This step by step diy woodworking project is about 12×24 free pergola plans. If you want to learn more about building a large patio pergola, we recommend you to take a look over the instructions described in the article. If you want to build a large shaded area in your backyard, we recommend you to check out these free pergola plans.
Work with good judgement and don’t forget to take a look over the rest of the related plans, as there are many designs and woodworking projects to select from. Work with attention and don’t forget that a good planning will save you from many issues and it will keep the costs within the total budget. Invest in high quality materials, such as pine, redwood or cedar. Drill pocket holes before inserting the galvanized screws, to prevent the wood from splitting. See all my Premium Plans HERE.
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It’s that simple to build a 12×24 pergola!
12×24 Free Pergola Plans
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- A – 6 pieces of 4×4 lumber – 144″ long POSTS
- B – 24 pieces of 2×8 lumber – 36″ long TRIMS
- C – 24 piece of 1×3 lumber – 8 1/2″ long TRIMS
- D – 6 pieces of 2×10 lumber – 144″ long SUPPORT BEAMS
- E – 22 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 144″ long RAFTERS
- F – 20 pieces of 2×2 lumber – 123″ long SLATS
- 6 pieces of 4×4 lumber – 10′
- 6 pieces of 2×8 lumber – 12′
- 3 pieces of 1×3 lumber – 8′
- 6 pieces of 2×10 lumber – 12′
- 22 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 12′
- 20 pieces of 2×2 lumber – 14′
- 12 pieces of 7″ long carriage bolts
- 100 pieces of 4 1/2″ screws
- 200 pieces of 2 1/2″ screws
- 200 pieces of 2 1/2″ nails
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How to build a large pergola
The first step of the project is to lay out the pergola in a professional manner. Use batter boards and string to make sure the posts will be placed properly. Make sure the diagonals of the pergola are perfectly equal. In addition, use the 3-4-5 rule to each corner of the pergola, in order to make sure they are right-angled.
There are several ways to lock the posts into place. Therefore, you could dig holes in the ground and set the posts into concrete, or you could use post anchors. Nevertheless, taking into account the complexity of the construction, we recommend you to lock the posts into concrete.
Your local building codes should specify a recommended depth for post holes in your area. For a structure like this one, plan on about two-feet in depth, as depth of your hole should be about 1/4 of the height of the wooden post. The holes should have about 10″ in diagram.
Plumb the posts with a spirit level and lock them into place with temporarily braces, as shown in the diagram.
In order to enhance the look of the posts, we recommend you to fit trims to their base. Build the trims out of 2×8 lumber. Adjust the width of the trims to 6 1/2″. Use a circular saw to bevel cut both sides at 45 degrees. Fit the trims to the posts and secure them into place using 2 1/2″ finishing nails and glue.
Next, you need to attach the 1×3 trims to the top of the trims. Cut both sides of the trims at 45 degrees and secure them into place using 1 1/4″ brad nails. Leave no gaps between the components and add glue for a better bond.
If you really want to enhance the look of the pergola, you could add 1×1 trims to the base of the posts. Cut both ends of the trims at 45 degrees and secure them into place using finishing nails and glue.
Build the support beams out of 2×10 lumber. Make sure you cut the ends of the support beams in a decorative manner. Smooth the cut edges with attention using fine-grit sandpaper.
After building the six support beams, you need to attach them to the posts. Clamp the beams to the top of the posts, after making sure they are perfectly horizontal. Leave 12″ on both sides of the pergola, so that the beams could be centered to the structure. Drill pilot holes through the beams and through the posts. Afterwards, insert 7″ carriage bolts to lock the components together tightly.
Continue the project by attaching the rest of the beams to the 4×4 posts. Make sure your structure looks similar to the one in the diagram.
Build the shade elements out of 2×6 lumber. Cut one end in a decorative manner and make a few notches to the component, as described in the diagram. Make paralel cuts inside the notches and remove the excess with a damp cloth.
Attach the shade elements to the support beams, as described in the diagram. Drill pilot holes through the beams and insert 4 1/2″ screws into the support beams.
Repeat the process for the other side of the 12×24 pergola. Place the rafters equally-spaced and leave no gaps between the components. Lock everything together tightly.
In order to keep the shade elements equally-spaced, we recommend you to attach 2×2 slats to the top of the pergola. Place the slats equally-spaced, drill pilot holes and secure them to the rafters using 2 1/2″ screws.
One of the last steps of the woodworking project is to take care of the finishing touches. Therefore, fill the pilot holes with wood putty and smooth the surface with 120-grit sandpaper.
Top Tip: If you want to enhance the look of the project and to protect the stand from decay, we recommend you to cover the components with paint or stain.
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