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Forum topic by Martyroc posted 04-22-2012 11:37 PM 1756 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Martyroc's profile


2708 posts in 1342 days

04-22-2012 11:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hello fellow, LJ’ers,
I would like to build a pergola this spring to have for the summer. In the past we have purchased the metal and canvas tents from the big box stores, but they never last and for the money I spent I could build 3 of them. I did a search for pergolas on here and came up with tons of them, but would like to ask a few things first. I am thinking in terms of the size about 10’ X 12’ and 10’ high roughly.

1. Have any of you reading this built any pergola’s that you were very fond of?
2. What materials did you use, ( I’m thinking Red cedar myself)
3. How long did it take? I am thinking about a full day, so I will allow for 3 days, just in case something comes up, and/or I get lazy, LOL
4. How did you anchor it to the ground?

I am sure I am forgetting a whole slew of questions, please feel free to point out what I am forgetting. Thanks in advance for the responses.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

6 replies so far

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 1323 days

#1 posted 04-23-2012 12:13 AM

When I built the pergola over my wife’s potting bench area, I dug holes and placed sonotubes in them. Filled them with concrete and set anchor pads into the tops. The posts get set into the anchor sockets, plumbed up, and then you do your beams from there. If you do decorative ends on beams, that will eat up some time. If your pieces are all cut or all you have to do is chop them to length, it shouldn’t take you more than a day (not counting the concrete work if you go that route.)

Oh, and it stayed solid and steady in the highest winds ever recorded around here. 86mph :)

View wild bill franklin's profile

wild bill franklin

128 posts in 1300 days

#2 posted 04-23-2012 01:34 AM

I’ve never built one, but red cedar would be my choice too. sounds like Charlie has the right idea about anchoring it down!!

-- wild bill, Stapleton, Al

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 1323 days

#3 posted 04-23-2012 01:53 AM

Here’s a picture of mine. The fence boards alternate with copper pipe (man has THAT stuff gotten expensive!). The copper post caps have solar LED lights in them. The top slats are oriented north and south so tehy actually provide quite a bit of shade as the sun goes by. :)

View Martyroc's profile


2708 posts in 1342 days

#4 posted 04-23-2012 02:03 AM

Thanks Charlie, I know what you mean about the copper pipes, I was licensed plumber many years ago and can’t believe how much the stuff costs now. I like the way yours came out, the solar LED lights is a nice touch. I am going to go with the anchoring suggestion you made, it’s pretty much what I had in mind.

Hi Wille, I am leaning more and more towards red cedar, I love the way it looks and it weathers very well. The wife says I need to build new closet doors first, but that will change as soon as she is outside in the sun, couple more weeks and she will be swayed. She wants the pergola but the doors have been on the honey do list for some time.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View gonzales's profile


2 posts in 28 days

#5 posted 09-08-2015 09:57 AM

I have not found the best idea

-- Gonzalo, Chicago. Solar LED Flood Lights ==> Best Leaf Blower ==>

View Redoak49's profile


1090 posts in 1025 days

#6 posted 09-08-2015 11:37 AM

I built a screened in octagonal pergola with 4 ft deep footings. It took a lot longer than 1 day. Building a pergola the size you mention will take longer than what you are thinking. I built it from pressure treated wood.

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