Building an overhead structure
Build a pergola with the same basic building methods used in deck building. Spacing of structural framing usually can be greater because of the lighter load. The number of cover pieces depends on how much shade you desire. Install beams at different heights to make a sloping arbor roof. Make temporary braces from plywood weighted with concrete blocks.
INSTALL POST BASES
Install 4x4 posts in metal half bases made for fastening posts to a wooden structure. Attach the half bases to the decking after installing the proper blocking.
Attach doubled 2x8 beams to the post tops with adjustable post caps. Install beams on the long sides of the pergola. Brace the posts with section of 3/4-inch plywood. Fasten permanent 2x6 gussets to strengthen the frame. Cut curves or other designs in the gussets to make them more decorative and to match the style of the deck.
Install 2x6 rafters across the beams, fastening them with rafter ties and spacing them on 16-inch centers. Miter the rafter ends to match the beam ends before installing. Install gussets on the remaining corners, and attach 2x2 ceiling slats with deck screws. Cut miters in the ends of the slats before installing.
TRIM AROUND POST BASES
Nail mitered 1x trim to cover the post bases, using galvanized finish nails. Drill pilot holes to prevent splitting.
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Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 4 hours
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