How To Build A Trellis

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How To Build a Garden Trellis

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Project Overview

The garden trellis will enhance almost every style of home or garden and is perfect for supporting and displaying a great variety of flowering creepers.


Always keep tools and materials away from children.
Read the instructions before beginning your project.
Wear an approved dust mask when cutting, planing or sanding timber.
Safety glasses and ear protection should be worn at all times.
Do not burn timber off cuts as they contain toxins.


For a trellis 1.8m long x 750mm deep and 2.1m high
Timber Posts: Timber 4/90 x 90mm, 2.7m long, H4 treated pine.
Beams: 2/140 x 45mm, 2.7m long, H3 treated pine.
Cross Rails: 4/70mmx35mm, 750mm long, H3 treated pine.
Corner Battens: 35 x 35mm, H3 treated pine.
Lattice: Either treated pine lattice or Fibre Cement lattice Nails.
Framing Nails: 75x3.7mm galvanised flatheads.
Lattice Nails: 30mm x 2.0mm gal. Flat head for wood lattice or for fibre cement
lattice use fibre cement gal. Nails 30mm x 2.00mm.For corner battens - 50mm x 2.8mm gal. Flat head nails.
Bolts: optional galvanised 10mm coach bolts with large washers (for post-to-beam fixing).
Concrete: For the postholes.
Paint: 1 x Coat of Oil based primer 2 x Coats of exterior Acrylic. All cut ends need to be resealed with an appropriate "in can" preservative. Ask for advice in store.


Drill and bits
Tape measure and square

Step by Step Instructions

1 Posts
2 Beams
3 Rails
4 Corner battens
5 Lattice
6 Select a site
7 Insert posts
8 Important
9 Hints and tips
  • Step 1. Posts

    Working from a pair of sawstools or a workbench, cut the posts to length allowing an additional 450-500mm for embedding into the ground. Check out housings for the beams, see fig 1. Thoroughly paint the completed housings.

  • Step 2. Beams

    Cut the beams to length and shape their decorative ends. Skew nail the beams to the posts with 75x3.75mm gal. nails. Pre-drill the holes in the beams to prevent splitting. The drill should be slightly smaller in diameter than the nails. Timbers often twist in time and joints open up even when nailed well. If you are concerned, use two 10mm gal. Coach bolts with large washers at each joint.
  • Step 3. Rails

    Cut the top and bottom end rails to length and skew nail them to the posts. Skew nailing is sufficient here, as the lattice will tie the frame together. Keep the bottom rail 150mm above the ground.
  • Step 4. Corner battens

    Lay the trellis on its side and commence to cut and attach the diagonal battens at each corner. Cut the ends at 45°. Butt join and fasten ends with 1/50mm x 2.8mm gal. flat head nail at each end. Commence with the shortest one at the top. Allow a 20mm gap between each one.
  • Step 5. Lattice

    Paint the frame and the lattice on both sides before attaching. Cut the lattice to length to fit the ends and top. The lattice will need to be cut around the beams at the ends of the trellis. Nail in place with lattice nails.
  • Step 6. Select a site

    First find a suitable permanent location, taking into account maximum sunlight and if possible, avoid prevailing winds for the consideration of the proposed creeper. Mark out the positions of the four posts and excavate the holes to approx. 600mm deep. Allow about 100mm of gravel below the posts.
  • Step 7. Insert posts

    Insert posts into the holes. Posts can be either set in concrete in the ground or in soil mixed with cement. If using soil, ensure you ram around the posts to settle the earth. Ensure the posts are vertically plumb and the beams are level. This should be double-checked as the embedment is proceeding.
  • Step 8. Important

    Avoid trimming the inground ends of posts as this will expose untreated core material and allow access for termites and rot.
  • Step 9. Hints and tips

    • It is much easier to build and paint the trellis prior to embedding into the ground.
    • Paint all joints before fastening together.
    • Consult your local Bunnings Warehouse for expert advice on a suitable climbing plant for your trellis.

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint Test.

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