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DIY Modern Pergola for the Backyard

This modern pergola is a great backyard addition! It’s the perfect family hangout spot. Read on to see the DIY tutorial and the exact hardware we used to create it.

diy modern pergola
laying on outdoor couch under pergola
diy modern pergola
diy modern pergola

I’m so excited to finally start sharing pieces of the backyard with you! When we were designing the yard, this was one area that was clear to us from the very beginning. We wanted to turn this unused sandbox area into a patio with a modern pergola where we could spend lots of family time. Before we dive in, here are a few before and afters:

The space started as a DIY brick paver patio, then we made a sandbox, and the final photo is the sandbox area after we tore it out.

DIY Backyard Patio
kids in sandbox
before
finished pergola

I did a ton of research on pergola design and our vision became super clear when I found some pergolas that used Toja Grid brackets on Instagram. I loved the look of the black brackets and how clean and sleek it all looked. So we started designing one!

Psst — be sure to check out this other awesome DIY backyard patio, perfect if you’re not quiet ready for a pergola!

And be sure to sign up for our VIP group below, where I’ll send more DIY ideas and inspiration straight to ya.

Things to Consider When Creating a Modern Pergola for your Yard

If you’re trying to create something similar, there are a few things to consider as you’re planning your modern pergola.

First, consider size and shape. Our main posts are 6″ wooden posts; Toja Grid also makes 4″ brackets for smaller posts. It really just comes down to the look that you’re going for.

When it comes to shape, make sure you’re happy with your layout. Our pergola is an L-shape, but there are endless ways you can create your pergola. Even the very simple square or rectangular ones look spectacular.

Consider which way you’d like your cross beams to lay on the top of the pergola. We put ours running north-south because we get a lot of afternoon sun from the west, so this provides the most shade. As you’re planning your posts and beams, measure very carefully (and then measure again!) to ensure that you have the right amount of wood.

Finally, consider any extras that you might like to add to your modern pergola– twinkle lights, hanging chairs, and so on. If you need to run electrical to the pergola be sure you plan ahead for that.

pergola details

How to Create a DIY Modern Pergola

Materials

  • Toja Grid brackets (all the screws and hardware you need is included)
  • wood (we used sealed redwood)
  • basic tools (saw, drill, etc)
  1. Lay out your brackets where you want them to be.
  2. Assemble the pergola roof, by cutting wood and inserting into the brackets, then screwing them together.
  3. Cut the leg pieces to height.
  4. Raise the roof and insert the legs into the brackets from underneath. To raise our roof we used a Genie lift because our pergola is very close to a fence and we needed better leverage.
  5. Screw the legs and bottom brackets in.
  6. Level the legs and ensure everything is in position, then bolt to the ground. We bolted into a cement slab.
  7. Once everything is bolted in, add the rafters and roof brackets.

The Toja Grid hardware came with an installation manual that we referred to a lot; it had every step covered and we found that our install was pretty textbook.

pergola progress
pergola in progress
pergola progress

Furniture for a DIY Backyard Patio

This modern pergola area of the yard has already seen quite a bit of quality time! Our intention was to have a simple firepit here, so we focused everything around that.

We added a sectional for lots of seating. We also had two old adirondack chairs that I spray painted for a little update. A few potted plants and a couple of small garden stools are all we added.

I’d highly recommend this firepit. It gives off great heat, but the rim stays cool so you can set drinks or plates on it. We ran a pipe from ours to a propane tank, but you can also order a version that hooks up to your gas line.

See below for links to all of the items we used for the pergola.

Toja Grid Brackets
Sectional (Discontinued)
Velvet Pillows
Sunset Pillow
Firepit
Adirondack Chairs with Matte Black Paint

modern pergola at night
diy modern pergola
girl and boy

Final Thoughts

This is one project we’ve done that turned out better than we had imagined. One thing I didn’t expect, however, was for neighbors or friends to be so surprised by the design of the modern pergola. I think I had gotten used to the visuals of it and didn’t realize that it’s a design that might seem new to lots of people.

We get lots of comments and compliments from people walking by who can see the top of it over our fence. We also field lots of questions about the brackets, so I highly recommend checking out Toja Grid if you’re planning on creating something similar.

Happy to answer any questions, so be sure to drop them in the comments! xoxo

modern pergola
diy modern pergola
pergola at night

Product for this post was provided by Toja Grid. Also, this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. This means that I receive a small commission should you make a purchase via one of these links, at no additional cost to you.

Yield: Modern Pergola

DIY Modern Pergola

diy modern pergola

This DIY modern pergola is a perfect addition to the backyard for shade, decor, and a space to spend time together.

Active Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours
Difficulty Difficult
Estimated Cost $3,000

Materials

  • Toja Grid brackets
  • sealed redwood

Tools

  • saw
  • drill

Instructions

    1. Lay out your brackets where you want them to be.
    2. Assemble the pergola roof, by cutting wood and inserting into the brackets, then screwing them together.
    3. Cut the leg pieces to height.
    4. Raise the roof and insert the legs into the brackets from underneath. To raise our roof we used a Genie lift because our pergola is very close to a fence and we needed better leverage.
    5. Screw the legs and bottom brackets in.
    6. Level the legs and ensure everything is in position, then bolt to the ground. We bolted into a cement slab.
    7. Once everything is bolted in, add the rafters and roof brackets.

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