Front Porch Pergola

6 Materials
$1000
8 Weeks
Medium

The front of my house needed a drastic facelift and some curb appeal. I really disliked how plain it looked, so this is what I came up with. Staining the brick, adding fresh landscaping and a newly built front porch pergola really seemed to do the trick. Hope you enjoy!

front porch pergola

These first two pictures are before. Very plain and unappealing.

front porch pergola

Before: Pic 2

front porch pergola

I used a semi-transparent concrete stain (English Brick) from Home Depot to give the brick some life again. Here is a side-by-side comparison of before and after.

front porch pergola

Next couple of pictures are clearing the old landscaping and roots to drop the level of the dirt so the new patio stones will be flush with the existing sidewalk/driveway. I didn't want a step up or trip hazard.

front porch pergola
front porch pergola

Laying out and setting the 4x4 pressure treated pergola posts in concrete.

front porch pergola
front porch pergola
front porch pergola

Posts set and assembled the remaining structure of the pergola all with PT lumber. I did a lot of research on how pergolas are constructed and designed mine to meet the size and layout that I desired. You will notice that I added the rear posts so I did not have to attach it to the house, therefore not having to worry about the loads. engineering and permitting that would be required. It's actually it's own stand alone structure.

front porch pergola

Added paver base and leveling sand to prepare for the patio stones. There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to prep, lay and set pavers.

front porch pergola
  • Patio stones complete.
  • Stained pergola white after several weeks of letting the pressure treated lumber dry out.
  • Added furniture, plants and a swing I purchased on Amazon.
  • Added fabric shade canopy on top. Also Amazon.
front porch pergola

Another angle.

front porch pergola

Fresh landscaping. Even managed to get some grass to grow :-)

front porch pergola

Done!

front porch pergola

Before and after.


There are far too many materials to list below. Most came from Lowe's, with a 10% off coupon and $75 to have everything delivered to your house. Very convenient! If you have any questions about a specific item, just ask.


Most of the work took about a week, working mostly on the weekend and a few evenings after work. I put 8 weeks because I waited a few weeks before painting it to let the pressure treated lumber dry out some. It's not a good idea to paint fresh PT wood immediately. Even though I used stain instead of paint I still waited awhile. A good rule of thumb is checking PT lumber by spraying water on it and checking for absorption before painting. It should be very dry.


Thanks for looking :-)

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Have a question about this project?

44 questions
  • Jeanette S
    on Jul 23, 2018

    I am amazed that the "brick stain" evened out the color of the brick...even the dark ones...but left the mortar unstained...??? How did you do that? And what is the brand of the stain you used?

    • Pat24656774
      on Jul 23, 2018

      ,

      he used a semi-transparent concrete stain (English Brick) from Home Depot to give the brick some life again.


    • Ast24481651
      on Jul 23, 2018

      I have done this on our brick also. I used foam brushes and did it by hand. The stain is thin and it drips, so keep a wet rag handy. I think the result is worth it.

    • Diena Cameron
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Jeanette, i would imagine he rolled it on and its pretty thin so when rolling over the brick it will hit the brick and not the grout, the grout lines are set in a bit as apposed to the level of the brick. Hope i didn't make it anymore confusing.

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      I started out with a roller and decided to go with just a brush for that exact reason, it was too hard to keep it out of the mortar. Paint brush one brick at a time. :-)

  • Joe Gemmill
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Great photo work of a very inspiring project. Did you do something to the shingles? They look brighter.

  • Shirley
    on Jul 23, 2018

    What was your total cost to do this project?

    • Avrille
      on Jul 23, 2018

      You didn't answer about total cost.

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      It was about $1000 like I stated, but I already had some of the furniture.


  • Aee28326054
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Great look, but how do you clean the gutters?

  • Elaine
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Did you choose to mortise and tenon your supports to the rafters and posts?

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      No, not really. I notched half of the post away, sat the beam on that and through bolted.

    • Elaine
      on Jul 25, 2018

      Thanks!

  • Ken
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Does the shade fabric also keep it dry during a rain?

    • Sha29031734
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Generally shade fabric does not stop rain - a very gentle mist won't pentrate but most rain will

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Depends on the rain, a light rain isn't too bad, a down pour and you're wet!

  • Debbie
    on Jul 23, 2018

    I love this idea! Can you say how much it all costs for the materials?

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      About $1000, but I have some of the furniture already.

    • Debbie
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Thanks for answering!! Not bad for all of that. That is on my list for next summer

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Great, good luck! It's a fun project.

  • Lisa
    on Jul 23, 2018

    I already have a front porch that covers the whole front of the house. Now I would like to disassemble the back porch and make this. My question is this, I would like to refrain from attaching it to the house but how do I keep it from leaking water between the house and the porch. Mine will be covered.

    • Stephen Watts
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Wide flashing & run it under house roofing & over prock roofing. Seal with ashphault caulk well.

    • Jane Hurl
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Or leave enough room between the pergola and the house so that you can put matching colour evestroughs in there.

    • Lisa
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Thank you very much

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      In my case, I simply left my gutter intact, so it catches the run off.

  • Michelle West Lance
    on Jul 23, 2018

    How did you apply stain brush ,spray or roller?

    • Meh2
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Roller for flat surfaces. Brushesused in corners and joints.

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      I actually started out with the roller, but because stain is thinner that paint, I found it difficult to keep the morter joints clean so I switched to only a brush, for every....single....brick.... :-)

  • JudyH
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Nice update! In the last paragraph you said you waited a while to paint the PT lumber - then after that you said 'even though I used stain instead of paint'. I'm confused. The pictures look like white paint. Did you use a white stain?!?!

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      You're correct, I should have chosen my words more carefully. I used stain, and used the word "paint" in the broad sense.

  • Raapster
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Does it not block a lot of the light from entering the living room? Just curious.

    Thanks for the idea.

    Bill

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Nope, not really. Maybe some direct sunlight, but that's a good thing here in Florida :-) Thanks.

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Not really. Maybe a little direct sunlight, but that's a good thing in Florida :-)

  • Dpbeee2
    on Jul 23, 2018

    That is a great improvement of curb appeal. However, does it steal daylight from your interior? I’d like something like a pergola. I think I would have to add skylights to prevent a dark interior. Not being critical, just curious. You did a lot of work that looks great. Thank you.

    • Mary
      on Jul 23, 2018

      The pergola is open slats of wood, so it shouldn't block too much light.

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Not really. I wanted some shade there anyways. When I open my front windows, I get plenty of light and a nice view. Thanks.

  • Michele Smith Farlow
    on Jul 23, 2018

    How far from the gutters is the top? Do you get rain channeling between the house roof and pergola roof? Do you have any leaf build-up there also?

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      They are very close, but the gutters are still intact, so they still catch the rain. No real leaf build up yet but blow off pretty regularly anyways.

  • Kim
    on Jul 23, 2018

    I'm not usually a fan of pergolas, but you did a fantastic job and gave your house a nice "pop" out front. However, I do wonder why you planted a tree so close to your house? I see people do this all the time, and it baffles me. Trees grow up and produce roots, that get under your foundation, wrap around your pipes, basically creating future havoc for your house. Not to mention, once it begins to "grow up," you'll have a big tree right on top of your house. So, I'd like to have a different perspective, so I can understand why someone might do it. :)

    • Anne
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Perhaps it's an ornamental tree that won't get much bigger than it already is.

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Yes, Anne is correct. That tree won't get much bigger. I definitely understand the root issue though. I have two large oaks in my front yard and I have roots everywhere!!!!! They were already there when I bought the house.

  • Laura
    on Jul 23, 2018

    How did you put the stain on your brick?


    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      A paint brush. Started with a roller, but found out a brush was the way to go, one brick at a time.... :-)

  • Lor27836073
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Do you get a lot of snow, we get a lotyou did a great job.

  • Sue Sanders
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Cant tell from picture but did you slope the top so would drain at the farthest end from house? The pictures make the top look level. Wouldn't want the boards to drain next to house.




    • Shelby Hansen
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Pergolas do not have a solid top, the water comes right through when it rains, so it is not necessary to slope the structure. If a person wanted more shade a fabric cover could be made by using something like the drop cloths painters use, and temporarily attaching to hold in place to use seasonally as required.

    • Betty
      on Jul 23, 2018

      All you need for drainage is a 1% incline, which you can't really see. Maybe this is what he did.

    • Sue Sanders
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Yes the incline doesnt have to be drastic. Even if you later put a fabric cover you would still want a small incline to have drainage at front of structure instead of draining next to house.

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      No incline. Water drains through the fabric. It's only shade cloth.

  • Deb33282893
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Beautiful.are there any permits needed.


    • Pam McDaniel
      on Jul 23, 2018

      That depends on the codes in the county and state you live in.

  • Karen Kersten
    on Jul 23, 2018

    So you built the pergola yourself and didn’t use a kit?


    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Hi Karen, no, no kit. Just researched it from the internet and went to town! :-)

  • Margaret Green
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Will you keep the fabric canopy or maybe switch to plants in the future? Climbing hydrangea, grapes? ?

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      I'll keep the fabric, not huge fan of plants growing all over it.

  • Enid Hausding
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Chow much for the cement work?

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Just the cost of about several bags of concrete, about $30-$40.

  • Manny Saints
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Possible depending on the city, but here's my question... would a permit be needed for this project??.. thank you and it looks amazing

    • Terry
      on Jul 23, 2018

      She mentioned in the writeup that her's is a stand alone structure therefore did not require a permit or engineering signoff. As you said, it would depend on your specific location.

    • Sandi
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Although not attached, it's still a structure which sticks out further than the front wall of the house. I would say, yes, a permit would be required.

    • Shuganne
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Terry, I think Super Dad would prefer "he" mentioned...

  • Ma
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Would wisteria work in your area?

    • Carol
      on Jul 23, 2018

      I believe wisteria would work just about any where! It is so pretty when it matures, but can be invasive when it comes to the edge of the roof and higher up. I would just watch it and keep it trimmed back.

    • Hope Williams
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Wisteria has been banned in many cities across America. It’s one of the top ten invasive plants in the US.

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      I really don't want anything growing on it, not my taste :-)

    • Ann Dougherty
      on Jul 30, 2018

      Hope Williams: That’s too bad. I honestly did not know that about wisteria.

      I always admire those graceful trailing blossoms.

  • Chere' DiValerio
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Beautiful work and very nice space! Is the shade cloth rainproof? It would be nice to have a waterproof porch for fall and spring. Maybe the shadecloth could be replaced with clear or white, UV panels? Keep up the good ideas!

    • Dfm
      on Jul 23, 2018

      shade cloth will let the rain come in, it's a knitted material. my choice for a patio roof would be green house panels. it's double walled and very strong.

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Hi Chere' It's not waterproof, I was just after the shade. Maybe someday I'll go solid? Thanks.

  • Hope Williams
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Fantastic transformation! My question is about the shade cloth. Do you possibly have a link for that?

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Search "Shatex 90% Shade Fabric Sun Shade Cloth with Grommets for Pergola Canopy" on Amazon. They come in all different sizes.

    • Hope Williams
      on Aug 18, 2018

      Thank you kindly sir!

  • Joyce Pelphrey
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Wonderful. What did the supply cost?

    • Jewellmartin
      on Jul 24, 2018

      I see a total cost of the project as $1000. The delivery of all the materials was noted as $75. An estimate of $900~ is about right with you and family providing most of the labor. This may include the new plants on the left side flowerbed. Best wishes ☺️

  • Marlissa Gibbs
    on Jul 23, 2018

    You did an amazing job! It's beautiful! My question is does the shade cloth tear up when the wind blows pretty hard?

    • Deborah
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Maybe it is more of a screen type cloth, allowing wind thru it.

    • Igor
      on Jul 24, 2018

      We have had some of the shade cloth over our dog yards for 7-8 years. Short answer is- if it is attached snugly to frame, it does not blow around. It has even been through a hurricane. I will change it eventually due to sun finally dry rots it. Hope this helps!

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Hi Marissa. It's attached pretty secure, screws with grommets like every couple of feet, so not problems yet, but I'll probably take it down if a hurricane come through. :-)

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      It's screwed on pretty secure, grommets about every two feet. It's held up pretty well, but I'll take it off if a hurricane comes through :-)

  • Barbara Bateman
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Love it! I need to do something like this over a west facing deck. Would you share how much the materials cost?

    • Giselle
      on Jul 24, 2018

      At the very top of the article it says $1,000. I imagine a lot would depend on how big you made it and if he included the landscaping he did on the other side. I’d love one too! 😊

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Yes, it was about $1000, give or take. I already had some of the furniture.

  • Cindy Hemphill
    on Jul 24, 2018

    I love the ideal of the stain on the brick to bring life back into your home. I'm going to try this. Do you happen to know how long the stain would last? What type of tools (i.e. paint brushes) did you use? Thx for the wonderful ideal!

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      I've stained other concrete items in the past and after several years they still look ok. Seeing this isn't a sidewalk constantly getting foot traffic, I'm expecting it to last awhile.

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Oh yeah, just a paint brush. I tried rolling it first, but in the end a paint brush, one brick at a time was the way to go.

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Just a paint brush and a lot of patience. :-)

  • Mika D
    on Jul 24, 2018

    Why didn't you put some plants under it. That really could be quite lovely

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Actually still thinking about doing that? I didn't really want anything hanging off of it that people could walk into.

  • Elizabeth
    on Jul 24, 2018

    Roughly, what did this cost overall for materials?

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      About $1,000, give or take. I had some of the furniture already.

  • Beaux
    on Jul 24, 2018

    Is there a gap between the pergola and the house edge that allows rain/water into that gap?

    • SpDad
      on Jul 24, 2018

      Yes, and the existing gutter is still there so I really don't get the run off.


    • Shannon b
      on Jul 24, 2018

      A pergola isn't roofed...the whole structure allows rain water to flow freely. The normal roof structure should not change, nor be inhibited by the new addition.

    • Ginny Lawton
      on Jul 25, 2018

      Nice Job this looks great! I bet you are really enjoying this lovely space Congrats on a job well done.

  • A
    on Jul 24, 2018

    how to make flower beds with a brick border

    • SpDad
      on Jul 25, 2018

      Hi Ann, I just stuck bricks together in a line that leaned over some on each other. Pretty simply, just start at one end and work your way around.

    • Kyralee
      on Jul 28, 2018

      One tip I learned is to be sure to dig down and place the edgers below the grass line. Dig a small trench, put some sand and gravel in there, then add the edger.

  • Mary skovran
    on Jul 25, 2018


    What is the dimentions of this pergola?

    • SpDad
      on Jul 26, 2018

      The pergola itself is about 6ft deep x 26ft long, but the pavers goes under the soffit area of the house which adds another 2ft to the depth of the overall "covered" area.

  • Did you individually paint every brick? How did you not get the stain in the grout lines?

    • SpDad
      on Jul 26, 2018

      I did. I started out with a roller, but ended up brushing them individually for that exact reason. Lots of patience :-)

  • Rhonda Smith
    on Jul 30, 2018

    How much did it cost for the pergola?

    • SpDad
      on Jul 31, 2018

      The wood itself for just the pergola was about $300-$400.

  • Rebecca Evans
    on Jul 30, 2018

    Why would you not extend it the length of the house ? I would definitely make that my next project. Make it a family gathering place. We have two seating areas w tables you con eat at and a porch swing ..small disguised refrigerator. And other neat little thing ( bubble gun....entertainnment. you can stash in a floor storage !

    • Kay Lynn Wilson
      on Jul 30, 2018

      Great idea!!!

    • ReallyBrandi
      on Jul 30, 2018

      I actually like it only half way. It keeps the feeling of openness and the enjoyment of sitting outside with nature. For us, we enjoy our coffee in the front seating area and our meals in the back where we dont have cars passing kicking up clouds of yuck. Although, with this hugh front yard that might not be an issue. It's definitly a personal preferance type project.

    • SpDad
      on Jul 31, 2018

      Hi Rebecca, I just really didn't want it the entire length, personal preference I guess? :-) I still wanted the landscaping on the side. Thanks,

    • Susan Younger
      on Jan 3, 2019

      I think it is much more visually interesting with the size you have it. Extending it all the way would look boring. Love it.

    • Em
      on Jan 3, 2019

      Why would you expect someone to build pergola at THEIR house to suit YOU? It annoys me to no end when someone shares a beautifully done project and somebody comes along and tells them how THEY want it. Build your own to suit YOU.

    • Jeanne Martin
      on Jan 3, 2019

      I'm with you Em!

    • Beth Labonville
      on Jan 3, 2019

      Because it's their home and not yours. Why do people have to say what they think is wrong with someone else's creation? Here's a suggestion, you build what you want on your home and share it then maybe someone will critique by asking why you would want your "family gathering place" in the front yard with people driving by and gawking?

  • Sherri Roll
    on Jul 30, 2018

    I just love this! We also have a plain ranch style home and I would love to add this 'front porch look' to the home! Great idea and I'd like to find an attractive material to add just in front of the doorway to create more of a shelter from rain while fumbling with keys. Any ideas?

    Thanks for sharing your amazing project!

    • SpDad
      on Jul 31, 2018

      Hi Sherri. They make corrugated plastic panels that come in different colors, that might work for you. These will block the rain completely. Check you local Home Depot or major store. Thanks :-)

    • You should try a metal awning. They have new styles out now that are very attractive and affordable


  • Betty Maone
    on Jul 30, 2018

    What do they call the roof

    • SpDad
      on Jul 31, 2018

      Hi Betty. Search "Shatex 90% Shade Fabric with grommets" on Amazon, it comes in different sizes and colors I believe.

    • Shelley Spellman
      on Jan 3, 2019

      Looks outstanding!

    • Nancy
      on Jan 4, 2019

      Wow! Awesome job, awesome look!!!


  • Lodisue
    on Jan 3, 2019

    Did you have to get s permit to put this up? Love it. We’ve been thinking about doing the same thing.

    • R Walter
      on Jan 3, 2019

      Permits vary in different cities or rural areas. It is best to check your locality to find out if a permit is needed. Also if you live in an HOA regulated subdivision check with the board also.

  • Jen
    on Jan 4, 2019

    Will the brick stain cover up hard water stains?

    • SpDad
      on Jan 14, 2019

      Hi Jen, I guess it depends on how dark the stains area. The stain was semi-transparent so some imperfections show through, but seeing it's brick and not perfect anyways, you really don't notice them unless you look for them. Thanks.

  • User
    on Jan 5, 2019

    Very nice! With the brick stain- did you pressure wash first and also did you apply stain strictly over the bricks or you both brick and grout? Thank you

    • SpDad
      on Jan 14, 2019

      Hi, yes I pressure washed first and only the brick. I wanted the lighter colored grout to contrast. Thanks.

  • ElizaBeth
    on Jan 10, 2019

    Wow. Lot of work! Great job! Have you considered painting swing white? It sort of disappears. Maybe a white large star or wall planters...just thinking a pop of white past the window would create more balance? Seriously tho, great great makeover!

    • SpDad
      on Jan 14, 2019

      It did cross my mind to paint the swing to make it pop. I just didn't want it to get all scratched up and look worse because it's used every day. It's still a work in progress. Thanks for the comments :-)

  • Any thought to put a planter box, of any length but 4 ft high, centered in front of Pergola. The plants in it could be seasonal flowers for a pop of color? If desired you could display your house numbers on the front of the box.

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