Add Gorgeous Detail To Your Home's Exterior With This DIY Wooden Pergola

Home exteriors, particularly those built in the latter half of the 20th century, can often lack the architectural interest of the homes that came before. While Victorian and turn-of-the-century abodes typically feature overhangs, porches, spindlework, and detailing that call attention to its beauty, more modern and austere interiors often plague modern residences. Many of which were built identically to every other home on the block in new developments of the 1970s through the 1990s. TikTok user @surryplace recently showed off a cool DIY construction project that adds character to an uninspiring garage entry to her home using only a pre-bought corbel, some inexpensive lumber, and some ingenuity to create a charming pergola over the opening.

The shallow pergola not only adds interest and a focal point to that side of the home, but gives the garage door more of a presence visually. Compared to pricey pre-fabbed pergola kits available from home stores, like this one from Wayfair, her DIY version is cost-friendly and easy to assemble. The end result is a rustic cedar overhang that is both beautiful and budget-friendly. Pergolas can be an affordable and stylish way to upgrade your curb appeal. 

Creating a DIY pergola

@surryplace begins by purchasing pre-made corbels, which are available in many styles, from simple and geometric to ornate and curved. She chisels out a rectangle in the top to attach a metal brace, screwing the brace flush against the corbel. She then attaches it to the wall at the corners of the garage door at the studs with a 4" screw. @surryplace then uses a 6" timber screw to drive directly into the corbel near the bottom, ensuring that it won't shift or move. 

Once the corbels are in place, she cuts wood planks, 2 x 6 cedar boards, to rest across them. She uses pocket screw holes and 3" screws to attach the boards on their side to the corbels. She then uses a similar approach and screws to lay additional boards perpendicular to the larger ones to create the pergola. Each board is cut at a 35-degree angle for decorative interest. Showing off the final result, she appears to stain the wood a lovely warm reddish stain that warms up the side of the gray home, likely applying an outdoor sealant for wood for increased resistance to the elements.

Getting the look

This DIY pergola is perfect for adding a bit of additional architectural interest anywhere you need it, and can be easily assembled above windows, doors, or other openings to the home where you would lie to create some dimension. Pergolas are often used for flowers, climbing plants, and draping vines, so they are also great for your plants near the house. When fully grown out, a pergola over even a small window can create a charming cottage feel to the exterior. While @surry Place uses a wood stain for a rustic and natural look, you can also sand and paint the boards either after assembly or before. 

The size of the pergola can vary by the size of the corbels you purchase, with 14"-16" tops being ideal. Building out larger pergolas than two feet, however, may require additional bracing and supports on the side away from the house, so it is best to check with local regulations and building codes to check for possible permits needed.