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How to install pergola on a deck or any surface - Before the installation

If you want to install your pergola directly on a deck or in your garden, you must verify if your patio or lawn is even.

1. Regrading your yard

First of, you’ll need to determine if your lawn is even enough to be able to install some kind of decking before mounting your pergola. 

To determine if your lawn is even enough, you’ll need to examine if it has any irregularities. Depending on the severity of inconsistencies of the ground, different measures can be taken. 

Small holes can usually be topdressed with a sand-soil mix that you make yourself. A common mix is 30% soil or organic compost and 70% sand. You can also purchase topsoil to fill in the holes. 

If you need to level out a moderately uneven lawn, you can use the sod cutting method. 

Cut around the perimeter of the grass you want to regularize with a sharp spade, shovel, or edger. Cut the sod into one-foot-by-two-foot strips or one-foot-square pieces. Only the top layer of dirt must be broken through. This method will help leveling the ground since it will basically remove the unnecessary turf bumps. 

If your lawn irregularities are more severe, you’ll need to take more drastic measures. For example, you’ll need to regrade your yard. 

It’s important to follow this rule of thumb: The land should always slope away from your house, according to the first rule of grading. Every 10 feet, it should drop at least two or three inches. In a lawn, the maximum slope should be no more than twelve inches every four feet. You can measure you yard’s slope with a transit level. 

Start removing the topsoil from the problem areas once you've defined the inclination severity. Scrape away high regions and fill in low places to adjust the subsoil. Extensive grading may need the use of heavier equipment. This kind of equipment can be rented, or you could get the help of a landscape contractor.

2. Installing a ground level deck

Because a ground-level deck is intended to be low, you'll want to think about the type of wood or composite you'll use for building your structure. We strongly  recommend using wood that is rated for ground contact and has a good level of preservative, like cedar, since it is mold resistant, torsion resistant & durable and has unmatched dimensional stability. See the article Why do we include cedar in our products?” for specifications about this type of wood. 

We recommend that you rely on the guides that can be found on the internet about how to build a deck and the techniques to use. Several DIY videos are available on Youtube. And if you’re planning to build a pergola for the next summer season... Korto is currently working on a Deck-it kit, which is a do-it-yourself deck building kit, with premium quality aluminum components and cedar!

3. Or if you prefer to install the pergola directly on grass or concrete

When installing your pergola directly on grass, it’s important to know that if you do so, we do not recommend installing it on the directly on the visible surface of the grass. Instead, dig a hole of at least 5 inches in the grass, place the bases of the pergola at the bottom, then stabilize the structure by pouring concrete in the hole.

You can also install in directly on a concrete deck or platform: Watch our pergola installation video. Also, you can watch our ambassador’s youtube channel, ModernMilt, who did a perfect installation of his Korto pergola on concrete.

Now that you’ve set up your Korto pergola… Want some inspiration and ideas with how to spruce it up to its full potential? See our article “Inspiration for what to do after installing your pergola”! 

Article’s cover photo by Modernmilt 

More info: How to Level a Bumpy Lawn