How to Build a Pergola | Mitre 10 Easy As DIY

A pergola can be a great
addition to any home. It can give you a nice, shady
space that adds real character to your backyard. Putting one up isn't
much of a drama. If you're interested
in having a go, I'm going to take you
through the job step by step. Now, generally, any
structure over 1 meter high needs a building
consent, so best check with your local council
about the applicable building regulations. Another tip– some
environments in New Zealand are quite corrosive to metals. So metal fixings need to be
protected against the elements, either by hot-dip galvanizing,
or, in more aggressive environments, you'll want
to go with stainless steel. This pergola's going
to be 3.5 by 3 meters. We'll start by marking out
where our post holes will go. We're now going to
build our profiles.

Profiles and stringlines are
essential to establish a square and level area. We build profiles to
fix stringlines to. Place your profile at
least 1/2 a meter back from your outside corners. Lay two bits of 4×1
down, peg them in place, and make sure they're level. Put two nails into the profiles
in line with the corner marks and run your stringlines. Finally, we measure
the diagonals to ensure the area is square. All right, you see this corner? This is the outside
line of our posts. Our post holes are going to
be 400 square by 500 deep. Before you start digging,
contact your local utility companies to make sure you don't
hit anything you shouldn't. I've put my stringlines back on.

And in the bottom, we'll toss
a concrete block for the posts to sit on, so the posts
sit off the ground. Then we put in the
posts, line them up against the stringlines,
then brace them, make sure they're plumb, and
then pour in your concrete. Use a stick to
vibrate the concrete to make sure there's
no air bubbles in it. I've let our concrete
sit for 24 hours. I can now take down our
stringlines, profiles, and braces. Right. Time to mark the
posts for length and where the rebates for our
bearers to sit on will be. We're making our
pergola 2 meters high to the underside of the bearers. I'm just going to use
an off-cut of the bearer to mark out our rebate. I now want to transfer
our rebate mark onto our other three posts. To do this, I'm
just going to knock in a nail on our rebate mark. I'm taking a nice,
straight piece of timber, put that on our nail,
throw our level on there, and transfer that mark
onto our other posts.

We're now going to chop
the top of our posts off. Next thing we need to do
is chop out our rebate. Now I just want to set our
blade of our circular saw to the depth of our cut. Right. Now it's time to
cut our bearers. My pergola is 3.5 meters wide. I'm going to overhang our
bearer 300 millimeters past the sides of the posts. So that means our bearer
needs to be 4.1 meters long. Now I'm going to
shape our bearers. To do that, I'm
going to cut them in 300 millimeters
and then down 35. The next thing to do is to mark
the position of the rafters on the bearers. I'm going to use
eight rafters, so I'm going to mark out
the bearers to make sure they're evenly spaced. We come back to our
300-millimeter mark, square that up, do
that on either end, and then we can evenly
mark out our rafters. I'm using an off-cut of a
rafter to get the width right. Our pergola is 3 meters deep.

We're making the
rafters 3.6 meters long. This includes an overhang of
300 millimeters on each side. Now I'm going to cut the battens
that go on top of the rafters. The pergola is 3.5
meters wide, so I'm going to make the
battens 3.6 meters long. That includes a 50-millimeter
overhang on either side. The battens go onto the rafters. A quick way to
mark the positions is to line all the rafters up
and mark them at the same time. I'm going to put my battens
at 300 millimeters apart. But you can do
whatever you want. Right. Just throw your bearer
in your rebates. And just clamp them
to the post so you can drill the holes for the bolts. And just remember, when you're
up a ladder, be careful. Lay the rafters on the bearers.

And because we've already marked
where they go, laying them out is easy. Just one skewed nail on
either side should do it. If you want to speed things
up, you can use one of these. And finally, we just lay our
battens on top of our rafters and just fix straight through. Here's another tip. Pre-drill the holes at
the end of each batten to stop the timber splitting. Now, let's just make sure we've
got our 50-millimeter overhang and then just nail them on. Job done. And now you're the proud
owner of your own pergola. Easy as. For all the help and advice you
need to get the job done, just head down to Mitre 10.

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