How to Build a Trellis

A trellis is a hardscape element of a lawn or garden that acts as a ladder for climbing plants or can be purely decorative in nature. The basic design of a trellis involves horizontal and vertical elements which meet in a crossing pattern.

A trellis can be constructed of any material but woods and metals are the most common. Instructions for how to build a trellis are usually very generic in nature. This is usually intentional because many people who search for instructions on how to build a trellis already have a design in mind and are only looking for information on how to assemble the structure.

Instructions for Building a Trellis

As previously mentioned, the instructions for how to build a trellis are usually very basic in nature. The instructions we have provided were written with the intention of giving readers a starting point on how to construct a trellis. Feel free to modify these instructions to design and build a trellis that meets your needs. The basic construction steps include the following:

    - Purchase two 2x4s for outside posts and six 1x2s for cross pieces and inner horizontal pieces.
    - Cut three of the 1x2s to four feet in length
    - Lay the two 2x4s on a flat surface and position them so they are 42 inches apart.
    - Use screws to attach one, four foot long 1x2 52 inches from the bottom of the cross posts. This will be the middle cross piece in the structure.
    - Position the other two, four foot long 1x2s so they are 26 inches above and below the center 1x2. This will be the lower and upper cross pieces in the structure.
    - Use screws to attach the other two, four foot long 1x2s to the 2x4 cross posts.
    - Cut two of the 1x2s to 72 inches and one of them to 84 inches. These will be the inner vertical pieces.
    - Flip the structure over so the 1x2s are resting on a flat surface and position the 84 inch 1x2 in the exact middle of the surface with the bottom of the 1x2 resting two inches below the lowest cross piece.
    - Use screws to attach the 84 inch vertical piece to the cross pieces.
    - Position the 72 inch vertical piece so they are halfway between the 84 inch cross piece and the 2x4 cross posts on either side.
    - Use screws to attach the 72 inch vertical pieces to the cross pieces.
    - Cut three 1x2s to 30 inches and one 1x2 to eight inches.
    - Flip the structure over again so the 2x4 cross posts are now resting on the flat surface.
    - Position the first two 30 inch 1x2s so they are centered on the 84 inch vertical piece and positioned halfway between the previously attached cross pieces. The third 30 inch 1x2 should be placed equidistant above the highest cross piece.
    - Use screws to attach the 30 inch cross pieces.
    -Use screws to attach the vertical piece.
    - Use screws to attach the eight inch cross piece.

Installing the Trellis

Now that you know how to build a trellis it is time to learn how to install the trellis. Enlist a helper to assist you in positioning the trellis in the desired location and mark the spot where you wish to have each post.

Dig a two foot deep hole in each marked location and put 2-3 inches of gravel in the bottom of each hole. Place the posts into the holes ensuring the trellis is level and refill the hole with dirt being sure to compact the dirt as you go to create a stable environment.

See Also:

Rock Gardens