How To Build A Trellis

  • people entertaining under an outdoor trellis
First impressions are just as important for your enjoyment of your home as they are to its kerb appeal for resale value. 
 
An inviting front yard doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars, it can be as simple as landscaping a flat, bare patch of ground and adding a stone wall and arbours.
 
Best of all, you can give your home the look of an established residence in just a weekend by speeding up construction using primed treated pine for the arbour gateway and stone blocks instead of bricks for the walls. 
 
Finish the look by adding a paved patio and path to the gateway, plus a few landscape features, including new plants for colour and greenery. 
 
To save research time, take a photo of the area you’re planning to plant up to your local nursery.
 
The staff will advise you on plants that will look good and grow well.
 

Make the arbours

Define the access to the front door with arbours built from primed exterior finger-jointed pine. 
 
The decorative arbours are built using pairs of posts, clad on all sides and supporting a lintel on either side. The trellis arbour is made by adding an integrated lattice panel.
 
Adapt the size of the arbours to make the gateway proportional to the home and apply an exterior acrylic for a weatherproof finish.
 
TIP Use H4 treated pine for the posts and concrete directly into the ground, priming the posts and any cut edges. 
 
 
Step 1. Lay out the frame

Set out the arbour positions using a temporary 90 x 45mm timber frame, measuring the diagonals for square then bracing it. Mark post locations with stakes at the corners then dig 900 x 300 x 300mm post holes.

Step 2. Sink the posts

Add 100mm gravel then the posts to the holes. Check for plumb then skew-screw the posts to the frame. Clamp temporary braces between the posts and frame then mix water and fast-set concrete in the holes.

Step 3. Attach the lintels

Use offcuts to support the lintel then secure with 120mm x 14g bugle screws. Continue the height mark around the post using a speed square then secure the second lintel and cut the post to length with a handsaw.

Step 4. Secure the cladding

Remove the lintel supports then prop the base of the cladding above the post footing using a timber offcut. Secure the cladding, butting against the lintel with equal overhang both sides then add the inner cladding.

Step 5. Make the lattice panel

Leave off two sides of cladding. Position the rails side by side and square lines across the edges 223mm from one end then at 150mm centres. Secure the spacers with 40mm x 8g screws, adding the rails as you go.

Step 6. Finish the trellis

Attach a straightedge 140mm above the top rail as a guide, position the slats centred on the markings and butted against the guide, then secure with 60 x 2.8mm galvanised nails. Add the remaining cladding.

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