12×12 Lean to Pavilion – Free DIY Plans

This step by step diy woodworking project is about a 12×12 wooden pavilion with lean to roof plans. I had a request for a small pavilion with a lean to roof, so this is my take. This pavilion has a 6×6 structure and a lean to roof with a 3:12 pitch. This square pavilion has a footprint of 12 ft x 12 ft, outside post to outside post. Take a look over the rest of our woodworking plans, if you want to get more building inspiration. Check out the Shop, as well, for full list of Premium Plans.

When buying the lumber, you should select the planks with great care, making sure they are straight and without any visible flaws (cracks, knots, twists, decay). Investing in cedar or other weather resistant lumber is a good idea, as it will pay off on the long run. Use a spirit level to plumb and align the components, before inserting the galvanized screws, otherwise the project won’t have a symmetrical look. If you have all the materials and tools required for the project, you could get the job done in about a day.



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12×12 Lean to Gazebo – Free DIY Plans




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  • A – 4 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 8′ long POSTS
  • B – 1 piece of 6×6 lumber – 12′ long, 1 piece – 176″ long TOP PLATES
  • C – 2 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 12′ long TOP PLATES
  • D – 10 pieces 6×6 lumber – 36″ long BRACES
  • E – 2 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 29 1/4″ long RIDGE BEAM SUPPORTS
  • E – 1 piece of 6×6 lumber – 176″ long RIDGE BEAMS

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 Hammer, Tape measure, Framing square, Level

 Miter saw, Drill machinery, Screwdriver, Sander

 Safety Gloves, Safety Glasses

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One week

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12×12 Lean to Gazebo – Free DIY Plans

Laying out the posts

Laying out the posts

First, layout the posts for the 12×12 pavilion. Use batter boards and string to determine the location of the posts. Apply the 3-4-5 rule to every corner of the pavilion, so you make sure they are right angled. Make sure the diagonals are equal. Determining the location for the pavilion is essential, as you have to comply with the local building codes. Make sure the surface is level and remove the vegetation layer.


Anchoring the post into concrete

Anchoring the post into concrete

Dig 3 ft holes into the ground, making sure they have about 16″ in diameter. Fit the tubes into the ground and plumb them with a spirit level. Install the anchors in concrete and align them with attention. Let the concrete dry out for several days. Read the local codes for more details on how to secure the posts.

Use lag screws to secure the posts to the anchors. Make sure the top of the posts are horizontal one to another. Use braces to lock the posts into place. Use a laser to mark the level to the top of the posts and use a circular saw, if you need to make cuts.



Use 6×6 lumber for the top rails. Mark the cut lines on the beams and then make the cut outs with a circular saw and a chisel. Smooth the surface with sandpaper. Set the circular saw at 2 3/4″ and then make parallel cuts inside the marked areas. Clean the recess with a chisel and sandpaper. You can also get the job done with a jigsaw, but it will take longer and it’s not as accurate.



Fit the top rails to the sides of the pavilion. Notice the 16″ overhangs to the front of the pavilion. Drill pilot holes through the plates and insert 8″ screws to lock them to the posts. Use 2 screws for each joint. Make sure the corners are square and plumb the posts vertically, before attaching the support beams. 



Fit the cross plates to the pavilion. Align the edges flush and drill pilot holes. Insert the 8″ screws to lock the cross plates into place tightly. Check if the corners are square after installing the plates.



Build the braces for the frame of the pavilion from 6×6 lumber. Use a miter saw to make 45 degree cuts to both ends of the braces. Fit the braces to the posts, after you plumb them vertically. Drill pilot holes and insert 5 1/2″ screws to secure the braces into place tightly. Also, you need to make sure the corners are square before attaching the diagonal braces. 



Fit the 6×6 supports for the ridge beam of the pavilion. Use 2 L shaped connectors A66 to secure the side supports. Insert 2  1/2″ structural screws to lock the connectors into place. Plumb the supports with a spirit level before securing them into place tightly.



Fit the 6×6 ridge beams to the top of the supports, making sure the overhangs are equal on both sides. Use post to beam connectors and 2 1/2″ structural screws to secure the beams into place. Use a spirit level to check if the beams are perfectly horizontal. 



Use 6×6 lumber for the diagonal braces that will reinforce the middle ridge beams. Make 45 degree cuts at both ends of the braces. Secure the braces into place with 5 1/2″ screws. Drill pilot holes before inserting the screws.



Check out PART 2 of the project to learn how to build the lean to roof for this compact slanted gazebo. The roof has a 3:12 pitch. You can place this shelter close to the property line or to an already existing building.



Fill the holes with wood putty and let them dry out for a few hours. Smooth the surface with 100-220 grit sandpaper and remove the residues with a damp cloth. This makes for an awesome place to serve dinner or to hang out with the loved ones.

Top Tip: Apply a few coats of paint or stain to the components, to enhance the look of the project. Premium Plans for this project available HERE. Check out the Shop, as well, for full list of Premium Plans.


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This woodworking project was about 12×12 pavilion with lean to roof plans free. If you want to see more outdoor plans, check out the rest of our step by step projects and follow the instructions to obtain a professional result.




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