how-to-build-your-own-gazebo

Congratulations! You’ve decided to do something that will dramatically change the appearance and use your landscape more efficiently: install a ShadeScape® shelter kit.

One of your next decisions is whether to install the pergola kit yourself or to hire a professional to do it for you.

Not everyone wants to install their own ShadeScape® pergola kit,

but for those who do:

they find it surprisingly satisfying.

But if you are still wondering:

Do I have to install the kit myself or can you do it for me?

We are very happy to install your pergola for you, just give us a call.

Many of our clients have installed a Western Timber Frame™ ShadeScape® kit in one day! With very little carpentry skills, a few basic tools, and the help of a friend or two, your ShadeScape® kit can be installed in one afternoon. We test-fit every single piece before we ship to ensure that your installation will be easy and fun.

All our ShadeScape® pergola kit parts are pre-cut, pre-drilled, pre-notched, and numbered with easy interlocking corners and drop-in rafter layouts. Our unique corner system allows for a quick, snap-together beam-to-post application. The result is a timber pergola kit with quality and durability that is quick to assemble. We provide instructions in our installation manual as well as technical support from one of our installers at your request.

However, if you are feeling intimidated by the massive size of these timber frame pergola kits, know that we are here to ensure your installation is successful. Just give us a call at 801-331-6690 and we’d be happy to help you with your project.

But if you would like, here is a…

Guide To Help You Decide

How Long Does it Take to Install?

Based upon many variables, such as size, complexity, the weather and site conditions,
the average ShadeScape® structure can typically
be installed in ONE AFTERNOON!

before pergola installafter pergola install

Picture: Slide the circled arrow back and forth to see BEFORE and AFTER an attached ShadeScape® kit install. 

Kit laid out ready to install

Western Timber Frame’s core purpose is to empower every ShadeScape® owner.

If you decide to install your kit yourself, we’re happy to help you as MUCH as you like – or as little as you prefer. Your satisfaction is a great compliment.

Every ShadeScape® pergola, pavilion, and gazebo kit is designed to be fun, fast and simple to install.

Pure wood–to-wood connections of heavy timbers slide in and lock strong into place.

farmerdew

“It looks awesome!! Only took about 3 1/2 hrs. My brother said this is a GREAT kit!!! Said if you ever needed anyone to install in our area that he’d be more than happy to do it. Just wanted to let you know how excited we are!
– Karen Reynolds – Enterprise, AL

dovetail interlocking connections

The Dovetail Difference®

DIY Installation of a ShadeScape® Kit

How hard is it to install a ShadeScape® arbor, gazebo, pavilion, pergola or trellis kit? And should you do it yourself?

Should you install a ShadeScape® kit yourself depends upon:

• Your skill and experience
• The tools you have available
• The weight of the product
• Whether the money you save is worth your effort

Your Skill and Experience

You don’t have to know how to build your own gazebo, pergola or pavilion. If you have experience in home improvement projects and have the time to do the job, you can install your own ShadeScape® kit.

These kits are massive in size. Though they are heavy-duty gazebo, pavilion, and pergolas – because of the engineered design – they can easily be set in place with the help of a friend or two.

In many aspects, a ShadeScape® DIY pergola kit is often easier to install than even typical hardware store kits because their sheer size and strength allow for posts to stand upright.

farmerdew

The instructions that come with it are very self-explanatory. I had a minor problem getting the measurements right. After a quick phone call, I got it straightened out. It was a pleasure working with Western Timber Frame™. – Dewey Farmer – AZ

pavilion test

We are here for you in every step of the way to know how to build a gazebo, or how to build your own pergola, pavilion, arbor, trellis or whichever kit you have had designed and manufactured for you.

Before being shipped out each piece has been pre-cut, and pre-tested in our shop to ensure a stress-free installation. Besides, the written instructions, we are only a phone call away to assist you.

The Tools You Have Available

man roof of arbor swing

Included in each kit is installation hardware such as a bit adaptor, square bit, dowels, deck screws, lag bolts, concrete bolts, knife plates, and stain. Here are tools needed for installation that are not included with the arbor, gazebo, pavilion, pergola, or trellis kit.

Installation Tools (Not Provided)

step ladder

Step Ladder

wood glue exterior

Exterior Wood Glue

half-inch-drive-impact-drill

1/2″ Drive Impact Drill

drill and hammer drill

Drill and Hammer Drill

measuring-tape

Measuring Tape

Media list ATTACHMENT DETAILS Image filter three-quarter-inch-spade-bit

3/4″ Spade Bit

one-inch-spade-bit

1″ Spade Bit

half-inch-concete-bit

1/2″ Concrete Bit

level

Level

Optional Tools: Skill saw, Reciprocating saw: (if you want to cut bottoms of posts to adjust the height of your roof or to level kit on a sloping patio.)

NOTICE: DO NOT CUT THE TOP OF POST!

Weight of a ShadeScape® Series, Pergola Kit

The weight of an outdoor living shelter gives it increased staying power. ShadeScape® Pavilions, Pergolas, and Gazebos have impressive unmatched strength and durability. Each kit is visually noticeable for its considerable bulk.

How Much Does a Kit Weigh?

Pergola with tables
timber frame pergola kit

ShadeScape® kits are shipped out daily throughout North America ranging from 2,500 – 11,000 lbs. (and often heavier on commercial or large custom projects). Custom ShadeScape® timber kits are transported on a semi-trailer because of the sheer mass and weight of the timbers. The average ShadeScape® shipment weighs over 5,500 lbs. Western Timber Frame™ custom builds heavy-duty pallets to ship these ShadeScape® kits on just to sustain the mass and weight of the timbers.

farmerdew

These timber frame shade shelters are not big-box store kits. Or, rather judging by the weight, I should say: ‘big box store kites‘.

farmerdew

Because our kits can weigh thousands of pounds, a forklift is required to load and unload the carrier truck. We will ship your kit to a location with an on-site forklift, such as a business or landscape company.

If you do not have access to a forklift, no problem, you can pick up your kit with a flatbed trailer at the nearest Shipping Terminal. The pallet can then be broken down and the kit unloaded from your trailer by hand at the installation site.

What is the Shipment Size?

These are 1,000’s of pounds of custom-crafted timbers; so it will vary. The packaged kit will on average be about 20′ in length, 3′ in height, & 4′ wide. This means that for a DIY pergola kit there is often 20′ or more in length or more of solid pre-stained, pre-cut, and pre-fit beams, posts, rafters, etc.

Ready to Ship Pergola Kit #PergolaKit

8000 Series, ShadeScape® Weight Example

6,000 Series

• 2,925 Pounds
• 886 Board Feet

8,000 Series

• 4,561 Pounds
• 1,382 Board Feet

10,000 Series

• 6,556 Pounds
• 1,988 Board Feet

12,000 Series

12000 series kit

• 9,035 Pounds
• 2,738 Board Feet

Note: Each ShadeScape® Series rough-sawn timber stack, represents a 14′ x 22′ ShadeScape® Series, Pergola Kit.

This is not a project you can do alone! You will need a friend or two to help you lift timbers and set them into place; then follow every instruction.

CAUTION: Heavy beams! Two people are required to lift timbers.

set beam on pergola kit

Depending upon the size of the kit, some kits are so large they require a crane to safely hoist the timber beams into place.

man install beam pergola kit

Some of the instructions included in your instruction manual:

Installers must wear proper safety glasses and gloves.

• DO NOT drag timbers across dirt, rocks, or other hard surfaces, it will scratch the wood.

• DO NOT raise timbers above the head.

timber frame arbor winter

#WinterPergolaInstall #DIYPergolaKit

Can Construction be done in the winter?

Yes. These timber frame structures can be installed year-round and are good for winter protection as well as a summer shade. During the fall and winter seasons so much can be done to improve your landscape or extend your home living area with an outdoor shade structure to enjoy the outdoors year-round.

Timber is stronger than conventional framing and can be constructed in any kind of weather without being detrimental to the material. Winter is also a great time to improve a home or landscape whereas many other outdoor improvement projects have to wait for another season. Also, installing in the winter allows you to avoid the summer rush we experience every year.

install pergola kit shade

Winter Installation

Here it is in the spring!

shadescape pergola install

Is The Money You Save Worth Your Effort?

install pergola

We can guide you in how to build your own gazebo. But we can’t tell you what is best for you, your time, and your budget or whether you should or should not hire a professional pergola installer to install your timber frame arbor, gazebo, pavilion, pergola or trellis ShadeScape® kit.

As for your time, will you be able to erect your ShadeScape® kit right away? A kit should be installed as soon as possible.

A question you might ask yourself would be something such as: If I do not already own the right tools, (such as a new ladder) going to eat into what I save when a professional will already have all the tools to get it done quickly and efficiently?

If you do choose to do it yourself, take a realistic look at the amount of time it will take, all the tools you have or do not have, before you start.

3 Benefits of Hiring a Professional

#1 You do not have to expend the time or effort to do it yourself.
#2 An experienced professional will already have all the tools.
#3 An experienced professional most often, will be able to complete the install faster.

A professional installer can fall into two categories: an independent contractor or a certified contractor.

installing a pavilion pergola

Remember, we want to emphasize that if you would really like to install a timber frame arbor, gazebo, pavilion, pergola or trellis ShadeScape® yourself – but are just feeling intimidated by the massive size of these timber frame pergola kitsknow that we are here to ensure your installation is successful. Just give us a call at 801-331-6690 and we’d be happy to help you with your project.

We have many clients who duly hug themself as they now know how to build a gazebo, pergola, pavilion, or other outdoor shelters. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with erecting a timber frame structure – on this massive of a scale – that takes you to the heart of the American spirit. It is a lot of fun!

If you would like, check out the testimonial of Todd Fratzel of Home Construction & Improvement on installing a pavilion from Western Timber Frame.

post to beam pavilion roof

Top beam of Todd Fratzel’s timber frame ShadeScape® DIY pavilion kit.

install pavilion kit

Todd Fratzel installing a timber frame ShadeScape® DIY pavilion kit with some friends.

“Whether you assemble it yourself or hire someone to do it for you this is an excellent product.”
Todd Fratzel, Home Construction & Improvement

Another DIY Pergola Kit Installed

farmerdew

“The instructions that come with it are very self-explanatory. My husband and I were looking at building a pergola and happened upon Western Timber Frame In our research. And the journey began. We emailed them called and talked about exactly what we wanted. After also speaking with other Pergola builders, we were sold on them. The workmanship is beautiful and as sturdy as our house.

We waited patiently for a couple of weeks as our Western Timber Frame custom pergola kit was being put together. It arrived before we expected and were impressed with how nearly the kit was prepared. The constitution was super easy.

My husband and I along with the help of his 72-year-old dad had it up in three days. The dovetails were top notch. Once they slipped into place, they were not going anywhere. Tight!! The hardware was very high quality and came in its own little Rubbermaid tub. Their customer service was personal and professional. I highly recommend Western Timber Frame for any of your outdoor building needs. – Teri Mullins – Kentucky

What if I am Out-of-State?

We have clients from all over the country who install their own arbor, gazebo, pavilion, pergola, or trellis kit. Our professional certified contractors can walk you through anything you may have a question on. Being in another state does not hinder your installation process.

Check out the Williams family in Florida. He installed a Cedar Wood ShadeScape® DIY Pergola Kit with the help of a friend in ONE afternoon.

installing posts
beam post in place
setting in rafters
finished installing pergola

They did a beautiful job! Thanks to the Williams, Florida is made even more beautiful with another ShadeScape® DIY pergola kit.

• Western Timber Frame™ outdoor timber frame pavilions and pergolas exceed these highest building code standards in the Nation and install timber frame pavilion and pergola kits in the regions of Southern Florida.

Other Features Your Kit May Have

how-to-build-gabled-pavilion

The variables, such as attached or free-standing, the size, complexity, roofing all affect how it will be installed. So listed below are a few extras on attached pergolas and pavilions, as well as roofing.

Installing An Attached Pergola Kit

An attached shelter is not a fit for every outdoor living environment. In an area with an existing structure to connect to, adding an attached arbor, awning, gazebo, pavilion or pergola to your home or business can be the perfect way to seamlessly blend the indoors to the outdoors.

attached pergola plan

If you have an attached pergola or pavilion ShadeScape® kit, you have made a good choice. It typically takes up less room with fewer posts, maximizing an area to its fullest potential.

Installing an attached ShadeScape® kit may at times require a little more planning than a free-standing arbor, gazebo, pavilion or pergola kit will.

For an attached kit, a ledger is attached to the actual home or building; which will bear part of the weight of the roof. The ledger must be attached at the appropriate height with the layout ensuring the post-placement is accurate.

All of the timbers that you will be putting up are pre-measured, cut out in our manufacturing facility, ready to install.

If you have never done anything like this before, brick can be somewhat more daunting in locating the studs and attaching. Not-to-worry, your Design Manager will have already worked out the details for installation with you in advance.

As shown in the picture here, siding has to be cut out to attach the ledger to the studs.

attached pergola kit

farmerdew

“Finished Sunday, it took three of us about 4 1/2 hours. Looks very nice. Thanks for all your help.
– Steve & Leslie Horn – Ridgefield, WA

Installing Outdoor Power w/a TimberVolt® Power Post

Each TimberVolt® model has its own unique features and benefits.

• The Dragon and Inferno models are a completely self-contained unit protected with GFI plugs for your safety and your equipment. Simply plug the male plug into a generator and you’re ready to go.

• The Inferno model features integrated USB outlets; charge your smartphones, tablets, and other USB devices, while you watch movies on your outdoor TV that is plugged into one of the main electrical receptacles up top.

They can also be customized in various configurations.

The power posts eliminate the need to trench over power and eliminates the need for conduits, nails, unsightly or unsafe exposed wires. It also reduces the cost or even eliminates the need to hire a professional electrician. The TimberVolt® power post comes with complete detailed instructions for installation. The posts are pre-wired and ready-to-install. It is as easy to install as a standard post.

•    The TimberVolt® series has an electrical chase drilled from one-half to the entire length of the post to hide and protect all wiring.

•    Recessed boxes with weatherproof outdoor covers for plugs and switches are seamlessly incorporated into the actual timber post itself.

•    The core hole through the center of the post, on the Phoenix and Firefly model, can be used for your electrician to run his own wiring, water lines for Water Misters, water taps, network cables, cat 5 lines, tv lines, etc. It is all concealed and out of sight and also offers protection

•    The pre-wired Firefly, Phoenix, Dragon, and Inferno models all come with a custom steel insert on top to protect the wiring or water lines from being punctured from lags and hardware fasteners throughout the installation process. And, includes an electrical box on top with two electrical receptacles to prevent water and debris from going down inside the post. This also provides excellent access to lights, fans, and other accessories at the roof.

•    The Dragon comes all pre-wired with about a 5′ male plug at the bottom, one GFI plug for your protection, one switch and one 6″ Female plug coming out of the top. Both cords come through the metal cover and both the GFI plugs and switch come with a weather cover protector.

pergola kit installed

•    The Inferno model features:

  1. Recessed male plug with an upgraded weather cover
  2. One GFI  plug  for your protection with an upgraded weather cover
  3. One lower plug just above the GFI plug with two USB plugs in it
  4. One double switch (one for lights and one for fan) with upgraded weather cover halfway up the post.
  5. One upper TV plug with two USB plugs and upgraded weather cover.
  6. One separated plug on top of the post – one for lights and one for a fan. Both are on the double switch and have an upgraded weather cover.

Installing A Roof On A Pavilion

2-tone-pavilion kit

You can install your own gazebo or pavilion kit and then have a professional install the roof for you or you can do the roof as well.

Tile roof pavilion kit

These Arizona homeowners installed a tile roof on their DIY ShadeScape® pavilion kit.

Pergolas and solar panels are a winning combination. Instead of being an eyesore, solar panels can be custom integrated with one of our award-winning timber kit designs. For a solar roof, you would need to install it yourself or have a professional licensed solar installer do it for you.

gazebo pergolas timber frame

Pictured above is a do-it-yourself gazebo kit with two adjoining DIY pergola kits being put in. Although, it can’t be seen in the picture here, the timber pieces are laid neatly out on top of boards to hold them up off the lawn. The kits will arive in a neat order. Unloading them in order will help protect the pieces and speed up the process of putting in your new arbor, gazebo, pavilion, pergola, or trellis kit.

Thank you for choosing Western Timber Frame!

Get the Free Ultimate Pergola and Pavilion Guide

Get the Free Ultimate Pergola and Pavilion Guide