Having a wall leaning or attached pergola it’s an easier way to add more area to your house, taking advantage of the existing structure of your house.
Since you will be taking as a base one side of the house, this decreases the materials needed to build it and helps the building process to be faster.
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Materials you may need:
- Club hammer
- Marking pegs
- Power drill
- Metal joist hangers
- Wall anchors
- Wooden rafters, posts, and beam (all treated)
- Dome-head galvanized screws with washers
- Locating screws
How to attach a pergola
First of all, you have to determine the location where the pergola will be. With this, you’ll able to locate the exact places where the freestanding posts will go so you can mark on the wall the places exactly opposite to them where the hangers for the attached structures will go too.
Ensure the places are the correct ones and screw holes on the marked positions with the power drill so you can insert the anchors into said holes.
With the help of these holes, you will screw the joist hangers that will secure the beams of the pergola on the wall and after doing this, you’ll proceed with the building process of the pergola as normal (erecting the posts that will support the beams and roof).
Next, place the rafters from wall to beam ensuring they fit into the joist hanger and then screw it there once you have made sure they are straight and level.
To make them more secure or if you don’t want to use joist hangers, you can attach the same kind of rafters to the wall so they can serve as support of the beams or cut notches on said rafters so you don’t need to screw the beams but just insert them in the rafters.
Another way to attach a pergola to your home is by using a ledger board that you can attach to your home’s wall. Use galvanized or stainless steel screws to attach it securely to the wall and then run the rafters from the ledger board to the beam on the other side that is supported by the posts placed as normal.
My experience with an attached pergola
In response to a recent set of survey questions, here are some more pictures of my old attached pergola to show you close up what you need to do:
Ignore the rust and spider webs please! These two rafters are secured to the ledger board with brackets. The brackets are nailed into the ledger board and then the rafters are set into the brackets and nailed in place.
From this angle you can see that the ledger board is a standard 2×4 – the length on mine happens to be 10 feet. The rafters come across in three lines of two each rather than there being a rafter every 2 inches or so. Less material cost and less shade is provided. The sun protection mostly comes from the thinner slats laid on top of the rafters. This design was chosen because the yard faces due east so only gets the morning sun and there are now some very tall mature trees in the back. The pergola at this point is more about looks because it frames the seating area quite nicely but there is not really a need for sun protection.
After the pergola was built, it was painted, hardware and all to match the white trim on the eaves of the house. It needs a fresh coat to be sure and also needs to have some nails replaced or pounded back in flush, but this is 20+ years old so it is really not bad at all! We do live in a low moisture, low wind part of the country so it hasn’t been under too much weather stress. However, this does show how even a very basic attached pergola most likely built for much less than $1,000 can last for a very very long time.
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If you’ve decided that you really want to add a pergola to your property, then your next step is to check out our Guide to Building a Pergola in One Weekend.