Can You Build A Pergola Next To A Fence? (Explained)

A pergola is a beautiful addition to your yard, but they can be expensive. Fortunately, you don’t have to be rich or skilled at carpentry to make one yourself. In fact, you don’t even need any building experience at all! 

This guide will teach you how to build a pergola next to your fence in just three easy steps:

Build a Pergola UK | Lean-to Attached Pergola | Shade Shannon
Building a pergola next to a fence is possible with proper considerations.
Ensure the structural integrity of both the pergola and the fence.
Check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits or permissions.
Maintain proper spacing between the pergola and the fence for maintenance and airflow.
Carefully plan the construction process to overcome potential challenges.
Seek professional advice if needed for design, construction, or modifications.
Enhance the aesthetics by incorporating complementary elements between the pergola and the fence.
Consider the long-term maintenance and durability of the pergola-fence combination.
Enjoy the functional and aesthetic benefits of having a pergola and fence in close proximity.

Decide Where You Want To Install Your Pergola

Once you’ve decided on a pergola design, it’s time to decide where you want to install your pergola. Will it be in a corner of your yard? Over the front door? By the pool?

Deciding where to put a pergola can be overwhelming because there are so many options and variables involved. 

The first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of space you have. This will help narrow down the different locations that would work well for your project. It also gives us an idea of what type of measurements we need before making any decisions about how many posts we need or where they should go.

You may already have an idea about where you want your pergola placed based on previous plans for landscaping projects and other outdoor improvements around the house (like adding new flower beds).

 If this is true for yourself then great! Just make sure whatever location feels right now isn’t going away anytime soon because if another major change happens later down the road (like buying another home) then moving an existing structure could prove difficult without significant expense or effort

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Decide On The Size

When you’re deciding on the size of your pergola, keep in mind that it should be large enough for people to move around comfortably. 

You don’t want to get into a situation where your guests are stepping on each other’s toes! You’ll also need space for a table and chairs, as well as room for your grill and any other outdoor accessories.

The simplest way to figure out how much area you’ll need is by measuring the length and width of your yard (or patio), then dividing those measurements by two. 

For example: A backyard that’s 20 feet wide and 30 feet long would require a 10-foot-wide pergola; if that were divided into two equal spaces with 5 foot wide columns on either side, each column would support half of the load from above.

Think About The Design

Before you begin building a pergola, think about the design and how it will fit into your yard. First of all, make sure you have enough space for one! The size of your pergola will depend on its design. 

For example, if you want to create an outdoor dining area with a roof and walls that encloses you from rain or wind, then you’ll need more posts than if you just want an open-air structure that is supported by four poles.

Another thing to consider is how much shade coverage you’d like from overhead trees or other structures (like decks). 

The height of these objects relative to where they’re located in relation to your fence can influence whether they block sunlight from reaching plants beneath them during certain times of day (and therefore affect their growth). 

If there are too many obstructions between them and natural light sources below ground level then those plants may struggle with photosynthesis—not ideal!

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Dig Several Footings For Your Posts

If you’re going to build a pergola, or any other structure that requires posts set into the ground, the first step is to dig several footings for them.

  • Dig a hole 6 inches deep and 2 feet wide.
  • Place one post in the center of each footing so that it stands straight up and then lay 2×4 boards over top of them for support. This will keep your posts from moving when you pour concrete around them later on in this project.

Install Your Posts And Stringers

Now that you have the posts in place, it’s time to put up the stringers or beams. The stringer should be long enough so that it spans between two posts, plus a little extra for each side of your pergola. 

You want at least 2” of clearance on either side of the columns and 4” of clearance above them if possible. This will make sure rainwater runs off instead of pooling there and causing rot.

Once you’ve determined how long your stringer needs to be, set up some temporary braces to keep it steady while you secure it into place (you’ll remove these later). 

Drill pilot holes through one end of each beam and then use lag screws or other fasteners to secure it firmly into each post cap with washers as necessary for additional strength.

Installation MethodDescription
Concrete FootingsInstall posts and stringers using concrete footings for maximum stability.
Ground AnchorsSecure posts and stringers with ground anchors for a reliable installation.
Post Anchoring SystemsUtilize post anchoring systems, such as Simpson Strong-Tie, for secure and adjustable installations.
Adjustable Stringer BracketsUse adjustable stringer brackets, such as Surewood-LNL, for convenient and flexible installations.
Post Caps and ConnectorsEnhance the aesthetics and structural integrity of your installation with post caps and connectors from brands like Deckorators.
Hidden Fastening SystemsOpt for hidden fastening systems, like CAMO, for a clean and seamless installation of stringers.
Bolted ConnectionsUse bolted connections to ensure a strong and durable attachment between posts and stringers.

Install Your Lattice, Joists, Rafters, And Stringers

You’ll need to install your lattice, joists, rafters and stringers before you can add the roof. Use 2x4s for your stringers and 2x6s for your joists (you can also use 1x6s if you don’t have any 2x6s laying around). 

For rafters, it depends on how large or small you want them to be. If they are too small they will not be strong enough to support your roofing materials so keep that in mind as well when choosing how big/small of a rafter is right for you project.

For my project I used 1×2 boards as lattice because they were shorter than actual beams but still gave me the same look I wanted without having to cut anything extra length wise!

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Place Your Roof Anchors In Place

Once you’ve determined where your roof anchors will go, it’s time to start putting them in place. If you have a series of rafters, such as in a gable roof or shed-style structure, it is best to place them in a straight line along the top of each rafter. 

For example:

  • Place 1 anchor at the right side of the first rafter;
  • Place another one in line with it on the left side;
  • Continue down until they reach the bottom end of all your rafters.

Install The Roof Panels

If you want to go the extra mile and make your pergola look nice, then install the roof panels. You can use a nail gun for this task, but it is more labor-intensive. Alternatively, you can use screws or hammer and pneumatic stapler (or nail gun).

Pergolas are great additions to any backyard. They provide shade during hot days in summer while allowing cool breezes through their structure at night during hot months of spring and fall. 

The material used for building them depends on how long it will last under harsh weather conditions such as hail or heavy rainfalls; some people prefer using hardwoods like cedar because they will age beautifully over time without losing any integrity to rot or decay.

Overlapping PanelsInstall roof panels by overlapping them for added protection.
Interlocking SystemUtilize an interlocking system for easy and secure panel installation.
Snap-Lock PanelsUse snap-lock panels for quick and efficient roof installation.
Standing Seam PanelsInstall standing seam panels to achieve a sleek and weather-resistant roof.
Screw or Nail FasteningSecure roof panels using screws or nails for a sturdy attachment.
Adhesive BondingUse adhesive bonding for a seamless and durable roof panel installation.
Panel Clips or BracketsInstall roof panels with the help of specialized panel clips or brackets.
Integrated Gutter SystemConsider roof panels with an integrated gutter system for effective water drainage.

Nail On The Plywood Roof Sheets

The next step is to secure the plywood sheets to the rafters. You can use a nail gun, but it’s best to use a hammer and some nails because you’re going to be covering all of your work with waterproof sealant later on. 

The key here is making sure that all four sides are level with each other and that there are no gaps between any pieces of wood. If you want an exact measurement for how high up on the rafters each piece of plywood should go, take a look at our diagram below:

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Secure Your Plywood Sheets To The Ridge Board With Nails Or Screws.

Measure and mark the locations for the plywood sheets with a pencil. Then, secure your plywood to the ridge board by hammering nails or screwing them into place. Use a waterproof sealant on any exposed ends of lumber to prevent damage from moisture.

NailsUse nails to secure plywood sheets to the ridge board.
ScrewsUse screws to secure plywood sheets to the ridge board.
Combination of Nails and ScrewsUtilize a combination of nails and screws to secure plywood sheets to the ridge board.
Alternative FastenersExplore alternative fasteners for securing plywood sheets to the ridge board, such as specialized clips or brackets.

Finish By Covering All Edges Of The Plywood With A Waterproof Sealant

If you’re looking to paint or stain your wood, you’ll want to apply a waterproof sealant first. This will prevent any paint or stain from soaking into the wood, which could lead to rot and other problems down the line.

Some people prefer the look of stained or painted wood over stained plywood. If this is you, consider sealing your pergola’s surface after staining or painting it so that it lasts for years to come.

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Now that your pergola is built, you can enjoy it for years to come! You may want to add a coat of paint or sealant on the wood to keep it looking good and protecting it against weather damage. 

Also, be sure not to plant trees or shrubs underneath your pergola so they don’t block sunlight from reaching under its roof.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on the topic:

Can I Build a Pergola Near a Fence?: Explore the considerations and guidelines when building a pergola near a fence, including structural factors and legal requirements.

Can I Build a Pergola Near a Fence?: Learn about the practical aspects and potential challenges of constructing a pergola next to a fence, along with useful tips and insights.

Do I Need Planning Permission for a Pergola?: Find out if you require planning permission for building a pergola, including information on the regulations and permissions involved.


Can I build a pergola next to a fence?

Yes, it is possible to build a pergola next to a fence. However, there are certain factors to consider, such as the structural integrity of both the pergola and the fence, any local regulations or restrictions, and ensuring proper spacing for maintenance and aesthetic purposes.

Are there any legal requirements for constructing a pergola near a fence?

The legal requirements for building a pergola near a fence can vary depending on your location and local building codes. It is advisable to check with your local authorities or consult a professional to ensure compliance with any applicable regulations or permits.

What are the potential challenges of building a pergola near a fence?

Building a pergola near a fence can present challenges such as limited access for construction, potential interference with the fence’s stability, and the need to maintain adequate spacing for proper airflow and maintenance. Careful planning and consideration of these factors are essential.

How can I ensure the structural integrity of a pergola built next to a fence?

To ensure the structural integrity of a pergola built next to a fence, it is important to use appropriate materials, follow sound construction techniques, and reinforce connections between the pergola and the fence. Consulting a professional or structural engineer can provide valuable guidance.

Can I modify an existing fence to accommodate a pergola?

In some cases, it may be possible to modify an existing fence to accommodate a pergola. However, this depends on the design and condition of the fence, as well as the intended size and placement of the pergola. Consulting a professional can help determine the feasibility and best approach for your specific situation.