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Pergola Posts

 
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Old 02-22-2019, 01:18 PM   #1
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Pergola Posts


Customer wants a pergola similar to attached photo. It looks like the posts are mounted on what must be a solid concrete base under the face stone. I imagine this would make repair easier than a full length post with a stone base surround, but either way it likely wouldn't be needed in my lifetime. Already have an existing pad, so post to the pad and stone base around that would be easier and cheaper. Pros and cons to either construction method?

They'd also like it be a longer span than the one pictured, from what i read here, glulam beams would probably be best for about 24 foot or so?
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Old 02-22-2019, 06:55 PM   #2
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Re: Pergola Posts


What beams have you used on Pergolas that you've built in the past?

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Old 02-24-2019, 04:04 AM   #3
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Re: Pergola Posts


Code requires posts to be in the concrete in the ground.
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:19 PM   #4
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Code requires posts to be in the concrete in the ground.
The IRC doesn't. A pergola is an accessory structure so there's a quite a bit of latitude in how you are allowed to connect it to the ground. Most jurisdictions do not even require a permit for a free-standing pergola.

To the OP, the downside of a full length post is that the lateral forces may cause some cracking in the masonry in a worst-case scenario. Most pergola designs and location have VERY little lateral loading though. My favorite connection method is to embed a pipe into the post and base which adds more lateral resistance than most knife plate connectors. It can be as simple as casting some 1.5" galvanized pipe into the base and a couple feet into the post. Timberlinx products can be an easy way to accomplish this but you don't get a lot of embedment.
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:14 AM   #5
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What is the point of a pergola like that? Doesn't keep rain off and doesn't give any shade. Seems like a big waste of money.

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Old 02-25-2019, 09:30 AM   #6
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What is the point of a pergola like that? Doesn't keep rain off and doesn't give any shade. Seems like a big waste of money.

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Looks like it has a retractable sun shade.

Drill 8 holes in the stone (not all the way through) and epoxy some j-bolts in it with Simpson epoxy. One on each corner and one in between each of those.

Then block columns 3' up or so and tie each corner into the foundation with #5 steel. Use cutout lintel block for the top course, steel around the top and pour it. Just like you would a wall. Set the stone on top of it with the j-bolts going in the concrete. Knife base on the stone and you're all set. The lateral load on the 5' tall post would be minimal. I have an archy who will sign off on this every time.

It'll never come off and you don't have wood inside concrete. I do what I can to avoid wood inside of concrete because wood will always, ALWAYS rot out where the concrete and wood meet in open air. Then you have an issue to try to repair it in 5-10 years especially with the garbage PT anymore...

BTW glulams look like **** when in the open like that.
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:22 AM   #7
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5 to ten years? Really? What kind of wood are you talking about?
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:42 AM   #8
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Yeah I guess it's not code.. maybe I was confused because we just built a big ass fence and all we did for three days was dig frecking holes in bedrock.

But imo, I'd put them in the ground. But the pole in the wood column sounds pretty cool too. I'm gonna do that next time.

How thick is the concrete slab?
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:55 AM   #9
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Re: Pergola Posts


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5 to ten years? Really? What kind of wood are you talking about?
Yep, MCA PT SYP... To be fair though we have a really wet environment.

The real problem is most of the wood is new growth and putting it where moisture can't wick away it will stay perpetually wet with our humidity and then dry out when the sun hits it which makes it not out twice as fast. I can't tell you how often you'll see 44 fence post that are rotting in less then 5 years at the line where the concrete and post meet air.

If the column is made structural, it'll hold the loads of a pergola without a problem.

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