How to Build a PVC Pergola How to Build a PVC Pergola

What You'll Need
1x120-inch PVC pipe pieces (13)
1.5-inch PVC 3 way fittings (4)
1.5inch PVC 45° fittings (10)
1.5-inch PVC caps (20)
PVC cement
3/8x 3.5-inch carriage bolts with nuts
Hack saw
Drill
3/8-inch drill bit

Pipe fitting is not just for plumbers, you can use this craft to build a PVC pergola. Pergolas can serve as a patio cover, a garden trellis, shade for a walkway or just a lawn decoration. A pergola has pillars and beams arranged to give the impression of being covered, yet with no ceiling. The word sounds like pagoda, and it is quite similar to an oriental structure. Pagoda, though, generally refers to a tower built as a shrine. Your PVC pergola can be a shrine to your own craftsmanship.

Step 1 - Selecting a Design

A pergola can be arched and ornate. It can be simple and elegant. Pergolas might be built from bamboo or oak; they might be mortar or iron. A PVC pergola may be any shape that can be made from elbows and fittings, angled and straight. The easiest choice might have decorative rafters made from lengths of PVC pipe with an angle at each end. You can select a size that will use standard lengths and have the least amount of waste.

Step 2 - Shaping the PVC

You’ll find the work tedious, but this design will require minimal cutting. PVC requires no complicated equipment. It can be cut with a simple hacksaw. Trim 6 of the 10-foot pieces to 8-feet. Lay 2 10-foot lengths parallel with the 2 8-foot lengths between them forming the top frame. Put four more 8-foot pieces in each corner for pillars. Five 10-foot pieces will be spaced across the top with a 45° angle.

Pipe fitting is not just for plumbers, you can use this craft to build a PVC pergola. Pergolas can serve as a patio cover, a garden trellis, shade for a walkway or just a lawn decoration. A pergola has pillars and beams arranged to give the impression of being covered, yet with no ceiling. The word sounds like pagoda, and it is quite similar to an oriental structure. Pagoda, though, generally refers to a tower built as a shrine. Your PVC pergola can be a shrine to your own craftsmanship.

Step 1 - Selecting a Design

A pergola can be arched and ornate. It can be simple and elegant. Pergolas might be built from bamboo or oak; they might be mortar or iron. A PVC pergola may be any shape that can be made from elbows and fittings, angled and straight. The easiest choice might have decorative rafters made from lengths of PVC pipe with an angle at each end. You can select a size that will use standard lengths and have the least amount of waste.

Step 2 - Shaping the PVC

You’ll find the work tedious, but this design will require minimal cutting. PVC requires no complicated equipment. It can be cut with a simple hacksaw. Trim six of the 10-foot pieces to 8 feet. Lay two 10-foot lengths parallel with the two 8-foot lengths between them forming the top frame. Put four more 8-foot pieces in each corner for pillars. Five 10-foot pieces will be spaced across the top with a 45° fitting and cap at each end. Place those in order ready to be assembled.

Step 3 - Fitting the Joints

With PVC cement, coat the ends of the pieces and inside of the fittings, assembling the top frame with 3-way fittings at each corner and the pillars in the lower position. This is the upright frame of the pergola. Fasten the five rafters with the 45° fitting pointing up and cap on each end. Let all joints dry for 30 minutes or so, then turn the structure on its side.

Step 4 - Erecting the Structure

Drill 3/8-inch holes through the 10-foot span of the frame to affix the rafters. The holes on the outside rails should be 1 foot from the end. The others will be spaced along the span at 2.5-feet, 5-feet and 7.5-feet. Bore matching holes on the rafters leaving one foot of overhang at each end. The holes should be 1-foot from the end with the 45° fitting pointing upward. Before boring, verify that the rafters match the holes in the top rails. After drilling holes, attach the five rafters to the frame with the 3/8-inch carriage bolts and nuts with the bolt heads on top of the rafters. Stand your PVC pergola on its pillars. Fit and cap at each end. Place those in order ready to be assembled.

Step 3 - Fitting the Joints

With PVC cement, coat the ends of the pieces and inside of the fittings, assembling the top frame with 3-way fittings at each corner and the pillars in the lower position. This is the upright frame of the pergola. Fasten the five rafters with the 45-degree fitting pointing up and cap on each end. Let all joints dry for 30 minutes or so, then turn the structure on its side.

Step 4 - Erecting the Structure

Drill 3/8-inch holes through the 10-foot span of the frame to affix the rafters. The holes on the outside rails should be 1 foot from the end. The others will be spaced along the span at 2.5-feet, 5-feet and 7.5-feet. Bore matching holes on the rafters leaving one foot of overhang at each end. The holes should be 1 foot from the end with the 45° fitting pointing upward. Before boring, verify that the rafters match the holes in the top rails. After drilling holes, attach the five rafters to the frame with the 3/8-inch carriage bolts and nuts with the bolt heads on top of the rafters. Stand your PVC pergola on its pillars.

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