How to Build a Pergola

A Pergola Kit can transform your outdoor space. It’s a convenient and easy option for how to build a pergola without a lot of time or expertise. Once your DIY pergola is complete it will provide endless opportunities to help you enjoy your yard.

assembled cedar pergola

Do you love being outside? I do. Especially sitting underneath the DIY Pergola we built recently. When we decided we wanted to a pergola on the back patio, the first thing I did was research how to build a pergola on a deck or patio.

How to Build a Pergola

I looked into building one from a design and quickly realized that this was not something I was prepared to do. The time and expertise required were beyond what I wanted to invest. However, I searched online and found several DIY pergola kits that had good reviews and seemed to fit the bill. After over a year I can tell you that I am 100% satisfied with my pergola kit!

We bought ours through the Home Depot online. Click here to see the DIY Pergola kit we purchased.

pergola kit in boxes on porch

The free standing Pergola Kit we decided on is 10 ft x 12 ft, made of cedar (which is incredibly important in the southeast or anywhere else that the weather destroys wood) and took me the better part of an afternoon to assemble (closer to 5 hours).

Another great advantage was that it was delivered to our home (no loading into cars or unloading if you don’t have a truck or van).

pergola kit pieces

What Does it Cost to Build a Pergola?

At the time we pruchased our Pergola Kit, it cost just over $1200. When we debated building our own pergola from scratch the time it would have taken along with the supply cost made this price very reasonable. Again, we have a 10 foot by 12 foot pergola so that price will vary depending on the size of the Pergola Kit you choose.

How to Assemble a DIY Pergola Kit

pergola kit instructions with tools

The step by step assembly instructions were straight forward and easy to understand. The tools were standard: level, tape measure, screwdriver, drill, and square.

assembling pergola kit

I was able to do most of it by myself. The step by step instructions made it easy to assemble the two sides of the pergola. I did require a second person to help for the next step when you attach the four legs to the initial support beams. Melissa was able to steady the other side as I attached the cross beams.

framing pergola kit

After that, it was a lot of attention to detail in terms of the assembly instructions and time to add all the rafters to the top of the pergola.

assembling pergola cedar kit

I used a ladder throughout and had to move it around quite a bit as I assembled the pergola. So I recommend that you keep the workspace clear of chairs, tables or other obstacles to make it easier on yourself, as our outdoor dining table was a bit of a pain to work around.

adding wood beams to pergola kit

How to Decorate a Pergola

back of large house with concrete patio

When the pergola was complete we were very happy with the end result. The beautiful pergola really defines the space on the patio and adds a lot of interest. It’s such a difference from the before of the back patio when we first moved in.

raised porch with brick and umbrella pergola palm trees

Once I completed assembling the pergola it was time to hand the project over to Melissa for the finishing touches. She planted two Eden roses in large pots at the base of the pergola with the intent of letting them climb it. She fell in love with the Eden roses when we lived in England and vacationed in France near the Loire Valley. Our cottage was covered in them!

We also added three strands of industrial feel outdoor string lighting to the top of the pergola. We used these lights and highly recommend them.

pergola with string lights on porch at night

The pergola lights are plugged into our outdoor light center so they automatically come on at dusk. It is such a relaxing setting.  It’s perfect for entertaining also.

Would you build your own pergola? If so, would you do it from a DIY Pergola Kit or completely from scratch?

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