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How to build an arbor on an uneven surface

Updated February 21, 2017

An arbor is a lovely addition to any yard or garden. It gives an element of height, while providing a place for your climbing plants to do their thing. Arbors are typically installed on flat ground, but they can work on a slope, as well.

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  1. Choose an arbor plan or purchase a pre-made arbor. You will notice all the legs are the same length. If you have a slope in the location you intend to install the arbor, you will need to lengthen one set of legs.

  2. Choose longer boards for the legs on the downslope side if you are building your arbor from plans. If your hardware store does not carry longer lumber, or if you have a premade arbor, go to the next step.

  3. Determine the ground sloping by holding your level against the ground where the higher set of arbor legs will go. Measure the distance from the level to the ground where the lower set of arbor legs will go. This is the length that the arbor legs must be extended on one side.

  4. Cut the 4-by-4 post (or 2-by-4 if that is the type of lumber your arbor legs are made from) the same length as the slope's drop you measured in Step 3.

  5. Use the brackets and wood screws to attach the 4-by-4 extensions to your existing arbor legs.

  6. Paint your extensions the same colour as the rest of your arbor.

  7. Install the arbor as you would on a flat surface.

  8. Tip

    The brackets for this project are of the type typically used in home or deck construction.

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Things You'll Need

  • Arbor plans or prefabricated arbor
  • Post hole digger or shovel
  • 4-by-4 post rated for ground contact
  • Large bolts or wood screws
  • Brackets to attach the 4-by-4 post to another 4-by-4 post end to end
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Paint

About the Author

Shelley Kishpaugh has written numerous articles for Demand Studios and Helium on a wide variety of topics, and she is currently writing a children's book. Kishpaugh received a B.S. in psychology from the University of Colorado and has been writing professionally since 2007.

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