How To Build an Arbor

Difficulty: Complex  |  Estimated time: 5 hours  |  Help needed: 5 volunteers

An arbor is a latticework bower which you can intertwine with climbing vines and flowers. It's a great project for beautifying your playspace.

Download Instructions

Materials and tools

4 4x4x10' boards
1 2x6x10' board
4 2x2x8' boards
1 ¾"x4x8' lattice pieces
1lb 3" deck screws
1lb 6D galvanized nails
4 80lb bags
Tools needed:
Miter Saw
Circular saw
Tape measure
Safety glasses
Carpenter's square
Chalk line
⅛" drill bit
String line
Screwdriver bit

Preparation instructions

  1. Sort all materials into piles by like items to ensure you have materials needed to complete project.

  2. Set aside the [4] 4x4x10' boards. Do not cut.

  3. Take the 2x6x10'. Cut [2] 2x6x60" pieces from the board.

    • Note: Due to the width of the saw blade and slight discrepancies in board lengths, the measurement may not be exactly 60" - make sure the [2] pieces are even in length rather than one 60" and one slightly smaller.

  4. Take the [4] 2x2x8' boards. Cut each into [3] 2x2x30" pieces, for a total of [12] 2x2x30" pieces.

  5. Take the ¾"4x8' lattice sheet. Using the chalk line and circular saw, divide the sheet into [2] 24"x96" sheets of lattice.

  6. Angled Cuts:

    • Take the [2] 2x6x60" pieces that you cut in step 3. Cut 45° angles off the ends to create [2] 2x6x60" trapezoids.

Build instructions

  1. Before building, inventory and sort all of your materials.

    4 4x4x10' boards
    2 2x6x60" pieces
    12 2x2x30" pieces
    2 ¾"x24x96" pieces
  2. Layout a space 24"x48" with a 4x4x10' post in each corner. Measurements are from the outside corner of each post.

  3. Dig holes for the posts. Holes need to be 24" deep with an 8" diameter.

  4. Concrete the [4] 4x4x10' posts in the ground. Posts need to be level both side-to-side and front-to-back. Posts also need to be properly aligned with each other - use the level and string line to be sure that they are aligned and square.

  5. When the structure is sturdy enough (it does not need to be completely set), attach one of the 2x6x60" trapezoids to the top of the posts along the long side on the outside of the structure. Be sure the top of the 2x6x60" trapezoid is level. The bottom of the trapezoid should be even with the outsides of the 4x4 posts. Use [3] 3" screws per joint.

  6. Repeat this process, using the other 2x6x60" trapezoid to connect the other [2] 4x4 posts on the other 48" side. Again, be sure the top of the 2x6x60" trapezoid is level and that the bottom of the trapezoid is even with the outsides of the 4x4 posts. Use [3] 3" screws per joint.

  7. Next, install the 24x96" sheets of lattice to the outside of the posts on the 24" sides (not the sides where you just installed the 2x6 headers). The edges of the lattice should be even with the outside of the 4x4 posts as well as the tops of the 4x4posts. Use the 6D nails to attach the lattice to the 4x4 posts.

  8. Lastly, install the 2x2x30" pieces on top of the 2x6x60" trapezoids. The 2x2s will run perpendicular to the 2x6x60" trapezoids and over-hang them by 1 ½" on each side. Place the first 2x2 even with the outside edge of the 2x6 and space the remaining 2x2s with about 3 ¾" in between them. Use the ⅛" drill bit to pre-drill the holes, then use 3" deck screws to make the attachment.