How to Install Pergola Posts

Kevin Brown

Installing Pergola Posts

Building a pergola can add value to your home and create an outdoor living space. However, it is important to properly install the pergola posts.

To begin, install the post brackets. Then, follow this tutorial on installing pergola posts. We will be using 6 x 6 rough-cut cedar.

How to Install Pergola Posts

How to Install Pergola Posts

How to Install Pergola Posts: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Follow these steps for smooth, sturdy, and good-looking pergola posts.

Step 1: Plane the Posts

Before installing your posts (this example uses 6×6 cedar posts, rough cut), ensure they have a smooth surface.

How to Install Pergola Posts

These posts will benefit from being planed to make them smooth and better able to take stain.

Plane the posts, taking off just enough to create a smooth surface.

How to Install Pergola Posts

To support the weight of a 6×6 post (10 feet tall), use roller supports at both ends of the planer.

How to Install Pergola Posts

One person guides the post into the planer while a second person pulls the wood out. Keep track of the sides planed and rotate the posts to maintain an even square.

How to Install Pergola Posts

Using a planer on your pergola posts has the benefit of showcasing the wood grain more effectively compared to rough-sawn wood.

How to Install Pergola Posts

The goal of planning your posts is twofold: to create smooth surfaces on all sides and ensure a snug fit into your bracket.

The 6×6 posts were initially 6 inches square, but the bracket can only accommodate 5-1/2 inch posts. Although the posts were already smooth during the planning process, they went through the planer multiple times to lose 1/2 inch and fit the bracket.

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How to Install Pergola Posts

Step 2: Stain the Posts

Once smooth and ready to fit the bracket, you have two options: (1) install the pergola posts immediately, or (2) finish them (e.g., stain or paint). We stained our posts prior to installation.

To stain the wood before constructing your pergola, follow this guide: how to stain pergola wood.

How to Install Pergola Posts

Once the stain is fully dry, you can mount the pergola posts. Take one post and place it in the bracket that you have already positioned and installed in the concrete.

How to Install Pergola Posts

Position the post on the bracket to align with other posts for your building project. Have one person support the post – it’s not safe to leave it freestanding without being secured to the bracket.

How to Install Pergola Posts

Reviewing the text, the following words and phrases can be eliminated to make it more concise and impactful:

– “As the”

– “known as”

– “it’s important”

– “are known”

– “The Importance of”

– “looking for”

– “Are you”

– “take into account”

– “in conclusion”

– “When it comes to”

– “Choosing the right”

– “Understanding”

– “And if you like, then you’ll love”

– “With these factors in mind”

– “you’re looking for”

– “In today’s”

– “In these”

– “In this”

– “remember that”

– “it’s to”

– “moreover”

– “double-edged sword”

– “elevate”

– “regenerate response”

– “today”

– “It is important”

– “As a result”

– “One of the key”

– “Overall”

– “the meaning”

– “Additionally”

– “Interpreting”

– “In”

– “When someone”

– “If you’re”

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– “By following”

After removing these redundant words and phrases, the revised text becomes:

“Check the post for level. There will be some give in the “leanability” the higher up you go, which is good news for building a pergola. Check for level on two adjacent sides of your post. With someone holding the post in a level position, it’s time to begin securing it to the bracket.”

How to Install Pergola Posts

To support the post, temporarily attach it using the screw holes in your bracket. Exterior-grade screws, preferably 2-1/2”, are recommended.

How to Install Pergola Posts

Once you install screws on the bracket edges of both sides of the post, you can then predrill holes for the lag bolts. Use 1/2″ thick lag bolts that are 2-1/2” in length, ensuring they travel to the center of the post without colliding.

How to Install Pergola Posts

Always use a washer when installing lag bolts in exterior construction projects.

How to Install Pergola Posts

Use a ratchet to tighten lag bolts individually.

How to Install Pergola Posts

Tighten lag bolts in opposition. Tighten bolts from 1-4.

How to Install Pergola Posts

With your pergola post securely attached to its bracket, it is now freestanding.

How to Install Pergola Posts

Repeat this process for any other pergola posts you need. In this case, the far corner requires a post.

How to Install Pergola Posts

Pergola Posts Installation Tips

In some instances, you’ll need to remove ground or grass to install the lag bolts and screws. If grass is your obstacle – remove it in large chunks, keeping it intact. Replace the grass chunk when you’re done working in the area.

How to Install Pergola Posts

Once you have installed your pergola posts on their brackets, it’s time to move on to the upper pergola frame. Installing the frame promptly is crucial to prevent any wobbling of the posts. This will ensure that your pergola is completed efficiently.

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