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DIY Side Yard Walkway Pergola

DIY side yard walkway pergola

This DIY side yard walkway pergola has been on our to-do list since we moved in several years ago. Our outdoor space really feels more complete and I am so excited to share with you!

A wooden pergola is a great addition to any outdoor space. It can provide shade, creates a focal point, and adds aesthetic value to your yard or garden. Building a wooden pergola is a DIY project that requires some basic carpentry skills and tools. In this guide, we will take you through the steps of building a wooden pergola from start to finish.

Last year I was honored to partner with The Home Depot to transform this walkway from a blah space, overcrowded with drooping roses, into a more inviting space with wow factor! It was a super duper cool experience! Now I’m sharing more of the backstory as well as the tutorial.

When we started the project I was very pregnant, then baby came early and we hadn’t finished! We were mostly done, but there was about 5% left. Plus, whenever we worked on the pergola it was raining. This wasn’t the normal Seattle drizzle, it was wild storm systems. There were a series of storms called ‘bomb cyclones’ that brought record-breaking floods. Drama of some sort always finds it’s way into our projects!

Anyway, let’s chat about the pergola.

Before photo of side yard and walkway

As you walk up our front stairs, the first thing you see is the pergola.

Not only would I like the path to be more clear, I would also like it to be a magical experience. I imagine that the former matriarch of the house chose these roses and would like to continue her legacy by making the roses a feature rather than a nuisance you have to fight to make your way to the back yard.

When we purchased our 1929 Tudor Revival home, the same family had lived in the residence since the 1960s. There was much work to be done, such as replacing knob and tube wiring, decaying cast iron plumbing, and more. In the last couple years we have turned more attention to the exterior.

The previous family had about a dozen rose bushes in different areas. We transplanted some to replace the bushes seen in the above photo, creating a sort of a rose alley.

Next step to improving this area? Build the pergola!

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Gathering Materials and Tools

DIY Side Yard Walkway Pergola materials

Before you start building, you will need to gather the following materials and tools:

  • Wood beams (4×4 or 6×6)
  • Wood boards (2×6 or 2×8)
  • Wood screws
  • Lag bolts
  • Post anchors
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Measuring tape

Not shown here, but later in the article are Loctite glue and Fence post anchors.

Wood List for DIY Side Yard Walkway Pergola

DIY Side Yard Walkway Pergola

The first step in building a wooden pergola is to plan and design it. Determine the size and shape of your pergola, and decide on the location. You will also need to determine the height of your posts and the size of the beams and boards.

KeyQuantityOrientationLength
1 3 Vertical4x4x8 post
26 Horizontal2x6x12 post
32 Horizontal2x4x12 post
412 Covers vertical posts1x4x8 cedar

Measure and check level.

DIY Side Yard Walkway Pergola check level

Measure the spacing of the posts and check that heights are level. You will do this throughout the project to ensure level heights.

Preparing the Posts

drive post support in ground

The next step is to prepare the posts. Start by digging holes for the post anchors. The holes should be at least two feet deep and about 8 inches in diameter. Set the post anchors into the holes and make sure they are level. Secure the posts to the anchors using lag bolts.

Set posts into post supports.

set posts into post supports

Next, install the beams by screwing them into the posts. Make sure the beams are level and spaced evenly apart.

Tamp posts into post supports.

tamp posts into post supports

Secure screws into post supports.

DIY Side Yard Walkway Pergola

Screw joist hanger to building.

screw joist hanger to building

If you are building a free standing pergola, this step won’t be necessary. Since our pergola is designed to attach to our house, we used joist hangers to hold the 2×6’s that stretch over the walkway and connect to the posts.

Use structural wood screws to connect 2×4’s to posts.

screwing posts together

Once the beams are in place, install the boards by screwing them into the beams. The boards will serve as the roof of your pergola.

Mill cedar fence posts to create facing around the posts.

saw wood for pergola

For a more finished look, we used cedar fence posts to cover the 4×4’s.

Apply Loctite glue to cedar boards.

glue cedar boards for pergola

Attach cedar to 4×4 posts.

glue cedar boards to pergola posts

Press glue to stick cedar boards to the 4×4.

Use 16-gauge nail gun to attach cedar facing.

DIY Side Yard Walkway Pergola

Once, the four sides of cedar boards are attached to the 4×4, nail them in place.

Note- the 2×4 boards were cut at a 45 degree angle.

Then you are done!

Pergola walkway in spring

Finally, you can add any finishing touches you desire. You can paint or stain your pergola to match your existing outdoor decor, or add climbing plants to create a natural canopy.

We still want to stain our pergola. As I type this, I wonder if it would have been easier to stain the wood before building…

On Instagram I have a video walking under the pergola during Christmas season. And I shared some of the in-process footage too.

And the tutorial is on the Home Depot site! Eeeeek pinch me!!! You can see it HERE. I feel like a proud DIY mama!!!

Pin DIY Side Yard Walkway Pergola

Building DIY pergola

Building a wooden pergola is a DIY project that can be completed in a weekend. With the right materials and tools, and a little bit of planning and effort, you can add a beautiful and functional feature to your outdoor space. Whether you use it for entertaining, relaxing, or just as a focal point, a wooden pergola is sure to enhance the look and feel of your yard or garden.

For more outdoor projects, make sure to check these out:

A picket fence up-cycle you don’t want to miss!

6 Tips to Prep Outdoor Spaces for Summer

Don’t toss your IKEA outdoor furniture just yet. Maybe the set can live another season with a fresh coat of stain.

Shop Supplies from DIY Side Yard Walkway Pergola and more

If you have a DIY-loving dude to shop for this Father’s Day, make sure to check out this:

Father’s Day Gift Guide

23 thoughts on “DIY Side Yard Walkway Pergola”

    1. Thanks Anita! You’re so sweet. I wish I could capture the torrential rains we encountered during this project ha ha. I guess all that rain makes for beautiful blooms! Have a great week!

  1. Denise/My Home of All Seasons

    What a great project. It looks absolutely beautiful! My side yard is a steep hill but I have pinned this because I know so many of my followers will love it!

  2. Pingback: Outdoor Fall Decorating: Tips for Staining a Pergola - This Dear Casa

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