Creating a Custom Pergola

Reference Number: KB-00889
Last Modified: July 20, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


I want to add a pergola, arbor, or trellis to my plan. How can I build my own custom pergola?

Pergola made out of soffits


Creating a pergola similar to the one shown above is easy using the soffit tool and corbel symbols from the millwork section of the Library Browser. 


To create custom beams

  1. First, launch your Home Designer software program and Open  the plan in which you want to create your pergola.

  2. Select Build> Cabinet> Soffit  and click in floor plan view to place this rectangular object.

    Navigating to Build> Cabinet> Soffit from the menu

  3. Using the Select Objects  tool, click on the soffit to select it, and select the Open Object  edit tool to open the Soffit Specification dialog:

    • On the General panel, set the dimensions of the soffit, including its Height, Width, and Depth

    • Next, set the distance from the floor that you want the soffit to be.

      If you are unsure as to the dimensions that you want, or the distance from the floor that you need these first horizontal soffits to be, you may find it helpful to take a Cross Section/Elevation or Camera view and adjust the soffit's dimensions and distance from the ground.

    • Select the Materials panel and change the material of the soffit to your choice.

    • Click OK to apply the changes and close the dialog.

  4. To quickly create copies of the first initial soffit, use the Select Objects  tool to select the soffit, then click on the Copy/Paste  edit tool.

  5. Click on the Sticky Mode  edit tool to create multiple copies by simply clicking in your plan to place copies of the original soffit until you have the number of copies that you want for this section of your pergola.

  6. Once you have placed your copies, select each one and move it in to place.

    You may find it helpful to create a Manual Dimension  line across them to help position them equally apart.

Now you are ready to place a new, vertical soffit.

To create custom posts

  1. Use the same procedure mentioned above to create custom posts out of soffits.

  2. You can take a Cross Section/Elevation  view or a Camera  view to double check the appearance of the soffits.

  3. Use the same Copy/Paste  and Sticky Mode  procedure outlined above to create the necessary copies of these posts and then maneuver them in to place.

To add details to the structure

  1. If you are creating a stand-alone pergola, or one attached to the house that will be held up by columns, these can be located in the Library Browser  by navigating to Home Designer Core Catalogs> Architectural> Millwork> Columns.

  2. Also in the Millwork category are Corbels, which can be resized and placed at the ends of your soffits.

  3. Lattice materials can also be located in the Library Browser.

  4. To create the deck beneath this pergola, we used a combination of Deck Railings  where we wanted the railing to display, and Straight Deck Edges where we did not require a railing.