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  • Charley Doyle - @thisgirldiys

Modern Pergola Build

My simple guide to build a modern looking pergola on a budget!

Pergola Design

When looking for inspiration on the pergola I realised that I was after clean lines to add a really sleek modern aesthetic!

I found the ideal pergola for design, from Wickes! But not a chance I was going to pay £550 for it when I'd have to build it anyway, plus it was smaller than the size I was after. But loved the modern look and the trellises too! I will be adding these at a stage 2!

I have since found other nearly identical examples of what we made for £989 from Wayfair! Just absolutely blows my mind! I will be sharing the costs and links below for our build!


1st step was to figure out the size! We knew where we wanted the pergola to fit, having to take into account the walkway to our outside gate. This meant we had to connect it to the house. Which worked out really well for us and makes it really feel like an additional room!

So to cover our patio area, and to make it as economical as possible we went for a 3m x 3m size! With 2.4m height! The size which the wood came in and also the size of our patio!

These sizes were chosen as we had to do as few cuts as possible, looking at the wood this came in 3m lengths so was perfect! Plus the fence posts at 2.4m high!

Materials List - For 3m x 3m x 2.4m Pergola

- 100x100mm x 2.4m Fence Posts (2 if connecting to the wall 4 if freestanding) - £18 Each

- Fence Post Boots (Depending on if your fence posts will go directly into the ground on onto a patio, will depend on which you need here are links for both.

- Fence posts into mud (Spike on the bottom)- £14 each

- Plus Postcrete - £4.85

- Fence posts connected to Patio (Flat Bottom) - £13

- Plus 8x95 Through Bolts x4 per post - £6.50 for pack of 6

(Sp- £14 each

- 3 (if connecting to the wall) 4 if not, Treated Sawn Timber - 22mm X 150mm X 3m - £10.11 Each

- If connecting to the wall 8x95 Through Bolts x4 - £6.50 for pack of 6

If you wish to add lights like we did you will also need the following:

- Festoon type Lights (Affiliate Link)- We used 51ft which was a perfect size! These are on Amazon prime and came quickly

Tools Required

- Electric drill/screwdriver (If drilling into the wall will need a hammer drill function!)

- Drill Bits (3mm, 5mm and 8mm)

- Tape measure

- Hand saw with Mitre block, Mitre saw or Circular saw

- Level

- Pocket hole Jig

- Clamps

- 13mm Spanner

- Ladder! - We didn't for the first say and were scrambling up walls!

If adding fence post to the mud or grass

- Sledge Hammer

- Scrap wood

I have drawn up the basic drawings from both options of connecting to the wall and freestanding, see below:

Step 1 - Fence Posts!

These fence posts should be 2956mm from the outside of one to the outside of the other, this allows the cladding around the edges to line up giving a clean finish. There are now 2 different options depending on where you are building your pergola.

Adding fence posts into grass or mud!

1) Locate where you will have your posts and dig down holes for the fence posts, we dug these down to about 30cm in the location which we wanted the posts

2) Position your fence post footings in the correct position needed and push down into the soil as much as possible, ensure that he post is level from the top and both sides.

3) As it gets too hard to push the post down further using a piece of scrap wood to the top and drop down the sledge hammer on top, checking every few hits that the post is still level from all sides.

4) Keep pushing down the post footing until the base where you slot in the fence post is level with the ground.

5) Add the fence post to the footing! Make sure level again at all sides

6) Now you're ready to add the postcrete! This dries within 15 minutes so really easy! For the postcrete linked above just need to fill the hole 1/3rd with water then pour in the postcrete mixture, using a scrap wood just to mix it in the post hole! If you do make it too sloppy don't worry will still set! Good practice to keep checking the posts level.

If you do have some issues as you connect the rest of the pergola it will become studier so don't worry too much as long as close to being level.

Adding fence posts to pre-layed slabs or concrete!

1) You will need to mark out where the fence post boot will sit, mark the holes and drill down into the concrete using the hammer function on your drill!

2) Place the post boot over the holes and add the fixings listed above will require a 13mm spanner to tighten and secure the post in place, ensure that this is level.

3) Repeat for all posts

4) Add in the fence posts

Step 2 - Connect the first cross member to the fence posts!

Connect the fence posts to the first cross member! On both sides if not connecting to the wall. You will need to use the 45x70mm x3m wood pieces for this!

1) Measure the distance between your fence posts (inside face to inside face) and cut the length to fit. If you're perfect in every measurement and level so far this will be 2756mm (Guarantee I wouldn't be, so measure for yourself!) Then cut the wood using whichever type of saw you have available.

2) Drill pocket holes into both sides of the wood at opposite edges so the screws don't connect.

3) Position the piece of wood so flush with the top of the fence posts. Screw into the pocket holes connecting the beam to the fence posts, 2 screws at either end. You will need to apply pressure from the other side to ensure the wood buts up tight to the post.

4) If you're not connecting to the house then do this for both ends!

Step 3 - Connecting the frame to the house?

If you're not connecting to the house skip this step as you've already done this part above.

1) Cut the wood to size (2956mm) - This is another of the 40x75mm wood.

2) Measure and mark up where the cross beams would meet. This is easier to do before on the ground than once connected to the wall!

3) Measure from one end the following measurements:

Marks 45mm, 581mm, 626mm, 1162mm, 1207mm, 1743mm, 1788mm, 2324mm, 2369mm, 2911mm, 2956mm

You will see as marking these this is where the beams will meet.

3) Drill in 4 pilot holes spaced evenly across the beam be careful to into the wood using 8mm drill bits (suitable for wood) - Making sure to miss the marks where the wood will connect.

4) Using one of the other pieces of wood position from the fence post to the wall making sure level and mark on the wall where this meets.

5) Position the wood which you've just marked and drilled at the same height as just marked and place level on the wall.

6) Using the pilot holes in the wood swap to a masonry drill bit (8mm) and the hammer setting on your drill to drill into the wall (minimum depth of 95mm).

7) Hammer in the through bolts through the wood, ensuring the nut is still able to be tightened using a spanner, do this to all

Step 4 - Now connect the side pieces to make the square!

Depending on if you're connecting to the house or freestanding! you will need to make your own measurements for these next pieces, measure each one individually and cut to length.

Connecting these will be exactly the same process used as above:

1) Measure (connecting to the inside of the fence post as per the above diagrams)

2) Cut the wood to the correct length as per your measurement.

3) Add 2 pocket holes to each end, one on either side of the wood on the wider sides

4) Screw in so flush to the top of the fence posts at either end! (or the plank fixed to the wall) using the 6mm screws!

You‘ll now be left with something similar to this!

Step 5 - adding your central struts! You will need to add the measured marks from before onto the end beam!

1) Starting your tape measure from outside the fence post at one end. For added accuracy measure from the same end as you did for the previous plank you connected to the wall! 2) Going one piece at a time, as before measure the length of each piece (if everything is square they’ll all be the same but better to measure rather than cut them all the same and have one too short!)

3) Add in the pocket holes as before (2 to each end).

4) Screw each plank in one by one! This will move along fairly quickly! Be sure to make sure they’re flush with the top and bottom of the brace pieces as you go!

Step 6 - Add the outside panels for a modern look!

The last Step is to add the cladding to the outside! Double check that all the measurements have been good so far! hopefully this will not require any cutting!

Just drill in 3 pilot holes into each end (5mm drill bit) on and connect to the fence post using standard external 6mm screws at either end! And a couple of screws along the length going into the wood directly behind! This part is purely for aesthetic purposes for that extra modern look!

Want to add lights?

using a 3mm drill bits drill pilot holes into the beams above and screw in your cup hooks! Make Sure you have these at the end of each post to weave the light chain around Securing the last cup hook level with the last bulb!

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5 comentarios

18 ene

What size screws did you use? As link for screws takes me to a 404 page

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12 jul 2023

Could you please help with sizes for 6x3

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12 abr 2021

What type of lights did you use? Did you have to install an outdoor socket? Thanks

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17 abr 2021
Contestando a

This looks great and I’m going to follow this to build my pergola. Just to let you know that the link for the 8x timber pieces takes you to the wickes page for 2.4m lengths and not 3m lengths. Great blog!

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