Matt Jackson | March 08, 2018

Video // Decks & Porches

Sketchup for Beginners: How to Build A Pergola

From gravel to final finish, Sketchup is an excellent medium for designing and building a pergola on 'paper'—before making sawdust.


In this series, master carpenter (and SketchUp pro), Matt Jackson uses a pergola as an excuse to teach the building blocks SketchUp, highlighting critical 3D modeling skills along the way.

There are 17 videos in this seven-part tutorial.



Video // Decks & Porches

Sketchup Pergola Planning Project (1): The Posts

Four video sequences: The Layout Rectangle, Making Posts, Notching Posts, and Making a Post Base

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Sketchup Pergola Planning Project (2): Beams and Rafters

Three videos: Making the Beams, Shaping the Beams, and Making 'Ceiling Joists' from the Beams

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Sketchup Pergola Planning Project (3): Lattice Design

Three videos: Using the Geopositioning Tool to Optimize Shade, Spacing Multiple Pieces of Lattice without Math, and some Advanced Lattice Modeling Tips

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Sketchup Pergola Planning Project (4): Patio and Pier Foundation

Two videos showing how to convert the layout rectangle into a concrete patio with a paver border, and adding concrete piers as a foundation

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Sketchup Master Class (5): Pergola Post Carving

Not satisfied with a simple pergola post, The Timber Tailor adds lamb's tongue chamfers to each corner

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Sketchup Pergola (6): Color and Texture

Three videos: How to add Grass and Paver Textures, How to Manipulate Wood Grain, and Adding Furniture (and friends) From the Digital Big Box.  

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Adjusting the Height and Width of a Sketchup Pergola (7)

The final video in the series: Did you model the pergola to be too tall? How to Lower the Joists and Narrow the Width of the Pergola

Download the model:


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