Simple Modern DIY Deck Pergola Plans

Follow these simple DIY deck pergola plans to build your own easy wood pergola to hang lights or planters. This modern design is easy to install, simple to customize to your deck size, and cheap to build. 

We’ve also restained our deck with oil and built an outdoor coffee table with drink coolers to make our deck the perfect summer oasis.

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How to Install an Easy DIY Pergola

Guess what time it is… (well almost is) Father’s Day!

Happy (almost) Father’s Day! 

This year for Father’s Day we are working with Ace Hardware to share an amazing project that will house a little special something… This beauty: A Traeger Pro Series 22 Convection Wood Pellet Grill.

P.S. Ace has a Father’s Day sale from June 7 to the 19th – Where you can get a $50 Ace gift card plus $100 off your purchase when you buy the above mentioned Traeger pro-series grill.  Ace has all the best brands to impress Dad this Father’s Day, whether you’re shopping for gifts, or getting your outdoor space ready for Father’s Day entertaining, just like we’ve been doing!

P.P.S. Use the code REMODELAHOLIC they get $10 off a $100 purchase or $15 off a $150 purchase 🙂  Just go to to use the discount code.Modern Deck Pergola @Remodelaholic 30

Are those tears rolling down my cheek?

Yes!  Tears of smoked barbecue joy!

But this beauty needed a home, fit for a queen.  My wife and I have been thinking of projects for the deck – our favorite “room” in our house.  One thing we’ve wanted to do is to create a modern pergola.

So, we began with this project we are sharing with you today.  It’s the perfect time of year to get out and clean up the deck for living outside.  We are doing this simple design to frame a sitting and cooking area on our existing deck.  It will also provide a means for hanging lights and flower baskets to make it more attractive and functional at the same time.

Best part?  Ace is are currently having a sale where you can get all the tools you need for this awesome outdoor project.

Here is what the deck looked like before.  We love this deck, but since we have a decent size yard, we really wanted to define deck space, and create a couple outdoor rooms.

Oh, and please forgive the shape of our wood stain, we have had THE WORST LUCK EVER with deck stain…. (this was put on last July and it already looks this bad….)  We are thinking of moving on from stain to oil, but that means we have to sand this baby down to nothing, and we just haven’t have the energy or the time to even think about it. Update: we finally made some time to refinish the deck with oil and it is so much better! See it here.

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Modern DIY Pergola Plans

To see how to build this simple modern DIY pergola, download the printable woodworking plans here. 

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The printable DIY pergola plans show the dimensions for the size of my deck.  My finished pergola was 93 1/2″ W x 116 3/4″ L x 9′ H.

Measure your space and adjust accordingly. You can make yours a full square as well — because of our house’s electrical power input we couldn’t have a back board.

To start off we need the following tools:

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(total cost was around $500)

How to Attach a DIY Pergola to a Wood Deck

We used post base brackets, spray painted black and screwed in place with 5/16” x 2 1/2″ hex bolts.  

Be sure to pre-drill with a slightly smaller drill bit, to avoid cracking the deck.  Use a washer and a lock nut to hold bracket to the deck.  

Be sure not to fully tighten.  You will be doing this after the posts are made and standing level in place.

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How to Build Your Own Redwood Posts for a Pergola

Rather than purchasing premade posts, we used 3 2×8 redwood boards together to create our own pergola posts. This reduces the cost of the pergola and also makes it easier to install yourself, since those thick redwood posts get really really heavy!

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 If the 2x8s are slightly bowed,  you can still use these on the DIY pergola posts. After the posts are screwed together they will straighten up nicely.  (I saved the straightest ones for the top beams.)

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The printable DIY pergola plans show the dimensions and locations to cut notches to hold the beams.

If your boards are bowed in the middle and not lining up, then clamp the middle to align the three boards, then screw them together.  The screws will hold it together then you can remove the clamps.

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How to Stain a DIY Pergola

Stain all the faces and edges of the post pieces with one coat of stain before assembling.  This will protect the insides of the boards after they are screwed together.  

Stain all sides and ends of the beams after they are cut to length.



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After the whole pergola was assembled, I went through and stained it one last time.  

There you have it!  A really simple modern deck pergola.

Download the printable DIY pergola plans here. 

Our girls were super excited when it was done, even the cat.

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Now it’s time to BBQ with our new Traeger smoker.  I’m so hungry just thinking about it.  I think it will be a good tool for making new friends as well – BBQ at our house!!

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The best part?  With the lights strung up it looks awesome at night!

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It really turned out better than expected.  It looks good from all angles around the yard and especially from inside the house.
I think that we might even add more over the deck at some point in the future, because we love it so much.

What do you think?  

Head on over to your local Ace Hardware and start building yours today!  Why wait!

Don’t forget: Go to to use the code REMODELAHOLIC they get $10 off a $100 purchase or $15 off a $150 purchase 🙂

This post is sponsored by Ace Hardware. All thoughts and opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Ace Hardware.

Download the printable DIY pergola plans here. 

You might also like these other DIY pergolas:


How To Build An Modern Deck Pergola For Summer Outdoor Lighting And Hanging Planters @Remodelaholic

Published June 8 2017 // Updated March 26 2020

Website | + posts

I am the husband of the amazing Cassity of Remodelaholic. I love to problem solve and to design and build things inside and outside the house to make life better. I am a professional Landscape Architect by trade and love the outdoors.

We love hearing from fellow Remodelaholics, so let us know what you like about this and leave any questions below in the comments. If you've followed a tutorial or been inspired by something you've seen here, we'd love to see pictures! Submit pictures here or by messaging us over on Facebook.

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  1. Did you have any issues with keeping this code-compliant – I’m concerned about the posts being built from 2×8’s glued/screwed together rather than a solid 6×6 or 8×8?

    Also, we had to do the same with our deck (even worse: previous owners used Rustoleum Restore, so the whole thing had to be stripped, then sanded, then stripped again. Never doing that again.). We’re happy with Armstrong-Clark stain, which is oil-based. It looks pretty decent even after 4 summers and no maintenance.

  2. Love it. Great tutorial. Im wondering if the minimalist look of this gives you the same ambiance a pergola with more structure in the roof does. Does it feel like when you’re in a covered space or more like a defined space with decoration? Hoping you understand my question. Hard to explain!