Here is the list of items:
It helps to have Rust-Oleum Marking paint (spray) to mark location and make sure to measure the dimensions and directions accurately.
Key steps for the project:
- Identify location, if you are in a HOA community, please seek approval.
- Make sure you have a plan. I planned simple 4x4x10 posts (2 ft into the ground) and then 4x4x12 for horizontal lumber and then additional 4x4x10 lumber for the width. These 4 bars provide all the required major support. I filled the gap with 2x4x10 bars and then finally 1x2x8 bars for plants to hold on to. vine plants tendrils cant hold too big of a wood, so 1x2 makes an easy choice. Getting this plan was a key step for me.
- Mark your Post locations, make sure you check the distances between posts across. It doesnt hurt if few inches are off, but what matters is to get it accurate as possible.
- Digging post holes, is an important step, depending upon your location, it may be hard soil or it may have stones. If you read internet they say 1/3 of the post to be inside the ground and for a 10 ft post , you need to have at least 3 ft into the ground, but I see 2ft will do, it is not too easy to dig holes. I felt this was the challenging part for whole project. Try not to strain on single day. I used a crow bar and shovel to dig, I have a auger drill bit and electrical drill but when it hits rock, it doesn't drill through and manual digging was better for me. You do not need to buy expensive digging tools. you are going to dig just 4 holes and probably your life time activity, you may never dig again, so don't worry too much about tools. If you face stones, please put water. Dig in installments. Make sure you check the depth. I got all 4 holes depth into 21/22 inches of depth (so couple of inches less than 2 ft.
- Make sure you use cedar posts and I used 4x4x10 cedar posts. You need to depend on the leveler tools. I had 4 ft one as well as plastic post multi level , both these tools helped me to make sure I am getting the posts set up correctly. you need someone to help you while you need to fill the hole with concrete. I placed small amount of concrete first, pour some water, ensure water is sufficient. check the levels and fill in installments, make sure you use crow bar to ensure concrete is mixed up well with water. Keep filling until the ground level.
- As I see on internet, they suggested to use support (use of scrap wood for this purpose), I didn't use any. I did re-use some of the stones I got during digging and it was solid enough not to need any external support while the concrete is getting dried up. It takes few hours to dry up. Please check if you need to have any additional support.
- Installing the 4 posts is the 2nd biggest achievement. give at least 12 hours before you start placing the load.
- I thought I would need help to left the 4x4x12 to place them onto the first to posts (long side), but I was able to do it myself. If you have help, please get the help, if not please be careful while lifting, safety is important. Then I lifted one more up on the other side. I used ladder and by moving across I was able to figure out the extended lengths outside the posts and balance it out (1 ft to stand outside the post on each side, almost around that size). I used galvanized angles to connect the post and the 4x4 bars. I used deck screws, and screwed only one screw on each side (to post and to the top wood bar at each intersection). I went back and placed more screws after all structure is done.
- I then used the 4x4x10 for the smaller side and used the same approach. use the galvanize angles and deck screws.
- Once I got the basic structure, now I went ahead and installed 2x4x10s.
- Now I went ahead and placed more screws.
- spread 1x2x8s on the top. use screws as needed.
- I painted the structure after the fact. But this could have been bit easier if it was done before. as it is easy to paint on the ground. But it was ok.
now, time for pics, share it, take pride of your work. It is not about how much you save, but doing something on your own is a matter of pride, makes you happy and confident.