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  • A good way to define a space in your back yard is to construct a pergola. A pergola is an open structure which is made of wood and provides boundaries for a nice seating area with an overhang. Although this design has many pieces, a pergola is actually quite easy to construct, which will have you relaxing under it in no time.

    Posts

    Installing the posts will be the first step. Decide if you will be building your pergola on cement or ground before you start, as this will determine how to set it. For a pergola, go with 4-by-4 inch pressure-treated posts which stand 12 feet high. If you are setting these in the ground, add 18 inches to the length, as they will go this deep into the ground. Place them in holes that are 18 inches deep and 10 feet apart from each other in a square. Pour cement over them to hold them in place. If you are setting these on concrete, screw concrete brackets into the concrete and then place the posts in the brackets.

    Support Beams

    Support beams will come after the posts have been installed. These can be made by 10-foot-long pieces of 2-by-6 inch lumber. You'll need four of these for this design. Attach these pieces to posts on two sides of the square. Screw the first two beams to the outside of the posts, 3 inches down from the top. Screw the other two pieces on the opposite sides of the posts from where the first beams are placed. Make sure all support beams are level and centered before screwing them in.

    Cross Beams

    Next will be the first set of cross beams. These beams will be made out of 10-foot-long 2-by-6 inch boards. Measure in 1 inch from either side of a board and cut a 2-by-3 inch notch. From the end of the first notch, measure an additional 4 inches and cut another 2-by3 inch notch. Do this on each crossbeam board. Four of these boards will make up the other side of your "square." Place these boards on top of and perpendicular to the support beams. The notches should line up with the support beams. Screw these boards into the support beams on either side of the posts. The top of these beams will be even with the top of the posts. Attach the other six boards in three pairs which are 4 inches apart.

    Post Trim

    Finally you will build the post trim which will sit on top of the cross beams. These will also be made out of 10-foot-long 2-by-6 inch cedar boards. Since these will be placed on top of the existing cross beams, you will follow the same procedure as you did with those boards. Place the post trim boards on top of the cross beams, center them and measure where the cross beams are located. Make a mark and cut out 2-by-3 inch notches which match the cross beam location. Place the post trim on top of the cross beams evenly spaced and screw them into place.

    Source:

    How to Build a Backyard Pergola: Simple DIY Woodworking Project

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