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Old 07-05-2012, 10:29 PM   #1
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Please suggest pergola design

I am trying to build a pergola on the deck. As you can see there are 16 footer 4x4 posts from the ground. They look really skinny. So, I am planning to build 8x8 columns using 1x8 trim pieces. What should be the size of the beams and rafters? Is 2x10 beam and 2x8 rafters overkill? Then the next option is 2x8 beam and 2x6 rafters. Which one looks better? The size of the pergola is 8ft x 10ft (outside dimensions).
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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A little late now but it should have been 6 X 6's not 4 X 4's.
4 X 4's will twist and curl, there's no way to cut into the sides of them to attach the horizontal supports to keep the pergola from swaying.

If you go back and look at some of the old post there's dozen of post with the exact same propblum. Almost all of them were from using 4 X 4's and no diaganal bracing.


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Old 07-05-2012, 10:45 PM   #3
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I agree. I should have used 6x6. But 6x6, 16 footers were too heavy to handle. That's why I went with 4x4. But I should have used 6x6. The posts are 3 feet in the ground and anchored to the rim joist with carriage bolts. So, I am hoping that swaying would be minimal.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:55 AM   #4
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You should use a span table that you can find on the internet to determine the size of beams and rafters. The size depends on the distance between the posts. The same span table for a wood deck is also appropriate for a pergola.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:29 AM   #5
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this is a nice article I came across on building pergolas, check it out. I think it may answer some of your questions, maybe some you haven't thought of yet ....

Good luck!

"You get what you pay for, and sometimes free costs more!"
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