6 Garage Pergola Design Tips

  • 3-30 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-500

A garage pergola can add architectural detail and provide another exciting focal point element to your home. With these tips, you will be on your way to creating another beautiful detail element to your home.

1. Time of Year

Plan to build your garage pergola in the fall. Completing this project in the fall will ensure you can enjoy the results when spring arrives. An empty pergola is a beautiful architectural element, but when the flowering vines appear, it becomes an even more stunning and appealing design component.

2. Pergola Design

garage pergola

There are many designs from which to choose for your pergola. Choose or create a design that complements the existing architecture of your house. Keep the lines clean and the overall design compact and simple for an eye-catching soothing look.

3. Materials

Once you've decided on a design for your garage pergola, it's time to decide on the construction materials. Western Red Cedar is a good choice for its lightweight and strong weather resistance. This type of cedar is also very strong and requires minimal bracing. A pair of 2x4 braces can easily support a pergola above an eight-foot garage door opening.

Pressure treated lumber is also recommended since the pergola will be outdoors and exposed to the elements and insects.

4. Construction

The actual construction of the garage pergola is just as crucial as any other construction project in your home. Follow all local building codes and requirements.

When installing the pergola supports, be sure to use strong lag bolts screwed directly into the wall of the garage. Do not just screw into the fascia board.

5. Finished or Unfinished

Deciding on a finish for your garage pergola is a matter of design preference but there are some reasons for each of the different styles of finish.

Painted - A painted pergola is the most protected from weathering by the elements. Paint will hide most if not all of the wood's natural characteristics. 100% acrylic paints are recommended due to their flexibility and ability to handle the stretching and flexing of the wood.

Stained - Wood staining will also hide some of the wood's characteristics but allows just enough of the wood grain to show through. Apply a stain-blocking primer to the bare wood first and then follow up with a 100% acrylic stain.

Natural Finishes - Water repelling products can be applied to your wood pergola to help reduce the absorption of water into the wood. Additional protection can be attained by adding a fungicide to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.

6. Finishing Touches

grapes growing across the top of a pergola

Some additions to your garage pergola could include hanging potted plants from the braces or adding a climbing trellis on either side of the garage door. Climbing vines reaching up from the trellises to cascade across the pergola in a splash of color would create a wonderful attention getting element to complete one of the last projects on your home improvement to-do list.