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12×12 Pergola Plans

by Ovidiu


This step by step diy project is about 12×12 pergola plans. I have designed this pergola with a 12×12 base and a 14×14 roof, so you can create a nice shaded area in your backyard. This square pergola is extremely easy to build, while it has that exquisite look most of us strive for. Take a look over the rest of my woodworking plans, if you want to get more building inspiration.

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. See all my Premium Plans HERE.



Projects made from these plans




12×12 Pergola Plans




Cut & Shopping Lists

  • A – 4 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 8′ long POSTS
  • B – 4 piece of 2×8 lumber – 14′ long SUPPORT BEAMS
  • C – 11 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 14′ long SHADE ELEMENTS
  • D – 6 pieces of 1×2 lumber – 14′ long SLATS


 Hammer, Tape measure, Framing square, Level

 Miter saw, Drill machinery, Screwdriver, Sander

 Safety Gloves, Safety Glasses


 One day


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It’s that easy to build a pergola – Video!



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How to build a 12×12 pergola plans



The first step of the pergola project is to layout the posts. Use batter boards and string to layout the location of the posts. Apply the 3-4-5 rule to every corner and then measure the diagonals to make sure they are perfectly equal. You need to make adjustments until you get the desired result.

Anchoring the posts of the anchor

There are a few ways to secure the 6×6 posts into place. You can set the posts in concrete or you can use adjustable anchors and pour footings. Dig the holes 3′ deep (or under the front line) and about 12-13″ in diameter. Compact a layer of gravel to the bottom of the holes and then fit the tube forms. Fit the posts, align them and plumb them with a spirit level. Fill the forms with concrete, while the posts are locked into place with temporarily braces. If you use anchors, you need to align and set them into concrete. Fit the posts after the concrete dries, using lag screw.

Smart tip: Read the local building codes, so you dig the holes at the appropriate depth.

Building the support beams

Use 2×8 lumber for the support beams. Make decorative cuts to both ends of the beams. You can use a large circular item so you can draw the curved lines. Get the job done with a jigsaw and then smooth the edges for a neat result.

Fitting the support beams

Fit the support beams to the top of the posts. Use a spirit level to plumb the support beams and then clamp the beams into place tightly. Drill pilot holes through the beams and through the posts. Insert the 9″ carriage bolts and then tighten the nuts.



Use 2×6 lumber for the shade elements. Make the curved decorative cuts to both ends of the beams. Mark the cut lines and then get the job done with a saw. In addition, you need to make a few 2″ deep notches, so you can fit the shade elements to the support beams.

Mark the cut lines on the beams and then use a circular saw to make parallel cuts. Use a chisel to remove the excess and then smooth the recess with sandpaper.



Fit the shade elements to the support beams. Place the shade elements equally spaced and then lock them into place with rafter ties. Alternatively, you could drill pilot holes through the shade elements (above the notches) and insert 5 1/2″ screws so you can lock them into place tightly.

Fitting the top slats

Fitting the top slatsFit the 1×2 slats to the top of the pergola. Place these slats equally spaced for a professional result. Center the slats to the rafters and then drill pilot holes, before inserting the 1 5/8″ screws.

12x12 Pergola Plans Free

12×12 Pergola Plans FreeLast but not least, you need to take care of the finishing touches. Therefore, fill the holes with wood putty and then smooth the surface with 120-220 grit sandpaper. You can also fit braces, if you live in a windy area. Apply a few coats of paint or stain over the components, to enhance the look of the pergola and to protect the components from decay.

12x12 Pergola Plans

12×12 Pergola PlansThis pergola provides plenty of space for setting several chairs, an outdoor sofa and an outdoor table. You can even cover the pergola of you want to obtain even more shade, especially during the hot summer days.

How to build a 12x12 pergola

How to build a 12×12 pergolaIf you want to add charm and unique appeal to your garden, I recommend you to check out these plans. This 12×12 pergola can be built by any person with basic woodworking skills and it is also very budget friendly. You can make a lot of adjustments to the design so it suits your tastes and needs. Check out the rest of my pergola plans, as I have many designed and sizes you can choose from.

If you want to get PREMIUM PLANS for this project (different design with re-engineered structure), in a PDF format, please press GET PDF PLANS button bellow. Thank you for the support.



This woodworking project was about 12×12 pergola 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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Ralph -

Looks good I will have a go at making one.

Julian -

That’s great! Let me know how it goes!

Danny ferreira -

Any finished result pics of these plans? Going to build it this summer

Julian -

Not yet. Maybe you will be the one who breaks the ice.

Gloria Azulpha -

We are bulding it nowwwww. I’ll be sure to update.

Ovidiu -

Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your project.

Rocco -

I’m cutting the lumber as we speak. I wanted to know…I bought 4x4x8 posts (from a different set of plans) and then this set says 6x6x8…will the 4x4x8s be okay with this 12×12 pergola?

Ovidiu -

Yes, it will be okay, but less sturdy and it won’t look as good. In addition, you need to make a few modifications when fitting the posts. Add 4″ to the distance between the posts, to make up for the difference in thickness.

Nate -

says to get 8′ long post but to dig the holes 3′ deep
my question is how deep do i bury the post because if i bury them 3′ my posts will only be 5′ high

Ovidiu -

It says you can either set the posts 3′ into the ground or to pour footings and use post anchors. If you go for the first solution, you obviously need to buy 12′ long posts and make them 11′.

david -

i have a concrete patio that I wanted to build a pergola on. Can I just us an ez base to secure it to the concrete instead of digging and pouring concrete

Ovidiu -

I wouldn’t recommend that, but your safest bet is to read the local building codes.

Zachary -

I am planning on using your plans for my Eagle Scout Project. What would be the best kind of lumber to use? I would also like to attach benches to three sides of the pergola. What would be a secure and safe way to build them? Thank you

Ovidiu -

Cedar would be your best choice, if you have the budget. For the benches I would build a frame and attach it to the posts and add 2 extra legs to the middle.

Zachary -

The supply list says you need 7″ carriage bolt but when you read the plans it says 9″ carriage bolt. Which one do i use?

matt -

Hi I notice that this 12′ x 12′ pergola does not have the diagonal braces like the other ones do.. How do I know if they are even needed? thanks!

Ovidiu -

They are needed if you live in an area with winds or snow.


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