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50' Long Pergola

 
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:00 AM   #1
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50' Long Pergola


We moved into a new house recently and I'm about to tackle a Pergola repair/re-do job. I'm a tank removal contractor and dont have the expertise in building decks etc. that some of you have. Hopefully someone get give me a bit of direction on this.

The exsisting pergola has 2 rows of 6 6"x6" posts each set 10 feet from another for a total length of 50 feet and a width of 10 feet. The posts are already in the ground and in good shape so I'll be leaving those where they are and only reconstructing the top of the structure.

My question is how do I get a 50 foot length of lumber to run the length of the pergola if lumber is only readily available say at 12 or 16 foot lengths - If that makes sense.

With a smaller pergola, say 16 feet long I would just sandwich the top of each row of posts with 2x12's, then attach the top with lumber running perperdicular to the 2x12s. Here not sure what to do.

Not sure if the attachment works, but that shows the two general ways im thinking of doing this.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:45 AM   #2
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


Just as you have it in your second picture. Have the lumber splice over the beams and use connectors to secure them.

Put your location in your ID so people know if there is a code requirement for your area.

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Old 05-04-2012, 10:58 AM   #3
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


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Just as you have it in your second picture. Have the lumber splice over the beams and use connectors to secure them.

Put your location in your ID so people know if there is a code requirement for your area.
I think that you mean the top pic, where the beams splice on top of the posts.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


Thanks for responding guys. Yes, the top pic shows the beams sitting on top of the 6 x 6 posts. The bottom pic was meant to show the beams secured to the sides and inbetween the posts.

I made a little better drawing of what I think you are suggesting. How does that look?

Also need to mention that it is a free standing structure if that matters. Is splicing equal to butting up against as in this attachment or does that mean some special joinery?
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:35 PM   #5
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


You have the right idea, but use a column cap, rather then a T strap.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


Ahhh, the column cap makes me feel better about it now. I see what you mean - they are expensive though - the caps.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:44 PM   #7
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


i can get 32'-40' treated 6x6's and 4x12's
you might look @ engineered wood for 50' or longer, you would think in California it should be easy to get redwood pieces that long
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:58 PM   #8
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


Thanks killerdecks,

I guess I havent really pursued getting anything too long because I just dont want to deal with the hassle of a piece of material that big.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:25 PM   #9
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


You might be able to get by with lighter guage column caps PC66, or something like that. Depends on the loads, winds, earthquakes, height, ect.

Killer, standard lengths are 20' and under. We can special order longer lengths, at least to 30'. I haven't used redwood for a deck beam in a very long time. Only time we would considerate is for appearances on a 2nd story deck. Even then we are probably going to use pressure treated douglas fir and wrap it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:34 PM   #10
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


For a span that long you may need to look at the span specs. Won't redwood be much less than say a doug fir/PT product?

I was just looking to get some long 4x8, 4x10 and I could have them made to spec. These were dipped outdoor wood type PT beams. Just ask your supplier. Even if you put posts between, it will look better if you don't have splices.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:36 PM   #11
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


Well I dug around today at the base of the posts and discovered that the posts dont appear to be set in concrete, just sandy soil. Of the 6 posts i inspected, 4 of them are about half rotted out. So it seems that this structure needs more work than I thought.

I guess I need to cut the rotted stuff out and set the posts aboveground on some sort of masonry or concrete support column. So now I have a new question, is there a specific type of bracket used for the bottom of the posts that i should look into or just those regular u brackets the base you set into the concrete?

Any other ideas about the rotted situation?
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:39 PM   #12
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


As far as the long span, I think I will do as redwood and greg commented on in the beginning of this post - just use smaller lengths of lumber and splice them with post cap brackets. But right now that is seeming like the easier part of the project. I still might look into that option though. I wanted to do this with western cedar and that is more difficult to find, maybe impossible at those lengths without breaking the bank.

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Old 05-04-2012, 09:12 PM   #13
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


If you are going with 6x6 posts, you will want CBSQ66 HDG. Get ready for sticker shock.

How high is your deck and where are you located in CA.?
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:15 PM   #14
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


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For a span that long you may need to look at the span specs. Won't redwood be much less than say a doug fir/PT product?

.
Redwood is probably twice the cost of PT douglas fir. Cedar STK just a little more the redwood.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:46 PM   #15
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


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Redwood is probably twice the cost of PT douglas fir. Cedar STK just a little more the redwood.
Sorry, I meant as far as structural strength goes. Last time I tried to design a nice redwood patio cover, the inspector had me using lam beams and such. He wouldn't let me use the redwood in any meaningful structural way.

I'd like to do more outdoor stuff, so I'm just asking. Maybe he was full of it, but we went through the code books. It was 25 x 16 and I think the 16 foot truss spans were the problem, as they wanted a 100 year snow load rating on the main beams.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:59 PM   #16
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


I don't think that redwood is any longer recognized as a structural member. That said, I use it for patio covers all the time without problems getting permits.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:45 AM   #17
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Re: 50' Long Pergola


I'm in Los Angeles Area. Yea the brackets alone for this project will be at least 1200 bucks (12 posts, both tops and bottoms, at around 50 bucks each). Well eventually something has to be done. I'll put it on the long list of other things I need to finish.

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