Installing a pergola is a great way to enhance any backyard!

My main goal was to make this pergola as sturdy as possible. It needed to be able to withstand the elements, as well as the day to day use. 

The first step to this goal was burying the posts. In Ohio, posts need to buried 36 inches deep, and should have a bag of concrete poured down to help increase stability. This is below the frostline, and will prevent heaving from occurring during freezing and thawing. 

The second step is to cut all of the posts to height, and use lags to connect my 14 foot support beams. I used 4 inch SPAX Power Lags. These lags are stronger, and easier to install than conventional lags. 

After installing all of my main support beams with lags, the hardest part was done! The next step was to add the middle cross section. When I installed these, I evenly spaced all of the boards out, and toe-nailed 8 screws into each one to hold it in place. After that, for added stability, I evenly spaced 2×4’s on their side for the very top. 

The final step was to fill the inside with river rock, and install a hammock.