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Lawn & Garden


Build a Pergola with Columns from Start to Faux Finish!

This pergola has unique posts – they are fluted fiberglass columns that have been installed over 4”x4” posts and faux painted to coordinate with the patio dining set.  This project is designed for those with some experience in working on large projects and is best completed as a team project.  The finished exterior dimensions are 12’x12’ and interior dimensions are 10’x10’.


This design was our own creation.  The columns, caps, and bases are available through our Special Order Program and all other materials were available in the store.  Pergola kits are available online.  Contact your local store for more information about available products and to determine if installation is available in your area.


The following instructions are given only as a guideline.  We cannot guarantee your results (they may be even better than ours!).  This presentation shows the basic steps involved and abilities required to build a pergola from start to faux finish.  Best wishes on your outdoor projects!



Project Supplies:


RoundFlutedPCast_s.jpg    round_tuscan_cap.jpg    round_tuscan_base.jpg         


4 of 8” x 8’ HB&G Round Fluted PermaCast Columns

4of Tuscan Round Cap (includes flashing and installation kit with hardware)

4of Tuscan Round Base (includes flashing and installation kit with hardware)

4 of 4”x4”x10’ Posts to go inside the column and provide support for the pergola top (we used pressure treated lumber)

19 of 2”x6”x12’ for Pergola Beams – 4 for the base layer + 4 for the middle layer + 11 for the top (we used pressure treated lumber)

16 of 8” Bolts (galvanized or weatherproofed – do not use zinc outside)

16 of Hex Nuts for 8” bolts (galvanized or weatherproofed – do not use zinc outside)

32 of Washers for 8” bolts (galvanized or weatherproofed – do not use zinc outside)

1 of ¾” Plywood Sheet (we used 2’x4’ sheet)

4 of 1”x4”x10’ (for ground crossbars)

Wood screws (5/8”, 2”, and 2-1/2” - use galvanized  or weatherproofed - do not zinc outside)

Construction Adhesive

Minwax Dark Walnut Exterior Stain

Minwax Polyurethane Clear Semi-Gloss

Latex Primer

Behr Premium Plus Pure Black Hi-gloss Enamel

Steel Wool Fine “0000”

Martha Stewart Living Precious Metals Specialty Finish in Ground Coffee

Behr Low Lustre Sealer (Interior/Exterior)




Tools Required:


Drill (9/16)


Tape Measure

Socket Set


Paint Brush

Soft Lint-Free Terry Towels

Diaper Wipes

Experienced Friends

A lot of Patience!



1.       Wipe all 4 columns with a damp lint-free towel and allow to dry. 


2.       Trace an edge treatment pattern onto both ends of the 19 beams and cut with a jigsaw.   This is our edge treatment drawn freehand; the design is approximately one foot in length from the end of the beam.

Picture 026a.jpg


3.       We trimmed less than 1 foot from the top of the 4 posts – the length must be greater than the column (since it will slide over the post) and provide the support for the pergola top. 


4.       Drill holes on each side of 4 of the beams as shown to create the set of bottom beams.  You will need to adjust for spacing the cross members (and this is where prior experience in building will deliver the best results).  This photo shows the post (in the middle) with the bottom and middle layers) attached to that post. 

Picture 025.jpg


5.       Drill holes for each side of 4 of the beams to create the set of top beams. 


6.       Drill holes in the 4”x4’ posts to accommodate the bottom and top beams. 


7.       We cut 4 pieces of 14”x14” square from the plywood to create a base to mount the posts and columns. 


8.       Center the posts to the middle of the 14”x14” square and secure from the underside with several 2” wood screws. 


9.       Slide the 8” column over the 4” post and center.  Use construction adhesive on the bottom surface of the column. Use brackets from the base kit to attach the column to the board using 5/8’ wood screws.  Use self-tapping screws (from the kit) to secure the bracket to the column. 

Picture 013 use this.jpg    Picture 011.jpg


10.   Slide the Tuscan Base over the column and secure with hardware from the installation kit.


11.   Repeat for the rest of the posts and columns.


12.   Slide on the Tuscan Cap over the column.


13.   Start assembling the pergola top by laying the bottom set of 4 beams to opposite sides on 2 of the posts (creating opposite sides).   Connect with the bolts and hex nuts using a washer on either side of the post.  Make sure the connection is secure but do NOT tighten until the middle layer is added.

Picture 016.jpg 


Picture 019.jpg


14.   Create the middle layer of pergola by connecting the on opposite sides of posts as shown.  Connect with the bolts and hex nuts using a washer on either side of the post. 

Picture 020a.jpg


15.   Now you must plumb and square the columns.  Check the diagonal distance from one corner to the opposite corner.  Since the sides are 10’ by 10’ (interior dimensions), the diagonal distance should be 14”.  This will take some maneuvering, gentle moving, help from good friends, and a lot of patience!  When the diagonal distance is within ½”, check the columns for vertical level.  You may need to repeat these processes several times to be sure you are plumb and square.  (This was the longest step in our project.) This provides the support and foundation of the pergola so take your time – your columns will look and be straight – and the results will be worth it.  Now you can tighten your connections!


16.   We ran 1x4 strips between the bases of base board and secured using a T-bracket and 5/8” wood screws for stability and to keep everything in place. 

Picture 024.jpg


17.   Move the Tuscan Cap up to meet the bottom beams of the pergola.  Apply construction adhesive and secure with the hardware provided.

Picture 025.jpg


18.   Now for the top layer of the pergola!  Place one the remaining 11 beams in the center of the middle layer.  You will need to check that it is in the middle of both the “front” and “back.”   Align the edge cut so it is uniform on both sides (our edge cut ended about 1 foot from the end of the beam so it aligned with the front face of the lower level and did not have any “overhang”). 

Picture 022.jpg


19.   Calculate an even distance between the beams to the end of the middle layer.  We wanted to keep the beams one foot from the end of the bottom layer for an attractive visual appearance. 


20.   Secure the lower side of each beam (on each side of the beam on both front and back) with 2-1/2” wood screws into the middle layer.  Be sure to offset opposing screws. 

Picture 027.jpg


21.   We stained the wood potion of the pergola with Minwax Dark Walnut Exterior Stain and recommend using Minwax Polyurethane Clear Semi-Gloss to seal.

Pictures Feb 11 004.jpg


22.   The columns were primed using a latex primer and Behr Premium Plus Pure Black Hi-gloss Enamel was applied.  Alternatively, Behr Premium Plus Ultra (paint + primer) could be used for a one-step process.  We sanded the dry columns with fine steel wool (0000) and then applied a faux finish using Martha Stewart Living Precious Metals Specialty Finish in Ground Coffee.  We lightly tapped the metallic onto the column ridges and into the flutes with the brush, wiped with a lint-free towel, and dabbed with a diaper wipe (our secret technique!).   We wanted the black and metallic to match the patio dining set.  We recommend using Behr Low Lustre Sealer (Interior/Exterior in the red container) to seal the fiberglass columns. 

Pictures Feb 11 033.jpg  to match dining set   Pictures Feb 11 066.jpg


23.   Enjoy!!!



Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2011-03-11T18:34:33+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL Eileen_HD_ATL

I love this project. I really want to build one of these in my back yard next to the BBQ.

You and your crew made it look easy from start to finish. I've done a couple of outdoor pergolas and I know its a lot of work but it's oh so worth it once your able to sit back, put your feet up and enjoy all of your hard work.

Thanks for the inspiration. 

Best Answer

Posted 2011-03-11T20:18:04+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

With the exception of the dimension, this projectis exactly what I imagined I wanted to do in my back yard.


I'm building a free standing pergola, just as you have pictured.  I want to anchor my 4x4 posts to concrete and use the Permacast Columns to sleeve the 4x4s.  The 4x4s will serve as the connection points for the top layers which will be 2x6.


I see no mention of the columns being used that way in literature.


How can I verify that these columns are intended for that purpose.  I'm assuming they are since you are detailing this project as you are.


Dan Mahler

Grand Rapids, MI

Posted 2012-10-22T19:32:52+0000  by mahlerdw

Hello Dan and welcome to The Community!  We are glad that you are here.


This was a project that we created in my store last spring to showcase a beautiful outdoor living space.  The pergola shown was intended for use as a display inside the front of our store.  We were not able to place the pergola outside the building because our store is not zoned for outdoor structures. 


Since the HB&G Round Fluted PermaCast Columns are not designed to be used in a free standing application, we used 4”x4” posts as structural supports.  The left photo under Step 9 shows two associates sliding the PermaCast Columns (façade) over the 4”x4”s (structural support ).   The photo on the right side shows the team marking and drilling holes in a support structure base using corner/angle brackets.  The photo under Step 13 shows beams being attached to the top of the 4”x4”s to create the base layer for the top of the pergola.  The PermaCast Columns are strictly decorative and are not load bearing.


I recommend reviewing the additional installation tips found on the Installation Instructions for Round or Square PERMA Cast/PermaLite Columns.  You may also have local building codes and home owner association requirements that will determine the specifications for your outdoor structure.  Additional information can be obtained directly through HB&G at 1-800-264-4424.


Best wishes with your project – and please send me a photo.  I love pergolas!


DW Logo Decorator.png


Posted 2012-10-23T19:17:06+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL

A bit of feedback for you...


I was certainly pleased and excited to see the project almost exactly as I imagined it come to life on my screen.


I printed  a page from your post and a page from the HB&G site and headed off to my nearest HD store seeking product information.  I recognized immediately the person I was speaking with did not know the product or it's capabilities.  That is what prompted me to post a message on your site.


I would never rely on a guy sitting behind a desk in a store or making Web posts somewhere off accross the country to design or plan a project for me.  I know that's not why you are there.


Perhaps your post was intended for employees at other Home Depot stores to use this as a  sales display.  I have a feeling that was not the intention.


Without practical information on how to convert this to a true outdoor project, your post is not of much use.


Contact HB&G, yes.  I would be doing that anyway....


Nice post though.  Details and lots of meaningful photos.


Thank you.


Dan Mahler

Grand Rapids, MI



Posted 2012-10-24T21:30:54+0000  by mahlerdw
thought I would post pics of the pergola and privacy fence I built several years ago. The materials, mostly douglas fir, were almost exclusively bought at Home Depot. The finish is 2 coats of Behr's Ultra Exterior Satin paint. All parts were painted before erection and only minor touch-ups were required afterwards. Unlike traditional pergola's, I elected to cover the structure with milkglass plastic panels to protect against the hot summer sun and rainy shoulder season rains here in Portland, Oregon. The posts have been isolated from wicking moisture from the concrete by fiberglassing of the post ends before erection. Even without knee braces, the structure is quite rigid.
Posted 2014-05-12T05:17:16+0000  by ordjen

Ordjen, this is beautiful!  I love the matching privacy fence and the fence top garden!  How did you fiberglass the post ends? 

Thanks for sharing.

Posted 2014-05-16T13:58:28+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question