This step by step diy project is about 16×16 pergola plans. I have designed this square pergola with a 16’x16′ base and a 18’x18 roof. You can get the job done quickly and save a lot of money by choosing to build it by yourself. This square pergola features an elegant design which you can customize to suit your needs and tastes. 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
How to build a pergola
Cut + Materials Lists
- A – 4 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 8′ long POSTS
- B – 4 piece of 2×8 lumber – 18′ long SUPPORT BEAMS
- C – 15 pieces of 2×8 lumber – 18′ long SHADE ELEMENTS
- D – 11 pieces of 1×2 lumber – 18′ long SLATS
- E – 4 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 39 1/2″ long BRACES
- F – 4 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 44 3/4″ long BRACES
- 6 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 8′
- 19 pieces of 2×8 lumber – 18′
- 11 pieces of 1×2 lumber – 18′
- 2 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 8′
- 1 5/8″ screws, 3 1/2″ screws
- 6×6 post anchor 4 pieces
- post to beam connector 8 pieces
- tube form
- rafter ties
- 8 pieces of 6″ carriage bolts
- wood filler , wood glue, stain/paint
Hammer, Tape measure, Framing square, Level
Miter saw, Drill machinery, Screwdriver, Sander
16×16 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.
As you can easily notice in the plans, you need to make notches to the top of the 6×6 posts. Set the circular saw to 1 1/2″ depth and then make parallel cuts inside the marked areas. Remove the residues with a chisel and smooth area with sandpaper.
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. The materials list is made considering you use post anchors. If you decide to set them in concrete, you need to buy longer posts.
Building the frame of the pergola
Use 2×8 lumber for the support beams. You can make decorative cuts to both ends of the beams, so you enhance the look of the 16×16 pergola. Use a large round object, so you can mark the curved lines on the beams. Get the job done with a jigsaw and then smooth the edges with sandpaper.
Fit the support beams to the top of the posts, making sure you leave 12″ overhangs on both sides. Drill pilot holes through the beams and then insert 6″ carriage bolts to lock them into place tightly. Use two carriage bolts for each joint, for a professional result. Use a spirit level to make sure the beams are horizontal.
Building the roof of the pergola
Build the shade elements from 2×8 lumber. Make the decorative cuts to both ends of the beams. In addition, you have to make notches to the beams, so you can fit them into place. Use a circular saw to make the cuts and then remove the excess with a chisel.
Fit the shade elements to the top of the pergola. You can adjust the distance between the shade elements to suit your needs. The closer you place the rafters one from another, the more shade you will create to the area. Use rafter ties to secure the rafters into place tightly.
Adding the braces
Build the braces for the pergola from 2×6 and 6×6 lumber. Make 45 degrees to both ends of the braces. In addition, use a jigsaw to make the decorative curved cuts.
Fit the braces to the pergola, as shown in the diagram. Take accurate measurements and then drill pilot holes. Insert 3 1/2″ screws to lock the braces to the frame of the pergola.
Fit the 1×2 trims to the top of the pergola. Center the slats to the top of the pergola and place them equally spaced. Drill pilot holes and insert 1 5/8″ screws to secure the slats into place tightly.
Last 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.
This 16×16 pergola is large enough for setting outdoor sofas, a coffee table or even for creating a serving area for dinner. You can even cover the pergola with abric so you create more shade during the hot summer days.
Building this 16×16 pergola is a great way to spice up the look of your property and to add rustic charm. This pergola is sturdy and it can be built in a week by two diy-ers. 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.
This woodworking project was about 16×16 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.
Thanks so much! will enjoy building at least one if not more from your pergola plans.
Good luck, James! Let me know how it comes out.
Thank you so much for these plans. I hope to build this soon.
You’re welcome. Good luck and let me know how it comes out.
Would using 2×8 material for the braces be sufficient to keep material for the framing consistent and not use the 6×6 for the bracing? Also it looks like in your material list you have 6×6 listed twice, but looking at the length spec it looks like one set should be 2×6 material?
Thanks for the plan and it looks like one will be in my backyard real soon,but scaled down a bit to 12×16′.
Yes, one set should be made from 2x6s. I have updated the list. You can use 2×8 for the braces, as well. You should check these plans as well: http://myoutdoorplans.com/pergola/12×16-pergola-plans/
Love the article, thank you so much for sharing.
If i was to add metal sheeting to the roof, would i need to add any more support or posts below to accommodate that load?
Im in Tennessee so the worst that could happen is an overnight snow storm where it would have to take some weight of the snow for 2 days 😀
You would need to give it a lean to slope. Structurally, I think this is sturdy enough to support the sheeting.
Great looking plan and was shooting for this winter if lumber prices go down. I am hearing nightmares of treated wood bowing, especially if not built immediately, on projects like this and of sagging issues on this type of span. That is discouraging me from building it yet I was so excited to do so. Can you offer any advise or guidance to a dress the bowing and sagging I have read of?