This style of pergola is a truly wonderful feature for the garden. It has a unique form, due to the fact that its rafters radiate from a central point. And, when completed, what a fantastic structure it is, especially when draped with the most heavenly climbing plants! But, could you really build one yourself? Yes! And you will be so proud of it when it’s finished.
Even though this style of pergola looks as if it should be complicated to build, it is easily achievable, even for a beginner. Making it yourself will be much cheaper too. Here are 8 basic steps to give you some ideas on how to build a fantastic corner pergola. And, of course, remember that you can always adapt d.i.y. pergola designs and plans to fit perfectly in your own garden.
1 Mark out the footprint
This can be either
- a right-angled triangle, or
- a right-angled triangle, with the points cut off, to make small side entrances. (Try it with a piece of paper to get an idea of the footprint).
My preference is for the second style, which is outlined here, and looks fantastic when built.
2 Put in the posts
- spiked post anchors(checking there are no underlying pipes or cables)
- concrete-in post anchors or
- bolt down post anchors(for building your pergola on an existing patio)
These secure the posts to the ground. Make sure the posts are level at the top. One post goes in the corner and one, or more, (depending on the length of the sides), stand at ninety degrees to this post. Add trellis between the posts at this stage, if you wish. The easiest way to do this is to make the pergola fit the trellis, rather than the trellis fit the pergola.
3 Preserve cut ends
All wood must be treated. Paint any cut ends with a clear preservative. This can be done as you go along.
4 Cut the rafter tail ends
This can also be done as you go along. The rafter tail ends can be straight, or shaped for a unique design. You will need a jig saw to cut the curves. Make sure both ends are the same way up when cutting!
5 Notch and position the main supporting rafters
- Cut notches to secure the main rafters to one another, and also one end of the two side rafters. Make sure the notches are the correct way up.
- Bolt one of the right-angled main rafters, and the diagonal rafter, onto the posts. Use these to support the others.
- The side rafter end, next to the diagonal rafter, is cut straight, and then angled to fit flush with the post. It is screwed at an angle into the post.
6 Attach the corner support.
The corner support is a short piece of rafter spanning the two main rafters, near to, and equidistant from, the apex (corner). It has no tail ends. Using ladders, mark from the top, notch, and then use a mallet to tap into the main rafters.
7 Attach the radiating rafters
- Lay on top from the corner support to the diagonal rafter, spacing equally.
- Mark notches, from the top, and cut.
- The radiating rafters can be flush fitting(by notching half way down the rafter), or raised(by notching less than half way), although for this pergola, I prefer the flush fitting rafter.
- Tap in and screw from the top.
8 The final touches
Plant fabulous climbing plants for beautiful colour and gorgeous fragrance. Add furniture, cushions, throws, bean-bags, hanging chairs, lights, fragrance burners – anything you like – to make your pergola a welcoming and cosy outdoor space.
Enjoy! All that’s left is to stand back and admire your wonderful creation!