Rafter and Beam Cut Ends

One great way to give your pergola a unique look is customize the cut ends of the beams or rafters. There is a wide variety of options to choose from here are a few.


There is a wide variety of cut end designs for beams and rafters

Types of cut end styles

Choices of corbel styles for rafters and beams

Standard options of corbel cut ends.

Do-It-Yourself Pergola

How To Build A Wood Pergola (Without a Saw!!!)

A pergola is a great way to enjoy your backyard and give your outdoor space some added design. If you need a custom pergola in Vista, CA visit this page here. We service San Diego County and surrounding areas.

If your yard permits you might consider a Costco pergola. You can get a basic Costco pergola kit for around $1000, or if you’re handy enough and have the time, you might just build one yourself. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

When choosing wood for your Do-it-Yourself Pergola make sure your boards are as straight as possible, avoiding boards with the following problems.


2x4's common wood for pergolaTypes of wood board warping





What You’ll Need:

4 – 4x4x10 – pressure treated posts

2 – 2x6x10 – common wood, ex. Douglas Fir

8 – 2x4x10 – common wood, ex Douglas Fir (at least 8, more if sufficient shade is required)

4 – Bags of Concrete 

4″ Lag screws and washers (4)

3″ exterior screws

Exterior paint


Bucket of Water



Backyard wood pergola

Basic wood pergola with straight-cut ends.


  1. Measure where to put your pressure treated posts first. They will be 8 feet apart on center.
  2. Dig a 12 inch square hole around the middle of where your post will be set. Dig a minimum of 18 inches deep.
  3. Center and level post on both verticals. Make sure all posts have the same vertical height from the ground up, or very close.
  4. Follow directions on cement bag for water/mix ratio. Pour cement and water into hole and around post. Poke a few holes in the cement to be sure the water drains properly. Hold post until it is sturdy enough to stand on its own.
  5. Decide what kind of cut ends or corbels you want for the cross beams. Click here for some examples. For this project we are just using the straight-cut ends from the factory cuts. No saws needed! 
  6. When the cement has dried COMPLETELY and the posts are sturdy, you are ready to fasten the beams. You’ll want to install 2 parallel beams so you can set the next pieces on top of those. Use another pair of hands to help you hold each beam up and into place. There should be about 8″ of hangover on each side. Use a level and fasten with a lag screw and washer into the 4×4. 
  7. Now evenly measure and space out the next row of wood pieces for the roof. The more wood you use, the more shade your pergola will provide. Fasten wood with 3″ exterior screws. See image above.
  8. If all has went well, you should be out of the building phase, and into finishing. Paint your pergola with a primer first and 2 coats of paint for maximum protection from the elements. Allow proper drying to occur between each coat.


Why should I hire a General Contractor?

Do I need a General Contractor (GC)?

Whether you are experienced with home projects or not, it can be of great benefit to hire a General Contractor to help see your project through. There are many reasons to hire a General Contractor, but here are a few:

1. It’s easier to let your GC contact his network of tradesman rather than try and find qualified individuals yourself.

Sometimes even small projects can involve 3 to 4 different trades.

2. Your GC can save you money.

They know the products, the fixes, the shortcuts, the money-savers, what looks good/what doesn’t etc…

3. They become the personal liaison to your project.

Don’t understand the difference between eggshell and enamel? Wondering about putting a door or window in? Pushing walls back and creating more living space? Repair or Remodel?

The General Contractor is your go-to for questions like these and many more. They’ll help you through the process by holding your hand through each step and by listening to your wants, needs, and desires for the project at hand. In the construction business, aka “the business of solving lots of little problems” experience can be invaluable. Things can go wrong in a hurry, but a good GC will keep your project moving forward and always headed towards completion and deadline.


A good working relationship with your General Contractor can save you lots of time, money, and headache.