How to Build a Shade Arbor off the Eaves of your House (pictures)


You've got a blah patio or open porch, and you need ideas for a patio cover. One way is to build an outdoor pergola over your space. There is no single way to build a wooden arbor or pergola, as there are numerous spaces to be worked around and almost infinite looks to be achieved. This article will go through the challenges of one patio enclosure and the achievement of one look in giving your patio some shade.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 4x4 (or 6x6) treated posts
  • 7 2x4x8 treated or untreated lumber
  • 4 2x6x12 treated or untreated lumber
  • 8 1/2"x8" bolts with washers and nuts
  • 8 or more 2" deck screws
  • Skill saw
  • Screw driver
  • Sharp wood chisel
  • 1/2"x8" Boring drill bit
  • Calculate where you want your posts for the patio cover. Dig holes at least 18" deep and 10" diameter for a 4x4 support post. As our wooden arbor used the eaves of the house for support on one side, we needed only three support posts for the other side to build our 8'x 21' pergola.

  • Place arbor support posts into holes and level them in all directions. To level something vertically, place the level against one edge of the object.

  • Secure leveled arbor posts with four wood slats screwed in with small wood screws. You may have to re-level each post and jimmy the slats to hold the post while you pour cement into the hole.

  • Mix cement to a thin paste consistency and pour into holes. This will give added support to your wooden arbor/pergola.

  • Cut the ends off your 2x6 and 2x4 lumber to add architectual interest. Prime and paint pergola wood or stain and seal with desired color.

  • For our outer support, we placed paralell 2x6 (inner and outer) pieces of primed and painted lumber bolted to the arbor support posts. However, before putting them up...

  • We cut notches in the tops of the 2x6 to form a channel for the 2x4 pieces to rest in. To make these notches, clamp the two 2x6 boards together that will be parallel each other, measure where the notches should be, and with a skill saw make the 1 1/2" grooves on either side of each notch.

  • Chisel out the notches. Using a sharp chisel will make life so much easier!

  • After the 2x6s have been notched, primed, and painted (do as I say, not as I do), screw them into the arbor support posts with 2" screws (which may be left or removed after the bolts are put in place).

  • Promote Project Assistant to Project Manager for brilliant ideas and tireless work.

  • Drill holes for bolts with a 1/2" diameter boring drill. Make sure the hole goes all the way through the 2 2x6s and the 4x4 posts so the bolt will slide all the way through without obstruction. Hammer bolts in and tighten nuts. Your patio cover will withstand a tornado.

  • Demote Project Manager for being too eager and putting things up before they were painted.

  • We wanted to work off the facia of the eaves to get maximum patio coverage, but the eaves were too low for the height we wanted. So we used elevated support brackets screwed into the facia (since there is only downward pressure on the facia, it is sturdy enough for this project). These will brace the top beams of your wooden arbor.

  • Screw all 2x4 top arbor beams into the support brackets on one side.

  • The other side of each 2x4 fits neatly into the chiselled-out channels in the 2x6s.
    Screw in 2x2s over the 2x4s for a mottled shade cover.

  • Put a brick paver patio under the arbor, and you have an outdoor room that will add to your equity and save you vacation money.

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