How To Adjust A Pergola

What You'll Need
Vinyl, canvas, or some other suitable material to act as a cover
Rope or cord
Metal grommets
4 Boat tie-down cleats
8 Hooks
Electric drill
Piping (such as narrow PVC pipe)

Many pergola kits today come built to be adjustable. You can often change the width on all sides, as well as the height, and they usually have some sort of adjustable canopy for shade. For kits that do not come so equipped, or for the home made pergolas that you want to add shade to, here are a couple pergola ideas to make yours adjustable.  

Step 1- Cut Vinyl Or Canvas

Depending on how extensive you want your adjustments to be, you’ll need to measure and cut your canvas or vinyl. At least one piece sized to fit over the top, with a little excess if necessary to spill over the edges (depending on the design of your pergola). You’ll also need a piece cut for each side.

Step 2- Attach The Grommets To Top Piece

If your vinyl or canvas doesn’t already have grommets or at least holes in each corner, you will need to punch holes through, and place the grommets in each hole.

Step 3- Cut Rope

Cut 4 lengths of rope, tying each end off securely through each grommet. A square knot should be sufficient. Leave one end on each section of rope long enough to tie a loop on itself after attaching it to your vinyl or canvas.

Step 4- Attach Hooks

Use screws to attach your boat tie-down cleats to each of the posts, either vertically or horizontally.

Step 5- Tie And Loop The Rope

Tie your loops in each rope end, if you haven’t already, and loop them down around each tie-down cleat. You now have a removable top shade.

Step 6- Attach Grommets And Pipe to Sides

Place grommets in each corner of the side piece. Cut your piping to be 2 inches longer than the bottom of your side piece. With the bottom of the canvas stretched across the length of the pipe, line up the grommets evenly at both ends and drill holes straight through to the other side. Use short lengths of rope, passing through the grommets and the pipe, and tying knots in either side to hold the canvas to the piping.

Step 7- Attach Hooks To Posts

Use screws to place 8 hooks, 2 per post, all around the top outside of your pergola. Place them several inches lower than the tie-downs, so they don’t interfere with each  other.

Step 8- Attach Sides

Tie the top of the sides off with rope through the grommets. You can tie off directly to the top crossbeams and support beams, or attach more boat-tie down cleats. Be sure that the pipe at the bottom of the canvas is either on the inside for all of the, or the outside for all of them.

Congratulations, you know have adjustable, removable shading for your pergola. For the sides, simply role the bottoms up and place them on the hooks to open up your pergola.