We spent the first weekend cutting the lumber to length and applying two coats of primer to all surfaces. The next weekend, we dug and poured concrete footings and applied two topcoats of paint to the parts. Then we took one more day to build the arbor and paint the posts, which arrived the day before construction began.
The arbor was built entirely of construction-grade redwood, which resists rot and insects. Although cedar and pressure-treated pine are also rot- and insect-resistant, redwood is friendlier to work with. It's lightweight, soft and very easy to cut and shape. It's also less likely than pressure-treated pine to warp or twist, and it holds paint beautifully.
The total cost for the redwood was about $1,500. Western red cedar costs about the same. If you're willing to sacrifice some dimensional stability, use pressure-treated pine, which runs significantly less—just about $600 to $700.
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2. 2x8 CROSS BEAMS
3. 2x6 RAFTERS
4. 1x2 LATTICE STRIPS
5. 1x3 TRIM
applied around tops of each post
6. 3/4-INCH-DIAMETER X 42-INCH-LONG GALVANIZED-METAL PIPE
used to hold posts in place
7. PRIMER AND PAINT OR STAIN
8. 2- AND 3-INCH DECKING SCREWS
9. CONCRETE MIX
for creating poured-concrete footings
10. 2 1/2-INCH GALVANIZED FINISHING NAILS
used to attach 1x3 trim to posts
11. WOOD PRESERVATIVE
used to treat the ends of the posts
12. 1/2-INCH PRESSURE-TREATED PLYWOOD
cut into 7 [FRACTION 1/2]-inch-square fastening plates