How To Build A Pergola On A Deck

A pergola can make your backyard feel inviting and can provide shade and wind protection. A pergola project is a large task to undertake, but for homeowners, installing a DIY pergola can add value to your home and help create a backyard oasis.

When it comes to building a pergola, most decide to build their structure on a stone patio or a deck. This allows the pergola to sit on even ground and be built with ease. There are a few key steps to build a pergola that’s sturdy and durable during harsher weather conditions.

Step 1: Design Your DIY Pergola

The first step to building a pergola is designing the blueprint. Take note of the amount of space you have to work with and use that as a guide for how long each side needs to be. Figuring out the proper size of your ideal pergola will make the process a lot easier.

Speak with people you know who may have recommendations on the look and styles of your pergola. Often, they can give you solid advice on erecting a pergola and can even give you advice on how to build a pergola attached to the house.

Once you’ve mapped out the logistics of your deck and the overall structure of your future pergola, round up the tools and lumber you may need for your project. Consider writing out some loose instructions before beginning to tackle the building process.

A garden with a gazebo, perfect for learning how to build a pergola on your deck.

Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble coming up with a plan or choosing the right materials and tools, consider buying a prefabricated pergola set. These come with all the necessary tools, screws, canopy, lag bolts, information, instructions and more that help you build fantastic pergola structures.

Step 2: Install The Posts

The first step in installing pergola posts is to dig a hole through your deck framing that meets your municipality’s local guidelines. In Canada, that’s about four feet deep. Add some gravel below each post to act as post anchors and allow for drainage during rainy weather.

Pergola posts help durability when put in place properly. They can also act as a guide when it comes to building the sides and placing lattice on top of your pergola. Keep in mind that the materials you use can affect your pergola structure and the longevity of the new addition to your home. Use lag bolts to secure your pergola.

Step 3: Attaching The Support Beams

Place a beam on top of each post going across from the posts and screw them in using lag bolts. These will be support posts for the top of your structure or the crossbeams.

Once you’re content with the overall structure and you’re sure it’s strong enough that nothing can knock it over, you’re ready to create the lattice system that will provide you with some much-needed shade in the summer months, depending on your pergola’s location.

The wooden pergola on the deck allows the sun to shine brightly through.

Step 4: Lattice & Details

By placing interlocking beams on different sections of your pergola, you increase the pergola’s overall structure and create a roof that will protect you from sunlight. Pergolas are made to create shade for your deck area and provide a roof in the outdoors.

Once you secure your overhead lattice by securing the beams with heavy-duty screws and bolts, you can focus on finishing details like adding fabric between beams and posts to give your pergola a bohemian vibe.

Step 5: Decorating Your New Pergola

Pergolas are unique outdoor features that add a unique design element to your backyard. Things like circular tables, colourful seating and billowing fabric attached to support posts can make pergolas inviting for the company you may have over.

There are many decor videos you can look up to plan something truly special in terms of design for your pergolas. You can even add DIY design elements to make your pergola truly feel like home. Even natural elements like vines and overhanging flowers can add some beauty to your backyard so you can break out the cookies and sandwiches for an outdoor tea party.

Consulting Experts To Build A Pergola On A Deck

If all else fails, you can hire professional contractors to safely install posts and build a solid structure on your deck. They know how to build a pergola that is safe, looks great and is wind-resistant. In some cases, it may cost less to hire professionals to build your pergola.
A deck with a bench and window, enhanced by adding a pergola.

They can also assist in choosing the right lumber materials for pergola posts, support beams and other tools you may need to use. These professionals can come up with a complete plan to get your pergola constructed the way you want it. They have comprehensive lists of what needs to be done.

Take a page out of the professionals’ book and use the space you have to your advantage by installing a post for your pergola where it makes sense. Having a more detailed plan for building a pergola can make all the difference.

Now That You Know How To Build A Pergola

Aside from the shade that your pergola provides to your deck area, these structures can truly elevate your outside space. You’ll definitely want to plan more barbecues after you build your pergola on your deck!

Keep in mind that sometimes you may have to replace a beam or a couple of screws due to natural wear and tear on your pergola. If you follow instructions and construct your pergolas properly, they will last for years and add value to your property.

Breaking the steps down into sections can make building a pergola easier and less daunting. At the end of the day, whether you choose to purchase a prefab pergola set, or you choose to construct a pergola on your deck from scratch, you know you’ll have a beautiful backyard space just outside your house waiting for you to enjoy and have a cup of tea.

Curb Wise