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Old 03-07-2011, 04:54 PM   #31
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Putting up a Pergola


Quote:
Originally Posted by beerdog View Post
How thick is the slab? The big question is would it meet codes. Might be easiest to apply for a permit and see what they say.
I don't know how thick the slab is....neighbors say there were some "deviations" (to be kind) from standard construction practices as these townhomes were built. The fence is between two townhomes. I will go down to the city hall tomorrow and ask if there is a code inspector to whom I can talk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
I was actually thinking the slab is so small, get rid of it. The edge in the first picture looks to be thin.
The pergola was going to be bigger then the slab anyway, why not put the same floor under the whole thing?
Ron
The slab looks thin because the mulch is elevated well above ground level. In the first photo you can see a very small area of dark (almost black) within a couple of feet of the corner where the chimonea is located. Although that might look like a shadow underneath the slab, it actually is landscape fabric, which covers the soil we put in. There is 2" of mulch and 6" of new garden soil below that before you even get to ground level and the "bottom" of the slab was still not visible when we did the landscaping. I don't think the slab is 10" thick, nobody would pour a patio slab that thick, but I would not be surprised to find that the footing is that thick and the slab is 4" (that's what I would have done when I was building). So, to recap, there is 6" of soil, 2" of mulch, and 2" of slab showing....that's 10" and I still haven't seen the bottom of the concrete. The ground level is higher in "front" (along the north border) by a few inches, but we still have 3" of new garden soil in there, 2" of mulch, and 2" of slab showing before you get to ground level. Like I said, when we put the plants into the landscaping, I'll take some time to dig down and see how deep the footings go, that might give me some idea of the strength.

The slab is not going to be demolished, the pergola is going to be built on top of the slab if possible. I anticipate the north/south posts will be 5' 6" to 6' apart, while the east/west posts will be 12' to 12' 6" apart. That will be a very "shallow" pergola, but wide, and I can make up for some of that by extending the overhanging pieces on top to the edge of the landscaped area. As I said, it will be a relatively small project and built to be lightweight (4" X 4" posts, 2" X 6" crossbeams sandwiching the posts, and 2" X 2" top pieces), so I don't think weight will be a problem.

I am on my way to city hall tomorrow, will let y'all know what I find out there.

BTW....I'm a big believer in "code"....when I did a major renovation on a vacation home in SW Kansas, I asked the city manager about building permits, codes and inspectors. He laughed (the town is 4 blocks long and 3 blocks wide, 118 residents) and said no, none of those things. I asked about acceptable practices and he said just find somebody who knows what they are doing to do the work. A WHOLE lot of studying ensued on my part.....especially involving the old knob & tube style electrical system I replaced. It was a huge project to tackle all by myself, but being retired I do have time. I'll look for some books on outdoor projects, but I've already done quite a bit of research online and know I can construct the pergola, I just want to make sure it won't blow away in a tropical storm (the location is far enough inland that the hurricanes have lost a lot of their power by the time they get there).

Still not absolutely saying "No" to the idea of burying the posts or using sonotubes to pour columns, I just want to see if I can find a way to create a more "sanitary" installation (with an eye on not spoiling the "look" my girlfriend had in mind when she designed the landscaping we did) and still be somewhat convinced the pergola won't become a wind blown danger in a high wind.

Stay tuned, guys....thanks for all the suggestions, but in reference to removing the present slab I've already discussed that with the GF and her answer was "...absolutely not".

Cheers from Dugly

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Last edited by YerDugliness; 03-07-2011 at 04:56 PM. Reason: spelling (again.....sigh)
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:05 PM   #32
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Putting up a Pergola


Quote:
Originally Posted by YerDugliness View Post
I am on my way to city hall tomorrow, will let y'all know what I find out there.
Well, I spoke directly to the administrator of the city code department. He says either method of attachment to the slab (expanding anchor/bolt or epoxy in anchor-bolt method) would be acceptable, but he suggested the epoxied in attachment method b/c it presents less chance for damage to the slab. A building permit is required (glad for that because when the pergola is constructed, an inspector will come sprinkle holy water on the project's construction methods or tell me how to make it acceptable and the approval document will be retained to present to potential buyers), but they don't want to see anything until the structure is completed (I would rather they had wanted to come inspect the post brackets before I obscure the attachments to the bracket with the post, but, oh, well ).

He didn't think winds would be an issue, but I think I'll modify the post brackets to take two epoxied in anchor-bolts rather than just one. It is possible that might necessitate a separate "plate" to cover the area where the single bolt hole is located, depending on how much room there is to drill two additional holes....not a problem, as my goal is to prevent winds from ripping it up from the patio slab and twice as much holding power might be a good thing there. I mentioned that I had wondered if poured columns with sonotube forms might be required and he assured me that there would be no need for that in his locale. I did tell him I was not interested in only meeting "minimum requirements", that I wanted to be sure the pergola structure would be adequately anchored for the winds encountered in his locale, and he assured me that anchoring to the slab would be adequate.

When I get the project completed I'll post a thread in the Project board so you can all see how it went.

'Till then, I thank each and every one of you for your advice and suggestions. I am much more comfortable with the project due to the contributions you have all made!!!

Cheers from Dugly

Last edited by YerDugliness; 03-08-2011 at 04:07 PM. Reason: typo this time....I DO know how to spell "it"
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:05 PM   #33
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Putting up a Pergola


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Originally Posted by bernieb View Post
Bernie, I want to say "Thanks" publicly for posting that photo. I showed it to my GF and she liked it so much that we've adopted the design, with one big change....we've added another post at each outward corner, located equidistant from the corner post as are the posts immediately behind the corner posts, but located towards the center of the long side. That will make a total of 10 posts, not just 4, and I doubt that even a hurricane will tear that out of the concrete if it is attached with standard construction techniques.

Re: the IXP product from Simpson.... I like the insert studs, but the epoxy system is WAAAAY too expensive. The use-specific two part adhesive requires a special, product-specific gun, sort of like a double-barreled caulking gun, that costs $65+. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!

We've already investigated other epoxy based mounting hardware, same company but different from the IXP studs. Like I said, with 10 of them holding the lightweight pergola down, we'll not worry about winds, that's for sure!

Cheers and from Dugly
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:15 PM   #34
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Putting up a Pergola


Well, Mr YerDugliness, It's people like you and your GF that makes this DIY chatroom so successful. You're not afraid to ask another person's opinion, (sign of real intellignece) and willing to take the time to share your project with others. I have to admitt if I work that word (equidistant) into my vocabulary while framing a outhouse deep in the mountains here in Kentucky,I'm afraid I'll lose my help. Bernie
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:22 PM   #35
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Putting up a Pergola


I look forward to pics of the finished product.

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