This step by step diy project is about 16×20 pergola plans. This is a large pergola with a roof size of 16’x20′. The posts are made from 6×6 lumber, the double support beams are made from 2×12 lumber and the shade elements are made from 2×8 lumber. Take a look over the rest of my woodworking plans, if you want to get more building inspiration. Premium Plans for this project available in the Shop.
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
16×20 Pergola Plans
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- A – 4 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 8′ long POSTS
- B – 4 piece of 2×12 lumber – 20′ long SUPPORT BEAMS
- C – 15 pieces of 2x8lumber – 16′ long SHADE ELEMENTS
- D – 4 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 46 1/4″ long, 4 pieces – 36″ long BRACES
- E – 46 pieces of 2×2 lumber – 10′ long SLATS
- 8 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 8′
- 4 pieces of 2×12 lumber – 20′
- 15 pieces of 2×8 lumber – 16′
- 46 pieces of 2×2 lumber – 10′
- 3 1/2″ screws
- 5 1/2″ screws
- tube form
- rafter ties
- 8 pieces of 9″ carriage bolt
- wood filler , wood glue, stain/paint
- 6×6 post anchor 4 pieces
- post to beam connector 8 pieces
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Hammer, Tape measure, Framing square, Level
Miter saw, Drill machinery, Screwdriver, Sander
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How to build a 16×20 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.
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.
Use 2×12 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.
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 2×8 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 1/2″ 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.
Use 6×6 lumber for the braces. Use a saw to make 45 degree cuts at both ends of the pieces.
Use a spirit level to plumb the posts and then fit the braces into place, as shown in the diagram. Drill pilot holes and insert 5 1/2″ screws to secure the braces into place tightly.
Fit the 2×2 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 3 1/2″ screws.
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 sturdy 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.
If you want to add charm and unique appeal to your garden, I recommend you to check out these plans. This 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. Premium Plans for this project available in the Shop.
This woodworking project was about 16×20 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 – great project! I am finalizing the assembly now, putting the shade elements in place. One comment on the dimension of the longer brace element. It is listed as 46 1/4 inch. It seems the right length should be a little shorter. I found 42 3/4 inch to be the right length.
I built my pergola on an existing concrete surface, so I had to use another technique for anchoring the posts. I went with a post bracket for 6×6 inch beams made by MiTek, readily available at Lowe’s. It can be attached to the concrete with a half-inch by four inches concrete bolt (Tapcon brand).
I painted my wood with a semi-transparent stain and seal in a shade called “Tugboat” to match a Yardistry pre-fabbed Gazebo I already had. Looks great! I look forward to many afternoons under my new pergola.
Thank you for the feedback. I glad to hear your projects went great. I can feel your excitement. I would love to see it your pergola, so feel free to share a few pics here: http://myoutdoorplans.com/contact/ so I can feature the project.
I’m having trouble finding 20’ boards for the support beams. Do you think strong tie connecting brackets connecting two smaller boards together will suffice or will that create a sag? Thanks!
Don’t do that, unless you add an extra post so the joint falls on it.
Just to confirm, 2x8x16′ are not likely to sag over time? other sources i have read say this is minimum (ie. 2×8).
thanks in advance!
Follow your local codes
Hi Ovidiu, I really like these plans and would like to build it. However my city requires stamped pergola plans, I’m not sure if these plans meet that requirement from what I can see on the website. I’m not sure if this a service this website provides or not. Any help on that would be appreciated.
Hi. I can’t help you with that.
Iam planning of doing a similar like these one but it’s 14×20 can I use 2x8x20 instead of 2×12 on the support beams and 2x6x14 for the shade elements instead of the 2×8?
You need to look at your local codes for that. Personally, I wouldn’t use that if it was my project.
I was looking to buy the premium 16′ x 20′ Pergola Plans. I can’t seem to find it on the premium site. Is it moved? Does it no longer exist?
Thank you in advance.
Good morning, really looking forward to starting this project as to limit the sun getting into the house. I want to
1. Modify our current wood deck with this pergola and use the uprights from these plans in place of the current deck uprights, would that be an issue?
2. I want to attach this to house as to give it a little more stability if I leave off the dove tail on the rear of the pergola plans and attach the cross member directly to the header of the house do you foresee any issues?
3. Lastly this would be going on a slope some some of the posts will be longer than others but obviously all level at the top of the pergola level do you have any suggestions or concerns for that?
I love browsing your website and all your plans thank you so much for sharing your expertise!