DIY: 9 steps to build your own pergola

Leigh Leigh
Virginia Water Keir Townsend Ltd. Garden Greenhouses & pavilions
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Pergolas… we all want them, but we usually don't know how to build them. The good news? It's pretty easy. 

The construction of a garden gazebo can be a challenge, requiring logic, organisation skills and some technicalities. Once completed, however, it will be something that inspires pride and brings about a lot of satisfaction!  

You don't need a building permit for gazebos, as long as you don't take up more than 25 square metres of space in the garden in the city or 35 square metres of space in the countryside. All you need is good design, a supply of the necessary materials and tools and a lot of enthusiasm and free time! But the satisfaction and joy of the work is guaranteed! 

See for yourself how easy it is to build a gazebo in the garden!

Where to build?

It is always best to build a gazebo at the bottom of the garden, away from the street and in a quiet place where you feel comfortable. This should be a space where you can admire the garden from, with the nicest view!

It is good to surround your gazebo with vines and tall shrubs, providing shade and isolation from the noise. If the gazebo is located near the house, you can even build it in the same materials and colours of the home and in a shape that is reminiscent of your home's architecture.

If your house is modern and simple, then you can go for a gazebo that is in the shape of a cube with a flat roof. Or if you prefer a more classic style, choose a gazebo with a pointed roof.

What to build?

First you must decide how much budget you have to spend on the construction of your gazebo. Your expenses will depend on the size as well as the material that you need for it. Most gazebos are made out of timber. Pine is also cheap, but can be quite soft and unstable. Least frequently used is oak. Remember that with the right type of wood, you can create a very simple and effective gazebo. Don't you love this one by Ogrodowy Salon?

The material that you do end up using for your gazebo needs to be protected against the weather as well as pests and weeds. It also needs to be able to withstand pressure, because there will be lots of hammering and penetrating of nails into the wood and it will need to stay up when there is wind or rain! 

You can also use other types of material such as steel or rods, which form a lightweight design that fits in small gardens. Metal must however be protected against wear and tear with paint.

Brick gazebos must consist of a foundation of brick, concrete or stone and the upper part should feature windows. This design may also be useful in winter as a storage area or shed for garden tools.

The necessary tools

Before you get to work, you need to make sure that you have gathered all of the tools necessary for construction. They include a saw, hammer, drill, nails, screws, a carpenter's pencil and a pair of good, strong gloves. You do not have to buy expensive specialised equipment—the simplest ones will do the job!

Aren't you excited to see how incredible your new garden feature will be?

The appropriate amount of wood

When it comes to wood, it must be of high quality and properly maintained, without any flaws. You need to first make a design plan for your gazebo, detailing each element in so that you can calculate how much wood is needed for its construction.

Perhaps, before starting your work, calculate the length of the wooden beams and ask the shop to help you to cut them when you buy them. This is often a free service when you purchase pieces of wood from a building warehouse or shop. You will save so much time!

Solid foundations

At the beginning of construction, you must designate a space or surface area for the foundation of the gazebo. The most convenient and easiest way to figure out the right amount of space is to measure them out with string. Then you can proceed with the base material, such as concrete. You can use alloys to secure the foundation. Deposit them in the ground at a depth of 70 to 80cm at intervals of not more than 1 metre apart. There should be at least three times the amount of alloys available than the surface of the post-construction gazebo.

This design, by Drewnopol, is an example of how the company offers solid wood products for gardens such as tables, benches, swings, backyard playgrounds, gazebos, cottages, flower pots and much more!

Constructing the first wall

Now that the foundations are fastened to the metal anchors and we have a basic shape and structure of the gazebo, we can start to create a wall by fixing equal length slats of wood or poles to the anchors.

You'll need a frame for your gazebo as the wood should not be in direct contact with the foundation or the ground. Also make sure that your foundation is level so that you end up with a straight gazebo. 

A great entrance

Once you've constructed the adjacent walls, you must leave a space for the door opening! Beams must be installed to create a door frame. After you have planned the door frame, double check the angles of your walls. Once they are just right, you can gently stack each piece of wood on top of each other and use a hammer to create the perfect door frame.

Construction of the roof

Now for the roof. The roof of gazebos can take on many different shapes. 

The easiest way to construct a roof is to go for a flat roof, however it may not look as impressive as a gable roof. The most commonly used materials when thatching a roof together include reeds, wood, slate and shingles. Remember that you need solid, heavy materials in order to build a solid roof. 

Rear doors and laying floor

The next stage is to assemble a laying floor and some rear doors for the gazebo. The floor you can create by nailing wooden floorboards on top of the foundation. When you have concrete flooring and concrete frames, you can also create flooring from natural stone or concrete slabs. Under the floor, it is necessary to have a few layers of separation from the ground.

If you're in the mood for another outdoors project, check out: The Secrets Of A Beautiful Garden All Year Round.

Are you tempted to plan a gazebo build for your garden? Which style would you opt for? We'd love to know in the comments!

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