Categories Home improvement

How to Build a Timber Pergola in Your Backyard

A pergola is a structure used to create an outdoor living space. It can be an ornate addition to your backyard or a simple, functional shelter from the sun. Pergolas can be made from a variety of materials, but timber is a popular choice because it is strong, durable, and easy to work with.

Building a timber pergola is a relatively straightforward process, but there are a few things you need to take into consideration before you get started. In this article, we will take you through the process of planning, designing, and building a timber pergola in your backyard.

1. Choose a location:

Before you begin building your pergola, it is important to consider where you want to place it. This will help you decide how much space you need and what materials are required to build it.

Ideally, your pergola should be located in a shady spot that gets plenty of sunlight during the day. It should also be close enough to the house so that people can enjoy their outdoor space without having to walk too far. Finally, make sure that there is adequate drainage around the site so that excess water doesn’t pool up under your pergola and cause damage.

2. Consider your budget:

You should also take into account how much money you have available when planning your pergola design. Timber is not cheap, but there are ways to save money on materials and tools if you shop around and plan ahead. Keep in mind that it’s better to start off with less ambitious plans than end up spending more than expected on something bigger than what you can afford at first glance.

3. Sketch out your pergola design:

The important step in building a timber pergola is to sketch out the basic design of your pergola. You will need to decide on the size of your pergola and what kind of materials you want to use. The size will depend on the size of your yard and how much shade you want. You can make your pergola as large or small as you like, but it’s best to keep it small so that it doesn’t dominate your backyard space.

4. Build the footings:

Before you start building your timber pergola, you need to make sure that it will be stable and sturdy enough to support its own weight as well as any people who may be standing on top of it. The best way to do this is by digging deep holes into which concrete footings can be poured. This keeps the entire structure rooted firmly in place so that it does not move around when the wind blows against it or when someone climbs up onto it.

5. Build the rafters:

Once you have decided on the overall design, it’s time to get started on the construction. You will need to build the rafters from pressure-treated wood, but before you start making them, take care to check that they are straight and square by measuring diagonally from corner to corner with a ruler or tape measure. If there are any discrepancies, use a saw or jigsaw to make adjustments before proceeding with cutting out pieces for your pergola roof panels.

6. Install the posts:

The next step is to install your timber posts. The size of your pergola will depend on the size of your timber posts, so make sure you measure up before you start building. The most common size for timber posts is between 125mm (5 inches) and 250mm (10 inches). If your post is longer than 250mm and less than 400mm (15 inches), you will need to use an angle bracket.


A timber pergola can be a good option if you have a small backyard. Even if you have a larger backyard, it can create an interesting focal point and provide plenty of shade and protection from the elements. Best of all, because it is made of wood, it doesn’t require the level of investment that a hardscaped addition would require. If a wooden pergola is a right choice for your home, get started with these tips so you can build one in no time at all.