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With building a pergola at the top of my summer to-do list, there’s nothing that makes me cringe more than the thought of spending thousands of dollars just for it to take a tumble roll through the yard. This is why learning how to anchor a pergola is a must. Keep reading to learn how I plan to anchor mine and why. I’ll also share a couple of other ways I’ve learned about, in case you find them to be a better fit for your own yard. 

Note: Before building any structure, you should consult your local building and permit office. 

1. How to Anchor A Pergola with Concrete Footers

Concrete is one of the best materials for anchoring a pergola. When pouring fresh concrete footers, you generally have two options. 

Posts in Concrete

A, you can dig post holes, fill them with concrete, and place the pergola posts directly into the concrete. But there are a few reasons I wouldn’t consider this method the best. While it will definitely be sturdy, it will also be more difficult or impossible to move later on. A second challenge is making sure the posts stay completely vertical until the concrete cures. Otherwise, they may lean, and cause your measurements to be off. But the biggest con is the changes that can occur over time, especially if you use a wood pergola. Changes in the wood can cause it to pull away from the concrete, creating gaps within the footer. Water pooling into these gaps could result in rotting posts or cracked concrete.

Anchor Bolts in Concrete

A better option is to set some sort of anchoring foundation bolt into the concrete and let it harden, as someone has done here. This allows you to anchor the pergola above the surface using a post base. A bolt should be much easier to set and the structure will be easier to move later on if you choose. The only downside is that it may not be as sturdy as placing the posts directly into the concrete. If you have a large pergola, you need to add some extra braces.  

2. How to Anchor A Pergola to Pavers or A Concrete Patio

What if you already have an existing concrete patio or you want to anchor to pavers? You can also use anchor bolts and post bases with them as well. In this video, they install wedge anchors using a concrete bit and a hammer drill to anchor a gazebo. But it would work the same for a pergola. Like placing the anchoring bolts in wet concrete, you may need to add some braces for extra stability. The same goes for concrete pavers. If you wanted your pergola to cover your patio area but didn’t want to anchor it to the foundation itself, you could pour new footers around the exterior of the patio. 

3. How to Anchor A Pergola to A Wood Deck

If you have a wood deck rather than a patio, you could anchor the pergola to it as well, using metal post bases. This installation is similar to anchoring to an existing concrete foundation. But, since the structure won’t be sitting resting on the ground, there is more to consider with this option. For example, you’ll need to compare the weight of the pergola to how much weight your deck can hold. You’ll also need to align the posts with the joists under the deck for stability.   

4. How to Anchor A Pergola to the Ground

If you don’t have a patio or deck and have little experience with concrete, another route is to install them into the ground. Some people apply them directly into the ground by digging post holes and filling them with tamped dirt rather than concrete. To achieve stability, you’ll need to buy longer pieces of wood and place the posts deeper into the ground. If you’re building a wood pergola, there is at least one other issue with this method. Considering the soil will be in contact with the wood, moisture, and termites could cause the wood to rot. This is true even if you use pressure-treated boards. Another option is to use ground screws. These would allow the posts to remain above ground and avoid the skill needed for concrete.

5. How to Anchor A Pergola with Planters

The last option is anchoring your pergola in some large planters filled with soil. This is great for growing some vines or flowers around the posts. Although it will look nice, it will not be as sturdy as anchoring with concrete. You could still anchor with concrete by pouring it into the base of the planter and adding soil to the top. This will provide some extra stability if needed. Or you could anchor the pergola some other way and build a planter around the post. No matter which option you choose, if the pergola is wood, the posts will still be exposed to either soil or concrete.


There are several ways to anchor a pergola. You can attach them to an existing structure, such as a wood deck, concrete patio, or pavers. You can anchor them in fresh concrete footers, by either sinking them directly into the mix or setting anchoring bolts. Or you can anchor them into the ground or large planters with either soil or concrete. Which is best will depend on the size of your pergola, where you live, and the setup of your backyard. If you live in an area with high wind, concrete footers may be the best option. Some local building codes also require it. Personally, I believe either anchoring bolts combined with concrete or ground screws to be the most beneficial. They offer decent stability while preventing the bottom of the posts from rotting prematurely. It will also be easier to move later if needed.

Which do you think is best? Leave a comment below and share this article!

Need some other advice for your pergola? Check out the pergola archives.


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