Creating a Pretty and Functional Backyard Pergola with DIYer Shereen

Build the pergola of your dreams with the help of Simpson Strong-Tie’s Pergola Planner and Outdoor Accents decorative hardware. For this project, we partnered with DIYer Shereen of Pretty and Functional to upgrade her backyard space just in time for summer fun! 

Summer is here! And it’s the perfect time to design and build the backyard pergola of your dreams with Simpson Strong-Tie® Pergola Planner Software™. When Shereen of Pretty and Functional, a DIYer based in California, was looking to upgrade her backyard living space, she began her research online. That’s where she discovered Simpson Strong-Tie Outdoor Accents® decorative hardware and outdoor building solutions. Shereen was taken with the versatility of the fasteners and connectors, as well as with their sheer beauty in their black powder coating. While exploring Outdoor Accents, she also learned about the Pergola Planning Software package, which not only helps professionals and homeowners design a custom pergola, but also provides downloadable plans complete with a detailed shopping list of the specific parts they’ll need. And if she had any questions, she knew she could connect with Simpson Strong-Tie engineers through their free engineering service number, (800)-999-5099.  

Shereen working on her pergola project

Shereen began with the Pergola Planner Software and had fun exploring the different options she had when it came to deciding how big her pergola could be, which Simpson Strong-Tie products she would need, and how she could best utilize her current space for the project. (At the time of her build, she had a preexisting concrete wall to incorporate into her design.) The software had everything she needed, including details for permitting purposes.  

Shereen used a variety of Simpson Strong-Tie Outdoor Accents Decorative Hardware
Shereen used a variety of Simpson Strong-Tie Outdoor Accents Decorative Hardware

Once Shereen had her project planned, she figured out the tools and which Simpson Strong-Tie hardware she needed to complete the project.  

Here are the tools she used:   

  • Hammer drill 
  • Impact driver 
  • Regular drill 
  • Long level 
  • Saw (Shereen used her circular saw and table saw) 

Each project will have its own requirements, of course, but Shereen had the following items on her list of Simpson Strong-Tie parts:  

(6) APB adjustable post bases  

(6) Stainless-steel Titen HD® heavy-duty screw anchors  

(92) Outdoor Accents® 3.5″ structural wood screws  

(20) Outdoor Accents 5.5″ structural wood screws  

(116) Outdoor Accents hex-head washers  

(6) APBDSP decorative post base side plates  

(12) APDJT deck joist ties  

(4) APT T straps  

(8) APDMW decorative washers  

(32) APA 90° angles   

(72) Outdoor Accents connector screws  

(8) APVKB decorative knee brace connectors  

Shereen's finished Pergola Project
Shereen’s finished Pergola Project

After creating her design with Pergola Planner, Shereen chose to prep her wood to give it a “painted” look, but that is entirely a matter of preference. She also grouped all her supplies in the order they would be used, to help herself stay organized. And then she began to build! You can see her full tutorial and final project below. Check out Shereen’s social channels for more DIY inspiration and projects.

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