DIY Pergola - Backyard Makeover

3 Materials
3 Days

Small backyard makeover with DIY pergola to create a outdoor living room.

The time has finally arrived to stop dreaming and start creating our backyard makeover with DIY pergola project. I have been designing and redesigning this space for years. Now it’s time to actually put these plans to use.

Few years back, we had installed bluestone pavers from  Cambridge Pavers Inc.  They were laid out in a beautiful pattern using four different size pavers. I am so thrilled with the results! However, after the completion of the pavers project in our backyard remodel came to a halt.

This time we are going to see this backyard makeover through with a pergola as the main feature (finger’s crossed). I have tons of great ideas I want to incorporate into this space.

Tools you will need...
  • measuring tape
  • circular saw
  • Chop saw
  • Clamps
  • caulk gun
  • Mallet
  • drill
  • hammer
  • carpenter’s square
  • 4′ level
  • Quick square

Materials needed
  • 6 – 2x8X10 pressure-treated wood
  • 2″, 3″ galvanized drive screws
  • 10 – 2X6X12 pressure treated wood for the rafters
  • 4 galvanized steel post brackets
  • stain
  • Wood filler

Prepare the support beams and rafters for installation. The support beams attach to the posts and carry the load of the structure.

Screwed the post brackets into the pavers. Placed the 6×6 post in the brackets and screwed the post onto the brackets. Remember to check that the post is plumb using a four foot level as you go.

We installed the 2 x 8 beams by placing them within the notches of the 6 x 6 post. Then fastened the beams together on either side of the post – an inner and outer beam.

Instead of screwing the rafter atop of the beams, my husband notched out the rafters for them to securely wedge between the beams. First, he sandwiched all the 2 X 6 rafters and using a circular saw he made several cuts across and notched out the wood.

Placed the rafters snug into place and fastened with 4″ screws for added stability. Also, this will also keep all the rafter aligned. You can use a rubber mallet to pound into place.

We used white stain instead of paint for more durability.

This DIY pergola project in our backyard took 3 days from start to finish. However, my husband put in at least 10 hours each day. He basically built this pergola on his own with some assistance of my son. If you ask him, he says it was a fairly easy project. Kudos to my husband Anthony, he did a great job!

For more detailed instructions on how to create this pergola, visit

Stay tuned for more diy projects for our backyard makeover. Looking forward to sharing our next outdoor project with you.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Lifestyles Homes
    Lifestyles Homes
    on Feb 8, 2021

    Did you dry the treated lumber for some time? If so, how long?

    The treated lumber I’ve used (in two different states) has been damp to the point of warping as it dries, as well as not taking stain well.

      on Feb 10, 2021


      We used pressure treated lumber for this project. My husband is in construction and has been using pressure treated lumber for many years and hasn't had any problems with warping. It is almost a year since we built the pergola and no signs of warping. Thank goodness.

Join the conversation

2 of 17 comments
  • Betty Coleman
    Betty Coleman
    8 days ago

    I would love to try this project. It's getting closer to summer and the idea is quite appealing!

    7 days ago

    Hi Betty, It really is the nicest feature in our backyard. I installed white curtains and seating under the pergola which makes it so cozy and relaxing. You should certainly try it!

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