DIY Projects

10×10 Pergola Plans

Author profile picture Written by Joseph Truini On May 2, 2024 • 6 min read

In this article, we are going to guide you through the process of building a beautiful 10×10 pergola that will enhance your outdoor living space. Our step-by-step plan is designed to help you construct a sturdy and attractive pergola, even if you have limited carpentry experience.

10’x10′ pergola shopping list
Main Frame Unit  Qty Size Note
Lumber (1/4 x 3 ) pcs 58 4′
Lumber (1 x 6 ) pcs 22 10′
Lumber (2 x 4 ) pcs 2 8′
Lumber (2 x 4 ) pcs 19 10′
Lumber (2 x 6 ) pcs 11 10′
Lumber (4 x 4 ) pcs 4 8′
Lumber (4 x 4 ) pcs 5 10′
Fasteners & Hardware Unit  Qty Size Note
Face-Mount Joist Hanger, 2×8 pcs 22
Wood screws (1″) pcs 150
Wood screws (2″) pcs 250
Wood screws (3″) pcs 160
Wood screws (5″) pcs 90
10’x10′ pergola cutting list
Main Frame Unit  Qty Size Note
Lumber (1/4 x 3 ) pcs 58 4′ Blind bar
Lumber (1 x 6 ) pcs 22 10′ Decking board
Lumber (2 x 4 ) pcs 2 7′-5 3/4″ Stud
Lumber (2 x 4 ) pcs 19 9′-5″ Top joist
Lumber (2 x 6 ) pcs 4 9′-5″ Rim joist
Lumber (2 x 6 ) pcs 7 9′-9″ Joist
Lumber (4 x 4 ) pcs 5 1′-8 1/2″ Stud
Lumber (4 x 4 ) pcs 4 8′ Stud
Lumber (4 x 4 ) pcs 4 10′ Top beam
Fasteners & Hardware Unit  Qty Size Note
Face-Mount Joist Hanger, 2×8 pcs 22
Wood screws (1″) pcs 150
Wood screws (2″) pcs 220
Wood screws (3″) pcs 120
Wood screws (5″) pcs 40

Step 1: Ground Works

1.1 Clear the area where you want to build the pergola, then measure and lay out the foundation, using the illustration shown below as a guide.

1.2 Dig nine holes, each measuring 1 ft. diameter x 1 ft. deep. Note that in cold-weather regions, you may need to dig down to the frostline; check with your local building department for specific requirements.

1.3 Treat the area with a herbicide to kill any weeds.

Preparing ground before building the pergola
Preparing ground before building the pergola

Step 2: Foundation Preparation

2.1 Using pressure-treated 4x4s, prepare studs using the drawing below as a reference. You will need four 4x4s cut to 9′-3″ and five 4x4s cut to 1′-8 1/2″.

2.2 Cut a 1 1⁄2 x 5 1⁄2 in. notch into each of the five shorter 4x4s to accept the 2×6 floor joists. When building the pergola uneven terrain, you’ll need to lengthen some of these shorter 4x4s to ensure they’re all level with one another. 

2.3 Stand the 4×4 studs into the holes, making sure each is perfectly plumb, and then fill the holes to ground level with concrete. Use a trowel to slope the top of the concrete away from each stud to drain away water. Let the concrete cure overnight.

Preparing the foundation before building the pergola
Preparing the foundation before building the pergola

Step 3: Assemble the Floor Frame

3.1 Cut the four perimeter rim joists from 2×6 pressure-treated lumber. Using the illustration below as a reference, cut four 2x6s to 9′-5″.

3.2 Secure the perimeter joists to the tall corner studs with metal joist hangers and 2″ screws. Attach the joists to the shorter, notched posts with 2 ½-in.screws

Assembling the floor frame for the pergola
Assembling the floor frame for the pergola

Step 4: Assemble the Top Beams

4.1 Cut the four top beams from pressure-treated 4×4s, making each one 10 ft. long. Next, cut 1 ¾-in.-deep x 3 ½-in.-wide half-lap joints into both ends of each beam. Set the beams on top of the four corner studs, making sure the half-lap joints are fitted tightly together. 

4.2 Connect the beams to the corner studs with 5″ screws.

4.3 Be sure to use a framing square to confirm the beam corners are 90°.

Assembling the top beams of the pergola
Assembling the top beams of the pergola

Step 5: Framing the Pergola's Floor

5.1 Assemble the floor frame using pressure-treated 2×6s. You will need seven floor joists cut to 9′-9″.

5.2 Secure the ends of the floor joists to the perimeter rim joists boards with metal joist hangers and 1 ½ in. screws. Fasten the floor joists to the notched studs with 2 ½ in. screws.

5.3 Again, use a framing square to ensure the corners form a 90° angle.

Framing the Pergola's floor
Framing the Pergola's floor

Step 6: Install the Deck Floor

6.1 Make the floor of the pergola out of pressure-treated 1×6 decking boards, as illustrated below. Cut 22 deck boards to 10′ long. Where necessary, notch the ends of the deck boards to fit around the corner studs. 

6.2 Secure the decking to the floor joists with 2″ screws.

Installing the pergola's deck floor
Installing the pergola's deck floor

Step 7: Assemble the Back Wall Frame

7.1 Using 2 x 4 pressure-treated lumber, cut one stud to 7′-5 3/4″ long, as shown below. 

7.2 Then, cut twenty-nine 1/4 x 3 in. boards to 4′ long each to create the angled louvers. To install the louvers, use a router fitted with a ¼-in.-dia. straight bit to rout a series of 1/4″ deep x 3 ½ in. long angled slots into the sides of the 2×4 stud and 4×4 corner stud. Use a clamped-in-place guide, set at 60 degrees, to create the angled slots. 

7.3 Attach the 2×4 stud with 3″ wood screws, making sure it’s perfectly plumb. Slide the louvers into the angled slots.

Assembling the back wall frame of the pergola
Assembling the back wall frame of the pergola

Step 8: Assemble the Left Wall Frame

8.1 Repeat the process in Step 7 to make one 2×4 stud and 29 louvers for the left side of the pergola. 

8.2 Again, cut the 4-ft.-long louvers from 1/4 x 3 boards, and set them in angled slots routed into the 2×4 stud and 4×4 corner stud.

Assembling the left wall frame of the pergola
Assembling the left wall frame of the pergola

Step 9: Assemble the Overhead Beams

9.1 The top of the pergola is crowned with 19 overhead beams cut from pressure-treated 2×4s. Cut each beam to 9′-5″ and fasten them with 6-in. structural screws driven through the 4×4 top beams and into the ends of each overhead beam.

Assembling the top joists of the pergola
Assembling the top joists of the pergola

Step 10: Thank You

Now that your pergola is all done, you are ready to decorate it any way you want using your favorite paint, stain, or clear wood preservative.

Preserving the pergola with paint or stain
Preserving the pergola with paint or stain