How To Build A Patio Arbor How To Build A Patio Arbor

What You'll Need
Cement foundation posts with brackets
4x4 posts
2x8 lengths of wood for on top
Brackets to attach 4x4 boards to the top of the frame
2x2 boards to go across the top for shade and for plant climbing
Paint supplies
Concrete and wheelbarrow or bucket to mix it in
Potting soil
Assorted plants and ivy

Install a patio arbor in your back yard to increase you outdoor living space and add some rustic greenery at the same time. This process is very similar to building a patio cover. Use your arbor as a support for your climbing ivy or flowering bushes. You will find that you have many choices of plants to complement your arbor.

Step 1 - Setting The Foundation

Set the foundation posts 8 to 10 feet apart for the length and width of your desired patio cover. A typical arbor does not exceed 10 by 10  feet.

Dig the hole for the base and place in the foundation tubes. Mix the concrete and fill to the top. Insert the mounting bracket for your posts. Ensure that the foundation is level from post to post, or else your shade will be uneven. Allow at least 48 horus of drying time before mounting the posts.

Step 2 - Attach The Posts

Use 5-inch bolts to attach your posts to your foundation brackets. You will need to pre-drill and use a washer and nut combo to securely attach the bolt.

Hang 2x8 lengths of wood on top of your foundation posts to form the frame for the 2x2 boards that will be spread across the top of the arbor. They will not really be hanging—they will be set on top of the front and back posts and attached with brackets. The 2x2 boards will rest on top of them.

Step 3 - The Shade

Have someone assist you during this step. The shade is going to be provided by laying out multiple 2x2 boards of the same length across the top. If you want them to be a bit more decorative, you can cut the ends into angles or points and adjust the length of the boards to make a design. The spacing can vary, but the easiest way to make sure that it is consistent is to use a 2-inch block of wood as a spacer between each fixed piece of lumber.

Screw in one 2x2 board at a time, working your way across. You can also use a bracket for each 2x2 piece of wood. These 2x2 boards will also serve as a climbing trellis for various plants.

Step 4 - Secure It

Brace the upper corners of your structure with 2x4 braces. You want to make sure that your patio shade stays in place for more than the next wind storm. The braces should be applied at an angle in order to support both sides of the corner. You can use bolts or screws. If you use bolts, be sure to make pre-drilled holes and attach securely with washers and nuts.

Step 5- Paint It

Choose either a good quality outdoor paint or a stain that is weatherproof. Check with your nursery to see if the paint will affect the growth or health of your plants. 

Cover the whole structure, filling in all gaps and crevices. If needed, sand the wood before painting or staining to make it smooth and even.

Step 6 - Planting

At each of the corners, plant a climbing plant of your choice. To make your arbor feel more cozy and private, plant bushes at 1 to 3 sides and let them climb up the walls.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!