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Pergola Part List

By Stephanie Green ; Updated September 21, 2017

A pergola is a nice addition to an outdoor space, helping to frame or define a particular part of a yard. Pergolas are simple in their design and construction. Not only do they add a touch of elegance but they are also functionally sound, providing the ideal space for climbing vines and flowers. When complete, a pergola can also have a big impact on providing refuge from the sun.


Posts are the supporting structure of a pergola and are typically constructed from a set of 4-by-4-inch posts. Red cedar is an ideal choice of wood to use for posts as it is resistant to mold and mildew and does not require any chemical treatments. As an alternative, posts are also available in vinyl materials. It is imperative that the posts be set exactly vertically, in order to properly hold the remainder of the pergola structure.

Concrete Footings

Although this part of a pergola isn’t seen once construction is complete, it is one of the most important parts of the structure. Concrete footings are the foundation for a pergola structure that hold the posts and must be level in order for the pergola to stand correctly and be able to hold the weight of the crossbeams.


The crossbeams are probably the most notable part of a pergola as the crossbeams, also called the overhead beams create the canopy of the structure. Beams that measure 8 feet in length are ideal to use for this section, but they can be shorter to suit your space. It is important to properly space the cross beams in order to create space in between each beam, ideal for hanging baskets or allowing vines to grow, and to ensure that there is proper overhang for your structure.


About the Author


Stephanie Green is a writer with more than 10 years of experience. Her work has been published in various lifestyle and trade publications, covering parenting, gardening and human-interest stories. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.