The materials needed to construct a pergola may be a rather short list, but the results go a long way in adding character and definition to an outdoor space. The materials needed to build such a structure are readily available in home improvement centers. Pergolas may be constructed of vinyl or from pre-made kits, but the most popular, economical and enduring product to assemble the structure is treated or cedar wood.
Posts and Boards
Depending upon the size of your structure, the length of wood used to create the posts and overhead boards will vary. Four-by-4 treated posts are a popular option. Two-by-6 boards are ideal to use in conjunction with the 4-by-4s to create the overhead of the structure.
Use stainless steel screws to construct and hold the pergola. For a more polished look, fastening system products may be used in place of screws. They are typically used on cedar decks and attach the beams to the posts in manner that no fasteners can be seen.
Concrete footings are available as a ready-made product, or they can be poured by the homeowner. In either case, they are necessary to support the posts that will uphold the structure. Cedar post caps are another unseen but necessary material for the pergola structure. When installed, the caps will help to distribute the weight of the cross beams the posts will hold.