Securing a pergola to above ground planters?

Old 01-22-18, 11:45 AM
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Securing a pergola to above ground planters?

Hi there! I live in Orlando, FL. I want to create a 15' by 20' pergola but cannot dig underground because of a huge tree stump plus a drainfield. What do you think about the sturdiness of having the legs be in big planters with half of it concrete to secure the legs? The planters would be on the ground. Thank you!
Old 01-22-18, 03:08 PM
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I would say NO. Check with your local building inspections department. Florida is very strict about structure and proper anchoring to prevent flying debris during hurricanes.
Old 01-22-18, 03:33 PM
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Agree 100%, really bad idea.
Old 01-23-18, 12:41 AM
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Are you talking about something like this?

Our pergola/arbor is massive, even something small would weigh hundreds of pounds and be extremely top heavy, it has to be planted way down in the ground to support!
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Old 02-28-18, 11:11 PM
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Well, I don't live in FL and we don't have tropical that probably really voids my answer...but...that's never stopped me

I built a free standing pergola 10' x 10' that just sat on top of rock hard ground with areas of compacted gravel under the corners and it hasn't moved an inch in 8 yrs. Of course, it's in an area protected from our occasional strong wind storms, and I didn't have to worry and rain soaking the ground and making it unstable.

That said, your proposal is much bigger and as the others have said, likely your building codes wouldn't allow it. There may be other options like screw in anchors or some sort of machine set anchor that it could be attached to. Possibly attachment to a thick concrete slab? But all those options will likely require approved engineering plans.

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