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How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

We are in the process of building our very own home on our very own land and my imagination is running rampant with all the things I have wanted to do to our rentals. I have two small children and it is my dream that I can allow my children to have free access out our back door so they can play in a beautifully manicured, green lawn as often as they would like.  I want a privacy fence, an outdoor kitchen, hammocks for relaxing, a vegetable garden, and the list goes on and on and on. Now I realize it will take some time to create the yard of my dreams, however I can now consider my ideas as plans instead of dreams!  One of the first things I plan to do is add function to my yard with a patio made of stone pavers as well as some beauty and interest with the addition of an arbor. You can do this to your own yard with these instructions:

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 1: Choose the site where you would like your patio to go and dig around the perimeter. You want to dig down 6 to 12 inches (you want to reach the subgrade) and tamp the full area down with a plate compactor.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 2: Cover the subgrade with 3 inches of 5/8-inch minus gravel. Or you can use ¾-inch crushed stone and stone dust.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 3: Tamp it down with the plate compactor and repeat. Dampen each layer with water to keep down the dust. The marked stakes are used to help to know what is level as you poor in the gravel.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 4: Lay out your perimeter blocks

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

With this patio two portions of the perimeter were built up so that the wall created built-in seating.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

They placed unfinished cap stones on the benches of the perimeter wall which will be finished later.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 5: Lay down 2 inches of sand and use the plate tamper, or a hand tamper to smooth out the sand and create an even surface.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 6: Lines were marked in the sand to help guide the laying of pavers so they are straight.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

The pavers have arrived! It’s best to order a little more than you think you will need to account for broken pavers and so you are less likely to run out before you are finished, delaying the project.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 7: Start setting the pavers in a pre-determined pattern.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 8: If you are making a curved patio like shown, you will need to use a saw to cut the last of the pavers to fit in the edges. Measure each paver, cut then place it where you want it to go before measuring the next paver that needs cut.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

You can use a power saw to cut the pavers, or a wet saw, which will help reduce the amount of dust that is put in the air.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 9: After all the pavers are set, sweep sand into all the cracks and crevices. Or you can use polymeric sand which will help prevent weeds from growing up between the cracks but its application is a little more intricate. Make sure to follow all instructions if you go with the polymeric sand.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 10: Using a wet saw cut the edges of the cap stones on the benches for a cleaner look.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 11: When finished (make sure you followed directions if using polymeric sand) spray off your patio, allow to dry completely and then you can put on a sealant if you like the “wet look”.

Now it’s time to start on the arbor!

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 1: Place your vertical posts!

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 2: Plane and re-saw your wood.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 3: They used the vertical beams as their forms to curve the planed and re-sawed boards.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 4: The wood is thin and pliable and they used clamps to form it to the vertical posts.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Here is a picture of the back side of the pergola/arbor.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 5: Form the back side of the beam. You can also use a form on the ground to curve the wood (for both the front and back) if you don’t want to use the vertical posts.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 6: Lots and lots of clamps were needed to form both sides of the arbor onto the posts, in order to create the desired curve before they were secured directly to the posts. I believe they also had braces between each post as well for added support.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 7: Apply the cross sections of the pergola/arbor with a nail gun. You can either stain the wood before or after step 7, depending on preference. However, it may be easier to do while on the ground rather than above your head.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 8: Finishing touches!  Touching up the stain, adding hanging baskets and lights.

How To Build A Curved Pergola In Your Backyard That Your Family Will Love

Step 9: Enjoy your finished paver patio and pergola/arbor!

H/T: 1, 2

The instructions on the original post were almost nonexistent. So I tried to do some research along the way to make it more of a helpful DIY project.  When I do this for my own backyard in the spring, I will definitely post more instructions and the do’s and don’ts I am sure I will learn along the way! I can’t wait to have my own backyard with a beautiful gathering place and I’m willing to get my hands dirty and use trial and error to get it! Putting in the hard work just helps you to appreciate the end product so much more!

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