Building a pergola in your yard is a major DIY project. But it adds value to your home, as well as to your garden enjoyment. Adding shade and structure to the garden, a pergola differs from an arbor in that is is usually a more “room like” structure, with posts supporting a roof covering of some type. In other words, an arbor on steroids. Perfect for creating romantic walkways, adding a seating area, or making a portion of the garden a major focal point. If you can dig a post hole and handle a drill and a saw, you can learn how to build a pergola with these projects & tutorials! So start planning, and set aside a weekend to learn how to build a DIY pergola for your garden!

How To Build The Perfect Pergola

How to Build a Pergola

DIY Pergola Plans

The following pergolas were originally from ‘HGTV,‘ where you can find some great tips and tricks! unfortunately, the full supply lists and tutorials for all of these are no longer there, but you can still learn how to build a pergola that fits with your style, and your family activities. This first one is set on a raised wooden deck, and has a built in wooden bench attached as well. Can’t you just see every family birthday party and Mother’s Day being celebrated right here?

This pergola idea is perfect when you have an existing patio space that you want to cover. Shade is a big deal in most parts of the country in the summer, and this could make un unusable patio the most popular spot in the backyard!

Looking for a little romance in your outdoor space? This pretty pergola you could build anywhere in your garden. They created a packed gravel floor and covered it with outdoor rugs, then filled the space with comfy pillows, chairs and, of course, tables for that inevitable lemonade. The hanging plants and garden art make this place pretty enough for a wedding!

We love Ana White‘s weatherly DIY pergola. She always has such great tutorials, with drawings, material lists and instructions. You can also see how some of her DIY readers (just like you!) have completed the same outdoor pergola projects at her site. Free plans are here for you to download.


pottery barn weatherby pergola plans 3

Another of ‘Ana White‘s’ weatherly pergolas… See, you can do this! Simple wooden pergolas made by DIY’ers just like you!


Modern Pergola Plans

We found this nice DIY modern pergola project on ‘Instructables‘, with lots and lots of step by step photos on this one. This is great choice because of its simple lines.


How to Build a Pergola on a Patio

Find out how to build a backyard pergola from ‘Popular Mechanics‘. I love how this one has the decorative notches on the beams and crossbeams. And that they show you how to build a pergola on a concrete patio.



DIY Pergola Video Tutorial

This tutorial from ‘DIY Network‘ shows how to build a pergola, and even has little videos of certain steps. Really helpful!


Build a Simple Pergola

The DIY Maven from ‘Curbly‘ shows you how to make a wooden pergola with a Skilsaw… and she makes it look pretty dang simple.


DIY Pergola Ideas

That’s it for tutorials, but we did find a couple of inspirational pergola photos to get you planning. After all, now that you’ve learned so much from these tutorials, you’re ready to wing it a bit, right? :)

Patio Pergola

From Pinterest, this is a good example of how a pergola can take a ho hum patio and make it amazing…


Modern Pergola Ideas

Finally, if you need a little more modern pergola style inspiration, here’s a couple from ‘Houzz‘! Let us know in comments how your projects go!



We hope you loved our post on how to build a pergola! You may also be interested in our post on Patio Cover Ideas,  How to Build a Garden Arbor or How to Build a Garden Trellis! You also may love our post on DIY Small Storage Sheds over at OhMeOhMy!

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  1. Jack Ford November 24, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Awesome guide and gorgeous pictures to boot – thanks for sharing Kathy!

  2. Cheryl August 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    I would love to build a pergola with the help of my husband, Having a pro do the work would make the project unaffordable. And besides, the work I have had done recently by “pros” was shoddy. In one case, the contractor had to correct part of the project (A new window was installed with the top at 6′ – way low), and in the other, I was never able to contact the guy, so I will have to redo the crummy portion of his work (The last 2 sections of a new fence curved onto the neighbor’s property – I guess he was out of string for making a straight line). I would have been better off doing it myself, since it is always more work to undo another’s work and then redo it, then it is to start fresh. Heck, if it looks like crap, I’ll take it down and start over, or chance finding an actual “pro”.

  3. Brian February 10, 2016 at 5:04 am

    Come on, building a quality pergola takes skill. I saw ones homeowners did and ones Pros did. It’s no compsrison. Not everyone can do it. It’s not DIY. Hire a professional. So it cost you more money. It will be part of your home for many years for goodness sake!

    The kits are wimpy and terrible also. Hire a pro.

    1. Kathy Woodard February 16, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Thanks for your opinion Brian!

      1. Shelly May 26, 2017 at 4:15 am

        Hi Kathy,
        We built our own 25′ X 25′ pergola and poured a nice concrete patio below. “We” meaning myself and my business/hobby partner, Chris. We are females over age 50. It took a good set of plans, a good set of power tools, and a good understanding of the layout of our local Lowes. Oh….and some good cold beverages and tasty sandwiches. We got dirty, but boy was it worth it!!

        1. Kathy Woodard May 30, 2017 at 4:15 pm

          Thx for sharing your success Shelly, hope you and Chris LOVE it this summer!

  4. Ufku Erel January 4, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Ah, I feel it in my muscles and bones – they just want to go out there and start working on one of those. I can’t wait to make one in the garden of my new house! This summer will be fun!

  5. MenLightenment February 10, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    This is a great post. I can think of so many places around my own home I would love to build this, and all the variations I could make.

    You have (m)enlightened me.


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