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joetab24 03-05-2010 06:01 PM

Here are some pics of the pergola on my property.

View from back room (small addition)

From driveway, attached to back addittion

Another view, old windows

My wife and I would really like to clean this up. The lattice on top is dry rotted, chipping away. We'd like to screen this space in since the mosquitoes make it difficult to enjoy the patio. Any thoughts/tips are appreciated greatly!

I will add some more pics tomorrow, from the yard so you can see the patio. The patio is in good shape and the posts and beams seem sturdy.

Scuba_Dave 03-05-2010 06:24 PM

Where are you located ? Snow load ?

CustomBuild 03-05-2010 07:00 PM

2x4's might be a little light duty to handle any snow load, also you might want to dig a small hole next to one of the concrete piers to check it's depth and to determine if there are footings under the piers. The other thing that comes to mind is you may want to check all of your post tops for level in relation to each other, and for straightness across the tops. Not that it is that big of a deal if they aren't straight or level, but it sure would make the job go much mere smoothly if they are. Also, do you know what is holding the ledger board to the fascia, and the fascia to the rafters? This could be a potential failure point if an additional load is introduced to the roof. Let us know what you come up with.

joetab24 03-06-2010 08:06 AM

"Where are you located ? Snow load ?"

I am in PA, so snow weight needs to be considered.

joetab24 03-06-2010 08:46 AM

Some additional pics

Two ledger boards are used. The larger board is connected to the main addition as shown:

The smaller ledger attached to the smaller addition (bathroom/closet) is not connected with bolts, the way the larger ledger is. Here is a photo:


Thurman 03-06-2010 11:27 AM

Pergolas are common in my area. I don't know why, they aren't enough shade down here where it gets hot. I've built many and repaired many. The FIRST thing I noted was the ledger board attached to the home--I do not do that. Then you state you do have some snow load on the lattice top, that would bother me. I would recommend putting support post under the ledger boards to take the weight from the fascia. I've used 4x4's then boxed/trimmed them in to look like columns. Around here the lattice doesn't work too well, too much laves and pine needles. The preferred method is 2x2's spaced 12" apart, ran perpendicular to the rafters. My 2 worth, David

Scuba_Dave 03-06-2010 11:37 AM

I'm not sure how well that ledger board is attached
My Building Inspector wants a lag bolt every 16" - basically one between each "rafter" bay
And if its only bolted into 3/4" facia board that is another problem
Then looking at the rafters - only 3 nails holding them into the ledger

Are you putting a roof on ? What type ?
Due to the low slope you would need sturdier rafters for snow load
All depends upon the span distance between the support beams

joetab24 03-06-2010 11:51 AM

thanks scuba,

i get the feeling the previous owner did this without considering all of the factors you guys have mentioned. Lucky we haven't had any issues up to this point.

I am beginning to think we will need to tear this down and start from scratch. I'd still like to create an enclosed patio with a roof. Never done anything like this, but I am in no rush. I will continue to ask questions and read up on the project.

walkman 03-06-2010 02:05 PM

We were going to build an enclosed structure on our deck because of the mosquitos in our back yard - fed by two creeks and lots of ivy. Instead I got a hand held fogger and saved $17K.

Just a thought since you're looking at a lot of work to do a screened porch right.

joetab24 03-07-2010 08:31 AM

Since it can't hurt to dream a bit in March, here is what I'd like to have instead of the pergola.

I have never done this type of project before, but I'd really like to. I am not one to rush into something, and I will make sure that everything is up to code and I understand what I am doing before proceeding (have had to give my wife that speech multiple times!).

Any thoughts on the three designs I linked to? Are there other designs that may be more reasonable for DIYer. Thanks for taking a look!

Can any part of the existing Pergola be used, or will that have to be torn down completely?


joetab24 03-08-2010 04:53 PM

Better use of Pergola
Previous Thread
pics are here

From the above post, it was pointed out that I am going to need to reinforce the ledger board before I do anything with this pergola, built by the previous owner.

Once I do that, and when I remove the lattice, I am wondering if I might be able to attach a canopy of some sort, that could be removed in the winter.

I'd also like to screen in the rest of the pergola. The screen tight system that depot sells looks like a good option. I am thinking I would have to frame the pergola a bit to this.

Again, I've never done a job like this, but I think it may something I can tackle, with a little bit of help :) Thanks for taking a look!

Link to screen tight

joetab24 03-12-2010 07:22 PM

alright....i am going to use this space to document my back yard patio project
have never built a roof or enclosed a porch, but that is my goal. i understand i need to check with my township to see if a permit is required to construct the roof.

i do not take this project lightly. i plan on doing a lot of reading, asking questions, and seeking advice/guidance when necessary.

The Plan
to dismantle existing pergola

to construct a roof

to screen in porch

is there any chance i can use the pergola posts which are set in concrete? how can I find out if I can? i do not know how deep the posts go, but i actually know the person who did the patio/posts. it was the previous owner of our home. he did the pergola, and from your comments, he seems to have installed the ledger board who knows?

now really sure what type of roof to there a design that is more reasonable/easier for a DIYer?

Some designs

maybe this

joetab24 03-13-2010 01:49 PM

found this video, which i think illustrates patio roof construction well...i also noted how the inspector made them tear down the first roof since it was not up to code.

joetab24 03-20-2010 08:37 PM

started tearing the pergola down

some of the rafters only had 1 or 2 screws

joetab24 03-21-2010 08:39 AM

Scuba, or anyone else who has commented/viewed,

in the process of tearing down old pergola....built by PO.

as pointed out above, the ledger was poorly connected to the fascia, and I am not sure how well the fascia board is connected to the rafters.

if I were going to build a patio cover/roof (similar to the ones in the photos above), is it best to avoid connecting the ledger to the house? or what is the best way to make this connection?

not trying to rush into something. just trying to understand the process. i will check all local codes before doing anything...

I am just glad the shoddy pergola didn't collapse, considering how poorly it was built!

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