Saturday, August 8, 2020

Quick Guide to a DIY Backyard Pergola

 When you have a family, having a space outdoors to relax in, as well as for the children to play in, is a must. That extra space to play can be so useful, especially in the height of the summer. Having a patio or a decking space is great, but what about creating a pergola to enjoy outside? It can be a place to grow shrubs, as well as get a little shade, which can be a great idea with kids. Not to mention just a blissful and peaceful space to rest, sit, and read, outdoors. Imagine it with a hanging chair or hammock and you’ve created the ideal space. 

Thinking about making a pergola from a DIY point of view, it can be pretty straightforward, and in terms of time that it takes, versus how much use you will get out of it, you will be winning. It requires some pretty inexpensive materials, just some tools and some basic DIY skills in order to make it a reality. Having a simple pergola means that you create a basic square, with posts, rafters, crossbeams, and lattice if preferred. If you are interested in the idea of building your own, then here are some of the steps that you need to think about.


Getting the right tools

There are some specific tools that you will need in order to make your pergola dreams a reality. For example, you should start off with getting an impact driver drill. You can click here for more info about it, but basically, an impact driver is designed to drive long deck screws or long bolts into wooden posts. For a wooden pergola, this is a must. Team that up with a leveler, and you’ll be able to put the beams together, and make them level and even, really easily. A long leveler would be best, as a pergola will reach quite high. You’ll want to make sure that you are keeping things level as you go up. If you haven’t got pieces of wood that are cut to size, then a saw is a must too. 

The process, in brief

After you have cut the posts, the crossbeams, and the rafters to the size that you want, you need to secure one of the cross beams to two of the posts. A long screw will be needed as it needs to reach through both of the posts. It is just important to make sure that the top of the beams are the same distance all the way around. 

Next you need to raise the sub assembly, by moving the posts into deep holes. Then attach some temporary cross braces to the posts, with some drywall screws. Now you need to drive a stake in the ground, around four feet away from each of the posts. By using a level, you can then fasten the braces to the stakes so that it can all hold in place. 

Now is the time to put two rafters up on the cross beams and then strap the level on to the top with a rope or bungee cord. Then you can make the decking screws loose, and raise or lower the main beam slightly, until you have it where it is level. Keep repeating the leveling process until it has been leveled on all sides. Add the next two cross beams with the same process. 

With your saw, unless they have already been cut, cut down the posts to a desired height, using the cross beams as a guide to keep things balanced. Then a neat cut is going to be much more likely.

Now you need to attach rafters by using at least eight screws. What you need to do is to drive each of the decking screws in at an angle, through the rafter, in the center of each of the cross beams.

Now you need to lay down the slats in each place, and secure them in place to the rafters. The frame pieces that are going to face the inside of the pergola are made with one side of lumber. In order to build the frame, then you need to cut the horizontal frame pieces in order to keep the same distance between the posts. 

Once the basic frame is built, you can add things in like a planter box or a bench. Once the pergola is put together, it is recommended to add some stain to get the desired color. 

Have you thought about using a pergola in your yard before? It would be great to hear what you think.