Our Standard Pergola Design

Posts (or columns)

6×6 lumber is standard, but we also offer 4×4, 4×6 and 8×8 options that are available depending on the application. Painted steel posts can also be used in place of wood.

Post Attachment

If the posts are attached to an existing concrete slab they will be mounted with heavy duty 1/2″ inch concrete anchors and a Simpson brand commercial grade mounting bracket. Then we will wrap the bottom of the post with trim pieces so that the metal bracket doesn’t show. Alternatively, if the posts are going in the ground they will be set in a hole that is filled with concrete similar to the way a fence post would be set. There is no additional charge for the mounting brackets or for setting posts in the ground – this is included with any pergola install.


Rafters are typically 2×6 or 2×8 lumber and spaced at 12” apart. The rafters run opposite from the beams and typically have a one foot overhang on each side . The rafters on a pergola are responsible for a large portion of the shade and the majority of the visual bulk of the pergola. Because of the angle of the sun at most times of the day, its actually the vertical height of the rafter (8 inches in a 2×8) that will help determine the amount of shade that you get from your pergola.

Top Slats

Top slats are 2×2 or 2×4 lumber depending on wood type. Pressure treated pine will come with 2×4 top slats and rough cedar will come with 2×2 slats. The layout and spacing of the top slats will most determine the amount of shade that the pergola will produce. Adding more or larger top slats will produce more shade. Our standard spacing is 12″ between top slats and this will give a moderate amount of shade from your pergola. If you want maximum shade we offer an upgrade that will move the top slats spacing closer together to 6″, 4″ or even 2″ for maximum shade. Contact us for options and pricing on custom options.

Wood/Steel Pergolas

We can build any of our pergolas with a combination of steel and wood. Typically a combo pergola like this will have posts and sometimes main beams that are metal and the rest of the top of the pergola will be wood. Steel posts will give a more modern look and come in many different sizes and shapes including square, round and I-beam to match almost any look you’re going for. Wood/steel combo pergolas will have custom pricing. Contact us for a custom quote.

Choose Attached or Freestanding

There are two options for mounting your pergola:

1. Freestanding

A freestanding pergola is not attached to the house and will typically have a post in each corner to make it independent of the house.


2. Attached

The pergola will be attached to the house with a ledger board. The ledger board can then be either attached to the eave (facia) of the house for a one story house or attached directly to the side of the house on a two story house.

attached pergola

Custom Mounting Brackets – Attaching a new pergola to your house is a great way to make sure the finished product blends well with the existing house, but sometimes when the eve of the house is too high or too low, or if you have gutters it may not seem feasible… But as builders and problem solvers, naturally we custom built a solution to this problem….

Our custom steel mounting brackets are a secure and clean looking way to attach a pergola to your house that does NOT require drilling or cutting into your roof. Other mounting brackets on the market attach to the roof and require drilling into the roof decking which can (and probably will) eventually cause leaks. Our custom bracket install allows the Pergola to “float” above (or under) the gutter when it’s not possible to attach the wood directly to the facia or eve of your house. **Note: Our brackets are custom made for each project and are not available for sale individually.

Differences between freestanding vs attached:

– A freestanding pergola can be built to any height, regardless of the height of the house.
– Attached pergolas are sometimes limited in height placement depending on the the available attachment locations on the house.
– Attached pergolas will blend into the house for a more uniform look whereas freestanding pergolas are more noticeably separate structures.
– A freestanding pergola will require more posts along the house side which can often block the view of a window or door. The posts also could interfere with walkways and take up more space on the patio.
– Permits are typically not required for freestanding pergolas.

Are you confused and have no idea whether you should attach or not attach? Not to worry, the experienced staff at Austin Pergola Company have built hundreds of pergolas in almost every imaginable type of house and patio set up. Contact us today to set up a time for a free in-person consult and we’ll make sure you have the information and knowledge to make the best possible decision for your specific situation.