Want to Build a Pergola on a Deck? Here’s What You’re Going to Need

If you’d like to ramp up your outdoor living space, you’re not alone. According to some reports from the home improvement industry, nearly 70 percent of homeowners either have already started a project like this or plan to do so soon. More options are available now than ever before with outdoor kitchens, water features, built-in fire pits, and many other solutions at homeowners’ disposal.

Of course, pergolas are gaining popularity as well. They can give homeowners numerous new ways to enjoy their outdoor spaces while also boosting the value of a home. You can even add a pergola to an existing deck to make it more beautiful and functional. If you want to install a nice custom pergola on your deck, though, you’ll need to take the right steps to make the project a success. 

Plan Ahead

One of the most important things you can do for a project like this is to plan ahead. Think about your deck and how you’d like to improve it. From there, consider what you want from a pergola. Do you want it to cover the entire deck or would you like to use it to section off only a portion of it? With that answer in mind, measure your deck to determine the right size pergola for your space.

In addition to size, you’ll need to decide on the style of your pergola and which materials you want to use. Wood, aluminum, and composites are among the most popular materials right now. Aluminum offers a nice blend of style, durability, and longevity. 

Which features you want the pergola to have are important as well. Those could include built-in seating, lighting, extra storage, and other additions. Though you can always add extra features later on, it’s usually easier to build them in from the beginning. It’s a good idea to find out whether you need a permit before beginning construction too. 

Preparation and Installation

From there, you’ll need to prepare your deck for the new pergola. If you have a wood deck, that’ll include sanding it for refinishing after the pergola is built. In any case, you’ll need to check for loose boards, screws, and nails. Look for any signs of damage and decay as well because you’ll need to fix those problems while you’re working. Be sure your deck can support the added weight of a pergola, and install reinforcements if needed. 

If you choose to build your own pergola from scratch, you’ll need to gather all the necessary materials, fasteners, and tools. On the other hand, you could use a custom pergola kit. It’ll make the project much simpler, and it’ll leave a lot less room for error. You won’t have to worry about measuring and cutting, and all the hardware you need will be included. All you’ll need to do is follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

In general, installation involves setting up the posts of the pergola first. Then, install the upper support beams and rafters. Any decorative features will be the last items to install. 

Finishing Up

After your pergola is set up and secured, you’ll need to complete any finishing touches you want to add. Your last step will be refinishing the deck to match or complement the pergola. You may need to stain and seal the pergola as well if you chose a wood version. Aluminum and composites don’t need to be finished. 

Adding a Pergola to Your Deck

Numerous pergola designs are available, and you’ll find an array of custom kits on the market as well. Remember the points mentioned here to help make installing a pergola on your deck simpler and more successful. Keep in mind that these are very general steps, and the exact steps you’ll need to take will depend on your deck, pergola, and other factors. Either way, adding a pergola to your deck will take your outdoor living space to new levels and make it far more versatile.

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