How to build a steel pergola

Written by janos gal
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How to build a steel pergola
Steel pergolas give shade in hot summer days (pergola image by Unclesam from

Pergolas are the perfect solution to hide away from the sun or to link two parts of your garden with a "plant tunnel." Steel pergolas come in many shapes and forms such as wood, brick or metal tubes. You can put chairs underneath or hang a swing from the top beams to make it the ideal playground for kids. The pergola frames are generally used to run climbing plants onto them, providing shade on hot summer days.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 80-foot-long square tube, 2-by-2-inch girth
  • Angle grinder
  • Protective goggles
  • Sander
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Wire brush
  • Ladder
  • Welder
  • Welding goggles
  • Shovel
  • Spade
  • Concrete mixture
  • Water
  • Paint brush
  • Paint
  • Face mask

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  1. 1

    Cut the square tubes using the angle grinder. Wear protective goggles to avoid debris flying into your eyes. Cut four 10-foot-long pieces, two 8-foot-long pieces and four 6-foot-long pieces.

  2. 2

    Sand the metal tubes, using the 100-grit sandpaper and the sander, to remove any rust and dust.

  3. 3

    Weld two pieces of 10-foot-long metal tubes together with one 8-foot-long metal bar. Get a big "C" shape with the 10-foot-long metal tubes comprising the legs of the pergola. Make two of these frames.

  4. 4

    Dig four holes in the ground, each 2 feet deep, using the shovel and spade. Dig the first two holes 10 feet apart. Dig the third and fourth holes 4 feet to the north or the south of the first two holes. The holes must be equidistant from each other, forming a rectangle. You will put the legs of the pergola inside them.

  5. 5

    Mix the concrete mixture with the water and pour it into the holes. Place the two C-frames inside the concrete. They must be levelled so that the top beams are perfectly horizontal and parallel. Wait one day for the concrete to dry.

  6. 6

    Climb up the ladder and place the 6-foot-long metal tubes over the top beams, each 2 feet from each other. Let 1 foot from the metal bars hang over each side of the C-frames. Weld the 6-foot-long metal tubes onto the C-frames.

  7. 7

    Brush the pergola with a wire brush. Paint it a colour of your choice. Use a face mask when painting.

Tips and warnings

  • If your garden is smaller, change the measurements accordingly so that the pergola fits into your garden as well.
  • Ask a friend to hold the ladder when you are welding the top beams so you don't fall over accidentally. Use a face mask when painting as the chemicals may harm your lungs. Wear goggles when sanding or cutting the metal tubes.

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