How To Install a Pergola
Updated: Nov 29, 2021
If you’re looking for a great way to update your outdoor living area without making a major investment, consider installing a custom-made pergola. These iconic structures add a stylish, shaded area to relax in the evening or host weekend gatherings. Learn how to install a pergola and consider the pros and cons of hiring an installation company or taking on a DIY installation project.
How To Install a Pergola
Before you purchase a pergola or start working with a contractor, it’s important to consider your options. An easy-to-install pergola can save you a significant amount of time and money, so it’s important to choose the right design and hardware.
Follow these preparation steps before you order the materials and start the installation process:
Consider how you’ll use your pergola
Determine the best size of pergola for your property
Review designs and wood type
Find a suitable building location
Prepare the area
Most cities allow you to install a pergola without a permit, but it’s important to check with your local building department. Part of your preparation should be to consider the foundation you want for your structure. You can build or install most pergolas on a wood, brick, concrete or stone foundation.
Installing a Pre-Made Pergola
If you learn how to install a pergola, a DIY installation can be more affordable than hiring a contractor. There are two basic options for DIY installation: installing a pre-made kit and using a hardware kit. Pre-made kits come with all the wood beams and hardware you need. All you need are a few tools and a few helpers and you’ll have a pergola constructed in a few days.
This easy option may seem like the best choice, but consider the price difference. You’ll often pay more for the convenience of a fully pre-built structure than you would for a hardware kit that requires just a bit more self-assembly.
Hiring a Pergola Installation Company
Not feeling like taking on a DIY project? Whether you’re building a pergola on concrete or on brick, an installation company can make quick work of any installation project. Hiring a professional team involves the least amount of work and ensures a professionally finished product.
Unfortunately, professional installation is going to cost you significantly more than a DIY project. Even an experienced contracting team can take 12 to 16 hours to construct a pergola, so the labor costs can be considerably more than the cost of the materials.
An installation company may be able to construct a pergola from scratch more quickly than you can, but they may also have a busy schedule. If you can’t schedule your installation project for a few months, then choosing an installation company may actually be a slower option when compared to using a pergola hardware kit.
Using a Pergola Kit
The second DIY option is to purchase a DIY pergola hardware kit. These kits include all the fasteners and brackets you need, along with detailed instructions for an easy-to-install pergola. All you need to do is source your desired wood beams and then follow the instructions.
How To Install the Bjørn Woodworks Pergola Hardware Kit
Choose a Bjørn Woodworks Pergola Hardware Kit with easy installation instructions. Follow these steps to learn how to install a pergola as a DIYer.
Prepare Your Building Site
Measure out the areas you wish to install your pergola. Be sure there’s enough room and that the foundation is ready for the installation process. Consider laying a tarp or rug over the area as you work.
You’ll be placing the lumber and brackets on the ground before installing them, which could scratch or mar them without this layer of protection.
Install the Corner Brackets
Insert the 4x4 lumber 6 inches into the corner brackets. The bracket may seem too large for the lumber, but they’re intentionally designed to avoid a tight fit due to slight differences in lumber dimensions.
Use the included hex head lag bolts to secure the brackets to the lumber. Fasten them securely with a drill and 1/2-inch socket bit, taking care not to over-tighten them. Use a 1/8-inch pre-drill bit to avoid splitting the lumber.
Raise the Pergola Roof
This step will require at least two other people to assist you. Have two or more people lift one side of the roof as you insert the legs one at a time into the corner brackets. Pre-drill the legs and fasten them using the same lag bolts.
The constructed roof can be heavy for one person to lift, so be sure you have a few assistants at this point in the process. You need to be careful with a partially lifted roof with only a few legs attached in order to avoid twisting the lumber.
Secure It To the Foundation
Once the pergola has all four legs secured and is standing in place, it’s time to install the boot brackets and secure them to the foundation. Be sure the legs are at 90 degrees using a level and secure the brackets to the foundation. Building a pergola on concrete or stone may require additional tools and hardware not included in this kit. However, with a masonry drill and some fasteners from a local hardware store, installing your pergola on concrete is just as convenient as on any other surface.
Learn More About DIY Pergola Installation
Enjoy an easy pergola installation process with a Bjørn Woodworks Pergola Hardware Kit. Learn more about these kits, review the detailed instructions and prepare for a comfortable outdoor gathering area for your friends and family. Choose a convenient DIY pergola kit for a stunning addition to your backyard landscape.