Posts for Pergola

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Old 05-23-11, 12:01 PM
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Posts for Pergola

We are adding a 16'x16' patio and intend to cover it with a pergola.

Our plan is to use concrete stamps and a color to create a nice authentic look.

My initial plan was to bury the posts of the pergola 36" to get below the frost line (central IL), and then pour the concrete around the posts.

In talking with my wife's uncle, who will aid in the concrete work, he suggested that we just use brackets on top of the concrete once it is poured.

His reasoning is that the posts will not be on the very edge, and it will be all but impossible to get the stamp correct around the posts. He also believes that with the concrete pad being a floating pad, and the posts being buried below the frost line, we'll have some pressure that will crack the concrete.

I wanted to bury them for the additional strength it would provide.

What would you guys do? Bracket fasteners on top, or bury the posts?

The posts will be 1' from the corners creating a 14'x14' square inside the patio.
 
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Old 05-23-11, 02:18 PM
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Bury no wood. Since you haven't poured the patio yet, make sure there are proper footings poured at your prescribed post locations. That way you can use post bases at those junctures without fear of the patio cracking under pressure.
 
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Old 05-24-11, 09:49 PM
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I would and have used the stongtie post bases and build in some lateral bracing.
 
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Old 06-02-11, 11:14 AM
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Thanks guys for your responses. I drew up my plan and was ready to proceed just as you suggested, but the darn government got in my way.

Two weeks after I inquired, my city finally called me back about a permit. Apparently, any pergola over 12x12 needs to have the posts buried 44", which is below our frost line.

I'm not happy, but I hopefully can still get this done. It will just be a lot more work, make the concrete stamp less appealing, and cost more...

Apparently if you have a 12x12 then it is no big deal if it blows around, but if you are 13x13 it has to withstand a 90mph wind. I'm 14x14.
 
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Old 06-02-11, 03:03 PM
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You don't have to bury the posts all you have to do is provide the proper footings that Chandler mentioned. You can use a sonotube cut flush with the bottom of the patio pour. Just make sure the government dude buys off on the depth before you pour.
 
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Old 06-05-11, 06:07 PM
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Though I do not bury posts in most cases, just keep in mind that you will experience rot quicker. It will be a pain in the butt to dig up the footers, but with a pergola, you usually only have 4 posts so it is not the end of the world. Best thing to do is to seal up the post before burying it.
 
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