shutterstock_224835070Arbors are an excellent way to stage a gorgeous view or making a pathway more attractive and are easy to do-it-yourself for the handy types.

Here is what you will need:

4 8-foot 2x4s  (A)

4 8-foot 1x4s  (B)

13 4-foot 2x2s or 7 8 foot 2x2s cut in half, or 13 precut deck spindles (C )

72 feet lath or 24 36-inch pieces (D and E)

60 3-inch deck screws

Around 12 1-1/2-inch deck screws

30 2-inch deck screws

50 6d galvanized nails

3-4 gallons gravel

You can also have on hand:

decorative brackets

Painting supplies, including exterior primer

general-purpose construction adhesive

exterior stain, wood sealer, or paint


How to build your arbor

Select the wood

Arbors should be constructed from rot-resistant wood. For a quality wood that requires little care and is durable, try redwood or cedar. Pressure treated pine or fir is another great option.

Create holes

Properly measure where the four main 2×4 posts will go, then dig four holes 18 inches deep. Next, fill the holes with 6 inches of gravel to help with drainage, so the wood does not rot.


Cut the lumber


The vertical posts (A) are 8 feet in length and do not require cutting. Take the four 1×4 top rails (B) and cut them into 7-foot-3-inch lengths.


Cut spindles


Cut the 13 2×2 © to 3 feet 6 inches each with a 45-degree bevel on each end. Cut the common lath (D) so that it is in 24 pieces,  3 feet each.


Collect the sides


Using the four vertical (A) and place them on the narrow sides on a smooth surface. Take a square and pencil, then measure and mark the spot where the lattice is on each side facing upward.


Put the sides of the arbor together by placing two of the vertical post pieces on the ground two feet apart at their outer edges. Nail on the lath pieces in a similar way to how you would build a ladder. Be sure that the frame stays square and spaced correctly while putting it together. To do this, you can nail the bottom lath piece then the top lath piece.


Once you have the horizontal lattice in place, nail the diagonal pieces to it (E). You will continue doing this until put together the other side of the arbor.


Place the two assembled pieces into the holes, making sure they remain square and spaced correctly.

The top of the arbor

Place the 4 top rails so the narrow sides are facing upward. Use the square to measure and make a point where the spacing for the 13 top pieces will go (C). Place the marked top rails (B) using three 2-inch screws per joint. With the marks on the top of the top rails, place the top 2x2s (C) with 3-inch screws.

Last but not least

Put a coat of white exterior stain on the arbor. If you paint it, the first step is to coat with primer then use exterior latex.


Once your arbor is built, select vines that will add to its beauty, like cypress vine, thunbergia and morning glory. These vines create nice color from seed and is long lasting up until frost.

For other patio design ideas, or to have your patio professionally constructed, contact River City Deck and Patio.


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