Pergola posts

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Old 04-30-15, 06:53 AM
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Pergola posts

Hello,

Breaking my questions up concerning this so my apologies for multiple posts.

My wife and I are considering a pergola possibly done in 2 ways.

1 - freestanding structure

2 - Pergola with a deck raised approximately 2-3 feet off of the ground that would use the pergola posts for structural support for the deck.

is the way you would set the posts different for these 2 scenarios?

It is easier it seems that if i could poor the concrete footing and then secure the post to the top of that would be hope. That way I don't have to put that post 4 feet into the ground and get those posts that much longer. Not to mention, if i have to change them out over the years would be easier to detach them and replace.

Thanks again for the all the assistance.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 07:05 AM
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Both scenarios are freestanding meaning that nothing gets attached to the house. The footing should always be poured first with the base plate, in the concrete. Don't sink the posts into the ground. You can use the posts for both the pergola, the deck & the deck railing, if you are going to have a railing. Keep the deck height under 18 inches. In some places, higher than that requires a permit. Hang the beams between the posts. Use double 2x10s.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 07:18 AM
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Pergolas often turn out to be much more "wobbly" than what the builder imagined. The posts usually need to have some form of diagonal bracing below the roofline in order to resist the sway created by lateral movement. For this reason, a pergola that has posts which go down through a deck is going to be a little more stable than a freestanding one. The deck joists will help stabilize the base of the posts somewhat, requiring a little less (shorter pieces) bracing. The higher the deck, the less bracing you would need at the top of the post, since a greater amount of stabilization would be achieved at the bottom of the pergola.

You definitely don't want the posts in the ground or surrounded by concrete. Set them on concrete piers (sonotubes) and use adjustable post bases to make the attachment.

A free standing pergola is still an option, but you will usually want to design some post bracing into the plan. Your posts will need to have bracing at the top, somewhat like a Y, if you can picture that.
 
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