I need to construct a pergola to separate a small patio from my drive in Sydney. I’m trying to create a privacy screen as much as much shade as possible. The issue is I’ve just a very small strip of ground to work with, and the pergola needs to be more similar to a fence compared to a table with four legs, even if this makes sense. Can you provide any ideas about how to achieve this? What should I be concerned about, and how can I attach the support posts so the pergola is safe? — Joel Z., Jhna, Sydney NSW
Let’s first talk about the structural challenges all of pergolas face, then we’ll discuss about trendy design ideas. Yours is of particular concern, since it is going to be a tall fence, as you already understand. Your main concern ought to be horizontal wind load. The entire weight of all of the materials used to construct a normal pergola could be in the hundreds of lbs. You don’t want it falling on someone at a later date.
As you might not mean to possess vines on the pergola, some future homeowner may decide to grow flowers and fruit on the structure. Not only does that vegetation add tens of thousands of pounds, but also the compact growth also raises the wind load. Your safety and that of those sit by or under the pergola are subject to just how well you obey the laws of physics.
All timber used should be powerful enough to resist snapping or cracking under the power of this wind or snow loads. You live in which moist, heavy snow can coat the pergola, so plan accordingly. All the fasteners have to be superior hot-dipped, galvanized or stainless steel.
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If you choose to use modern treated lumber, the fasteners and steel framing connectors must be approved for the newer treated lumber which has a higher copper content. Failure to do that will cause advanced and rapid corrosion of the alloy from galvanic reaction when the pergola becomes moist.
You have got to be very concerned about strong winds that could blow your pergola over. A traditional pergola which may have as few as four articles might blow over, but it is harder to do if the four posts are bolted securely to concrete piers.You can’t bolt your articles into piers, since it would tip over with very little work. You want to bury your posts much as utility poles are set up. My guess is your pergola will be about 10 feet high when it’s all done, so I would want to see the posts buried at least 4 feet into the ground.
I’d coat the wood that is likely to be in the ground using a readily accessible copper naphthenate alternative and surround the posts with angular crushed gravel that is the size of large grapes. This kind of gravel interlocks and functions like concrete, but it provides for great drainage when the water leaves the soil in the spring.
Let’s talk about the looks of the pergola. I am a big fan of multi-colored and multi-textured looks. You can attain this by employing different species of wood or different colored exterior semi-transparent stains. Blending rough-sawn Western red cedar using redwood can generate a stunning look.
It is all about scale at the close of the day, and therefore you want to use big articles. You may get by with 4-by-6 articles, but, trust me, 6-by-6 posts would be better. Your top beams that will be on either side of the posts need to be a 2-by-10s so that they do not appear undersized. I’m a huge fan of cutting quarter circles out of the ends of of the crisscrossed timber that produces the shade aspect of the pergola.
Think about cantilevering the top of the pergola just a bit. The horizontal rafters do not need to be equal to each side of the primary beams or the posts. I would not exceed a 3:1 ratio, since it is going to add a rotational force that could cause the pergola to tilt out of the offset weight of the overhang. It is a stunning appearance and will give you more shade on the small patio depending on the pergola’s compass alignment.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BUvZnzVjIcu/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=7&wp=566#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A4860.705%7DUse depth to your benefit from the center sections of the pergola between the articles. I’d install apartment 2-by-4s spaced about 2 feet on center with the initial one no more than 16 inches above the last mulched grade. On either side of the 2-by-4s, attach pieces of diagonal or square lattice bits in a shadow-box design.
Be sure the lattice is also a different colour of wood or finish, if at all possible. This will add to the stunning masterpiece you are about to create. Most people forget to do this and lose out on a huge chance to induce the wow factor.
Add a last touch at the bottom of the posts by trimming them out in various layers of wood that resembles baseboard you may have in your home. Bevel the top edge in a 45-degree angle to discard water. Once again, consider using a different wood species here in order to highlight this accent trim.
Good luck, and Allow Me to know how your Friends and Wife feel about it