How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

Kevin Brown

Installing Pergola Post Brackets

When building a pergola, the first step is installing post brackets. While you can put the posts directly into the concrete, experts recommend using brackets. Brackets protect the wood, prolonging the life and support of the posts.

This tutorial will guide you through the process of installing brackets into concrete for mounting 6×6 pergola posts.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

To build a 6×6 pergola, you’ll need 12″ concrete forms. Before digging, check your zone’s freeze depth to determine the required depth for your concrete support. In our zone, it is 30″ deep.

Cut the 12″ concrete form to the appropriate size using a hand saw, then place it in the hole.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

Run strings to determine post placement and alignment, then check the bird’s-eye view.

Depending on your bracket type, ensure the piece placed in the concrete is in the inner third of the form. For example, the 6×6 brackets have a central post.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

As seen on the second form, the bracket post will not be in the inner third of the concrete form. Therefore, the hole needs to be dug out and moved to the right.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

Use a pry bar or shovel to widen the hole on that side and remove the dirt.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

Place the concrete form back into the hole and check the bracket placement. As you can see, the post is in the safe zone. Getting the post in the direct center is not always possible but is preferred.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

Spray water into the bottom of your concrete form.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

Pour concrete into the form. Add water between bags if desired. Find a concrete mix for posts, which allows for in-hole mixing instead of pre-mixing in a separate container.

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How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

Use the pry bar to mix the powder and water. This concrete is fast-acting, so mix it thoroughly but quickly.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

Add water or powder until the top is a semi-solid mixture that will hold the bracket. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but the concrete must support the bracket as it sets and dries.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

When concrete is ready, tie a small weight to the bottom of a string. Attach it to the corner joint of your strings.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

Gravity will work in your favor, giving you a third line for “leveling” the bracket – two up top and one hanging down.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

Immediately push the bracket into the concrete in its desired placement. Adjust as needed, but time is working against you, so be quick.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

To position your bracket, use a small hand shovel to press concrete tightly against the bracket post.

How to Install Pergola Post Brackets

You can slope the concrete away from the bracket post or smooth it flat. Check everything for level one last time, then leave the bracket alone while the concrete dries.

You’ve finished one of the most important steps in building a pergola. When the concrete is dry, you’ll be ready to mount your pergola posts.

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