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

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

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

Privacy Fence

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


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

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!


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

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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 14 questions
  • Leslie Leslie on Jul 26, 2021

    Hi Kelsey, Your build is wonderful and I especially like the "walls". I know you used pressure treated wood on the decking but it is so close to the ground I am wondering about termites or other wood boring insects. Are you in an area that has them? Wood is nice especially if walking barefoot on it but I am wondering if cement tiles like what you used to make your coffee table might have been a better choice. Thank you for sharing your project.

  • Bri48275079 Bri48275079 on Jul 26, 2021

    It looks super great! I wonder if the foundation wood laying directly in the dirt will cause it to rot? Did you do anything to protect the foundation?

  • Carolina's Art Carolina's Art on Aug 20, 2021

    Amazing job. Lots of work but beautiful. Question, did you make the sofas?

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2 of 95 comments
  • Jan Jan on Jul 26, 2021

    What a wonderful job and I love the upgrade it made to your home !!’ That is lots of extra value for very little money !! Smart and such a fantastic feature !!! Impressive !!

  • Puba Puba on Aug 18, 2022

    GREAT JOB! Did you make the patio furniture or purchase it someplace? If so, where did you purchase the patio furniture?