Hello! I’m Ana, a mother and homemaker from Alaska.
100’s of FREE plans!!
You can make ANYTHING!

Weatherly Pergola

April 9, 2011 |
posted by Ana White
PDF versionPDF version

A pergola with a little extra fancy touches, that is both easy to build and can accommodate a variety of footings.  Works with the rest of the Weatherly Collection.

Weatherly Pergola

Additional Photos

Weatherly Pergola

Handmade from this plan >>

Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

About Project

Author Notes: 

The big reason I've resisted putting up plans for a pergola is not the building of the pergola, but creating a foundation that will hold the pergola securely to the ground, even on a windy day.

But when I saw Pottery Barn's $5200 price tag on their Weatherby Pergola, I thought of all the things that I could do with $5200, like take a nice vacation or pay off a bill early, and I thought that many of you probably have the same concerns.
But that doesn't mean we still can't have a fancy pergola in our backyards.  Because our sweat is worth quite a bit of money.
The first and most important part of this project is to set your footings properly.  There are several different means to do this - if you are setting your pergola on a wood deck or concrete patio or other stable level foundation, you can simply screw the post brackets to the deck as done here by Popular Mechanics.  It's a good idea to review this link regardless, as there is lots of good information in there.
Now if you don't have a foundation in place, you are going to have to make one for the pergola.  This can be done to whatever degree you see fit, and depends on what type of soil is on your lot (hopefully gravel  :)  )
Diagram is from Ramp Foundations.  
So you might have to dig to China if you don't have gravel and pour sauna tubes, or you might get lucky and just be able to bury concrete pier blocks (the kind with the leveling brackets on top are really slick) - but whatever type of foundation you choose, just consider that a pergola needs to be secured to the ground.
Well, I'm quite sad, as we live in Alaska, and it's still very much Ice Fishing Season, and there are no pergolas to be built here for the next few months.  So I'm very much looking forward to seeing yours.


Weatherly Pergola
Dimensions are shown above.

Materials and Tools

Shopping List: 

4 - 4x4 treated posts - 10-12 feet long

4 - brackets or pier blocks or other foundation as necessary
8 - 2x4 Treated - 12 feet long
9 - 2x2 Treated - 12 feet long (if you can't find 2x2s, buy 3 - 2x6s treated and rip the 2x6s into three 2x2s per board using a table saw)
2 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long (these could be furring strips)
2 - 1x4 Treated @ 8 feet long
3/4" x 3/4" moulding, exterior preferred
3 - 1x10  treated @ 8 feet long
3 - 1x8 treated @ 8 feet long
(if you can't find treated 1x8s and 1x10s, these boards will be covered and are vertical, so you can use properly sealed boards if necessary)
2 1/2 inch screws
3 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
2 1/2 inch finish nails
wood glue
wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
compound miter saw
table saw
countersink drill bit

Cut List

Cut List: 

16 - 2x2 @ 3 1/2" long (short cleats)

16 - 2x2 @ 6 1/2" long (longer cleats)
8 - 1x8 ripped to 6 1/2" width @ 30" - cut to length
8 - 1x10 ripped to 8" width @ 30" - cut to length
16 - 1x4 @ 9 1/2" (longest point, both ends mitered at 45 degrees off square, not parallel)
3/4" Moulding cut to fit
8 - 2x4 @ 140" Long, ends cut in decorative pattern
9 - 2x2 @ 140" long, ends cut in decorative pattern
Cutting Instructions: 
It is recommended that you cut boards as you go on this project.

General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Step 1

Weatherly Pergola

So you first and foremost need to set the posts in the ground. Make sure you space the posts exactly as shown above, and that the posts are square (take diagonals). The posts need to stick out of the ground 107" - but you may need the posts to be longer if for example you are using buried pier blocks.

Step 2

Weatherly Pergola

Now on all the posts, attach 2x2 cleats as shown here with 2 1/2" galvanized finish nails and glue. The bottom cleat should sit just above the brackets that hold the posts to the ground.

Step 3

Weatherly Pergola

And now simply complete the cleats by adding the other 2x2s as shown above.

Step 4

Weatherly Pergola

For this plan, you must have a tablesaw to rip boards with nice square edges. Rip your 1x8s down to 6 1/2" widths and use finish nails to attach to the cleats. The trim boards should be cut so that they hide the foundation. You could get extra fancy here and actually cover these posts in stone veneer as well.

Step 5

Weatherly Pergola

Now you will need to rip your 1x10 boards down to width and finish covering the base of the posts. Finish nails and glue.

Step 6

Weatherly Pergola

And now a little cap for the posts. Just miter 1x4s at 45 degrees around the bases as shown above. Use finish nails and glue to attach.

Step 7

Weatherly Pergola

And measure and add the moulding for a little extra touch. Use 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.

Step 8

Weatherly Pergola

Okay, now comes the fun part - where we start seeing results. First cut all of your pergola top board ends into a fancy pattern of your choice. Then screw (3" exterior screws) the first boards up as shown above. Use a level to make sure that the boards are level.

Step 9

Weatherly Pergola

The diagram above should read 22" of spacing between the boards.

You will want to take a square of the project here (see step 1). When your diagonals match, rest two more 2x4s on top of the existing 2x4s, to the outsides. Screw to the posts as shown above.

Then add the remaining 2x4s spaced 22" apart, using either brackets, pocket hole screws, or long screws carefully predrilled and countersunk from the top.

Step 10

Weatherly Pergola

And now the final 2x2s. Space these out and screw to the 2x4s and to the 4x4 post when present with 3" exterior wood screws and glue. Make sure you fasten to all of the 2x4s for the most support.

Step 11

Weatherly Pergola

And this isn't what's done with the Pottery Barn one, but I'm a big believer in corner bracing. If you feel your pergola has any wobble or needs a little extra support, you can cut corner braces and screw on - you will be amazed at the difference the corner bracing does. Other means of "beefing up" the pergola (for example, high snow load or high winds) would be to use 2x6s boards instead of 2x4s and to notch out your boards) as done in the link given in the author notes.

Finishing Instructions

Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Nicholez's picture


I love, love, love this!  I've wanted a pergola for forever, but wasn't sure how to build it without making it look like a bunch of boards that were just thrown together.  I'll be building this for sure... just need to finish a few other projects first!

posted by Nicholez | on Sun, 2011-04-10 13:53

Wow! we haven't really built

Wow! we haven't really built anything besides a raised garden box, but this is very very lovely! Maybe someday - need to get a few more projects under out belt. Thanks Ana!

posted by algdoughty | on Sun, 2011-04-10 14:06

You read my mind!

You read my mind! Or maybe you saw that I was searching your site for "pergola" yesterday? Thank you!

posted by jesse (not verified) | on Sun, 2011-04-10 15:19

Ana White!!  What the

Ana White!!  What the heck?!!  How are you reading my mind??  I freaking love you.  My family will use this for our new home.  We've been searching for weeks for Pergola plans.  Thank you so much for helping me and my family make our house a home.  We are grateful. 

posted by JoyofBaking | on Sun, 2011-04-10 16:07

My savior!! My husband and i

My savior!! My husband and i have been searching every where for the perfect out door covering and the pottery barn one always calls my name but not my wallet... We have made several or your projects already and are so excited to start this one! Thanks Ana!

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Sun, 2011-04-10 16:15


Ditto Ditto, and DITTO!!!!  We are getting ready and looking for ideas for a pergola.  You're a genius!

posted by singinggoldielocks | on Sun, 2011-04-10 16:50
ferbit's picture



So out here in the soppy wet Seattle area, covering pergolas to protect everything from the rain is huge...  Is it pretty easy to cover this?  Like with outdoor fabric/grommets, plywood/shingles, sheets of metal, glass or plastic?  Would it need to be built at a slight angle so water can drain properly?

posted by ferbit | on Sun, 2011-04-10 20:03
claydowling's picture

A covered pergola

sounds a bit like a vegan steak.  Could be done in theory, but misses the point.

It might make more sense to build a frame that can hold the cover you want.  As for the covering, there are plenty of good materials, and very few of them are wood.  Cedar shakes would be okay, but labor intensive.  I've had good luck with the corrugated fiberglass panels, in that they keep off the rain but let in some light. You probably want to make a point of washing it off once or twice a year though.  If the dust that naturally settles with the rain builds up too much, it can look tatty.

If you do cover it, the roof needs to fall about one inch for every six feet of run, so if you put up 6' panels, one end needs to be 1" higher than the other.  Otherwise you'll get water trapped up there, and a lot of small hungry life breeding.

posted by claydowling | on Sun, 2011-04-10 20:15

reply to claydowling

I think corrugated fiberglass would look dreadful. Similar to those 1950's car parks on the side of houses.

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Sun, 2011-05-01 18:01

No, there is clear corrugated

No, there is clear corrugated Lexan these days that doesn't look anything like the "potty house roofs" of old (actually, I wouldn't mind finding some of the old stuff for free on Craig's List at all).

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Wed, 2011-06-15 15:26
claydowling's picture

Another foundation option

This is a beautiful plan, but the foundation is going to be the challenging part.  I live in the midwest, where we get tornadoes.  Tornadoes are very exciting when there are outdoor structures, especially if they are not well anchored.  My pergola could easily become my neighbor's pergola.  I've seen heavy wooden playscapes relocated.

The last time I needed a good outdoor footing, I found it was worth my while to rent an auger from Orange.  Generally takes two people to use, and can be intimidating, but I'd still be digging if I tried to get through the dense roots in my area with a post hole digger.

Orange also sells cardboard tube for concrete forms (get your auger sized to the tubes).  U.S. construction code says you actually need to be putting your footings for posts 48" deep, to prevent heaving with frost in my part of the country, so we went nuts, but 24" would probably put you deep enough.  We cut our tubes down to size and started mixing concrete.

Orange sells great galvanized steel brackets for setting into this concrete and securing a 4x4.  We dropped one of those on top of each of our footings, and came back a couple of days later once the cement was set up. The deck we put on them is rock solid and won't be going anywhere soon.  Unlike the one we pulled out, which was on significantly shallower footings and wasn't all that stable any more.

posted by claydowling | on Sun, 2011-04-10 20:29


This is soooo stinkin' fabulous!!!  So excited.  Yay.  I'll keep in mind the foundation issues...but I love this....maybe not at this house...but I'm making this at our next one!  Thanks so much!

posted by kimber (not verified) | on Mon, 2011-04-11 09:28

Vines for that Pergola - Beware

Beware. Be very ware!

If you plan to grow vines up and over your pergola, you may need to have stronger (or more) posts, better fasteners, and sturdier crosspieces. Any vine that does not die to the roots every year in your climate can develop a weight of stems, trunks and foliage that can rip trellises apart. Look at the description of the vine in a reliable gardening book and look at some established specimens in your area, then decide whether to plant it or not.

Lightweight vines: Sweet peas, scarlet runner beans, "queen's wreath" (Antigonon leptus), many gourds,

Medium vines - Armenian cucumbers, large-fruited squash or pumpkins, some climbing roses

Monster vines - Wisteria, grapes, Arizona cat's claw (Macfadyena unguis-cati), bougainvillea, Algerian ivy, English Ivy, Boston ivy, Lady Banks Rose, many climbing roses)

posted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) | on Mon, 2011-04-11 10:15


Any chance you'll be posting the plans for those chairs that are pictured?  They're gorgeous!!  :) 

Thanks for all you do, Ana!

posted by Aviva (not verified) | on Wed, 2011-04-13 00:46
amanda.leonard's picture

Building Ordinances

Does anyone know if this is considered a permanent structure and need to be behind the building set back line?  I am in an urban area with a garden out front that would love this.  But we have maxed our building foot-print.  If this is considered a temporary structure, then the city can't make me remove it.

Amanda Leonard


posted by amanda.leonard | on Wed, 2011-04-13 17:56

I think that may depend on

I think that may depend on the regulations in your specific area.

posted by Aviva (not verified) | on Thu, 2011-04-14 15:35

Every municipality and even

Every municipality and even county can have completely different codes. I plan to make some trellises, myself, that happen to be set up in a square...

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Wed, 2011-06-15 15:28

Chair plans

Please put up plans for the seats also? I'm sure I'll be able to figure out how to make comfortable cushions with slip covers for them.

This plan is brilliant beyond words!!!

posted by CelesteC | on Thu, 2011-04-14 16:56

weatherly furniture

Yes, Please do!!  I am in love with this set.


posted by emi (not verified) | on Sat, 2011-04-16 12:29


are there any plans on how to do the seats? I would love to add these.


posted by molivi311 | on Thu, 2013-03-28 15:15
Ana White's picture

Just finished the sofa!

Am so tempted to take a nap on the sofa!  It's beautiful!  

posted by Ana White | on Sat, 2011-04-16 13:58

Another option for setting

Another option for setting the post is to use a oz-post.  You hammer them into the ground and then attach the post to them.  Since that keeps all of the post above the ground you don't need to worry about wood rot that can occur when water sits between the concrete and the post.  Plus they sell them at the Big Orange Store.

posted by Preston (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-04-22 15:08

This Week's Top Hits

Congratulations, your Weatherly Pergola made this week's top hits @ singingwithbirds.com. Thanks for all of the amazing plans posted here. We are currently working on pergolas and will be back for more ideas. You do a great job!

posted by gnee (not verified) | on Wed, 2011-05-11 06:34


How hard would it be to put power (an electrical outlet) into this pergola?

posted by Southern Cal Gal (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-05-20 00:17

sketchup file

Perfect!! It seems that you have done the drawings using Google Sketchup. If yes. could you please send me a copy :)

posted by Mandeel (not verified) | on Thu, 2011-09-29 08:42

sketchup file

Perfect!! It seems that you have done the drawings using Google Sketchup. If yes. could you please send me a copy :)

posted by Mandeel (not verified) | on Thu, 2011-09-29 08:42

so, what is the $ estimate on this project?

I would love to tackle this in the spring.

posted by hippiemamaof3 | on Fri, 2012-01-06 23:30

This is probably a dumb

This is probably a dumb question but I want to build this to go on our back patio. Only problem is the concrete is already there--is there anyway to set them in concrete on top of our already existing patio and then maybe hide the concrete footings in the casing you put around the bottom of the legs? Dont want to have to drill through the patio if I can help it. It does get pretty windy here (in Colorado) but no tornados or anything.

posted by Colorado Rachael (not verified) | on Wed, 2012-03-28 08:47

well thats really nice i

well thats really nice i really like that its really good for us. when i have seen its photos its looking ok its dimension was good.
Locksmith Plymouth

posted by TroxeloblL | on Tue, 2013-05-14 07:03
rach5200's picture


What's the estimated cost of this project? I have been dying to find a cheaper way to spruce up my rural yard and add some privacy instead of a full out privacy fence. I would LOVE to build this pergola and add some outdoor curtains this weekend if I could figure out about how much I'd be spending. Gotta prioritize based on overall cost of all of the projects I want to do!

BTW, I absolutely adore all that you do. You're the ultimate role model for DIY beginners like myself!

posted by rach5200 | on Wed, 2013-05-15 17:27

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Recent comments


Let's Connect



User login

Not Much >>

What's going on up here in Alaska.

Momplex Cam >>

Momplex Cam >>

We are DIYing our moms a Duplex in Alaska! Check out our progress so far as we owner build a home, step by step. Read the Momplex blog here.

Special Thanks

The free content provicded by this website is made possible by the following current sponsors.  Thank you!


Momplex Vanilla Kitchen Plans and How-Tos

Check out how we DIYed a full kitchen here!

Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan

Handmade Holiday Gift Plan Tutorials

Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan