The Backyard Pergola: A quiet retreat tucked away from the street

The Pergola Project

  After (left) and Before (below)

Our backyard hasn't ever ranked as a favorite spot to entertain or relax. While we've enjoyed campfires in the 100-year-old brick fireplace during snowy nights, it hasn't had much use. We decided that a structured dining area that provides some shade would be a better use of our long, narrow yard.

We used Western Red Cedar to build a 11-foot-by-9-foot pergola. It took a few days to prep the site and paint the boards, but it has totally transformed our yard into a primo place for gatherings.

The 100-year-old fireplace was charming, but was past its prime.

Of course the yard isn't perfectly level, so we had to take care of site prep before we could begin building.

The Western Red Cedar was painted so that it can successfully battle the elements.

After digging holes, the posts are set in place and plumbed.

The posts are secured in position with some temporary framing.

The girders are cut to size and secured to the posts with the help of a few 2x brackets.

Screwing the joists across the rafters.

The pergola has 2xs across the joists to help keep everything secure.

The finished pergola.... Now it's time for landscaping.