Patio Pergola

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Project by Doug Wilson posted 07-09-2010 04:49 AM 6555 views 8 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally complete! Check it out.

Materials List
8 4×4 PT posts 10 ft long
100 linear ft of 2×2 lumber
16 2×8 PT beams (8 at 16 ft long and 8 at 14 ft long)
32 bolts at 7 inches long (3/8 carriage)
32 nuts for the bolts
8 Post brackets and wedge bolts
8 copper tops for 4×4 posts
5 4×8 sheets of tight PT lattice
Box of square head deck screws

Equipment List
Jig saw
Miter saw
Concrete drill
Brad gun
Spray Gun
4 pipe clamps
other small clamps
pocket hole set

I purchased all the lumber and then let it dry for a couple weeks in the garage. Lesson learned: I really have to put some weight on PT wood as it dried. I got some crazy bowing and twisting.
I planed and sanded it with 80 grit to get the surface imperfections out. This took a couple weeks. Lesson learned: buy a planer.
I cut the design on the end of each 2×8 with a jig saw and then cleaned it up with a router and straight bit. I made a nice template and it helped move it along. Had to do the process 24 times!
I started to stain some of the wood while in the garage when I had the time.
Next, I reserved a Saturday and got my father-in-law to help me put up the frame. We drilled into the concrete with 1/2 anchor bolts, then put up the 4×4’s with supports. We then started hanging lower level cross beams, clamping them in place while we drilled through and placed 3/8 carriage bolts. I already mentioned that we had crazy bowing, so it took us forever to clamp them down and straighten them before we bolted. Also, working on a ladder for 8 hours hurts your feet! Lesson learned: buy more pipe clamps and a better ladder.
The next weekend we started on the upper level crossbeams. We had to cut out notches for the overlap of the top and bottom beams. I thought I could line them all up and router it out, but that didn’t work at all thanks to the bowing issues. We ended up having to jig saw out 8 notches from all 8 boards. Thanks again to an extra set of hands. After that we hung those beams and got them into place. I finished the top section during the week and then continued staining.
This week, I finished screwing in all the beam that were not bolted and continued staining. It is really starting to come together now.

Okay, several months later. I will briefly recap months of pecking this thing away. I stained all the 2×2 and build the lattice work in between the 4×4’s. I used pocket hole joints to hide the screws. Then I worked on the ceiling lattice. I took the 4×8 sheets and stained them all. That took forever at first using a brush, then I broke down and bought a sprayer. After that, it was done in a couple hours. Once stained it was just a matter of putting it up and nailing them in place. Then I added some hanging ornamental lights to finish it off. I still plan on staining the cement a terracotta red, planting some creeping vines, and adding a couple small decorative elements, but this is good enough to enjoy. Hope you all enjoy it as well.

More photos at:

9 comments so far

View Skylark53's profile


2699 posts in 3456 days

#1 posted 07-09-2010 05:30 AM

Very satisfying. You should be pleased.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View PocketHole69's profile


79 posts in 3432 days

#2 posted 07-09-2010 05:32 AM

Looks good- I’ve been trying to talk the wife in to letting me do something similar to our patio.

Does the lattice cut the sun well? I’m curious is it produces decent shade with all those big holes. I know I’ve seen some fabric type covers that people lay across the pergola to cut the sun- do you think the lattice is better?

-- Jason, Atlanta, GA

View dakremer's profile


2742 posts in 3487 days

#3 posted 07-09-2010 05:56 AM

very nice Doug. That pergola rocks!! Looks great

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Ken90712's profile


17671 posts in 3584 days

#4 posted 07-09-2010 10:52 AM

Nice addition you made here.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Doug Wilson's profile

Doug Wilson

23 posts in 3719 days

#5 posted 07-09-2010 01:02 PM

The lattice works quite well in blocking the sun. It is very tight, probably only 1 – 1.5 inch square holes, so it definitely provides shade. The original design had cloth in it, but I didn’t think it would last once I start growing some creeping vines up it. I will try to post a picture of the original design in sketchup.

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3591 days

#6 posted 07-09-2010 03:16 PM

Really like your design. I was thinking that it would take 6×6 or 8×8 posts but I like the way you doubled up the 4×4. and created the area for growing vines. Will there be potting boxes at the base for the vines or will they be in the ground?

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View BuilderMan's profile


92 posts in 3353 days

#7 posted 07-09-2010 04:25 PM

Very Nice. I know it gives you a high level of satisfaction on building it yourself.

There is a kiln dried pressure treated wood called KDAT that is kiln dried after treatment that will not shrink or twist (much) and you can paint/stain without waiting but it is much more expensive. I will be using it for the first time on a screened porch for a new house I will be starting in a few weeks.

View Cousinwill's profile


131 posts in 3285 days

#8 posted 07-09-2010 07:48 PM

Good looking pergola !! I just finished one myself,,,,,,,,,,no small project !!!

-- William from the oldest town in Texas

View Doug Wilson's profile

Doug Wilson

23 posts in 3719 days

#9 posted 07-10-2010 05:31 AM

I like the idea of potting boxes, but will probably plant them in the ground. I have to move on to other projects soon!

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