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Old 07-12-2010, 02:06 PM   #1
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Pergola Design: Attached or Free-Standing

My first post. I am a first-time home buyer and don't have alot of experience with home construction.

I want to build a pergola for my patio and I'm having trouble deciding if I should/need to build it attached or free-standing. I prefer attached since it takes less supplies and less time. My dilemma is about the ledger and the method of attachment. In the photo below I can only attach the ledger at three points since my patio tucks back into the house under the roof. Is it too much weight for the house to only bolt the ledger at the circled areas? The center beam on the house side is a 4x4 post. The ledger will be a 2x8 by around 22ft long. The crossbeam will be 2x6's and the outer posts are 6x6's. I haven't decided if I want to use red wood or the cheap stuff. If not I will build it free-standing. Thanks in advance for any/all replies.
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Pergola Design: Attached or Free-Standing-pergola-design-2.xps.1.jpg   Pergola Design: Attached or Free-Standing-pergola-design.xps.1.jpg  


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Old 07-12-2010, 08:07 PM   #2
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You need to attach the ledger to the house every 16" . That would require removing the fascia and installing blocking between the rafter tails.
I would install 2, 6x6 post next to the house and eliminate all the house attachment details.


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Old 07-13-2010, 02:13 AM   #3
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I have a very similar pergola I built attached to my house.

I removed the facia boards to so to be able to raise the headroom height, attached a ledger board, and boxed the soffit and rafter tails. I placed my front horizontal beam above so as to not have it blocking the view, and used what I call 'hanging posts' in addition to regular posts.

Material is all doug fir with a rough sawn finish (find a lumber yard that can do the rough sawn finish and corbels for you). Prime and paint all pieces before you put them up, then apply a final coat after assembly.

All is lag bolted together (an $75 electric impact wrench was a big help here, especially for the large number of them I was doing).

This has been up for about 5-6 years and we have been very pleased with it.

See pictures here:
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:35 AM   #4
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It you raise it to fascia height what happens to the gutter?
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:13 AM   #5
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A 2x8 alone spans 11 feet. Putting the 2x6 rafters only adds to the weight. Although codes don't reccommend it I personally think that if you double up your front and back 2x8's you will be alright
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:26 AM   #6
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If I raise the ledger, what will I do with my rain gutter? Will I need to attach the ledger to the rafters every 16 inches? I'm thinking it might be easier just to make it free-standing and place 6x6 posts next to the house.


Last edited by tockeyj; 07-13-2010 at 08:33 AM.
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