Tips for Building a Shade Arbor
By: Danny Lipford
Building a shade arbor on your house or in your yard is a great way to improve the look of your home and provide much needed shade. Shade arbors can be either stand-alone structures or attached to the side of a house or deck.
When building a shade arbor:
- Attaching Arbor to House: When attaching a shade arbor to the side of a brick house, drill holes for lead shields and use screws through the arbor and into the shields to hold it securely. Use coated, galvanized, or stainless steel screws when attaching an arbor to wood, vinyl, or fiber cement siding, making sure to screw into sheathing and studs.
- Anchoring Freestanding Arbors: To secure freestanding arbors, dig holes for the posts, and then fill around the posts with concrete. If the arbor is being constructed on an existing concrete slab, use lead shields and screws to attach metal post brackets to the concrete slab, then use screws to secure the posts to the brackets.
- Building Shade Arbor: When constructing a shade arbor, design it so the joists rest on top of the posts. Use the same design throughout the structure when cutting angles or curves.
Watch this video to find out more.
- Advantages of Shade Arbors in Your Yard (video)
- How to Build a Backyard Arbor Swing (video)
- How to Install a Garden Arbor in Your Yard (video)
Shade arbors vary in size, style, and purpose depending on the location and the owner’s tastes. Now here are some tips that can be applied to most of them.
If the arbor will intersect with the house or other structure, make sure you anchor it well, and that means not just with nails.
In a brick wall that will mean setting lead anchors in the bricks first. For other joints use galvanized nails or coated deck screws so fasteners don’t rust. The posts for an arbor should be submerged in a hole with concrete or anchored to a concrete slab with metal brackets.
When you’re adding the horizontal elements of the arbor, it’s best for them to rest on top of supporting posts or beams if possible.
Finally when you’re including angles or curves in your design, be sure use the same curve or angle consistently throughout the structure.