Do you want somewhere you and your friends can stay in the backyard when they come over to hang? The thing you’re looking for is a pergola. A pergola is a gazebo but with no roof. It is a sitting place made with wooden planks and beams on top. Oftentimes vines or some similar plants are planted to grow on the top to form a roof.
It is a nice addition to any modern garden and it’s not even hard to build it yourself – here’s how.
The whole process can take from a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on how many people work on it and the skill they have.
The things that you need
Some tools that you will need are:
A four-foot level, a measuring tape, some paint for marking, a saw, a drill, mason’s line, circular saw, a drill driver, an auger, a post hold digger, and a shovel.
Some materials that you need
17 pine beams or some other equally sturdy wood (6in x 6in x12foot), 10 pine beams or some other equally sturdy wood (2in x 10in x 12foot), 2 pine beams or some other equally sturdy wood (2in x 6in x 12foot), 2 corbels, 2 bags concrete for every post, around a hundred stone blocks, Loctite or some other adhesive for landscape blocks, 12 bolts with nuts (1/2in x 10in), five-pound packaging of exterior screws (4in), some lightbulbs or a string of lights if you like.
How much will it cost?
The whole project might turn out to cost you from around a thousand to a maximum of five thousand dollars depending on where you buy all the stuff.
The building process
- The first thing you want to do is choose a place where you will start building the pergola and put a stake in the center.
- Measure and mark the radius of the pergola and the fire pit in the middle.
- Using paint and a string, mark the outer circle.
- Decide where the entrance would be and mark it on the outer circle.
- Dig holes for the posts with an auger. Ideally, the holes should be three feet deep.
- Put the largest pine beams in each hole with a flat side facing the center.
- Make sure to level the post using a level.
- Fill the bases of the posts with concrete and go on leveling until the concrete sets.
- Use a laser level to ensure that all the posts have the same height.
- Mark all the posts to the shortest one and use the saws to cut them so all of them will be the same height.
Adding a fire pit
- Dig a hole in the center of the pergola where you marked before as deep as the landscape blocks.
- Put the blocks in the pit.
- Put the adhesive on top of the first layer of blocks and lay another row.
- Add as many block levels as you like.
Adding the roof beams
- Mark the top beams as seen in the picture.
- Cut along the same angle so they fit nicely.
- Put another beam on top and make sure they connect evenly at the edges on every post.
- Screw the top beams tightly putting a screw every 10 inches.
Adding the swings
- Measure an even distance from the center of the pergola depending on how long the swing is going to be.
- Make half an inch-wide holes for the bolts to fasten the swings.
Making a place for storage and a bar
- On the other side of the entrance make two holes on the same distance between the big posts.
- Put two posts in the holes that you’ve cut to be 5 feet tall to serve as a support for the bar table. Put concrete at the base.
- Using a saw cut one and a half-inch from the sides on the tops of the beams five and a half inches deep.
- Between two of the beams, put another two 2in x 6in posts to rest on top of the other ones. Tighten them with screws and put a corbel under them for bigger support.
- For the upper and lower table of the bar use the 2in x 10in posts and tighten them with screws.
The only thing left to do is to put some waterproofing tincture on the wood and hang the lights if you want. After you can sit and enjoy the hard work that you’ve put into making the nice pergola.