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Teris 05-16-2010 04:51 PM

Freestanding pergola
Hi everyone. I'm building a free standing pergola over the patio in my yard. I have 6x6 posts that I plan to put into the pre-existing brackets in the patio. Does anyone have any plans they can recommend? This will be my first real home improvement/building project and I want to make sure I'm doing it right. Thanks very much! Here is a little more detail:

Overall size: 10' x 12'

4 - 6x6 posts, 8 feet in length
4 - 2x8 beams, 16 feet in length (2 foot overhang on each side)
? – 2x6 rafters across the top of the beams, 12 feet in length for one foot overhang on each side - or should this be 14' and 2 foot on each side? (anyone know how far apart these should be and, therefore, how many we'd need?)
? – XxX stingers across the top of rafters, 12 or 14 feet in length? (i guess this is a matter of preference on how much light we want to come through)
8 - XxX supports from posts to beams

I also need info on how to connect the beams, posts, rafters and stringers. I know I need to bolt them all together to do it right, I just don't know what types of bolts I need and how to connect them (guess that's why I'm looking for plans!). Thanks for any advice you can recommend!

Willie T 05-16-2010 05:35 PM


Teris 05-16-2010 05:48 PM

Thanks for the warm welcome, Willie. I checked google, thanks. I wasn't able to find anything but kits and expensive plans for sale. Anyone else?

Willie T 05-16-2010 06:03 PM

If you used the IMAGE feature of Google, then you saw that there are literally dozens and dozens of styles of pergolas. You'll need to narrow it down and get pretty specific on type, sizes, construction methods, and materials to get a whole lot more in the way of plans.

Teris 05-16-2010 06:25 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks, Willie. I'm looking for something like this, but with a larger overhang and a bit more substantial-looking (i.e., 6x6 rather than 4x4, 2x8 beams, etc.):

Teris 05-16-2010 06:28 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I'd also be interested to see plans for one like this if anyone has them. Thanks!

vsheetz 05-16-2010 09:37 PM

I bolted mine together with lag bolts - predrilled holes, then used a electric impact to drive them to save time and elbows (I was building ~1000 sq ft, so was a lot of bolts). Before drilling the hole I got each piece plum/level and used one nail to hold it in place for the drilling and lag bolting.

Prime/paint or finish all pieces before assembly - then apply a final paint/finish coat once together. This way you get good coverage in all areas, hidden and exposed.

High Gear 05-17-2010 10:36 PM

You could draw up your own plans just using graph paper for a sense of scale.

Just keep playing with the design till your happy with it , then calculate your dimensions.

Shoot thats what I do sometimes on projects, don't feel like dragging out the drafting board and to much of a rookie with auto-cad.

I have a 12 x 12 freestanding pergola ( my first ) I'll be starting pretty soon.

I'm planning on 6x6 also , going for a craftsman/mission look( been playin with a couple of ideas).

A water garden is going in right next to it, what I don't get myself into.

Teris 05-18-2010 03:16 PM

High Gear, that sounds very cool. I'd love to see your drawing/plans. I have a Tudor house, but love the Craftsman style.

Yoyizit 05-18-2010 05:24 PM


Originally Posted by Teris (Post 442637)
Thanks, Willie. I'm looking for something like this, but with a larger overhang and a bit more substantial-looking (i.e., 6x6 rather than 4x4, 2x8 beams, etc.):

That's exactly what I made but I used 4x4 uprights. I took photos and measurements of existing designs at restaurants, public places, etc., and more or less copied and combined them.
I have the task time somewhere, I think it took me 51 hours. I know each scroll cut took me 10 minutes.

Tscarborough 05-18-2010 08:12 PM

People are paid to provide detailed plans, material lists, and cut sheets. I do not think that it is a realistic expectation to find that for free.

Either pay for the plans (easy to find online), educate yourself and develop your own (Which you should then post for free), or save time and money and pay someone to do the project for you.

Teris 05-18-2010 08:43 PM

I've seen a lot of plans online and haven't been impressed with any of them. I would not have a problem paying for plans, but I thought someone here might have done this before and had plans to share. If not, that's fine. Thanks for the reply.

Jack Olsen 05-18-2010 11:21 PM

I'm planning on doing this, but with steel. I got some ideas looking at Central Park wrought iron stuff. But I'm going to have to work out the design part on my own.

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