The way to Construct a DIY Pergola on a Concrete Patio

A giant lovely pergola will fully rework your patio and outside area. See tips on how to construct a pergola from strong wooden over an present concrete patio.

Want so as to add a patio to your DIY pergola? Learn to prep and pour your individual concrete patio right here. Plus, see 3 totally different pergola designs: conventional deck pergola, trendy deck pergola, and round pergola for swings.

Rough Sawn Timber Pergola DIY

Right this moment I’m going to indicate you tips on how to construct a timber pergola over an present concrete patio. I constructed this for a shopper that needed to enhance their yard patio to have a nicer area for household gatherings.

Get the total woodworking plans to construct this pergola right here within the store, and watch the video of the construct right here on our YouTube channel.

Table of Contents

Massive DIY Pergola Design

This shopper needed a big pergola design just like what a member of the family had, so I took some measurements and adjusted the fashion to suit the scale of their patio.

DIY Rough Sawn Timber Pergola Plans Remodelaholic

The completed pergola measures 20’ W x 13’-2” D x 11’ H. As designed, this gives over 200 sq. toes of protection, together with over 9 toes of head area (to the rafters).

This DIY pergola plan options robust 8×8 posts and thick stacked beams and rafters for a very spectacular and durable pergola body. We additionally added a high layer of shade runners which filter the daylight very nice to offer shade beneath the pergola.

As a consequence of their home format, I needed to transfer one of many posts to not block the laundry window. The plans within the store are symmetrical as proven and, as at all times, the premium plans embody all of the detailed dimensions and diagrams to make your challenge successful!

Earlier than you start constructing, you’ll want to verify your native planning and zoning ordinances or the native council. As a result of this was larger than 200 sq. toes, I wanted to submit building drawings to town to get it accredited and get a constructing allow. A couple of week later after approval, I used to be capable of begin building. Approval occasions might fluctuate.

This submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks. Study extra and browse our full disclosure coverage right here.

DIY Pergola Supplies

Tough sawn timber is a superb possibility for a big outside construction like this pergola. However what’s tough sawn timber?

Tough sawn timber is lumber that hasn’t been completed and handled. This offers you the liberty to complete and deal with the lumber the way you need, and it provides an ideal rustic contact to an out of doors challenge like this.

Your native lumberyard is a superb place to begin they usually can level you in the suitable route in the event that they don’t inventory tough sawn boards within the sizes you want.

Identical to with common lumber, you’ll buy based mostly on the nominal dimension of the timber (akin to 8×8) however the completed dimensions might be barely totally different. With conventional sawn lumber, an 8×8 has been completed to 7 1/2″ sq.. A tough lower 8×8 submit, nevertheless, might be lower at 8″ and never planed to the smaller completed dimensions.

Rough Sawn Timber Pergola Lumber

Lumber Wanted

  • Posts: (8) 8X8-12′ Tough Lower Cedar
  • Quick beams: (2) 4X10-16′ Tough Lower Douglas Fir
  • Lengthy beams + diagonal braces: (4) 4X10-20′ Tough Lower Douglas Fir
  • Rafters and base trim: (21) 2X8-16′ Tough Lower Douglas Fir
  • Shade runners: (28) 2X4-12′ Tough Lower Douglas Fir
  • Momentary braces: (16) 2X4-10’


  • (20) 80 lb luggage of Sakrete Grey Concrete Combine
  • (3) 10’ #4 Rebar (there might be additional)

{Hardware} and Fasteners

  • (8) Simpson Strong-Tie CPTZ ZMAX Galvanized Hid Put up Base for 8×8 Nominal Lumber
  • (16) Titan HD ½” x 6 in. Mechanically Galvanized Heavy-Obligation Screw (For submit base)
  • (1) Field 5” SDWS Timber Screw – (Qty 50) (For tops of posts)
  • (3) Packing containers TimberLOK 10 in. Structural Wooden Screw (12 Pack)
  • (1) Field 3 ½” Deck Screws (For beams, rafters, shade runners and base trim)

Further Provides Wanted

  • Rent or hire a Concrete Coring Rig  (it was about $100 per gap to rent it out)
  • DAP Wood Glue (glue any cracked wooden)
  • DAP Wood Patch (Caulk any cracks earlier than staining)
  • (12) Gallons of Wooden Stain – I used Woodscapes by Sherwin Williams within the coloration Spicewood 
  • (1) Simpson Robust-Tie SET-3G 22 oz. Excessive-Power Epoxy Adhesive with Nozzle and Extension
  • DIA Drop-In Internally Threaded Anchor for 1/2-in. Rod (20-Pack)
  • ½” x 2 ½” Bolt
  • ½” x 3 ½” Bolt
  • ½” Washer

Instruments Wanted

Price Abstract

The supplies and provides for this massive lovely pergola value round $6700.

  • $5000 for the lumber
  • $800 for the {hardware} and concrete
  • $900 for the stain

This isn’t the least costly pergola possibility, however you possibly can’t beat the massive custom-fit dimension and the truth that it’s strong wooden. (Most pre-made pergola kits are a max of 8 toes tall and use hole posts to avoid wasting on timber prices and transport weight.)

Step-by-Step: The way to Construct A Pergola

Watch the step-by-step video, get the detailed woodworking plans right here, and browse the directions beneath to learn to construct a strong wooden DI pergola over a concrete patio.

Step 1: Lay Out and Pour Footings

I used to be constructing the pergola over an present patio, however the house owners might change the patio in a couple of years, so slightly than securing the pergola to the present patio, we lower out holes within the patio and poured new footings. (It is a good concept for a challenge this massive, anyway.)

BEFORE YOU DIG: Name 811 to have the utilities marked. Don’t dig till you realize the place the traces are!

Mark Footing Areas

Comply with the diagram within the woodworking plans to mark the middle factors of the footings.

I began by laying out the middle factors of the pergola posts utilizing the again nook of the home as a reference line to maintain all the things sq. and plumb.

Tip: Use the 3-4-5 rule to verify the nook submit middle factors are in the suitable spot. Use your tape measure to measure out on 3 toes from the nook a method and 4 toes from the nook the opposite approach, and, if it’s sq., while you measure the 2 markings at a diagonal the space might be 5 toes. (Bear in mind the Pythagorean theorem? 🤓)

Lower Concrete Slab (If Wanted)

If wanted, lower the concrete slab to make approach for the brand new footings.

I employed this out — the speed in my space for labor and hiring the concrete core drill was $100 per gap. Due to my buddy Sam (sure, the identical man who allow us to present you all about in-ground trampoline installs) we have been carried out fairly fast and the cuts the place good an clear

Core Drilling Hole in Concrete Slab

As soon as the concrete is lower, you’ll must filter out the cores. I used a hammer drill to interrupt it up into a couple of items to assist with removing.

Dig Put up Holes & Prep

Dig out the submit holes. I used to be planning to hire an auger however fortunately the soil was comfortable sufficient that it was simple to dig every gap by hand in about half-hour with a submit gap digger and a shovel.

Digging Post Holes for Concrete Footings

Dig to the proper width and depth – 8″-9″ extensive by 30″ deep for the frost line my space (which was truly 34″ to account for the prevailing patio).

The native codes additionally required there to be a minimum of one #4 rebar 28” size to be centered within the footing 3” above the bottom. So we wanted to droop the rebar within the middle of the footing like this to satisfy that requirement.

How deep ought to an anchor be for a pergola submit?

The footing/anchor depth wanted varies by construction and site. There are two normal guidelines to remember

  • Anchor the pergola at 1/3 the peak of the submit. That is most relevant in case you are setting the submit immediately into the opening in concrete, slightly than utilizing a bracket like I did.
  • Dig your holes a minimum of 12″ beneath the frost line. It will stop heaving and preserve the posts plumb and safe. You’ll find your native frost line depth by simply looking “frost line” together with your zip code.

Move Inspection (If Wanted)

If wanted, have the inspector approve the footing format and holes. I needed to clear some underground particles that was blocking the opening and have the inspector come again.

Pour Footings

Every gap required about 2.5 of the 80lb concrete luggage and about half-hour to pour. It is a nice time to seize a buddy or rent assist!

PRO Tip for a clear concrete pour

Lower a big gap (to match the footing width) in a scrap piece of plywood or particle board. Lay the board over the opening as you pour — this may preserve any concrete from splattering or spilling in your present concrete.

You’ll want to stage the highest and convey the “cream” to the highest with a trowel. Let the concrete set and remedy a couple of days.

Concrete “cream” is high layer of concrete that’s major smoother cement with no gravel combination seen. Bringing it to the highest provides you a very nice trying end and helps the floor energy.

Step 2: Put together and Stain Lumber

Whereas the concrete footings are curing, it’s time to prep and stain the lumber, starting with the posts.

Stain All Components

I stained all of the timbers with two coats of exterior wooden stain. I selected Woodscapes by Sherwin-Williams in a darkish brown coloration known as Spicewood.

Earlier than staining, be sure the wooden is dry and dirt free. Patch any chipped wooden with wooden glue, and sweep the wooden nicely earlier than staining – use a thick 3/4″nap “shaggy” curler.

Staining Rough Sawn Lumber for Pergola

It took a few gallon and a half for the 7 posts with two coats every and about 6 hours of portray rolling and brushing. Plus extra time later for the beams and different elements! I lower the items as I constructed, so I stained them as wanted within the course of.

The stain dried actually quick within the solar on sawhorses. Be certain that your noticed horses are actually robust to carry the load of the posts.

Prep Posts

With the intention to match the hid submit bracket bases, every 8×8 submit must have a vertical slot lower within the backside (for the fin) and three holes (for the metallic pin dowels) drilled via the edges. Test the producer specs to your particular brackets.

I lower the slot for the fin, then marked the holes for the pin dowels and set the posts within the brackets to double verify and positive tune the placement of the holes earlier than drilling.

Cutting The Post Slot for the Pergola Post Base Bracket

Step 3: Set up Put up Anchors

After the concrete footing has cured a couple of days, you possibly can set up the submit anchor base brackets.

About This Hid Put up Base

I made a decision to make use of the Simpson Strong Tie Concealed Post Base. These submit bases are put in by drilling into the concrete footing after it’s cured, versus inserting the submit bracket within the moist concrete earlier than it cures. I like this feature as a result of it provides me extra management over the ultimate location since there’s much less time crunch.

The factor that I like about this base is that it appears to be like nice AND it elevates the submit off the bottom an inch from the concrete. It will preserve the submit from wicking up moisture, so the posts will final a very long time with that additional safety from rot.

Mark Bracket Areas and Drill Holes

To put in these base submit brackets, I discovered it’s greatest to first mark out the place the brackets might be anchored down, and have them leveled and prepared. I oriented all of them the identical route with the fin perpendicular to the home. This was going to make it simpler to stage the submit in a single route.

Drilling Post Base Bracket Holes In Pergola Concrete Footing

I waited a couple of days for the footings to remedy, then I drilled with a hammer drill (2) ½” holes at 6” deep on high of every footing. Then I cleaned out the opening with a wire pipe cleaner I connected to my drill and an air compressor. You need to clear it out the opening as greatest as you possibly can earlier than the subsequent step.

Connect Brackets with Epoxy and Bolts

Subsequent I crammed the opening midway with a two half epoxy. When you open the epoxy and it will get blended you must use it shortly. How do I do know? Nicely, I wasn’t fairly prepared and didn’t have a robust sufficient drill for the bolts so I wasted a complete tube of epoxy and an hour making an attempt to borrow the suitable instruments.

Upon getting the epoxy within the holes, connect the 6” bolts and ensure the bracket is stage. There was one gap on the bracket I needed to make wider to ensure that the bracket to take a seat sq. with the home. It was good to have a bit little bit of wiggle room in case your holes usually are not drilled within the good spot.

Step 4: Set up Posts

Putting in the pergola posts is an enormous job, so it helps to have a helper or two round. You’ll want to use the 2x4s as bracing to maintain the posts safe and preserve you (and your helpers) secure.

Drill Put up Attachment Holes

With the intention to be sure the posts have been stage with the assorted slopes of the patio, I waited to drill the horizontal holes for the pin dowels till I may place the posts on the brackets. This allowed me to set the submit stage and positive tune the opening places.

I used an extended ⅝”spade bit to drill out the holes and solely drilled via 75% of the wooden base to set the pins in.

Drilling Pin Holes In Post for the Pins

Connect Posts to Brackets

There are three pins to anchor the submit to the bottom and the footing.

Adding Plastic Shims To Level The Posts over the Post Bracket

After the pins are set use plastic shims to do the ultimate leveling of the submit.

Lower Posts to Degree

Measure one submit’s size, then fastidiously lower off the additional with a chainsaw.

From the primary submit, then use a string and bubble stage to mark the remainder of the posts stage and trim them to size.

11 Cutting Posts To Height

Be aware that for this design, the 4 nook posts are shorter (to carry the shorter facet beams) and the 4 middle posts are taller (to carry the longer beams).

Notch Posts for Beams

Within the high of every submit, use the chainsaw to chop out a 5 inch deep notch a bit wider than the beam. Stain all of the notches earlier than putting in the beams.

Cut Post Notch to Hold the Beam

Step 5: Set up Beams

Lower the Beam Ends

I lower the ends of the beams with a easy 45 diploma lower half approach down the top of the beam. In the event you want a unique fashion, you can around the ends like on our garden arbor wedding arch or lower a curve like the gothic arch arbor. (On the two″ rafters, you should utilize a jigsaw, however to around the 4″ beams you’ll want to make use of a band noticed or a chainsaw.)

Cutting the End of the Beam

Stain after reducing the beam ends.

Place and Connect The Beams

After the stain has dried, place the beams on high of the posts. Set up the two shorter facet beams, then the lengthy beams on high of these.

As soon as the beams are sq. to the submit, connect the beams with two 5” timber screws on each side of every submit.

14.1 Attaching The Beam To The Post

Step 6: Set up Diagonal Helps

Earlier than putting in the rafters, you must prep and set up the diagonal help brackets.

Lower the Helps

Lower 8 diagonal helps from the 4×10 timber and stain them. The printable woodworking plan contains the particular dimensions.

Set up the Brackets

Clamp a block of wooden on the backside of the bracket to the submit to carry the bracket whereas screwing it in place. You possibly can connect the bracket a number of methods. I pre drilled a 1⁄2” extensive countersunk gap, then drilled in two 10” lengthy lag screws on high and two on the underside. Drilling them in at a slight angle into the highest beam or submit helps them match securely.

15 Installing Diagonal Brackets

Step 7: Set up Rafters (Crossbeams)

As soon as the helps are put in, the construction might be far more secure to put in the rafters on high of the beams. I’ll name them rafters right here however they’re typically known as crossbeams as nicely.

You’ll be able to take away a number of the 2×4 braces to provide room for the ladder you’ll want to put in the rafters. (You’ll want to patch any holes left from bracing.)

Lower Rafter Ends

For the rafters, I lower the ends precisely just like the beams with a easy diagonal lower at every finish. (Once more, you are able to do a decorative rounded end like this or lower a classic curve like this as a substitute.) Stain earlier than putting in.

Decide Rafter Placement

Offset the primary rafter 3 ½” from the top of the beam on either side of the pergola, then measure to the middle of the pergola and divide up the area equally. Mine are about 9  ⅝” aside.

16 Installing Rafters 1

Connect Rafters

Connect every rafter to the highest of the beam with 3 ½” deck screws at an angle into the beam.

Tip: Arrange a string alongside the entrance of the pergola for every finish of the rafters to have a reference line to maintain them straight.

Step 8: Set up Shade Runners (Purlins)

You’ll be able to depart the pergola with simply the rafters for those who want. I just like the added shade and stability from the additional layer of shade runners (additionally known as purlins). Some folks like so as to add a trellis to 1 facet and use the runners as an extension trellis for the climbing vegetation or vines, too.

Decide Runner Placement

Much like the method of the rafters, connect one runner on the entrance and one on the again, then calculate the space between boards to maintain them evenly spaced.

The size of my runners put the ends of the primary board on high of the middle of a rafter, so I didn’t have to chop the primary half of the runners to size. This additionally hid the seams of the shade runners above, which was good!

17 Installing Shade Runners

Connect the Runners

Use deck screws to connect the runners to the rafters. Connect the primary set, then connect the second set (to span the total size of the pergola) and lower them to size.

Don’t overlook to stain the newly lower runner ends!

Step 9: Wrap Posts with Base Trim

I just like the basic look of a straight submit, however the slits and holes from the bracket attachment would have taken a number of work to make it look seamless. So, I made a decision to trim the bottom of the submit utilizing the additional rafter scraps.

Set up (Removeable) Trim

Simply in case the submit bracket or the submit wants consideration sooner or later, I needed to make the trim simple to take away.

Connect 3 of the mitered items collectively and slide them over the bottom of the posts. Slide within the final mitered piece and fasten it to the submit and the opposite items of trim. Caulk the perimeters and stain over the caulk.

19 Installing Post Trim

Step 10: End Work

This final step is what makes the distinction between “I did it myself…” and “You probably did THAT your self?!” The small print make a distinction!

Take away any remaining bracing, then patch any holes. Caulk any cracks on the posts (or seen cracks elsewhere). Contact up the stain the place you’ve caulked or anyplace else it wants it.

Including Lights & Irrigated Planters to the DIY Pergola

I completed up this job by including string lights and self-watering planters which might be a part of the drip watering system connected to the adjoining drip sprinkler system.

Timber DIY Pergola

The landscaper was capable of get a humorous pipe in place within the gap subsequent to the grass, so I may tie into the drip irrigation that was going to water hanging backets and pots across the pergola.  That was nice timing to get that in.  Now they don’t must have a hose over the patio to water the vegetation. (See what I mean in the video here.)

The lights are connected on to the pergola rafters with screws via the little mounting holes on the sunshine string. This required 2x 50-foot (?) strands of lights to make 5 rows of sunshine.

The pergola lights are plugged in to a 30-foot extension wire connected to the pergola, so they only must plug within the lights to take pleasure in them. (This strand of smart lights could be a brilliant cool improve, although!)

Listed below are another pergola lighting concepts and planter choices we like:

The house owners additionally added an out of doors furnishings entertaining set from Costco to make the area superb.

This DIY pergola appears to be like superb and it makes the yard appear even larger — they’re utilizing it each night time to hang around and revel in!

Customized DIY Pergola FAQs

Can a newbie construct this pergola?

Due to the additional work and precision cuts required to construct this DIY pergola, I’d advocate getting a couple of larger tasks below your belt earlier than constructing — and a few expertise reducing with a chainsaw!

For a newbie DIY pergola, our modern deck pergola is a great option.

Modern Deck Pergola @Remodelaholic 27
get the plans to build this beginner pergola

How lengthy does it take to construct a pergola myself?

I spent the higher a part of 3 weeks working most days to construct this LARGE pergola. Pouring the footings and marking the boards was essentially the most time-consuming half, however you possibly can’t skip it!

In case you are constructing a smaller pergola, the staining received’t take as lengthy. In case you are attaching a pergola to a deck like this, the time might be much less because you don’t must dig holes and look forward to concrete to set. I constructed our smaller trendy deck pergola in lower than every week of labor.

How a lot does a {custom} wooden pergola value?

Constructing this LARGE 20’x13′ pergola value about $6900 in supplies and about 3x or extra of that in labor (together with the design). Native charges will fluctuate for each supplies and labor. Do not forget that while you rent out the work, you’ll be hiring a minimum of a few craftsmen, and probably a small staff of laborers, for a lot of days of labor. Search for a contractor with comparable expertise who’s licensed and insured.

Modern Deck Pergola @Remodelaholic 17
It can save you some cash by making your individual pergola submit from deck lumber like I did right here

Is it cheaper to construct a pergola from scratch or purchase a package?

A pergola package will typically value lower than constructing a {custom} pergola from scratch — BUT you don’t get the identical high quality of lumber and also you’re restricted by the scale of the pergola kits in the marketplace.

Wooden pergola kits, particularly the extra reasonably priced ones, are usually restricted in peak to round 8 toes. This protects cash since 8 foot posts are cheaper than 12 foot posts lower to dimension, however you don’t get the identical head clearance and spacious feeling.

Probably the most reasonably priced pergola kits are additionally normally restricted to 10-12 toes, with the 20 foot pergola kits going up in value (and infrequently in supply charges, too).

Pergola package posts are additionally generally hole as a substitute of strong wooden, in order that they received’t final as lengthy or be as robust. Usually the wooden used is a cheaper wooden or an engineered wooden slightly than strong timber — this may be a bonus relying on what you need, although.

The beams, rafters, and helps, are additionally usually smaller than I used right here, which implies they’re lighter to ship and simpler for a DIY set up, however they don’t have the identical longevity and magnificence for a big pergola constructed to scale properly.

It’s simpler and extra handy to order a pergola and have all of the provides shipped to you (and the elements are normally pre-finished which can prevent a ton of time!) so if yow will discover a pergola package that matches your wants, it may be possibility, particularly for those who’re not but assured together with your building abilities.

Wooden Pergola DIY Kits

In the event you’re concerned about constructing a pergola from a package, listed below are some highly-rated choices we like you could purchase on-line and have shipped to your door.

Can I construct a pergola with 4×4 or 6×6 posts?

The usage of 4-inch posts is just advisable for a really small pergola with 4-6 toes between posts. They simply can’t face up to the identical weight and wind sturdiness as a 6×6 (or 8×8 like I used) pergola body. Sure, you’ll pay extra for a 6-inch submit or an 8-inch submit, however the added energy is price it — and you’ll have a bigger span between posts which implies you’ll want fewer posts.

If you wish to avoid wasting cash on pergola posts, see tips on how to make your individual posts from deck lumber.

May I add shade material to the pergola to dam extra daylight?

Sure, if you wish to have deeper shade within the pergola, you can add shade material above the rafters. Heather added display screen above the lattice on high of her pergola, which can doubtless be extra climate resistant than material.

Relying on the body of the pergola, you can additionally use this funds trick so as to add shade sails produced from painter’s drop cloths.


Cassity Kmetzsch began Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State College with a level in Inside Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out partitions, and constructing all the things again up once more to not solely add operate however magnificence to her residence. Collectively together with her husband Justin, they’ve reworked 6 houses and are engaged on a seventh. She is a mom of 4 superb ladies. Making a home a house is her favourite passion.