how should I secure a metal frame pergola?

Old 04-24-10, 02:55 PM
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Question how should I secure a metal frame pergola?

I recently put up a metal frame pergola on my second floor wood deck. The kit came with metal spikes to secure the feet of structure through holes provided. Of course that is not going to work for me. Before I go drilling holes in my deck I was wondering what kind of screws of bolts would work best to keep my pergola from blowing away on the first windy day. Any suggestions?
Old 04-24-10, 04:19 PM
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Believe it or not, I've seen several patio covers ripped off of decks by just what you described- high winds. They turn into kites when a powerful enough storm comes along. You're wise to consider additional reinforcement!

Its impossible to give you specific advice since they probably don't make "exactly" what you need, but basically you want a connection from the posts of the pergola down to the floor joists of your deck. But depending where your posts are located, they may not be perfectly lined up with the joists. So the solution may not be simple.

But to be brief, I'd suggest a galvanized strap on each side of each post, provided these "feet" aren't in the way. The strap should go down through the floor and along side a solid framing member (either a joist or blocking that you add to the joist.) The strap should be bolted to each post with 2 bolts (likely hot dipped galvanized) and should also be bolted through your wood blocking below with 2 bolts. If you add blocking, it too should be well secured... using lags (ledgerlock lag screws would work well).

Simpson Strong-Tie is a company that makes hangers, straps and such, so if you browse their web site, or look at what they have available in a lumberyard or big box store you might find something that will work for your situation.

Those sort of structures are only as strong as their weakest link, though. So it could very well be that if you anchor the posts well... the next weakest link might be the one bolt that holds the roof to the posts. Also, if the posts, or other parts are aluminum it can bend and tear in a high wind. So be sure it gets added to your home insurance if you live in an area where thunderstorms are the norm.
Old 04-24-10, 05:16 PM
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Red face securing a pergola

Thank you for your reply. You know I have to admit that I did not think about the weak link part, I hope this was not a bad idea because I love the way it looks and gives me some shade from a southern exposure. I guess I better go down to my neighbors yard and find that bolt that I dropped to attach the roof to the posts! I will take your advice and cross my fingers!
Old 04-24-10, 09:37 PM
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If you anchor it to the deck boards, a wind will simply tear the deck boards off.

Get underneath the deck and SECURELY install blocking (4X6, 6X6, etc.) between the joists where the legs will be attached to the deck. Then through bolt the flanges of the pergola thru those blocks.

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