// ** You will want to pre-drill and then pre-finish for the most optimal outdoor use and a more water tight seal for each board. Choose wood appropriate for outdoor use if possible to ensure a greater lifetime for this structure. This would include Cedar and Redwood. Check with your local lumber supply for additional options available for your area.
**For installation of this structure I am going to refer you to an article on another site. I think it does a fabulous job of explaining the different options available. I will include one additional option for installation that the article doesn't include, but
is a very viable option (maybe one of the better options if you will be installing into the ground rather than attaching to a patio or deck) and recommended by several sites including This Old House (Love this program...)
**I would like to call to your attention the fact that you may need to check with your county before building to ensure you don't need a permit. Some counties are very strict regarding anything that can be construed as a structure in, near or around your home. The Building Department can help you determine an appropriate distance from your home as well as an appropriate level to bury your posts. You will want to secure them just below the frost line if you live in a locale that has freezing temps at any point. Be safe and be sure so that you don't pay the price later. Trust me it isn't worth it.
**For those of you who need to consider seismic activity, there is special hardware for hanging your beams, that you can purchase to ensure your safety in the event of an earthquake.
** You can customize the outside edges of the rafters on this project by carving out a design with a jig saw. I chose to leave that off of this plan for ease of building and design purposes. I will likely provide a later plan that will include this.
Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.