Do pergolas need to be anchored? Complete guide

Stylish, flexible constructions that create cosy spaces usable year-round, pergolas are one of the most popular and practical outdoor structures for British homes. Coupled with their affordable prices, they should be your go-to option when considering ways to renovate and upgrade your garden, backyard, balcony, or patio!

There’s one question that homeowners often ask, however, “How do I install a pergola? Do I need to anchor them to the ground? Can I fix them to another structure?” This is both a source of confusion and frustration for many.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know. When to use concrete, how to anchor a pergola to pavers, and when is drilling useful: Read on and find out answers to all these questions!

Why Is Anchoring Important?

#1 Ensuring the Pergola is Weatherproof 

The job of a pergola is to create a comfortable outdoor space, so it needs to be able to withstand various weather conditions from wind to hails and rain. Without being properly installed, without having a strong foundation, and without the post footings properly secured in place, the pergola will simply break down when a strong gale arrives.

#2 Freedom Over Where to Place the Pergola

Pergolas are highly flexible. You can install them in the backyard, patio, garden, and even balcony. Providing shade and safety from rain and sunlight year-round, it is a great addition to your house.

However, before you take advantage of all of its benefits, you need to find a reliable method to secure the pergola, and depending on where you install it, you’ll have different requirements. From securing a pergola to a paved area in the backyard to a paver patio installation, you need to use the right anchoring method.

#3 A Pergola Stable and Stylish

Aside from its many practical applications, pergolas are also aesthetic elements that give a visual flair to the home design. Ensuring they look their best is a great way to improve your property’s curb appeal and value. Orienting the pergola correctly and ensuring it has the right angle will give you control over how your family, guests, and friends will perceive the exterior of your home.

Ways to Anchor a Pergola

Fixing Pergola Legs to the Paver 

Fixing pergola legs to the paving stones using concrete is a reliable and flexible way of anchoring pergolas. It is a fairly simple process. You hold the legs in place, pour concrete on the existing pavers, and wait for it to solidify. You’ll get a reliable structure properly anchored to the ground.

Though it is possible to use this method DIY, if you don’t have the tools and the know-how, it is better to rely on a specialist to fix the pergola legs to the pavers.

Use Pergola Post Brackets 

Pergola posts can be slotted into robust, metal brackets that are fixed to the concrete surface of a garden path or the solid wood of the patio, securing the structure to the ground.

Metal brackets are usually secured to the ground by using bolts and a drill, though sometimes fresh concrete is also used. Regardless, many homeowners will love the reliability and simplicity of this method.

Anchoring the Pergola to a Structure

A pergola doesn’t need to be anchored to the ground. It can be anchored to the house walls, it can be anchored to pillars, and it can be anchored to patios. These are usually done using specialised brackets where the body of the pergola itself (not the posts) is attached to the structure.

This is another popular installation option that has distinct advantages over other approaches. It gives you more freedom over the space, it allows you to create excellent shading in the backyard, and it provides great protection against the sun!

Improvising Using Sandbags or Weight Bags

You can install a pergola by stabilising its legs using sand or weight bags. This approach certainly isn’t as reliable as the other methods, and it can’t withstand strong winds and rain, but the process only makes use of commonly used household items and can be a great temporary solution until the pergola is permanently installed.

Installing Pergolas FAQ

Do I Have to Anchor My Pergola?

Generally, yes, to properly secure your pergola, you need to anchor it either to the soil or a nearby structure. This stabilizes the structure, increases its longevity, and gives it the ability to withstand gales, storms, and heavy rain.

How to Bolt Down a Pergola on Pavers?

Securing a Pergola on pavers is a relatively straightforward process. You start by placing the post footings underneath the pavers by digging appropriately sized holes. You then secure brackets to the concrete footing using a drill. Lastly, you slot in the pergola post and fill the hole.