DIY Home Improvement: How to Assemble a Pergola from a Kit

February 9, 2023

If you have a nice backyard, you might want to add a pergola. Pergolas usually come in the form of outdoor garden features. They might include a covered walkway or passageway. You will also generally see some chairs set up inside where you can sit and enjoy the shade.

Pergola kits are not as complex as you might imagine. If you have decent DIY skills, you can usually put one together from one of the all-in-one boxes you can order through the mail. We’ll talk about some at-home pergola assembly basics right now.

Choosing the Wood You Want

If you look into at-home pergola kits, one thing you’ll almost always notice is that they come with one of two kinds of wood. You can get one with Western red cedar or yellow pine.

If you reside in a humid climate, you’ll likely want the yellow pine. If you live somewhere that’s more arid, go with the red cedar.

The Tools You Need

You’ll need at least two helpers for most pergola assemblies. You’ll need a tape measure, level, and hammer. A ladder and screw gun are necessary. You’ll need a wrench and post-hole digger. You will also need a shovel, trowel, gravel, dry concrete mix, and a wheelbarrow to carry the materials. Finally, you’ll need the wood you’ve chosen.

A Brief Overview

Every pergola kit will come with instructions, and each one will have slightly different ones. However, you can also expect certain universalities. You can expect some variation of the following instructions.

You’ll start by laying out the wood pieces where you want the pergola. Then, you’ll lay the posts on a beam. Next, you’ll create a sandwich with the posts and beams.

You’ll insert bolts through the beams and posts, then flip the assembly over. Next, you’ll put washers and nuts on the bolts.

Digging Your Holes

Digging your holes for the posts will come next. With the assembly still on the ground, you can mark where to dig the holes. You’ll use the post-hole digger for this. Many people who do DIY projects find this to be one of the most enjoyable parts.

Once you’ve dug the holes, you will stand the assembly up and slide it into them. You’ll need your helpers for this part, as that assembly will be heavy.

Pouring the Concrete

Installing the concrete will come next. You’ll pour the dry concrete into the holes while holding the assembly in place.

Next, you’ll water the concrete and stir it. When you do so, it will dry quickly. At that point, you can let go of the assembly, and it will stay in place.

After letting the concrete dry overnight, you can install the pergola’s rafters over the beams. You will want to wait a couple of months before staining or painting the wood.

This might sound complex, but most home improvement enthusiasts can manage it. It takes some raw power, so make sure you have a couple of strong individuals backing you up.


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I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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