How to Add a Pergola to a Deck

If your existing deck needs a renovation, then adding a pergola to the structure is a weekend project that can transform your desk.
A pergola can create shade on a sunny deck as well as adding walls to transform an open platform into a weekend retreat. Once your pergola is in place, you can put patio furniture underneath it, as well as hang flower baskets or curtains. Many hardware stores carry the equipment that you may need to add a pergola to a deck.

Step 1

Install deck post anchors into your deck to form the four corners of a square by screwing them to the deck using wood screws. This will be the basis of your pergola supports.

Step 2

Stand 4X4 timbers on their ends inside deck post anchors and screw them into the anchors to form four supports.

Step 3

Switch drill bits from the Phillips head bit to the ½ drill bit and drill a ½-inch hole completely through the side of each landscaping timber. Each hole should be approximately 2 inches from the tip of the timber, and should orient exactly the same direction in each timber.

Step 4

Drill corresponding holes in each end of four 2X4 boards. The holes should be in the center of the board, and spaced so that they each line up with the holes in the landscaping timbers.

Step 5

Using a ladder, lift a board to the outside of two of the landscaping timbers on one side of your pergola structure. Lift a second board to the inside of the pergola. Bolt the boards into place at each end to form a beam using carriage bolts. Repeat the process on the other side of the pergola with a second set of boards and carriage bolts.

Step 6

Switch your drill bit back to the Phillips head screw driver bit. Lift five 2X4 inch boards over the beams and space them evenly to form five rafters. Attach the rafters to the beams using hurricane clips and wood screws.

Step 7

Lift the remaining boards to align crossways across the rafters and attach them with the remaining hurricane clips and wood screws.

Things You Will Need

  • 4 deck post anchors
  • 4 4X4 inch landscaping timbers
  • Measuring tape
  • 14 2X4 inch boards
  • Drill
  • ½ inch drill bit
  • Philips screwdriver head bit
  • 4 ½ inch carriage bolts
  • 20 hurricane rafter clips
  • 96 wood screws

About the Author

Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.