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Thread: A few projects to catch up on................#5 HUGE pergola

  1. #1
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    A few projects to catch up on................#5 HUGE pergola

    Last, but definately not least, this is a pergola for the owners of the steam shower (the realtor that I work for).

    Here is a before pic of the yard. The realtors wife used to have a steel framed and mesh fabric, Costco-kinda gazebo. It had the mesh fabric hanging down to the ground and was about 12' in diameter. With a couple of other things in the patio area, it was cluttered and closed in looking. So we took everything out and started over. She asked me for a clear span of the area. At the front (away from us), 11' between the posts and at the rear (near to us) it would be 23" between the posts. The left side would be 24" between posts and the right side, at an angle, the span would be 27'.

    Attachment 9424

    These next pics are of the framing material. 28' and 32' 4x12's to support the joists and in the second pic are the 18' to 30' 2x12 joists.

    Attachment 9425 Attachment 9426

    The 8" x 8" posts were set into 2' x 5', hand dug holes with rebar cages and Sonotubes. After I got down to about 3 1/2" or so, where the hardpan started, it was comical how little material would come out in the post hole digger. At the bottom of the hole, I would have to try to keep outward pressure on the digger handles while lifting the digging end up and out of the hole to try to keep the dirt from falling on my head and back into the hole. Frustrating but funny. The notches will accomodate the beams and maintain the 5 1/2" spacing between the members per the design.

    Attachment 9427

    Here is the "short" side beams in place. They are 27' long total, including the overhang. The other side of the pergola gets beams that are a little over 30'. I lifted and set every stick of material on this project, one end at a time. It takes me a little longer but I am just too afraid to work with this heavy of material with a stranger on the other end. Too much potential for miscommunication and someone getting pulled off their ladder. Nobody likes to work with me anyway.

    Attachment 9428

    And....the finished product...............

    Attachment 9429 Attachment 9430

    This was the biggest freespan pergola that I've built to date. I've built them that have covered a larger square footage but not without intermediate posts. It was a challenge but it was tons of fun, which is why I do it.

    Thanks for looking.
    Last edited by Mark Rios; 06-04-2007 at 06:11 PM.
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

  2. #2
    Hi Mark. This is a real piece of work; it looks great and I am sure you worked your bottom side off.

    Did you install any kind of counterbalance on the short ends, behind the post, or are you depending on the 8x8s to handle the entire cantilevered load?

    I would have trouble sleeping at night knowing that I had so much lumber hung out in space.

  3. #3
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    Sorry for the lousy pics there Ken. There are four posts, one in each corner.
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

  4. #4
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    Yep, I could tip a few in that backyard. I grew up in California, I always loved the vegetation.

    Great job on the pergola, it really fits the yard well. Them's some long timbers, itís amazing that you built it by yourself!
    "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a
    friend...if you have one."
    --George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

    "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second..if there is
    one."
    --Winston Churchill, in response




  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rios View Post


    The 8" x 8" posts were set into 2' x 5', hand dug holes with rebar cages and Sonotubes. You need to explain this to me in more detail. That is a hugh hole! After I got down to about 3 1/2" or so, where the hardpan started, it was comical how little material would come out in the post hole digger. At the bottom of the hole, I would have to try to keep outward pressure on the digger handles while lifting the digging end up and out of the hole to try to keep the dirt from falling on my head and back into the hole.I can't imagine using a hand held post hole digger for that large a hole.That is one manly task!Blisters? Were you mad? or upset or depressed? I have done about 100 post holes that way but they were only 10" X 3' .Frustrating but funny. The notches will accomodate the beams and maintain the 5 1/2" spacing between the members per the design.

    Attachment 9427

    Here is the "short" side beams in place. They are 27' long total, including the overhang. The other side of the pergola gets beams that are a little over 30'. I lifted and set every stick of material on this project, one end at a time. Good for you, you do what you need to do. It takes me a little longer but I am just too afraid to work with this heavy of material with a stranger on the other end. Too much potential for miscommunication and someone getting pulled off their ladder. Nobody likes to work with me anyway.

    Attachment 9428

    And....the finished product...............

    Attachment 9429 Attachment 9430

    This was the biggest freespan pergola that I've built to date. I've built them that have covered a larger square footage but not without intermediate posts. It was a challenge but it was tons of fun, which is why I do it.

    Thanks for looking.
    Congratulations Mark Rios! Good job.
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  6. #6
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    Looks beautiful. Now I know what a pergola is. Never heard that term before.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  7. #7
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    Floydada, Tx
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    Wow that is nice. I have never seen on that big before.

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