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Old 01-27-2013, 04:20 PM   #1
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


Hi there,
I am not sure if this is the right part of the forum to ask this but here it goes:

We're looking to build a backyard patio using pavers. My wife would ideally like to add a Pergola to it. From what little I know, I've heard that a pergola should be a certain height in order for the scale and perspective to be correction. The patio would be right behind out kitchen (no other options) and our kitchen has a big window looking out the back yard. I'm told that if we build a pergola of a standard height, the top will block the window. If we build it higher, the sense of scale will be wrong.

Can anyone share in more detail what is meant by the "sense of scale" being wrong? If it refers to the scale when sitting within the pergola, are there any tricks to hide this issue?

Would we have to raise the height of the patio to compensate? Since we're using pavers, how would that most easily and cheaply be accomplished? Perhaps by using cinder blocks under the pavers and then infilling with dirt or gravel and surrounding with wall stones? Or is that not a good idea? I imagine doing this against the house would not be wise ... maybe pushed back a few feet to avoid trapping water against the house?

Thanks for your time and patience with all the above questions.


Last edited by darthsmozers; 01-27-2013 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:38 PM   #2
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


And the picture of the house is where so we can see what your talking about?

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:43 PM   #3
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


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And the picture of the house is where so we can see what your talking about?
Good point. Sorry... tomorrow I will try to do just that
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


Please see attached.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:47 AM   #5
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


I see what you mean now.
Several issues.
Your going to need to build a retaning wall on two sides.
Going to have to change that gutter down spout so it runs under ground.
And it will look strange having to sit up that high to clear that window.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


That seems like a lot of work just to have pavers. Have you given any thought to just building a wooden deck? That way you could keep the existing grade of your lawn and just compensate with longer support legs on the right side of that picture?

Are those sliding doors on the left side wall on that picture?
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:26 AM   #7
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That seems like a lot of work just to have pavers. Have you given any thought to just building a wooden deck? That way you could keep the existing grade of your lawn and just compensate with longer support legs on the right side of that picture?

Are those sliding doors on the left side wall on that picture?
Yes those are sliding doors on the left.

Pavers seem much more inexpensive than to build a wooden deck, thats why we thought to go with pavers. The pergola isn't essential, so if we just went with the patio itself it seems pretty simple. But if we want a pergola, I imagine we'd have to raise the patio to make the scale correct. Would cinder blocks under the pavers do that OK?
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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I see what you mean now.
Several issues.
Your going to need to build a retaning wall on two sides.
Going to have to change that gutter down spout so it runs under ground.
And it will look strange having to sit up that high to clear that window.
Which sides will get the retaining walls?
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:30 AM   #9
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


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Which sides will get the retaining walls?
The side closest to the camera and the side on the right.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:31 AM   #10
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


In the picture it would be the right and area away from the house.
If there is no retaining wall anything under pavers is going to wash out.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:45 AM   #11
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


I may be making this too simple but it seems to me that a nice option would be a deck that is the same left as those sliding doors on the left of the house. I'd put my pergola on that side then have a wrap around option maybe with steps down to another deck. Of course if money is tight that isn't the best way.

At any rate, maybe the creative juices might get flowing.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:36 PM   #12
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


I agree, but would make it free standing.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:21 PM   #13
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


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In the picture it would be the right and area away from the house.
If there is no retaining wall anything under pavers is going to wash out.
Sorry, I am a little confused. Do you mean a raised patio using cinder blocks and pavers would wash out, or do you mean simply using pavers would wash out?
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:36 PM   #14
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


Installing pavers (including a raised patio) on the slope that exists there now won't stay put for very long. Gravity and the effects of weather will cause them to move downhill.

The pavers need to be installed on relatively level ground (a very small slope to move water away from home is suggested) with the appropriate preparation materials laid and compacted before the sand base and then pavers.

You don't have very much room to build a raised paver patio as your siding looks to be only 5 or 6 inches above grade at the corner.
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Last edited by drtbk4ever; 01-28-2013 at 01:43 PM. Reason: Sorry, had to add some information and correct spelling.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:43 PM   #15
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Out-of-scale Pergola?


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Installing pavers (including a raised patio) on the slope that exists there now won't stay put for very long. Gravity and the effects of weather will cause them to move downhill.

The pavers need to be installed on relatively level ground (a very small slope to move water away from home is suggested) with the appropriate preparation materials laid and compacted before the sand base and then pavers.

You don't have very much room to build a raised paver patio as your siding looks to be only 5 or 6 inches above grade at the corner.
Oh OK I understand now.
Do you think pavers alone on the ground would work with that slope?

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