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Old 06-26-2010, 03:45 PM   #1
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Pergolia question.

I'm making a pergola in my backyard which is 2 - 12'x14' constructions. So there will be 4 poles holding each construction up so a total of 8 posts. I was going to use 4x4's for my posts. I'm going to cement 4 of the posts about 2-3' down and the other 4 will be "L bracketed" into the concrete patio. I'm going to run cross beams to connect the 2 construction. These cross beams will be at an angle because the 2 constructions are 10' at 1 post and 15' at the other post where I'm going to connect them. The height of the construction is going to be 9'. I'm going to use 2-2x6x20's and sandwich the 4x4's together with bolts for my supporting cross beams. These beams will be running the 14' length of the construction and over hang from the posts 3'6" on one side and 2'6" on the other side. On the 3'6" over hang I was planning on putting an angled 4x4 from the over hang to the post for extra support. For my shade beams I wanted to use 2x6s or maybe 2x4's which will be running the 12' length of each of the constructions and also to connect the 2 constructions. I wanted to space the 2x6s 2 inches apart for maximum shade. I know on conventional pergolas they space what looks like 1-2' apart. I live in southern California so maximum shade is nice. I don't want to completely close off the sky either.

My question is - I am worried about weight. Will this be crazy heavy and fall over? Should I use 6x6's for my poles for better support or will it still be to heavy? Is this doable or should I look into a different way of making my shade? I'm not to worried about downward collapsing as I am from the wood snapping at the bolts and it tipping over. We do have earthquakes.

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Old 06-27-2010, 03:08 PM   #2
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The proposed structure is under structured with 2x6's and 4x4's. I would not bury the posts, whatever size, into the concrete under ground. All posts need sonotubes below the frostline and standoff base brackets to keep them away from the concrete. You can't lay the posts on a concrete pad. You need to install sonotubes.
To span 14', I would be using 2x10's.
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