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

August 17, 2015
Read time: 1 min


11/ Making a Patio with a Border


With our basic structure in place we’ll backpedal a little bit and turn this rectangle into an area of pavers with a border on it, just to give us a better feel for how the pergola will be sitting in its environment.


Size the center section
  • So we’re gonna go in here (rectangle) and double-click into this group. 
  • Pull it down into a 4 inch thick concrete slab.
  • Let’s make it a little bit smaller, let’s go 10 inches on each side (push/pull tool, specify 10”, and double click other three sides).
  • Double-click and make it a group within a group.


Make the border
  • Copy the top surface of the concrete slab
  • Exit the group
  • Choose Edit> Paste in Place
  • Make into a group
  • To make it easier to work on the newly-pasted border, raise the slab up out of the way.
  • [Insert floating slab joke.]
  • Double click into border group
  • Double click again to edit
  • Use offset tool to make the shape 18 inches bigger all the way around.
  • Delete the middle shape to form just the 18 inch wide border.
  • Drag down 4 inches.


Change of plan: Matt decides to make the border concrete and the center piece of pavers. That way he can incorporate the foundation piers into the concrete slab border.


12/ Add a Pier Foundation to the Patio 


To make a pier foundation under the posts, Matt first locates the center of the post so that he can shoot a guideline through the post into the ground. 

  1. To make the post easier to work with, he stretches the top past the lattice work 20 inches.
  2. Use the ruler tool to locate center in two directions.
  3. Holding Shift helps the tool to index
  4. Lower the post top back into place.
Draw the pier foundation
  1. From under the pergola, choose the circle tool and center an 8 inch circle on the guide line (specify a 4” radius).
  2. Matt uses a plugin for marking center point
  3. Make a component.
  4. Copy to opposite corner
  5. Select two piers, copy to opposite end
  6. Pull down concrete pier 42 inches, which is the frost line at the digital jobsite.


—Matt Jackson is a master carpenter, remodeler, SketchUp Wiz, YouTuber, and contributing editor to ProTradeCraft. He lives and works in Rapid City, South Dakota. 

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