Do Pergolas Need To Be Anchored?


Pergola is one of the most popular outdoor installations that can allow you and your companions to enjoy their outdoor time to the fullest. Besides arranging a blissful breakfast, you can also enjoy the majestic Milky Way through the roof gaps while sitting under a pergola late at night. Pergola comes with a rather simple structure; 4 or more base pillars and a holed roof. Along with such lightweight structures, adverse stormy weather makes them vulnerable to flipping, tilting, or even flying away. So what to do to keep a pergola safe and secured in its assigned place? Do pergolas need to be anchored?

As a matter of fact, yes pergolas need to be anchored to ensure their integrity. There are numerous professional and DIY methods to anchor a pergola down. In this article you will be briefed on why pergolas need to be anchored, 5 major pergola anchoring methods along with some DIY solutions. We have also added some mandatory considerable factors while anchoring a pergola. So read, learn, and make your pergola safer than ever!

Do Pergolas Need To Be Anchored?

Pergolas do need to be anchored if you feel the necessity to save it from turning upside down. This becomes an essential task if you own a pergola while living in a constant heavy breezing area. A decent anchoring keeps the pergola attached to the ground, maintaining its integrity by preventing swaying. Altogether, it makes the structure durable and extends your pleasant backyard day memories further.

Some of the reasons for anchoring your pergola:

1. Wind Resistant: High wind is the closest enemy for pergolas. If strong enough, it can flip, break, or dismantle a pergola in the blink of an eye. But a properly anchored pergola remains less fragile from getting damaged by winds.

2. Stability: All the pergolas may not get damaged by high wind or related natural calamities, but it can surely cause the pergola to lose its stability day by day. The pergola’s anchors keep its base solid and strong and hold the structural integrity to a stable state.

3. Safety: It’s not all about the pergola that only matters. Its users, patio furniture, etc. are also vulnerable alongside the pergola. You wouldn’t want to see your pergola collapsing in a heavy breeze while you were enjoying a faveolus time inside the pergola.

4. Aesthetic Appeals: A well-anchored pergola looks aesthetically better than a casually put one for sure. Moreover, any decorative touch added to the pergola in the process of anchoring further enhances its beauty.

5 Pergola Anchoring Methods

Pergola Anchoring Methods

1. Concrete Poured Anchoring

Among all the pergola anchoring methods, using poured concrete ensures the best robust and durable attachment. This method involves digging holes and pouring concrete to create a solid foundation for the pergola. It offers excellent stability and durability. There are slight differences between how you attach the concrete base with the wooden(mostly) or the metal legs.

Two main ways to apply this method:

Method 1:

  • Dig a hole deep and wide enough compared to the pergola legs.
  • Fill the hole completely with concrete pouring.
  • Place eye bolts on the wet liquid concrete as per the pergola leg’s width.
  • Leave the mix for drying.
  • Place the pergola legs aligned with the eye bolt’s position.
  • Drill the legs and attach it with the eye bolts with screws.

Method 2:

  • Dig a hole deep and wide enough compared to the pergola legs.
  • Fill the hole completely with concrete pouring.
  • Leave the mix for drying.
  • If your pergola comes with a post base, then attach them to the pergola.
  • Measure, mark, and drill the dried concrete as per post-base holes.
  • Use nut bolts to attach the pergola legs to the concrete base.

2. Soft Ground Screwing

If your pergola is directly on grass or soil and you want to keep it that way then ground screwing is one of the easy solutions. Ground screws are long metal screws with helical blades that are twisted into the ground. The downwards spinning shape makes it easier to inject the screw into the soft ground. At the same time, it also makes uprooting difficult naturally, meaning a solid attachment for the pergola legs.

Installing steps:

  • Perfectly measure and identify the screw injecting position as per pergola legs.
  • Place and push-spin the screw using hands or electric levers.
  • Place the pergola legs on the screw head post base and tie attachments.

This method is for soft soil such as sand. This may not work on hard or rocky surfaces.

3. Post Brackets

If you have an already installed pergola that you want to anchor boosting then this method can be an easy and cost-effective solution. Post brackets are metal brackets that attach to the bottom of the pergola posts and secure them to an existing concrete slab or patio. These metal brackets are mostly ‘L’ shaped, bent 90° or half split, box-shaped brackets. Each of the two portions attaches with the pergolas leg and the paved solid patio surface respectively. For attachment, it is easier to attach the brackets with a wooden pergola leg than metal ones. Installation process:

  • You will need 4 L-shaped or one box-shaped bracket for each leg.
  • Mark the pavers and leg drilling points by placing a bracket.
  • Now place the brackets one by one and add a screw to fasten the attachments.

4. Add Concrete To Pergola Legs

You can add concrete pouring to your pergola legs to weigh it down. This is an efficient way to anchor the pergola if it is already installed and you don’t want to remove it for anchor reinforcing. Many pergola users may think uprooting their pergola will break its integrity or damage the patio’s finishing. Adding concrete to these pergola legs can create an attachment between the pergola legs and the surface. To imply this method:

  • Simply put a certain diameter barrier to every pergola leg.
  • Pour concrete mixing to fill up that barrier.
  • Wait till it dries up.
  • Remove the barrier and add cement finishing.

You can further add decorative finishing on the anchoring by solid coloring it, art coloring it, or placing plastic or natural planting on it.

5. Heavy Flooring

Hardwoods used for making pergolas are pretty themselves. You can use this weight as an anchoring advantage. Build a new pergola from scratch or put the existing pergola on a wooden floor to make the combined weight twice. This way, moderate to severe air breeze may not be able to flip it.

To set a new pergola, you should first lay a heavy wooden flooring wide enough to house the pergola. Then attach the legs to it and do the other process to complete the building. The wooden flooring won’t only add structural weight to the pergola but also add an aesthetic vibe and classic look to it.

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DIY Pergola Anchoring Methods

DIY Pergola Anchoring Methods

Apart from the nuts, bolts, and concrete, several DIY methods also work as anchoring the pergola. These methods don’t need heavy customization to add, rather you can conduct them with homegrown materials in your possession.

  • Weights: One of the easy ways to anchor a pergola is to simply add weights to it. For that, you can put concrete blocks, bricks, and bags around the pergola legs. Alternatively, you can put gym dumbbell weights and a beatification plant vase.
  • Stake Out Using Strings: On rare occasions, you can stake out your pergola by ropes. This method is widely seen in strengthening a camping tent. But using metal or similar heavy-duty ropes to stake pergola’s four pillars works quite well.
  • Additional House Attachment: If your pergola is within very close proximity of your house then you can tie it with the sturdy house structure. You can set your pergola between a ‘L’ shaped outer corner of your house. A proper tie-down will ensure a better anchoring of the pergola.

Considering Factors When Anchoring A Pergola

Considering Factors When Anchoring A Pergola

Anchoring is necessary to keep a pergola secured from adverse weather. But before anchoring, you should consider the below factors for selecting the best anchoring method for your pergola:

1. Weather Intensity: It is not surprising to consider the weather intensity of your location to find the best anchoring method. Frequent adverse weather means you need to opt for heavier and more permanent anchoring methods like concrete pouring.

2. Surface Type: Your pergola setting surface is also a major factor in choosing the appropriate anchoring. If you had set it on a concrete paved patio you can simply go for the drilling and bolt-in method.

3. Surroundings: Before anchoring a pergola, closely monitor its surroundings. If it is by the side of your house wall, then fortify the anchoring by tying it down with your house structure. If it is all grass beneath and around then you can go for staking out the pergola.

4. Soil: Soil, especially the top layer of it is very important to properly anchor your pergola. Always choose well-developed and sturdy soil. Soft, wet, or sandy soils cause uprooting of the anchoring along with pergola in intense weather.

5. Cost: Always choose anchoring materials that are easily sourceable. That will not only minimize your anchoring cost but also eliminate the issue of ‘stock out’ in case you need them again in the future.

Final Thoughts

A pergola is a comparably lightweight outdoor facility than a hardtop gazebo. It doesn’t have a proper roof to make it a very sturdy structure. That’s why they are fragile against storms and similar intense air circulation events. To keep your pergola intake even in such weather calamities, you should anchor your pergola down properly. Depending on the weather pattern, soil & surface type, pergola location, etc. choose any anchoring method mentioned above. You can also use easy DIY or combine more methods as per your convenience to safely anchor your pergola on the ground. Because a well-anchored pergola is the first condition to enjoy a blissful outing in your backyard.

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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.

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