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If you've got big backyard landscaping ideas, then you need to know how to build a pergola—that rocks. This pergola is a one-of-a-kinder with a multi-use space for seating and serving. Get your tools ready, we love this pergola and hope you do too.

After picking the perfect location and determining the perfect size we build the best how to build a pergola buddy going: A box.

The fancy phrase for this is a ‘full-size template'. We use it for layout, assembly and extra pieces. The posts are 10-feet x 10-feet so we built the box 131 1/2-inches x 131 1/2-inches so the posts will fit inside the box at a 10-foot spread. Next, we install bracing on it to keep it square and so we can lift or drag it easily.

We place the box on the exact spot where we want to dig our posts and use it to mark the post hole locations. Then we move it and dog the holes.

With the holes dug, we replace it and use it to help hold the posts as we set them in the holes. Make sure the box is level before installing posts.

On this pergola, we fancied up the posts by making them from two 2x6s and one 2×4. It creates a cool, custom look we enjoy. And when it comes to how to build a pergola that'll last and look good doing it, we used Western Red Cedar for this. Two-by stock is great for ground contact.

We set the girder at about 9-feet above the ground. It makes the pergola feel comfortable. The rafters cross the girder. The purlins cross the rafters. Before we started building, one of the fun things to care ofwe settled on a funky rafter tail design that fit the house style and we love the look.


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