Pergola

qbot

Member
Jun 8, 2010
18
Central WA
Greetings. We have a W/SW view and get relentless sun. I was thinking a pergola off the side of the house would be just what the doctor ordered.

Does anyone here have experience building these? I'm reasonably handy with tools but not a professional by any means. Any plans on the internets that I could crib?

The area would be about 15' x 15'.

Thanks for any help...
 

ChiknNutz

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 22, 2010
145
Arlington, WA
I recently designed and built this. Not sure if this is at all what you are after, but since I just completed it, thought I'd share it. Sounds like you might be wanting one attached to the house though? This one is 4' x 10' at the posts, with an overall "footprint" with the overhangs of 8' x 14'. This is my first and think it turned out pretty nice.



 

ChiknNutz

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 22, 2010
145
Arlington, WA
I just noticed you mention "Central WA" in your profile, wouldn't happen to be Wenatchee would it? If so, that's where I'm from and my folks are still there in Malaga.
 

Txmat

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 18, 2010
424
San Antonio
ChiknNutz, I am thinking of building something like you did. What size wood did you use? I need a 4 X 30 pergola and not sure how close together my posts have to be. I see you were able to use a 10 foot span.
 

ChiknNutz

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 22, 2010
145
Arlington, WA
Since this is not a load bearing structure, it doesn't have to maintain quite the same normal building codes (unless you plan to roof it). I used 6"x6" doug fir posts and 2"x6" SPF for the horizontal beams. The corner braces, though really just intended to be decorative, are structural and do allow for a longer span so that is something for you to consider as well. However, 30' is a long span and I can't imagine being able to span much more than about 12' with a 2x6 on 16" or 24" centers. Although unnecessary for mine, I opted for 6" material strictly for looks.

Here is a really cool site I found for inspiration: http://www.trellisstructures.com/index.html
 

Txmat

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 18, 2010
424
San Antonio
Thanks for the link. They do give me a lot of ideas. Yes, 30 feet is a long distance. Glad to learn that a 10 foot span works with a 2 X 6. I was afraid that 8 feet would be all I could do. With 10 foot spans I could do 4 sets of posts. What about a 12 foot span in the middle and then 9 foot spans on each side? Do you think I would have to go to a 2X8 for the horizontal beams?
 

ChiknNutz

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 22, 2010
145
Arlington, WA

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Stomp

Member
May 13, 2009
18
Orange County, CA
Just wanted to add one thought. We already had a pergola but it was still really hot (backyard faces same direction as OP, but in SoCal), and the lattice work on the top only stopped so much sun. We decided to invest in a few Coolaroo Shade Sails (and I ended up throwing in a couple of outdoor fans for good measure). This is another option (I know the look isn't for everybody), however if you do the shade sale instead of the pergola it can be much cheaper ;-)



Check out their site - some cool ideas.

http://www.coolaroousa.com/view-products.do?category_id=Shade Sails
 

geekgranny

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
Stomp said:
Just wanted to add one thought. We already had a pergola but it was still really hot (backyard faces same direction as OP, but in SoCal), and the lattice work on the top only stopped so much sun. We decided to invest in a few Coolaroo Shade Sails (and I ended up throwing in a couple of outdoor fans for good measure). This is another option (I know the look isn't for everybody), however if you do the shade sale instead of the pergola it can be much cheaper ;-)
I really, really, really like the look of you shade sails as you have used them. :goodjob:

gg=alice
 
G

Guest

This company sells them also: http://www.thenaturalhome.com/shadecloth.htm

My house had awnings on it (pipe framing) but they don't last that long, are very expensive and require upkeep. I bought the 90% shade cloth with gromets every 12" and mounted that on the awning frame. Cost for 2 was under $200; awnings the same size would be about 10 times that. Of course, they don't block the rain like an awning would but they work for me. They'll also last many years longer than an awning. I had one at my previous house for about 6 years and it was pristine when I moved. I've had these for 3 seasons now and no problems. I put them up in April and remove in September and store them in the garage. They're much easier to install and remove than an awning also -- the former owner paid $100 or so each year for installation, and then there's cleaning for the awning also.

BTW, at my previous house, I bought the shade from a different company and it was more expensive. I found this company when I was doing some research. At the other house, I did not have an awning frame, but had a 2nd story South-facing deck. I had pockets put in opposite ends and ran a pipe through them and mounted the shade that way. This company makes things like that too (and I thought I'd invented that idea!) :
Open end pockets are also available, although not pictured. We fold the material over and sew an "open hem" into a side to allow insertion of a pipe or cable. Cost is the same as normal rectangle plus $1.25 per foot for the pockets. Please note that open hem pockets are simply folded over and stitched; it is not possible to create pockets with reinforced hem tape webbing.
 

crookm11

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2010
422
Copperas Cove, Texas
Just thought I would share a pic of the pergola I built. It cost me less than $800 to build. I used preasure treated wood from Lowes. I had no plans and was built on the fly. It is 16' x 16'. Since this pic I have cut the top of the posts and capped them off.



Enjoy.

Mark
 

ChiknNutz

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 22, 2010
145
Arlington, WA
Here are a few more photos of the progress I've made so far.

After erecting the pergola, I then cut out the grass to create a trench for the dirt and bark to collect. I then brought in 10 yds of dirt and moved it around by hand until I got it where I wanted it. After that, I covered the dirt with about 5 yds of tree chippings (free from the county).





We then moved some boulders from the property. Finally, we bought some shrubs, grasses and dwarf trees to finish it off. We will likely plant a few flowers here and there too in the spring.



 
G

Guest

Chik, that's very attractive. What stain are you using, and are you happy with it? I have some decking to do one of these days....
 

ChiknNutz

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 22, 2010
145
Arlington, WA
Thx, on the Pergola I used an Olympic "toner", color was Canyon Brown from Home Depot. So far I am quite pleased with it, but only time will tell how long it lasts. If memory serves, it's supposed to be good for 5 yrs when used on fencing (i.e. vertical surfaces) and 3 yrs on decking. I chose the toner as it allows the wood grain to show thru. A semi-transparent would be similar and gives longer lifespan.

On the fence, though, I used Olympic solid stain which is supposed to be good for like 20 or 25 years on a fence. I chose that because the fence had been stained by the previous owners and I didn't want to go thru the hassle of completely stripping the cedar to allow for the use of a semi-transparent (as I prefer wood grain to show thru if given the choice). Look at my first pix to see the fence before. This stuff really went on nice and is a lot more like paint (and is a water-based as opposed to the toner which is oil-based). I used an airless sprayer on the fence and did the whole job in about 4 hours (both sides).
 
G

Guest

Thanks for the info -- I'll look into color selection. I have cedar picket fencing that's 2 years old and unstained that I'd like to do with a real light color (like it looks when it's wet). The decking is old and the former owner stained it dark but that's mostly worn off although there are remnants here and there, so darker would work well there. I did some reading on stains and was sort of interested in One-time wood and Readyseal, but will look into your recommendations as well, since yours' looks so good!


Did you rent or buy the sprayer? I have one but it's pretty small I think. I used it on my previous deck and used Behr that was just awful to work with and longevitiy was bad, but it helped sell the house so I can't really complain all that much -- just won't use that stuff again!

Sue