Pergola + Deck = Deckola!

11 Materials
2 Weeks

My husband and I built this ground level deck with minimal experience for just $1500 in a few weekends. It absolutely transformed our backyard!



Mark the area

We marked a 16x16 area with some stakes and string. We measured multiple times to make sure it was perfectly square before setting our posts in the corners.

Set posts

We put 4x4x10 posts 2 feet into the ground set by concrete.

Each post was 8 feet apart so we had 8 posts for our 16x16 deck

Get your decking

We had ours delivered because 16 foot long boards wouldn't fit in my SUV

All the lumber we used was treated. Necessary to withstand the outdoors long term.


Because of the height of our back door ours is going to be a ground level deck. This means digging a trench to be able to get our joists ground level.

Install joists

These are your cross supports that the decking will sit on. We started with joists 4 feet apart and eventually added more so that they were only 2 feet apart.

I know it looks rough but just wait!

Secured with bolts and corner brackets

Lay weed barrier

We put down landscaping cloth so grass doesn't grow through our deck. This can also be done before the joists but it was nice to have something to attach it to.

Lay Decking Boards

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Finally we got to add the decking! We put a deck screw in every joist to attach each board.

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I added this great trim to the base of our posts to make it look more complete.

Privacy Fence

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Using 1x4x8s I added privacy fencing to all the openings between the posts

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I highly recommend this product. It only took 1 coat and has been very durable.

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Add Sun Sail

Instead of a traditional pergola style roof we opted for something more modern. We used a white sun shade that was only $68 on Amazon and gave us that beachy breathable feel!

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Plants, string lights, and patio furniture made all the difference!

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Have a question about this project?

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2 of 83 comments
  • ShaenaM
    2 days ago

    A labor of love! I love it and the pic of you and your hubby touching palms around one of the posts is so sweet. PS: I never even heard of a “sun sail”. Groovy baby, yeah!

  • Buttermilk
    Just now

    Looks your ideas.....thanks for the pictures

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