Pergolas are mainly constructed in the garden area and these are a small uncovered space where you spend your time with your families and friends. They serve as outstanding outdoor structure to provide shade from mid-day sun and a definite character to your home. To add a hint of zing to it, let a climbing plant grow over the structure gracefully with small flowers in it to complete the look. Grapevines and wisteria are the two most ideal climbers that pour in shade and color to the overall structure.
If you want to make outdoor pergola designs then you can do it by yourself also. There is no need to hire a consultant or technicians for construction of the pergola because most of the pergolas can be covered with hanging plants, flowers and you can install a small fountain under your pergola to make it attractive and different.
How to build a Pergola by yourself?
Step 1: First you need to build posts and for that you need to build post-base anchors. For that you need a pad to set the post in or simply set the post right into the earth. The posts are pressure-treated with 4 x 4 cores covered with 1 x cedar. Use steel post-base anchors to strongly secure the post cores right in the concrete pads. If you are building posts for the earth and not for pads, then you need longer posts. Once you lay out proper post positions, mark the screw location exactly on the points.
Step 2: Use a hammer drill to tuck in Tapcon screws. Keep the size of the holes exactly at 3/16 inches.
Step 3: Get help of you friend who can hold the post plumb straight while you drive nails directly through the anchors right into the wood.
Step 4: Let someone support the posts to help them stay plumb. Then, cut 2 x 6 support beams to the right length. Ensure that the beams are made out of cedar to establish an attractive looking pergola. Mark curved notches at the end of each cedar beam with the use of template. Use a jigsaw to cut the notches. Get a helping hand to clamp the beams in their right positions. After checking the levels of the beams on the posts, secure each end of them with four 3 inches screw to make it stick strongly against the posts.
Step 5: Now, when adding the second pair of the beam, which is already screwed, do check whether both of their levels are uniform across top edges.
Step 6: You need crossbeams to fit over support beams. Use the 2 x 6 crossbeams that are notched to fit properly. Well, to cut the notches accurately use a dado blade fixed in a table saw.
Step 7: You may follow step 6 or lay out each notch and then use a jigsaw for removing waste. Cleanly cut the curved ends to make them look artistic.
Step 8: Once again you need help of a second person to install the pairs of crossbeams on the posts. After you are sure that they are in place, bore down screwholes through the top edges. This will help to securely screw crossbeams tightly to the support beams.
Step 9: Your next step is to add the three left pairs in similar manner with equal spacing. Then, cut the trimpieces to the exact length and width. It is better if you notch these pieces so as to fit between support beams. You may use galvanized finishing nails or construction adhesive to secure the trimpieces. Then, cut the ends of 2 x 6 stock of diagonal braces at 45 degree angle and then use a flexible stick so as to create shallow curves just at the lower edges of the brace. Use screws to fasten braces to beams and posts.
Step 10: Cut slats in the right length and shape. Clamp each slat and mark the positions of crossbeam notch. Bore pilot holes through the slats and attach them. The final step is to make post caps. Make sure you secure the caps with construction adhesive and galvanized finishing nails.
Following the above steps make your own pergola at the yard.