Build a pergola yourself – instructions and great inspiration

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A modern garden is part of a chic little house in the countryside. That is already certain and nobody will deny it. And in the hot summer months you also want a shady spot in the garden where you can enjoy the time outdoors without being disturbed. The pergola can offer you this comfort. It is an important design element in the garden, it enables the transition between inside and outside. The pergola always gives us an unmistakable feeling of security, which also breathes us into security. A wide range of pergolas can currently be found in specialist shops and garden centers. But if you don’t want to spend that much money on a finished pergola or can’t afford the hassle, we’d love to provide you with some practical tips on how to get one Build a pergola yourself can stand by.

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So today we would like to explain to you how you can build a pergola yourself and that in your own garden! You will see for yourself in the next few minutes that this is not as complicated as it actually sounds! Just dare to build a pergola yourself, even if you don’t have enough manual skills! You do not have to make any major financial expenses. Just follow our simple tips for building a pergola yourself and you will definitely be surprised by the end result yourself!

Build a pergola yourself – what should be considered before setting up

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You need posts, longitudinal supporting timbers, the purlins and the so-called rafters. The wood material for the pergola should be sawn and impregnated, which extends its lifespan. Robinia, Douglas fir, spruce and larch are very appropriate and suitable for this purpose. The larch and Douglas fir, for example, have a very high natural resin content. Therefore, they are characterized by a long service life, which makes them perfect as a material for building pergolas yourself.

A curved pergola

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Get the tools you need to build a pergola yourself: You need a tape measure, digging and wood tools. If you want to achieve a sturdy look, make sure that the pergola loses its bare look when it is overgrown with climbing plants. Before you start building, do one last check that you have everything with you and that the kit is complete. Read the building instructions carefully and follow them!

Build your own pergola step by step

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1. It is recommended that a pergola be at least eight feet high. Also, for the overall pergola look, it would be nice if you could leave a 3 – 3.5m gap between the posts. If you are building the pergola yourself, the posts are first mounted, about 10-15 cm above ground level in post shoes that are formed in a concrete foundation.

Build a pergola yourself – attaching it to the wall

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2. Your next step in building a pergola yourself depends on your construction method. You can either attach the crossbeams (purlins) to the post with angle elements or attach them to the side with carriage bolts. It should be mentioned here that there has recently been an effort to look for such connections where no metal is present. This has many advantages, one of which is that you avoid moisture and thus the modernity of the wood.

Build a pergola yourself – interlock the beams

Build a pergola yourself

3. In this step of building the pergola yourself, it is the turn of the rafters. They are sunk into the purlins and screwed from below with special anchors. Make the necessary markings first because all of the pieces need to be accurate and fit together nicely.

4. Build your own pergola – your pergola is made even more stable with cross braces. You can also make the pergola even more comfortable and build an additional roof.

Build a pergola yourself – tips for caring for the pergola

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But building a pergola yourself is not enough. In order for you to have a beautiful looking pergola in your garden for years, you need to take proper care of it. It is advisable to treat the wood regularly with a care product, this guarantees that it will be kept in good condition. If you varnish the woods once every few years, your self-made pergola will always look like new.

Stand-alone pergola with additional sun protection

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Do not forget that there are bound to be minor repairs to the pergola – there may be breaks that need to be repaired, screws and nails have to be checked regularly and, if necessary, tightened or replaced. Like everything in the garden, the pergola also requires your maintenance. But after all, you get your very own private oasis in the open air after you build the pergola yourself and it has to be really well protected from the wind and prying eyes. With trellises and privacy screens between the posts, you can make the pergola more stable, if necessary.

Privacy screen for pergola

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Most freestanding pergolas are open on all sides. If you want to protect your favorite place against wind or strangers, you should also plan appropriate privacy and weather protection. Depending on how airy or opaque the pergola should be, you can choose between several pergola elements. Lattices appear light and filigree and are perfect as a climbing aid. They let the sunlight through and at the same time ensure a feeling of security. A good alternative are wooden slats running horizontally or vertically.

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In the garden you just want peace and quiet and, above all, privacy. It is ideal if you screen the seat under the pergola on two or three sides. Screen elements also keep out wind, noise and road dust. Whether playful or functional – the variety of shapes and the different colors and decorations make the privacy screen elements a defining feature of the pergola. So that the privacy screen fits perfectly into your garden, pay attention to the harmony between the individual parts: roofing, posts and sides. So the pergola acts as an extension of your outdoor area. The combination of wood and natural stone also looks very nice.

Dark pergola in a rustic style

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You can make your pergola more homely and give it a natural look by decorating it with magnificent creepers and climbing plants. These can thrive there if you use wood without impregnation substances or with impregnation that is harmless to plants for the construction of your pergola! We want to emphasize this, because you still have to be careful when planning your pergola. So that beautiful flowers grow there and you can later enjoy a colorful picture there or sit calmly between green climbing plants and really enjoy the fresh scent of your garden.


The choice of climbing plants usually depends on the location of the pergola. Is your pergola in full sun or in the shade? So determine the orientation of the sun first. Below we give you a short list of suitable climbing plants.

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The evergreen honeysuckle (Lonicera) is a good variety for slightly sunny to shady locations in the garden. The delicate flowers appear from June to August and exude a wonderful scent. When the flowering period is over, the berry-like fruits develop. They are reminiscent of blueberries, but are poisonous to humans.

Climbing roses have proven to be the most popular variety for sunny spots. Their abundance of flowers and their variety of colors make these little romantic miracles so popular. They smell pleasant and cover the pergola with a dress made of flowers in summer. Our favorite varieties include the robust Bobbie James variety and the more frequent flowering rose Bajazzo.

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The summer jasmine Solanum jasminoides is a perennial plant and belongs to the nightshade family. The climbing plant inspires with its snow-white flower umbels, which please the eye until October. The robust and extremely easy-care climber thrives best in a warm and sunny location.

The orange-colored flowers of the trumpet flower (Campsis radicans) appear from late summer to autumn. They attract bees, butterflies, and songbirds to the garden and do best in full sun.

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The sky-blue morning glory (Ipomea tricolor) is an annual creeper and is native to Mexico. The large funnel-shaped flowers appear from July to October and reach 10-12 cm in diameter. Unfortunately they are not very rainproof.

The clematis varieties are perfect for a north side. Clematis sibrica and Clematis alpina do like shade. An interesting idea would be Schisandra Chinensis – Chinese split basket. The hardy snake is native to north-east China, so north-west and north-east locations are ideal for it.

Pergola with sun protection for more shade

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So, as you can see, there are several advantages to building your pergola yourself. We wish you every success and relaxing hours in the cool shade. Good planning is essential when building a pergola.

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