This step by step diy project is about 8×8 free standing pergola plans. This square pergola is perfect for any small garden since it creates enough shade for a table and a few chairs, so you can make the most of your backyard. The pergola has a 8×8 base and the roof area is 10×10. Take a look over the rest of my woodworking plans, if you want to get more building inspiration.
All my woodworking plans come with 3D diagrams and step by step instructions. In addition, the plans include full Cut and Shopping lists. Remember that you need to read the local codes before starting the project. It is your responsibility to make adjustments and suit the legal requirements.
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
8×8 Pergola Plans – PDF Download
Cut & Shopping Lists
How to build a 8×8 pergola
The first step of the pergola project is to layout the 6×6 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 see in the image, this pergola has a 8×8 base.
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 14″ 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. For this project, I will assume you will use post anchors, so if you set the posts into concrete, make sure you add 3′ to the posts size.
After setting the posts into place, check if they are level and user a circular saw to make corrections. Notice the temporarily braces that hold the posts plumb. Leave the braces into place until you finish the assembly of the pergola. The temporarily braces will give support to the structure.
Building the beams
Continue the project by making the base beams. Use 2×6 lumber for the beams. Mark the cut lines to the boards and get the job done with a circular saw. You can customize the decorative ends for the rafters to suit the design of your home.
Use a circular saw for the notches inside the rafters. Make parallel cuts inside the marked areas and remove the excess with a chisel. Clean the recess with sandpaper.
Fit the support beams to the posts, 5 1/2″ offset from the top, and use a spirit level to make sure they are perfectly horizontal. Clamp the beams to the posts and drill pilot holes. Insert 9″ carriage bolts to lock everything with attention. Use washers on both beams. Insert 2 bolts for each joint.
Attach the second tier of support beams, perpendicular to the other beams. Notice the 12″ overhangs to both ends of the beams. Drill pilot holes and insert 9″ carriage bolts. Use washers and nuts to lock the bolts tightly.
Use 6×6 lumber for the braces. Make 45 degree cuts to both ends of the braces. In addition, notice the curved cuts to the braces, that add a touch of style to the project. Mark the cut lines and get the job done with a jigsaw. Smooth the edges with sandpaper.
Attach the braces to the free standing pergola. Plumb the posts vertically and then attach the braces with 5 1/2″ screws. As you can see in the diagram, drill pilot holes and insert the screws through the braces into the posts. Also, insert the screws through the top support beams into the braces.
Fitting the rafters
Fit the 2×6 rafters to the top of the pergola frame, every 24″ on center. Place the rafters equally spaced, as shown in the diagram. Use rafter ties and 1 1/2″ structural screws to lock the rafters to the supports beams. Use one rafter tie at each end of the rafters.
Last but not least, attach the 2×2 slats to the top of the pergola. These slats will reinforce the rigidity of the structure and they will also determine the amount of shade your pergola has. More slats and you get more shade, less slats and you get less shade. Place 5 7/8″ spacers between the slats to create even gaps.
Drill pilot holes and insert 2 1/2″ screws to lock the slats to the rafters. Make sure you secure each slat with at least 3 screws to the rafters. Alternating the screws will accomplish a more rigid structure.
This pergola will be an excellent place to relax after a long day of hard work. You can play with the design so it reflects your personality, while following my step by step assembly instructions. For example you can change the height of the posts and thus make the pergola taller or shorter. Or you can change the design for the end rafter cuts.
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 designs and sizes you can choose from. In addition, I have over 1500 free woodworking plans on the blog, if you need more building inspiration. If you want to get Premium Plans for this project in a free-ad PDF file, with full Cut and Shopping lists included, as well as a Cut Layout Diagram (shows how to make the cuts so you get least waste) click the GET PDF PLANS button bellow.
This woodworking project was about 8×8 pergola plans. 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.