How To Anchor A Pergola (Guide)

A pergola is a great addition to your garden. As you know, there are many different types and styles of pergolas available. 

The best way to ensure that yours will be stable and safe is by anchoring it into the ground. There are several methods for doing this, each with their own advantages and disadvantages:

DIY Attached Pergola | Build It Better | EP. 01 – YouTube
Anchoring a pergola is crucial for stability and safety.
The choice of anchoring method depends on the pergola’s location and the type of surface it will be installed on.
Common anchoring techniques include using concrete footings, ground screws, or metal post anchors.
Properly securing the pergola to the ground or existing structures helps prevent movement and potential damage.
Following expert guidelines and step-by-step instructions ensures a successful and durable pergola anchoring project.

Compare Anchoring Methods For Pergolas

Now that you know what a pergola is and how to anchor it, it’s time for the next step: picking an anchoring method. There are several options available to you, including:

  • Anchoring into concrete or brick (the most common method)
  • Using heavy duty straps to hold your pergola in place
  • Using lag bolts to secure your pergola’s post connections

Each of these methods has its pros and cons. For example, concrete anchors may be more expensive than lag bolts but they allow for quicker installation with fewer tools.

If you’re looking to securely anchor a pergola to a concrete slab, our comprehensive guide on anchoring a pergola to a concrete slab will provide you with expert tips and step-by-step instructions. Learn the best techniques and ensure a stable foundation for your pergola project.

Locate The Best Place For The Pile

The pile must be in the ground. If you’re using a pre-formed post base, dig a hole 18 inches deep and six inches wide to accommodate it. 

If you’re installing a concrete pier or column, dig at least 24 inches deep so that it can be securely anchored into the ground (the top of your pier or column should be level with the floor of your pergola).

Drive The Pile Into The Ground

The next step to anchoring your pergola is to drive the pile into the ground. You can use a hammer or a post hole digger to do this, but there are other ways, too!

 If you have access to a sledgehammer (aka “a big ass rock-crushing tool”), that works well too. You could also just drive in stakes using an electric drill with a masonry bit attached.

If you’re not sure where exactly on Earth would be best for pounding one’s piles into the ground, don’t worry! It doesn’t matter: The only thing that matters is that it gets done at all!

Anchoring a pergola in concrete requires careful planning and execution. Our expert tips and guidelines in the anchoring a pergola in concrete guide will help you achieve a solid and durable installation. Discover the methods and considerations involved in securing your pergola to concrete surfaces.

Attach Your Pergola To The Pile

Attach your pergola to the pile. This can be done with a hammer and nails, a drill and screws, or a screwdriver and bolts.

Anchor the beam of your pergola to the pile so that it stands up straight. This will help keep your pergola stable during storms or high winds.

Place an anchor bolt into each corner of your structure’s foundation this is where you’ll attach it to the ground using concrete (which we will discuss later). 

If you want something more temporary or are worried about drilling holes into your decking/lawn without permission from whoever owns it, consider using anchors instead these are basically metal hooks that can be screwed into place before being pulled back out when needed again.

Use Concrete Bolts Instead Of Lags To Bind Your Structure Into The Ground

Concrete bolts are a much stronger anchor than metal lags. They have been proven to be superior for a wide range of applications, and it’s easy to see why. 

The main advantage of concrete fasteners is that they’re made from strong materials like steel and cement. This means they can hold your structure in place with ease, even if there’s a lot of force being applied from outside forces such as wind or earthquakes.

Concrete bolts are more expensive than lags. While this can be an important factor for some people, it shouldn’t concern you too much if you’re planning on anchoring your pergola into hard ground (as opposed to sand). 

Concrete fasteners tend to cost more than their metal counterparts because they require more ingredients and labor costs during the manufacturing process but they also last longer and will probably never need replacement throughout their lifespan!

You can reuse your concrete anchors by simply drilling them out with an appropriate bit again at another tim and then anchoring another piece of equipment right back where it was before! 

This makes installation quick and easy without having things fall out of place later down the road.”

Position For Success With A Stake And Plate Method

The stake and plate method is one of the most popular ways to anchor a pergola. It’s also one of the least expensive, but it can be tricky to do if you don’t know what you’re doing.

There are two parts to this method: first, drive your stakes into the ground so that they penetrate at least 6 inches deep (12 inches is better). Then, use the plates on top of each stake and attach them together with bolts or screws.

Anchoring MethodDescription
Oz-Post SystemUtilizes a stake-driven system with metal brackets and post supports for secure anchoring.
Simpson Strong-Tie®Offers a stake and plate system that provides strength and stability for various applications.
PostMaster®Features a stake and plate system designed for wood posts, ensuring durability and ease of installation.

Attach A Tempered Steel Foundation Plate To The Bottom Of Each Post

Tempered steel foundation plates are the most common choice for anchoring a pergola. They’re easy to install, and they work well with both concrete anchors and cable ties.

The first step in installing a tempered steel foundation plate is finding the center of each post by measuring from the top of each post down to the base. 

Once you’ve found your centers, measure up from there and mark where you want your bolts (or other fasteners) to go. Then use a drill bit that matches your anchor size to bore holes for each anchor location.

Looking to anchor your pergola to a concrete patio? Our detailed guide on how to anchor a pergola to a concrete patio provides step-by-step instructions and expert tips to ensure a secure installation.

Drill Holes In Each Plate That Are Suited To Your Stakes.

It’s important that your holes are deep enough to hold the stakes snugly without being loose. This will allow them to stay secure in place. 

If a stake is too large and won’t fit into the hole, use a hammer and chisel on each plate to deepen it until it will hold the stake securely. You may also need to take some sandpaper or a file and smoothen out any rough edges on both sides of your stakes so that they slide easily through all four plates

When drilling holes for stakes, always make sure they are evenly spaced apart from each other so that you don’t have gaps between plates when anchoring them together.

Choose An Appropriate Post Size And Length

To anchor your pergola, you need to choose a post size and length that is appropriate for the structure. Your post size should be at least a foot longer than the span between the posts. 

For example, if your pergola spans 16 feet across, use a 20-foot long post. The top of this particular post will be located about three feet from ground level.

Pergolas usually have several posts supporting them usually four or more so you will also want to account for their length in terms of anchoring them into place on your patio or deck flooring surface. 

If possible, locate these posts so they are even with one another: try not to have any two adjacent posts more than four inches apart unless there is an obvious reason why this would look best (such as if there is an obstruction between them).

Post SizeLength (inches)

Dig Holes Deep Enough To Fit The Stakes In Snugly.

The depth of the hole depends on the length of the stake. If you’re anchoring with concrete, they should be no deeper than 1 inch below the frost line. The stake should also be at least 4 inches wider than its diameter (the size of your pergola).

Place Your Structure Over and Level It With Your Holes.

Before you can anchor your pergola, you need to make sure it’s level. If you don’t, it may not hold up over time or in high winds. You can use either a spirit level or laser spirit level to ensure that your structure is as flat as possible. 

While laser levels are more expensive than regular old spirit levels, they’re also more accurate and easier to read. So if you want the best results possible from your DIY project, investing in one of these units will definitely pay off!

If you’re using a regular old spirit level (sometimes called an “old school” style), place it across two opposite corners of your pergola frame and adjust its position until both sides are perfectly horizontal with each other. 

For example: if one side of the bubble runs down towards the floor while on another side it rises towards the ceiling (which would indicate that something isn’t right!), move around until those two lines intersect inside of each other at exactly 90 degrees this means everything should be square!”

If you prefer not to drill into your existing surfaces, our easy-to-follow guide on anchoring a pergola without drilling provides alternative methods for securing your pergola. Discover innovative techniques that allow you to anchor your pergola without compromising the integrity of your structures.

Fill In Around The Plate With Soil Or Gravel When You’re Satisfied.

Once you’ve locked the plate into position and are happy with how it looks, fill in around the plate with soil or gravel. You’ll want to compact it well so that when people stand on it there’s no give, and make sure that it is level with both the ground and the plate itself.

SoilNatural medium that provides stability and support when filled around the plate.
GravelSmall, loose stones that can be used as a fill material to enhance drainage and stability.

Does Your Pergola Have Bases? Use Concrete Footers!

If your pergola has bases, you’ll want to consider using concrete footers. Concrete footers are a good option for any type of pergola and any size.  

Footers can be used for both attached and non-attached pergolas. They’re especially useful if the base is not anchored into the ground at all, as they provide a strong foundation that will prevent it from shifting or moving around.

When building a foundation with footers, there are several things to keep in mind:

The grade of the soil should be checked before installing the foundation so that you can ensure that water drains away from it properly. 

If necessary, fill low spots with gravel or stone chips before laying down layers of compacted stone for drainage purposes until you get about 3 feet deep (more may be required depending on how much rain falls in your area). 

It’s very important that water drains away from where people will walk on top so we don’t have any accidents!

Need a handyman’s guidance on anchoring a pergola in the ground? Our comprehensive handyman guide on anchoring a pergola in the ground covers everything you need to know. From tools and materials to step-by-step instructions, you’ll find valuable insights to ensure a successful pergola anchoring project.


After reading this guide, you should have a strong understanding of how to anchor a pergola into the ground. 

Remember that this method is only suitable for structures that weigh less than 2,000 pounds. If your pergola exceeds this weight limit, you’ll need to use metal post bases instead.

Further Reading

Mounting Pergolas Guide: A comprehensive guide that provides insights into the various methods and considerations for mounting pergolas. Learn about different anchoring techniques and discover tips for a successful installation.

Anchor Your Pergola to the Ground: This informative article discusses the importance of anchoring a pergola to the ground and provides step-by-step instructions on how to do it effectively. Explore different anchoring options and enhance the stability of your pergola.

How to Anchor a Pergola: Learn about the different methods and materials used to anchor a pergola in this helpful guide. Discover expert tips and techniques to ensure the safety and stability of your pergola structure.

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How do I choose the right anchor for my pergola?

Choosing the right anchor for your pergola depends on various factors such as the pergola’s size, location, and the type of surface you are anchoring it to. Consider factors like weight load, weather conditions, and durability when selecting an anchor.

Can I anchor a pergola without drilling?

Yes, it is possible to anchor a pergola without drilling by using alternative anchoring methods such as ground anchors, weights, or brackets. These options can provide stability without the need for drilling into existing structures.

How deep should I bury the ground anchors for a pergola?

The depth at which you should bury the ground anchors for your pergola depends on the soil type and the desired level of stability. In general, it is recommended to bury the anchors at least 1-2 feet deep to ensure proper support.

What are some common materials used for pergola anchors?

Common materials used for pergola anchors include concrete footings, metal post anchors, ground screws, and helical piers. The choice of material depends on factors like the surface type, local building codes, and personal preferences.

How often should I check and maintain the pergola anchors?

Regular inspection and maintenance of pergola anchors are essential to ensure their effectiveness and stability. It is recommended to inspect the anchors at least once a year and after severe weather conditions. Look for signs of rust, movement, or damage and make any necessary repairs or adjustments.