Building a Wood Pergola (DIY Tips)
Building a pergola is a wonderful way to bring shade and shelter to a backyard concrete patio and a great upgrade to your outdoor living area. For those who feel up to the task and would like to try and build one yourself, we have included several DIY tips for building a wood pergola in this post to help.
What materials are needed for a wood pergola?
The most important material you will need will be the wood. We recommend using cedar or modified wood. You will need to have wood in a variety of widths and lengths to serve as the posts, header boards, rafters and stringers (or slats).
Other materials needed for a wood pergola should include a variety of hardware components to secure the pergola together. Some of the hardware components might include lag bolts, joist hanger tabs, rafter clips, post bases (if anchoring your posts to existing concrete), standard wood screws/nails, concrete (if anchoring your posts directly into the ground) and wood stain.
How far apart should pergola slats be?
Slats, or stringers are the narrow boards at the very top of a pergola. How far apart the slats are installed will determine how much shade your pergola provides for your yard or landscaped bed areas you’ve created. We suggest installing your slats between 4-10 inches apart.
How to build a pergola over a patio?
If you would like a pergola over concrete or patio paved with stone that you wish to cover, the most important thing you will need are post bases.
These metal post bases are what holds your post in place and allows you to anchor it into the support and strength of the concrete patio.
How to attach a wood pergola to house?
If you would like to have your wood pergola attached to a house, you will need to install a header board with lag bolts along the length of the house where pergola is built.
Make sure to use the appropriate hardware for attaching to the home. For example, if you have a brick home, make sure to secure the header board using lag bolts made to hold through brick and other stonework.
What pergola needs a permit in north Dallas?
While every city is a bit different in their permitting requirements, most all pergolas need a permit in north Dallas, especially when being attached to another structure.
We recommend calling your local city office directly prior to planning and building your wood pergola.
What to paint a wood pergola with?
What to paint a wood pergola with depends on the overall look you are trying to achieve. You can either paint or stain the wood for your pergola.
You should use an outdoor paint or stain, something that is made to withstand the elements. If staining, we recommend purchasing a semi-transparent stain to allow the natural wood color to come through.
What is best way to seal a cedar pergola?
The best way to seal a cedar pergola is prior to assembly. It’s always easier and less messy to seal a pergola prior to construction.
If your pergola is already constructed, you can still simply use a rag, paint brush, roller or sprayer to apply wood sealer or Linseed oil for a clear seal. Just make sure and protect anything around the pergola, that you don’t want to seal, with a cover.
Most stains also contain a sealer to help protect the stain and wood from fading, so you can likely skip this step when using a quality stain.
How do you anchor a pergola on existing deck?
Similar to anchoring a pergola onto concrete, you will use a metal post base and lag bolts to anchor a pergola on an existing deck or stamped concrete patio. The post bases should be secured to the existing deck with lag bolts specific for wood.
What size post should I use for a wood pergola?
The size of posts used for constructing a wood pergola should be sufficient for the size of the pergola.
For example, a 6-inch post may be appropriate to support a pergola between 6-14 feet in width. For wider pergolas, you may need to install multiple 6-inch posts or upgrade to 8-inch posts or 10-inch posts.
If you are installing 8-10 inch posts, you’ll likely be able to build a pergola up to 20 foot wide. Any wider than 20 feet and you will need to install more posts.
Make sure and check with your local city permitting office for area specific building requirements prior to starting your project.
How to install wood pergola posts?
How to install your wood pergola posts will mostly depend on how the posts will be supported.
If your pergola post will sit in soil or will be constructed in landscaped areas, you will need to dig a hole and secure the base of the post in concrete, similar to how you would anchor a fence post. As a general rule, the depth of the post hole you dig should be approximately one-third of the overall height of the above ground post.
If your posts will sit on top of existing concrete or a wooden deck, you will need to use a metal post base and lag bolts to be secured directly into the concrete or wood.
How to attach pergola to brick?
When attaching your pergola to brick, you will need to drill holes through the brick with a hammer drill and drill bit appropriate for masonry work and match them to the holes drilled through wood header boards that your using to attach to the brick structure. Then, you’ll secure the wood header boards to the brick using lag bolts that are made for brick.
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