How to Enclose a Pergola

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If you have a pergola attached to the back of your house or on your deck, you can enclose it to provide shade and keep out insects. To do this, you need to add a shade cloth to the top of the pergola. You can then build removable screen panels to attach to each side of the pergola structure. This allows you to remove the screens when they do not need to be used.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Shade cloth
  • Felt tip marker
  • Scissors
  • 1-inch by 2-inch boards
  • Circular saw
  • Power drill
  • Screws
  • Insect screening
  • Staples
  • Staple gun

Shade Cloth

  • Measure the width and length of the top section of your pergola with the tape measure. Make a note of the measurements on a piece of paper.

  • Roll out the shade cloth on the ground. Transfer the measurements of the width and length. Make a cut mark with the felt tip marker. Cut the shade cloth with the scissors.

  • Place the shade cloth on the roof of the pergola. Use the staple gun to attach the cloth to one side.

  • Pull the shade cloth to remove any wrinkles. Continue attaching the cloth by moving in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction around the top of the pergola.

Removable Screening

  • Measure the height and width of each side of the pergola. Make a note of the measurements on a piece of paper.

  • Measure a 1-inch by 2-inch board to the width of the pergola. Cut the board to this length with the circular saw. Repeat this step to cut a second 1-inch by 2-inch board.

  • Measure the height of the pergola from the ground to the bottom of the top section and then subtract 4 inches. Make a note of the measurement on the paper. Transfer the measurement to a 1-inch by 2-inch board and cut it to this length with the circular saw. Repeat this step to cut two more 1-inch by 2-inch boards.

  • Lay the two pieces cut to the width parallel on the ground. Set two pieces cut to the height on the ends to make a square. Drill Pilot holes in the corners with the power drill. Secure the pieces together with screws.

  • Place the third 1-inch by 2-inch board in the middle of the square frame. Drill a pilot hole on each end and secure with screws.

  • Lay the screening over the frame and cut the screen to the size of the frame with the scissors. Attach the insect screening to the 1-by-2 frame with staples using the staple gun. Repeat this process to create a screen frame for the other two sides of the pergola.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a combination of hooks and eye bolts to attach the screen panels to the pergola.

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