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Friday, December 7, 2012

Join the Pergola Building E-Course

For anyone even thinking about building a pergola, this FREE 3 week series of email lessons is exactly what you need to get started. 

The E-Course takes you from the very first step in the planning process all the way to heading out to shop for materials with your very own cut list and freshly drawn pergola plans. 

You will learn how to measure out and prepare and mark your site, find out how to obtain permits and meet all local regulations that are needed, and then exactly what you will need to do to secure your posts to any possible surface.

You will receive a free pergola plan, but then also learn how to adapt the one you receive in case it is not the exact size and design that you need. You will also learn how to draw your own pergola plans from scratch including figuring out dimensions all around and then using that to create a material cut list.

At that point you should really be able to feel confident about how possible and easy it it to build your own pergola. Then you will be ready for the second part of the lessons - the ebook that provides illustrated step by step instructions on getting to the final product - your very own personally designed and built pergola.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Securing a Pergola to a Deck

On the topic of where to build a pergola, this question very frequently comes up:

“How do you build a pergola on a deck that will stay secure under windy conditions? We live in a hurricane zone and we’ve seen pergolas that crumble and other’s that stand strong. What’s the key to keeping them secure?”

It is very important to properly attach pergola posts when installing a pergola over a deck. As the customer shows, a main concern is how the structure will react under high wind conditions.  Most deck builders bolt pergola support posts to the frame of the deck using (2) 1/2"x6" lag screws with washers per post. The key there is to attach the posts to the frame. That is the only part of the deck that can provide the stability to hold up any kind of attachment to the deck. This technique is the same as attaching a rail post.  

Another way to insure stability is to build the pergola with some additional bracing pieces that increase resistance to wind. Pergolas are top heavy and can sway in the wind without lateral bracing and can experience strong uplift forces as the pergola acts as a sail.  Attaching sections of rail in between pergola posts will strengthen the pergola.  Installing 45 degree bracing in between the post and header beam will also increase stability. 

For just about any design or foundation, we always suggest using 6x6's for support posts, but for a deck we consider it mandatory.  Deck Lok brackets are another option for extremely windy areas and hurricane zones.

Sign up here for an outstanding Pergola Building Preparation E-Course that will make sure that you learn and follow all the best steps to building the perfect pergola for your yard that will stand the test of time (and wind!)