Backyard Pergola

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Project by WaltGarrison posted 03-13-2012 01:11 AM 3933 views 13 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We Built a Western Red Cedar Pergola over the back deck and patio this winter. it is one of the biggest projects I have done. The lumber was ordered through 84 Lumber Co. (highly recommended if you have one.) We lost a huge Arizona Ash tree after Hurricane Ike and wanted to get some of that shade back. It was great fun and I learned a lot. The trickiest part was cutting the ends of all the beams and rafters. Looking at Home Depot or Lowe’s contractors doing one this size was around $12 to $15K. This came in at $2400 plus my labor- very satisfying. It is 30’ long and 14” wide on the biggest end. We made it two heights and slightly different widths to match the deck and brick patio already in place. The longest beams are 16’. -Thanks

-- WLG- Experience is what you got when you didn't get what you wanted.

17 comments so far

View devann's profile


1915 posts in 1729 days

#1 posted 03-13-2012 01:22 AM

That’s nice. You did a fine job. I like building those, they’re lots of fun. Gotta have that shade down here. Sorry to hear about you losing your shade tree.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Jorge Velez's profile

Jorge Velez

348 posts in 1623 days

#2 posted 03-13-2012 02:03 AM

great looking Pergola, I really like how it looks

-- Jorge Velez, Guadalajara, Mexico.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 2274 days

#3 posted 03-13-2012 03:05 AM

Beautiful job on your pergola. It sure looks like a great place to swing in one of those hanging chairs and post your latest project with your laptop.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View freidasdad's profile


144 posts in 2024 days

#4 posted 03-13-2012 04:08 AM

beautiful pergola…..I live here in the Houston area and understand the need for all that shade…...I’ll be retiring soon and one of those is on my bucket list…yours is an insperation…..again, nice job

-- My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am---author unknown

View exelectrician's profile


2285 posts in 1464 days

#5 posted 03-13-2012 05:33 AM

That is so light and airy, thats the feeling it gives me – very inviting after a long hot day. And very well made too.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View JohnMeeley's profile


254 posts in 1370 days

#6 posted 03-13-2012 07:50 AM

Nice details. Lots of character. Should outlast the house itself.

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

View JohnEinNJ's profile


94 posts in 1384 days

#7 posted 03-13-2012 12:31 PM

Beautiful job.

View KMT's profile


594 posts in 1699 days

#8 posted 03-13-2012 03:55 PM

Good job on the pergola. I’ve been thinking about building one of those for a long time.Thanks for sharing.

-- - Martin

View Ken90712's profile


15838 posts in 2226 days

#9 posted 03-13-2012 04:15 PM

Great work, Nice savings to boot. I hate paying someone to do anything. But thats why were here on LJ’s we do things!

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

View Northwest29's profile


1249 posts in 1527 days

#10 posted 03-13-2012 06:49 PM

Whoa, that’s a super looking pergola! Can you show/explain in a little more detail how the 45 degree supports are done? It looks like they are mortised into the vertical post, but I can’t see from the photos what is done when it goes into the two boards running horizontally. Thanks


-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View Blakep's profile


232 posts in 1839 days

#11 posted 03-13-2012 07:56 PM

It looks great and gives plenty of shade. I have had one of these on my to do list for a while now. I love the look when they are new but don’t really want the grey look once it gets weathered so I have been debating on building one and painting it. I hate to cover up nice wood with paint but its a little to big to be rubbing down with teak oil every few months haha. Did you put any finish on yours or are you letting it turn with time? Any advice on a finish that will hold up and is resonable to apply to something this size?

View dbhost's profile


5386 posts in 2269 days

#12 posted 03-13-2012 08:17 PM

Absolutely beautiful…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View WaltGarrison's profile


24 posts in 1495 days

#13 posted 03-13-2012 09:04 PM

Ron- I will try to get some better pictures up- no mortises though. 5” ledger bolts into the posts and 3.5” deckmate screws into the beams.
Blakep- I did seal it. Ready Seal brand natural cedar color. Sprayed on. It was recommened by the guys at the lumber yard. I like the look and it repels water very well- we’ll see how it ages. It was already starting to grey but this sealer brought the color right back.
Thanks everyone.

-- WLG- Experience is what you got when you didn't get what you wanted.

View wrtnaz's profile


39 posts in 1980 days

#14 posted 03-13-2012 09:13 PM

Outstanding!! I have it on my list to do this spring. Going to get started here soon. If you have any more pics or plans that would be great. I really like the way it turned out. I have looked at alot of different plans and pics but yours is the best yet. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks again

-- wrtnaz

View Kelen's profile


270 posts in 1429 days

#15 posted 03-14-2012 01:33 AM

That’s one great looking pergola!

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

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