I need to replace a rotted 4 x 4 wood column supporting a pergola. I am planning on using temporary supports to hold the Pergola up. I am then going to cut off the rotted post above the damaged part. I will make a lapp joint to attach a new 4 x 4 piece. How long should the lap piece be, and would screws be appropriate to secure or should I use bolts? The Pergola has three 4 x 4 posts on the outside and the inside is attached to the house with a ledger board.
#1 Replace the whole thing not just the bottom.
#2 I'd bet the reason it rotted was one of two things. Direct contact with the deck or patio, or it was set in concrete.
It needs to be sitting on a Simpson Strong Tie post base.
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OK, I will replace all of it. It will require more disassembly but it can be done. I will get a post base. The cause is worse than you guessed. Someone thought it would be nice to place a built in planter around the bottom of the post, so it has been sitting in 18 inches of soil ever since it was constructed. Thanks for your reply.