Pergolas are pleasant additions to any home. They provide a comfortable area in your garden where your family and guests can gather around for chats & hours of endless fun. Some people may also find a second home in their pergola, that is open; allowing sunlight & wind to enter freely. While some homeowners install pergolas on the ground of their backyard, others may want to install them on pavers. However, there is nothing wrong with both options. It’s just a matter of preference.
Pavers generally are located near the house or lead to or away from the house. And having a pergola at the end of it adds elegance & functionality to your home. At the same time, it boosts your home’s curb appeal. Now securing a pergola on the ground is straightforward; all that is needed is an anchorage to the ground and you can erect your pergola from there. On the other hand, setting up a pergola on a paver patio has a few challenges, but is completely worth it! But, HOW do you install pergolas on pavers?
Top 4 Ways to Secure a Pergola to Pavers
Many homeowners like the sophisticated look a pergola provides to their homes. Aside from the aesthetic looks, a pergola can create an outdoor living space to enjoy the wonderful weather. However, simply installing a pergola is not enough. You need to ensure it is safe & secure from natural calamities like earthquakes, harsh storms, strong winds & similar scenarios. When it comes to installing pergolas on pavers, there are multiple ways you can approach this. The most promising methods are researched thoroughly, so you don’t have to. Below are the top 4 ways to secure a pergola to pavers:
1. Post Brackets on the Paver
Post brackets or post supports, are used in this method to secure each pergola post to the pavers. The post brackets are first attached to the pavers. Then, each pergola post is placed in the brackets where it is firmly secured with screws. This is suitable for homeowners who do not want the hassle of removing their pavers.
To carry forward with this method, you will need bolts that are strong & big enough to manage the weight of your pergolas. Moreover, this process involves drilling holes in your pavers which will be used to anchor the brackets, and any wrong implementations could result in damage. This may range from cracked or broken pavers under the post supports. Furthermore, this method is somewhat questionable. Are your pavers alone enough to keep your pergola firmly in place? While some suggest this to allow for a simple & easy way to install pergolas on pavers, many professionals say no.
|No Need to Remove Pavers||Risk Of Breaking or Cracking Pavers|
|Fairly Easy Installation||Requires Proper Drill Bit & Masonry Screws|
|DIY Applicable with Proper Tools||May Cause Movement Over Time|
2. Add Post Footing Beneath the Pavers
This is one of the best methods out there to install pergolas on pavers. Firstly, existing pavers need to be removed from the desired location where each pergola post will be. Dig a hole in the area in compliance with your local building codes. Fresh concrete can then be added to create a strong foundation for your pergola. Now brackets of the post footings are placed before the concrete dries completely. This makes a base where each pergola post can be installed to each bracket, securing them in place. Finally, the pavers are re-installed, leaving you an erected pergola frame that is firmly anchored to the ground.
This method of using post footings with concrete prepares a solid base and adds more stability to your pergola. Moreover, the pavers placed around them act as an extra layer of safety. If you are looking for a strong foundation that you can rely on, this is the way for you.
|Provides Great Stability for Pergolas||Involves Moderate Labor|
|Causes No Damage to Pavers||Needs Removal & Re-installation of Pavers|
|Reliable, Safe, & Strong||Pavers Need to be Reshaped to Fit Around Posts|
3. Add Concrete to the Pergola Leg
This method uses the weight of concrete to keep the pergola in place. This is mostly useful for people who are renting homes and are not allowed to make any permanent changes to the property. The process is simple enough; put the pergola posts in a container, something that is big enough like a metal bucket or other vessels that will not break easily. Next, pour fresh concrete and wait till it dries. There! You have a base foundation for your pergolas to stand on, and with a little effort, you can place them on your pavers.
Maybe you are renting the property but still want the luxury of having a pergola to relax & enjoy evenings outdoors. In such cases, this could be a reasonable option for you.
|Easy to Install||Heavy Posts May Lead to Risks of Paver Damage|
|Simple & Straightforward Process||Moving into Another Property Might be Difficult|
|No Special Equipment Needed|
4. Use Weight Bags
Weight bags are mainly used on special occasions where the pergola is a temporary application. They are great for on-the-go use and disposal. They are quite heavy and will provide the necessary foundation required to keep lightweight pergolas in place. Literally, anyone can utilize this method as the bag only needs to be filled with soil or dirt, and you are good to go. Once their need is over, you can simply empty them and store them away.
|Easy to Set Up||Can Only Support Lightweight Pergolas|
|Great for Temporary Applications||May Give in to Harsh Storms|
|Can be Re-Used When Needed||Can’t Be Used as A Long-Term Solution|
Best Step-by-Step Guide to Pergola Installation on Pavers
Adding post footings to the ground beneath the pavers is by far the most effective way to install pergola on paver patios. The post footings are closely held in the ground by cement and nearby soil. Which in turn lock the pergola posts in place. This method of installation creates a stable base that holds your pergola in place despite strong winds & storms. Check out the entire process in details below:
1. Plan Out the Process
Planning is crucial to every project. When it comes to installing pergolas on pavers, you need to first decide where you want the pergola. Secondly, you need to take measurements of your pergola posts. Later, you will need to purchase post footings based on those measurements. Also, ensure you have a tool to cut into your pavers. A circular saw will get the job done perfectly. That’s enough planning, now let’s decide where your pergola should be.
2. Decide the Location
Depending on your preference, choose a location for your pergola. This could be just near your home’s structure or a bit far away. Appealing locations to choose from are places where pavers are laid further from your home, so you could have a nice walkway leading to the pergola. You could also choose a place near your house; the choice is completely on you!
3. Remove Surrounding Pavers
Once you have chosen the area, begin taking measurements of the sideways length & width of the pergola and mark the pavers. Next, remove the surrounding pavers to reveal the ground underneath. Keep the pavers in a safe place, as you will be re-installing them shortly.
4. Preparing the Ground: Dig Holes & Pour Cement
Dig a hole in the ground according to building codes in your local area. This is somewhere between 20-30 inches deep. Again, please consult your local authority for building codes to build a safe pergola. Once you have the holes ready, pour cement into it.
5. Attach Post Footings
Before the cement dries completely, insert the post footings. Make sure to not drop in the post footings when the cement is still fresh as it may cause the footings to sink. Once, everything is dried up, you will notice holes already made in the footings. Use a drill machine to drill through those holes into the concrete structure. Use screws to fasten them for added stability.
6. Install Pergola Posts
Now, is the time to place pergola posts into the brackets of the post footings. Install one at a time and fasten them with screws via slots in the bracket. Now you should have pergola posts installed firmly on the ground.
7. Shape Pavers to Fit Around Pergola Post
In order to re-install the pavers, you need to make cuts in them so they fit perfectly around the post. Mark the area that needs to be cut off and use a hand saw to finish the job. Once they are shaped accordingly, it’s time to re-install them.
8. Re-Install Pavers
Carefully place each paver next to its neighboring pavers. Once all the pergola posts’ surroundings are covered with pavers, take a step back and witness the marvelous structure you just created. It is strong, & firmly anchored to the ground while pavers provide additional grip.
Anchoring to Ground vs. Pavers
Securing pergola posts to pavers is a potential risk. In the future when you might have to face violent storms, the pavers may lose stability, causing your pergola to fall to the ground. Or worse, fall on your home and cause widespread damage!
Choosing the ground beneath the pavers for anchorage is the best way to go. See, pavers are not held together by any cement or adhesive. They stay in place due to gravity and their neighboring pavers. But the ground is compact, and adding cement strengthens the stability it can offer. Thus, it can create the perfect condition to support your pergola for years to come.
Installing pergolas on pavers is a common practice and greatly enhances the overall beauty of your home. However, installing a pergola is easier said than done. It involves labor, precision, measurements, & lots of work. But, at the end of the day, it’s all worth it when it adds curb appeal & uniqueness to your yard. Play with your dog outside, gossip with your friends, or grill for the entire family, a pergola provides an amazing opportunity for outdoor events.
If you are not sure you can do it by yourself, consult a professional who has the right tools & expertise to provide satisfactory results.
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.