure the posts, support beams and shade elements are perfectly plumb.
Next, install 2×2 slats over the pergola, to add a dramatic look to your construction. Fill the cracks in wood with putty and sand the surface with a sand block, after it hardens. Afterwards, apply several coats of varnish to protect the pergola against wood decay and water damage.
Smart tip: When securing the components together, we recommend you to use galvanized or stainless steel screws.
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