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Old 03-14-2012, 01:50 PM   #1
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Setting the footing height for pergola posts and pavers?


I'm getting ready to build a pergola and will mount the 6x6 red cedar posts onto Simpson Strong Ties and concrete footings. After the pergola is finished, I'm having pavers installed and want them to butt up tight around the posts.

Here's my dilemma: If the bottom of the posts are level with the top of the pavers (above grade and away from any trapped water), then that means the top of the footings would be level with the pavers. This isn't the look I want since the pavers would have to be placed around the visible footing.

My other option is to have the top of the footings just below the pavers (so the pavers will butt up against the post bracket - what I want). But this means that the bottom part of the cedar posts will be below the pavers and may have exposure to trapped water. Even if I taper the top of the footing away from center, the seal between the paver and the footing may still hold water. What should I do?

Thanks.

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Old 03-14-2012, 03:16 PM   #2
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Setting the footing height for pergola posts and pavers?


Use round Sonotubes for foundations and have them about 1/2" above what you expect the finished paver installation will be after installing and compacting. This will keep the foundations above the paver/drainage surface, but not objectionable high or impede drainage. The round shape is not objectionable.

The base under the 1" settling bed for the pavers should be parallel to the desired top surface of the pavers.

Dick

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Old 03-14-2012, 04:38 PM   #3
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Setting the footing height for pergola posts and pavers?


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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
Use round Sonotubes for foundations and have them about 1/2" above what you expect the finished paver installation will be after installing and compacting. This will keep the foundations above the paver/drainage surface, but not objectionable high or impede drainage. The round shape is not objectionable.

The base under the 1" settling bed for the pavers should be parallel to the desired top surface of the pavers.

Dick
Thanks. I had thought of this option too, but I'm not sold yet of having the footings above grade. I'm already planning on using 12" sonotubes. If I do go with this plan (above grade), I would want to wrap the base with 1x6 or 1x12 to hide the footing. But before I make a decision, I want to explore all other options to keep the post at grade.

If I were to stick with the "below grade" option, do you think it would work to place a piece of 1/2" sch 40, down through the bottom of the footing and into aggregate to allow for drainage? This would prevent any trapped water even if the pavers make a good seal to the footing.

Last edited by blue sky; 03-15-2012 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:27 PM   #4
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Setting the footing height for pergola posts and pavers?


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Old 03-14-2012, 07:02 PM   #5
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Setting the footing height for pergola posts and pavers?


Personaly I would never build a Pergala just sitting on Sono tubes and base blocks.
How do you plan on stopping all the side sway and racking? Unless you have bracing on every post it's going to be swinging in a breeze.
I'd be using 6 X 6 post set in at least 24" deep holes and 2 bags of concrete per post.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:34 PM   #6
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Setting the footing height for pergola posts and pavers?


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Personaly I would never build a Pergala just sitting on Sono tubes and base blocks.
How do you plan on stopping all the side sway and racking? Unless you have bracing on every post it's going to be swinging in a breeze.
I'd be using 6 X 6 post set in at least 24" deep holes and 2 bags of concrete per post.
Okay, so I'll start by admitting that I've never done this project before and that's why I'm asking for guidance from those in the know on this forum. And of all the research I've already done and others I've talked with, setting the strong ties into an 18" squared footing or a sono tube 24" deep seems to be plenty strong for what I'm building. Keep in mind I'm in So. Cal, so I don't have to worry about getting below the freeze line.

You mention the side sway and racking. Wouldn't the sunk footings provide all the bracing I need? If I'm missing something here, please tell me. I'm not trying to be a wise a$$, I simply want to learn and do this the right way.

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