Does A Pergola Need Footings?

A pergola is a lovely addition to any outdoor living space; it provides shade from the sun and adds a certain amount of ambiance depending on the style selected.

The pergola may be freestanding, attached to the house, or part of a permanent structure such as a gazebo.

For anyone considering adding a pergola to their yard, there are some key questions that should be answered prior to construction. For one, does a pergola need footings?

A pergola doesn’t need footings or concrete to support itself, but its posts will need to be buried into the ground or anchored with heavy-duty concrete anchor bolts to prevent them from toppling over in high winds.

How Deep Does A Footing Need To Be For A Pergola?

The depth of the footing will depend on the type of soil you are building on. If you have a lot of hard clay, for instance, your footing will need to be considerably deeper than if you were building on loose sand.

A general rule is that the posts should sit about 1/4 the length of your pergola into the ground; however, you should consult a local engineer or soil expert to determine what depth is appropriate for your soil.

It is also important to note that the pergola’s footings should all sit at the same depth, and when digging them it’s important to make sure that you can soundly pack down the dirt around the footings with a tamper or large shovel.

Should Pergola Posts Be Buried?

Burying the post in concrete makes it more sturdy, but you can use other methods like digging an additional hole and using steel anchors or footings systems so you don’t have to bury it.

In order to maintain a seamless appearance, some woodworkers recommend that all posts be buried into the ground. This is particularly true if it is desired to use a deck or patio surface as a supporting surface for the structure.

Installing posts completely in the ground can allow for landscape materials such as mulch or gravel to be placed around them in order to hide their presence. It also can prevent rotting at ground level, which can be an issue in higher rainfall areas.

On the other hand, posts installed above ground level make installation much easier and eliminate the need for deep holes, which can cause settling of the surrounding soil. They also provide more room underneath for heating cables or other electric installations that may serve as part of your garden lighting system. They also allow easy access to components such as shear bolts and other hardware should they eventually need replacement or repair.

How Do You Secure/Anchor A Pergola To The Ground?

A pergola is a wooden structure generally used in gardens used for shade and decoration. Use vines over a pergola, or tie lattice to the top for a sunny area for outdoor enjoyment. Pergola’s strength is dependent on how well its posts are attached to the soil. They can be built on a base of plastic, metal or concrete.

Taking Anchor Posts In A Suitable Location

Step 1. Dig openings in the places for the pergola’s supports, ensuring each hole’s diameter is at least 12 inches and the depth is at least one-third the height of the post. If each post is 12 feet long, then each hole must be 4 feet deep. In this case, the pergola would exceed 8 feet tall. Make smaller holes if they have to penetrate the frost depth in your area.

Step 2. Start preparing concrete mix in compliance with their manufacturers’ instructions. The working of the mixture creates fresh cement.

Step 3. Pour a 4- to 6-inch-deep layer of the wet concrete into the opening. Dig a hole 12 inches deep and stuff fresh cement into it. Align the four sides of the post with the square form of the pergola and confirm that the post is precisely perpendicular to the ground. Change the positioning of the post to make it completely straight. Fill the hole in the board with wet cement; the board should be absolutely square and vertical.

Anchor the remaining posts in their holes with wet concrete.

Adding Anchors To Concrete Base Footing

Step 1. Dig a hole in the spots for the columns of the pergola. You have to make each hole at least 6 – 8 inches in diameter. Each hole should be six inches deeper than the frostline in your field.

Step 2. Place a cement tube on the bottom of pit. Cut off the tube from five inches above floor level. Fill the room underneath the concrete shape with small stones.

Step 3. Make a concrete mix for this by following the instructions on the mix’s box. This will produce wet concrete.

Step 4. Fill the form up till the top with wet concrete. Both sections of the pergola must be level and perfectly squared. Most post anchors have an upper, lower and middle section, with a horizontal plate in the middle. This piece of metal should be flush with the top of the fresh cement.

Step 5. Let the concrete dry. Place the top board on the horizontal reinforced concrete plate. Another person can keep the post square and level while you drill the holes for nuts and bolts to firmly fasten the post in the floor.

Step 6. Pass the bolt thru the posts and secure them using the appropriate wrench. Make absolutely sure that the post is straight so it can fit properly.

Apply it for all remaining pergola posts.

How Do You Make A Pergola Footings?

Finding the best way to make your pergola footings can be overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with building styles. You certainly do not want to go about it incorrectly and end up risking the safety of your new pergola.

The following guide will provide you with all the information that you need to know about making your own foundation for a pergola.


In conclusion, it is important to know that a pergola does not need footings or concrete to support its weight, but all posts should be buried into the ground or anchored with heavy-duty cement anchor bolts to prevent them from toppling over in high winds.

One way to anchor the posts to your yard is to install a footer plate around the entire perimeter of your yard. Then place your pergola posts into pergola footers and secure them in place with concrete anchors.