How to Build a Metal Pergola

What You'll Need
Metal lengths
OR scrap metal
Tape Measure

If you want to build a pergola in your garden, then you can use materials of any variety, and one option is to create a metal pergola. These can add an interesting touch to a garden, as most metals will change color when exposed to the elements. Watching your pergola change color can be an eye-catching display, and will keep people talking for a long time after installation. If you choose, you could make your metal pergola from reclaimed scrap, allowing you to add an attractive feature without doing any harm to the environment.

Step 1 - Mark Out the Area

Begin by marking out the area where you will be putting the pergola. Measure out the area, and then place a stake at the beginning. Tie a piece of string to the stake, and mark off the correct distance, before adding another stake and looping the string around the corner. Repeat this for all of the sides of your pergola. The most common design is a simple rectangle shape, although you could choose to have a round one, or any other shape you choose. You may also opt for different positions for your pergola, from attached to the house, to one which is at the bottom of your garden.

Step 2 - Dig the Area

If you want to add a feature such as a patio or wooden decking to the floor of your pergola, then you will need to dig out this area before you start installing the posts. The floor can be laid directly into the garden, or you might choose to have a concrete foundation for your pergola. On the other hand, you may choose to place it around an existing feature, in which case you need only add small holes for your posts. There should be holes in parallel along the longest sides of your rectangle.

Step 3 - Add Posts

Select several pieces of metal which are a similar length. Choose around eight or ten pieces which are suitably straight. Cut them to the same size using your hacksaw, and then drill holes in one end. This end will be the upper part of the posts, so place all of your metal lengths down with the holes at the same end. Take your first post, and place it into the hole you have dug. Add a layer of stones, and then replace the earth on top, until you have a small mound holding your post firmly into place. Repeat for all of the other lengths.

Step 4 - Add the Top

Take five or six pieces, and cut them down to the distance between each of the pairs of posts you have installed. Drill holes at either end of the pieces. Begin at the middle and work outwards, by screwing the lengths onto the holes in the tops of the posts. Repeat for each of the pairs of posts that you have. You can now add climbing plants to the base of your pergola.