Modern wooden corner pergola with boho outdoor decor

How to Make a Wooden Corner Pergola

Learn how to make a corner model pergola with privacy screens that will give you more enjoyment of your backyard. Put it up in just a weekend and relax in the shade all summer long.

Difficulty level : 
Duration : 
1 weekend
Before You Begin
This pergola has a final size of approximately 11’ x 11’, so an extra pair of hands might come in handy while you are building it.Prior to installation, check that the ground where you want to build the pergola is level and identify the highest post base—this is the one you will start with.The type of anchoring hardware you use will also depend on the installation surface (ground, slabs, or composite or wood deck).

1
Build the Base

  • 1.1Install the bases for the posts in their predetermined locations.
  • 1.2Secure them to the surface accordingly:
    • Grass: Use stakes and drive them into the ground.
    • Composite or wood: Use lag screws or nuts and bolts.
    • Slabs: Use a concrete drill bit to pre-drill holes, then use concrete screws to secure the post bases. Don't drill holes near the slab edges, as this may cause splitting.
Person predrilling holes in a concrete slab
Person securing pergola hardware to a concrete slab

2
Install the Posts

  • 2.1Use a 4' level and a board to identify any height differences between the post bases F. If they are not all the same height, calculate the difference and cut the 8' 4x4 (the highest post) as needed.
  • 2.2Place an 8' 4x4 B into each post base F. Attach it using 8 screws (instead of 16) so that adjustments can be made later. Check that the post B is straight using a level before securing it.
  • 2.3Cut 4" off an 8' 4x4 to make the corner post A to allow adjustment of the corner support for a level installation.
Person using a level to check height difference between pergola bases
Person securing a post using a level to make sure it is straight
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Pro Tip

Check that the posts B are level before securing them.

3
Secure the Top Crossbeams

  • 3.1Before installing the TOJA GRID corner hardware G, check the level between the corner A and one of the end posts B using a 2x4. Adjustments will be easier thanks to the 4” removed earlier. When correctly aligned, secure the hardware in place.
  • 3.2Measure and cut two 4x4s C to a length that allows the top crossbeams to fit into the corner hardware G and rest on the end posts B.
  • 3.3Install the 4x4s C and confirm that they are level.
  • 3.4Using 6” treated wood screws, secure the crossbeams C to the corner hardware G and to the top of the end posts B.
Person cutting wooden posts using a mitre saw
Person adding pergola corner hardware to a wooden post

4
Secure the Transverse Crossbeam

  • 4.1Trace the traverse crossbeam H angles:
    • Enlist a helper and use a stepladder each to place the 16' 2x4 H so that it overhangs past both end posts B. Mark the cut angles.
    • Ensure that the corner of the 16' 2x4 H is aligned with the top crossbeam C before tracing a mark.

    Confirm that the assembly is level before continuing.
  • 4.2Cut the 16' 2x4 H at the line traced at each end, then use 6" treated wood screws to secure it.
Person tracing a cut angle on a wooden post
Person securing a wooden post with a drill
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Pro Tip

Support the 2x4 H with clamps for better stability while you work.

5
Build the Roof

  • 5.1Determine the preferred spacing for the roof 2x4s I.
  • 5.2Measure the distance between the corner post A and the two lateral posts B, then divide that distance by the desired spacing. Note than an even spacing has a more pleasing look.
  • 5.3Draw a mark for each roof 2x4 I along the top crossbeams C. Note that the 2x4s I must be centred on the marks.
  • 5.4Repeat step 4 using 16', 12', and 10' 2x4s I. Starting with the longest, place each board on the top crossbeams C in order to trace the cut angles at each end. Cut the pieces along the lines, then install them using 6” crews.
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Pro Tip

The amount of sunlight coming through your pergola will depend on the spacing of the roof 2x4s I. A greater spacing will allow more light through.

6
Secure the Bottom Crossbeams

  • 6.1Draw a mark 16’’ off the ground on the longest post B.
  • 6.2Measure the distance between the mark and the roof, then use that measurement to draw a mark on the other two posts A B to ensure that everything is straight.
  • 6.3Measure the distance between the inside of the corner post A and the inside of two end posts B, then cut two 12’ 4x4s for the two bottom crossbeams D using those measurements.
  • 6.4Use clamps to help hold the crossbeams D at their desired location. If needed, use a rubber mallet to adjust their positions.
  • 6.5Check that everything is straight by placing a level on the crossbeams D.
  • 6.6Secure each crossbeam D using two 6" treated wood screws.
Person checking that pergola bottom crossbeams are level
Person securing the bottom crossbeams of a pergola
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Pro Tip

Don’t have a rubber mallet? Use a wood off-cut and gently tap it with a regular hammer to adjust the crossbeams.

7
Build the Privacy Screens

  • 7.1Measure and cut the central 8' 2x4 planks E that will be used to support the horizontal slats J.
  • 7.2Starting at the top, secure both planks E using 6" treated wood screws.
  • 7.3Measure the width of the wall sections and cut the 8' 1x4 slats J to size.
  • 7.4Install the slats J horizontally onto the privacy screen with 1.5" treated wood screws, using the central 2x4 E to hide the joint. Use a 1” thick (or another thickness if preferred) as a template to keep the spacing between the slats J as even as possible.
Person cutting wooden planks
Person installing vertical supports on a corner pergola
Person cutting wood slats using a mitre saw
Person building a privacy panel with wood slats
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Pro Tip

Consider how much privacy you want to decide on the spacing between the boards J. Even spacing will give the screens a clean and unified look, but another option is to gradually increase the spacing from mid-height to let in a little more light while maintaining privacy.
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Disclaimer

These tutorials are provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in Lowe’s tutorials is intended to provide general guidelines to simplify jobs around the house. Because tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations are continually changing, Lowe’s Companies Canada ULC assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein and disclaims any liability for the omissions, errors, or outcome of any project. Lowe’s Companies Canada ULC. makes no representation on the feasibility of any project and the viewer bears all risks coming with the realization of the projects. It is the responsibility of the viewer to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes, and regulations for a project. The viewer must always take proper safety precautions and exercise caution when taking on any project. If there is any doubt in regard to any element of a project, please consult a licensed professional.

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