I've wanted a pergola in our side yard for quite a while. First of all, we've got these hops that grow like mad and I wanted somewhere for them to climb. Second of all, our side yard is on the south side of our home and it gets real hot over there, so I wanted something to cover the area a bit and provide shade. I saw a lovely, black, modern pergola at Target one day for like $450 and was not about to drop $450 on it, but wanted to create something similar and figured it'd be a pretty simple DIY. Lo and behold, it was!
What you'll need:
3 in deck screws
2 10ft 2x4's
2 8ft 2x4s'
4 8ft 4x4's
8 8ft 2x2's
01/ Lay your 4x4's down on the ground 10 feet apart and then lay the first 10ft 2x4 across them. Attach each end of the 2x4 to what will be the top end of the 4x4s using three screws. I pre-drilled all my screw holes with a bit slightly smaller than my screws just to ensure that I wouldn't split any of my wood.
02/ Once both sides of the 10ft 2x4 are screwed to the 4x4s, tilt it up to standing. If you have a pal or two helping you (which I recommend), they can hold it up while you build the next side, using the same process. If you have zero friends willing to help, you can be like me and do it alone, you'll just have to prop your two sides up by lashing them to sawhorses.
03/ Now that your long sides are up and finished, you can put them together with the two 8ft 2x4s. Using 3 screws on either end, screw the 8 ft 2x4s into the top end of the 4x4, but make sure the end of the 2x4 goes all the way to the side of your first 10ft 2x4s, otherwise your pergola will be too wide for the top 2x2 slats!
/04 Now that everything is connected, you can add the top slats. I just used one screw on each end of the 2x2s and screwed them into the top of the 10ft 2x4s.
05/ if you'd like to add more stabilization, you can put some diagonal 2x4s in each of the top corners. If you're not too worried about wind, you can leave it as is, as it's pretty heavy, but if you want it to be more anchored, you can either dig holes for the legs to sit in and pour some concrete, or you can buy concrete pier blocks to screw your legs to for a little less permanent of an anchor.
I also chose to paint mine black to match the exterior of our house, so you could either paint yours or stain it to preserve the wood.