DIY Pergola Ideas and Tips

A DIY Pergola is a wooden structure that can decorate your outdoor space in no time. A pergola is, basically, an open roof space set on columns. You can place a pergola in any space of the garden, the yard’s entrance, or at the path to your door. It also works great for dividing up an outdoor space.

DIY pergola shading a path with plants

A pergola can easily be used as a seating area. Imagine how beautiful it will be to create a wooden space, add some colorful plants, and place your outdoor table in the middle. It will give you the sense of paradise. 

A pergola is the gardener’s dream. If you have a backyard, think of chatting around with family and friends under the wooden structure’s shade. It becomes even better if you BBQ-ing. 

It is easier than you imagine to build a pergola as there are ready pergola kits that can guide you through your craft. However, if you want to be productive and creative, you can create a pergola from scratch without much effort. 

Tools for creating a DIY pergola

  • Screwdriver
  • Combination square
  • Cordless drill
  • Hammer
  • Hole making kit
  • Level
  • Posthole digger
  • Putty knife
  • Router
  • Safety glasses
  • Spade
  • Speed square
  • Stepladder
  • Straightedge
  • Tape measure
  • Toolbelt (optional)
Step 1

Lay the three upright columns of the one side of your pergola on the ground. Cut two timber’s length to 1.22m and use them to mark the desirable distance between the top, the sides, and the uprights. 

Step 2
First steps of creating a wooden DIY pergola

Bring a post in a position, opening 200mm from the outer edges. Then mark the outline of the tops on the posts. Don’t forget to number each upright and wooden column in pencil to match them up again. Repeat the process with the other side of the pergola.

Step 3 

Cut out the housing neatly, so you can be sure that it is tight. Use wood chisel and mallet.

Step 4 

Μeasure the post 25mm from top to bottom and 75mm in from the outer edge. Draw a line between the two points and extend it straight down the adjacent faces of the timber. Then design a decorative profile.

Step 5

Use the beam as a guide for marking out the post holes. Straighten up the ends and line them up exactly parallel using a 1.32m measure. Mark with some smaller wooden beams and then remove the woods and dig the holes deep.

Step 6

Place the posts into the housings in the beams, and then seal them with drilling some long nails (best choice two 125mm nails).

Tip: Your wooden pergola posts should fit tightly on the ground; that’s why you should tap them with a wooden mallet. Be careful, though; for not bruising themhold an off-cut of timber between the mallet and rafter.

Step 7

Use a high wood to separate the uprights and check that there is a well-designed square. After that, brace the structure with three lengths of beams. 

Step 8

Raise the first side of your pergola and place it temporarily into the holes. Double-check that all your edges are even and vertical and that the rafter is straight.

Step 9

Raise the other side of your pergola and use a ruler to ensure that both the wooden parts are at the same height. When doing that, you will probably need to readjust the depth of the holes. 

Step 10

Concrete all the beams and let them settle for 48 hours.

Step 11

Lay some rafters across the beams. The number of the rafters is up to you. Place the rafters so that they lay perpendicularly on the top of your vertical beams.

Step 12

Nail the rafters with one beam at the end of its length. 

Step 13

Lay some smaller pieces of wood on the top of your rafters in order to create a beautiful shape. Line the wooden pieces 1 foot/0.30m apart and hammer a nail into each end.

Those ten steps are everything you need to build a beautiful pergola that will decorate your backyard.

However, remember that there are plenty of shapes and structures for a DIY pergola.

If you want to feel creative and structure a different DIY pergola that everyone will envy, choose one of the following ideas.

A rounded pergola 

White DIY rounded kiosk surrounded by green pants and bushes

Basically, you just need to create a rounded sitting area to give a different shape on entire whole pergola. It is not necessary to change anything from the pergola’s construction; only add some railings and a rounded wooden floor.

An outdoor kitchen with pergola

A shielded kitchen that will protect you from the sun and rain is everything you need if you are an outdoor cooker. A kitchen island with a pergola is a must if you want to gather with friends and family for BBQs and dinner in your yard.

A DIY pergola swing

What’s more fun than a swing in your backyard, and what is more beautiful if you create a swing covered by a pergola. A pergola swing is a fantastic structure. Make it more attractive by adding some shelves on the sides. The shelving can be used as tables or even as a planting station. You then attach the swing from the top of your structure, and you have a nice shaded area for you and your family.

The deck-pergola

Outdoor sitting area with modern DIY pergola deck

A pergola attached to your home can give a whole new image on your house. If you do not want to cover your entire deck but still want some shade, this is a great choice.

Sustain the weight of the pergola of the house itself and not the pergola. It is an excellent way to avoid any dangerous situations. Alternately you could dig out the pavers and create footings. Remember to color all the posts before you attach them to the house. You don’t want to paint your house’s walls by accident.

A walk to the woods pergola

What is more rustic than creating a wooden pergola with handmade wooden furniture? That pergola incorporates a living tree into its structure. Create a stone wall to build the tree and add a wooden branch to break through the wall. A wood plank table and tree trunk stools will complete the ultimate look. 

A giant DIY pergola

If you have an uncovered backyard, but the sun bothers you, the giant DIY pergola is an excellent choice. It needs large legs to hold it in place, but it is a great way to have a nice outdoor eating area. A giant pergola is shading your house and creating an inviting space that rivals any living room.

The backyard pergola

outdoor sitting area with benches on ceramic colors

It is a stand-alone pergola that can create a different decoration on your empty backyard. Again, it is about a beautiful idea for creating an intimate sitting area for you and your friends.

The ultimate pergola

The ultimate pergola is everything you ever wanted. You can choose to create a giant rounded pergola where swings can actually hang instead of benches or chairs. 

Stylish pergola 

It is about a pergola made from wood or any other composite material structured in a sophisticated style. If you want to create a stylish pergola, you can add some rolling windows on the sides, space heaters, a fireplace, lighting, and even a sound systems.

Pergola with curtains

Maybe it sounds weird, but how many times have you admired a wonderful backyard with style and colors? Curtains made of sheets add passion and privacy to the space. Choose grey or white colors to give your pergola an elegant and minimal style. 

Playful pergola

Consider structuring a pergola for your kids. Create a large outdoor pergola and place toys and colors everywhere. Structure a colorful backyard place only for your kids, and give them a safe place to do whatever they want. It will work like a second house for them. Add some outdoor sofas for resting and supervising and place large colorful pillows on the deck.

Corner Cabin Style Pergola 

The rustic color of a wooden pergola brings summer memories to our minds. Choose to craft your pergola with unfinished wood and also make a wooden wall at the corner. Add some outdoor furniture on woven textures so you can keep a neutral and natural environment. If you want to make it even more beautiful, hang an iron lantern from the pergola’s ceiling. The lantern will give a striking and fitting focal point for the space.

Geometric cubic pergola 

Α cube-shaped wooden pergola in darker colors is a fantastic idea for creating an outdoor shaded room. Craft two wooden cubed walls that will define the space. Choose wicker furniture in grey charcoal colors and add pillows on lighter colors to create a contract.  

Simple kiosk with hang purple flowers

Keep in mind that if you want to beautify your pergola, you can add some plants. Hanging planters bring a simple wooden pergola to life. Pergolas are a great solution to provide some shade on your yard, but it is also good for dividing your outdoor space. 

A DIY pergola is an excellent way to be creative and productive. If you like to create new crafts, why don’t you try something to decorate your backyard?

If you enjoy reading about DIY pergola and you love changing and fixing your house, don’t forget to check on our article ”DIY flooring ideas”.

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