How to cover a pergola

Updated April 17, 2017

A pergola is generally a wooden structure placed outside as a functional decoration for your landscape. Pergolas do not contain solid roofs, which makes them unreliable as a form of shelter during outdoor activities or gatherings when it is raining. With some inexpensive vinyl fabric, you can create a reliable waterproof covering for your pergola so you can enjoy any outdoor activity in the sun or rain.

Measure the length and width of the pergola top. Cut vinyl fabric to 60 cm (24 inches) wider and 60 cm (24 inches) longer than the measured length and width.

Cut a 30 cm (12 inch) diagonal line toward the centre at each of the four corners. This will allow the corners to fit over the pergola without creating a thick group of fabric.

Line the tops of the wood on the pergola with clear silicone caulking. Apply an excess amount along each wood board to create a waterproof seal that is necessary once the fabric is placed.

Place the vinyl fabric over the pergola, lining up the ends points of the 30 cm (12 inches) diagonal cuts with the top corners of the pergola. Press vinyl fabric down over each board to adhere it with the silicone caulking.

Staple along the tops of each wood board every 30 cm (12 inches) to create a reliable and secure hold on the fabric.

Fold the 30 cm (12 inches) border on each side down over the sides of the pergola roof and staple the hang over along the bottom of the side boards every 30 cm (12 inches). The slit in the corners will allow the corners to stick out slightly.

Line the corners of the vinyl fabric with clear silicone caulking. This will create a waterproof seal to hold the fabric in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Vinyl fabric
  • Chalk line
  • Marker
  • Utility knife
  • Stapler
  • Clear silicone caulking
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About the Author

Nicole Byerly has been writing since 2003. She has published multiple works that have appeared in "Campus Philly." Byerly is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in cybersecurity at Utica College.