This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot. I am so thrilled to have this opportunity to work with The Home Depot and receive product to enhance our backyard, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Pergola Project at

I have wanted to build a pergola since I bought my first house, right out of college, at age 23.  I am now 31 and on house number 4!  I guess good things do come to those who wait!  {wink}  I am bursting at the seams with excitement, because I get to share with you my pergola journey!  This project has been long awaited and I hope it will inspire you to decide to make YOUR backyard dreams come true…sooner than later!

What is a pergola you ask?  This right here:

Pergola THD(Image via The Home Depot)

A pergola is a structure usually consisting of parallel colonnades supporting an open roof of girders and cross rafters.  The designs are endless.  What will mine look like?  Well…I guess we need to plan that don’t we?  Let’s #DigIn!

The Pergola Project

Things to Keep in Mind while Planning a Pergola:

1.  Check for utility lines in your yard.  This is the most important step and it is why I put I first in my list.  Get an idea of where you want to place the pergola and then notify your utility companies to have them come mark your yard.  What happens if you spend 17 hours finding the perfect location…only to find out there is a gas line under ground at that exact spot?!?  I’m pretty sure I could tell you how that scenario would go…not good!

  • It’s so easy to do.  For me, I just googled the words “Call before you dig + MO” and I was directed to a phone number and website.  I went to the site and submitted some simple information and that opened a ticket for me and alerted ALL of my utility companies.  I marked the areas where I was digging with white paint and/or stakes.IMG_7057A representative from the utility companies came out and marked my yard for me.  This is so important and they couldn’t make it any easier for you so please don’t omit this step.  Be sure to call 3 business days before you dig to give enough time for them to come mark.

Building a Pergola - The Home Depot

Call before you Dig - Pergola Project

You will also want to check with your subdivision guidelines and county rules on building and obtain any permits that are needed for your area.

2.  Find a location.  Now that I know we are utility free in the general area of where we want our pergola, we can work on location!  We have a great paver patio in my backyard and then some landscaping from the previous owners.  This landscaping area is full of rose bushes.  Beautiful…YES!  Practical for a house with two small boys and dog…NO!  The area also has this extra little pad of paved section off the main patio.  It’s kind of random in placement I am thinking maybe they had their grill there?  I want to place the pergola over the landscaping area with plans to extend the paver patio out under the pergola, increasing our outdoor living space!

Finding a Location for your Pergola

We have lived in this house for a year and now that we understand the flow of the yard we know better what we expect out of it!  We think this location will be perfect.  The patio is in front of it and then we will remove the trees behind my dog and open that up to the kids’ playground. So we can sit and enjoy company while also enjoying the small people’s summer fun laughter in the yard!

3.  Figure out the appropriate size of Pergola to build.  For me this was harder than I thought.  It’s really hard to envision what 10’x10’x 8’ will look like.  You also have to remember that the finished dimensions are of the cross beams on the top.  So they overhang the posts about a foot on each side so your posts will actually be placed 8 feet apart.  So we spent some time making sure the posts would be in the correct spots and that the pergola would be located correctly.  We also kept in mind the sizes that boards come in.  We didn’t want to plan a pergola with hard to find dimensions of lumber.

Some tools to help you visualize:

  • Use some vegetable stakes to mark where the posts would sit.
  • Use rope/twine or even spray paint if you can to mark the outer dimensions of the cross beams to help visualize the space
  • Or in my case…make your kids stand in the spot and pretend they are the posts and keep making them move around as you change your mind on location :)  hehe…they did not like this much!  We reverted to option 1 of some veggie stakes!

4.  Choose a design.  A design you ask?  “Why would I need a design?  Aren’t they all the same?”  Well I have an simple answer for you: google image the word pergola.  Yep…Lots of designs.  I am a “less is more” kind of gal so I really liked this one and I based my plans off of this design.  I will add some corner support beams for visual appeal!

(Image via The DIY Network)

Here is our rough sketch of what is in our heads!  {notice I say rough…and by rough, I mean I can’t draw 3D…hopefully my high school art teacher is not reading this!}

Pergola Plans

5.  Make your shopping list.  We had a bit of help from Home Depot’s Blog: The Apron and we then tailored our list to our specific dimensions and design.   I wanted the cross beams on the top to be 2 x 6’s rather than 2 x 4’s because I wanted it to look a bit more “grand”.  :)

6.  Head to The Home Depot to get your supplies.  I hope you will check back in with me to see how my shopping experience went at The Home Depot and to see what we are doing to prepare, so build day goes as smooth as possible!    In true Cheryl fashion there was hugging, a wee bit of eye rolling and a super awesome sales associate that I may or may not have totally freaked out!  It’s fun all around!  So make sure to check back to see how that goes!

If you think you will want to build a pergola one day…be sure to pin this so you have it handy when you are ready to make your dreams come true!

pergola project pin it 1

If you are itching to get your outdoor space spruced up…be sure to give my post on the Home Depot Garden Club a look!  With over $300 in can’t go wrong!  I plan on using some of these fabulous garden ideas to get this pergola looking tip top shape for the summer!  Check out The Home Depot below:

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It’s home improvement time, and The Home Depot has everything you need to #DigIn for Spring. No matter what projects you want to tackle, they have great values on all you need. They’re ready to help you with renovation ideas and expert advice, too.

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot.

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