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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Y'all!

I'm new here ;-)

We build fences but were approached by an extremely well-known, regional business to build them a huge pergola in their parking lot. It could catapult our biz 10-fold and I really don't want to pass it up. But...I have zero knowledge of building pergolas and they want the 'roof' size to be 23'x48'.

All the googling I've done proves for this size to 110% custom. I think it should be doable, but I have no idea the max beam spans, sizes, etc. to be able to withstand the load and the high winds we get in our area.

Thanks for any help you can give!
 

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Sounds like something that will someday have lots of people under it. Huge liability if not done absolutely correctly. Permits and inspections a no brainer. If it were me, I would have an architect draw up plans first so you know what you'll be building and can price it accordingly. I don't touch any structural job without at least consulting an engineer. Money well spent.
 

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No offense dirtbike ... but I wonder if they approached you because you do fences and they think you will be cheaper than a regular contractor. It could be a good opening for you to expand your repertoire, but as others have pointed out its a big enough structure to require plans and permits.
 

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Highwayman
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How skilled are you with the actual building of something like this?

Concrete footings, framing, roofing, steel hardware, etc?

It will be a lot different than a fence for sure.

Does your state license allow you to build it?

Not trying to discourage you from taking the project, but tackling a project that you don’t know how to do can lose you a lot of money very fast.
 

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Like others have said.

Ask them for the plans so you can bid it properly.

If they won't pony up to have plans drafted, don't even try to get it.
 

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agree with others ,this would be fun but not a rough framing project .
to get stamped plans ,cannot imagine it costing anything like 500$ .
since everything is seen cuts need to be good .over size the lumber for visual appeal .use better grade or hand pick it .
just my two cents .
 

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Hi Y'all!

I'm new here ;-)

It could catapult our biz 10-fold and I really don't want to pass it up. But...I have zero knowledge of building pergolas and they want the 'roof' size to be 23'x48'.

Thanks for any help you can give!

It can also bury your business.

To try too much too fast can be disastrous.


- Have you ever built one before?

No.

If it does grow your business 10 times Are you ready for that?


Build a few small ones first.

There is no shame and there is much wisdom in passing up something beyond your capacity.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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by his post . i really do wonder if this is beyond OP scope of skill at this time . i do know this . does his crew have this experience .
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wow, y'all thank you so much for all the advice. I'm more scared now, haha! I will definitely take all that into consideration. I got a quote in the works from a sub-contractor who has been building these for about 30 years. The owner of the property is ok with us subbing it. But, I still would need to get plans, etc. It won't require a permit since it's out of city limits, but the liability piece really concerns me.
 

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Contractor
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does the client really want a 'pergola' or just a covered space for employee picnic's? That latter is just a pole building with the roof made out of trusses-a barn without walls.

where are you located? CA has their own set of requirements, up north has snow load, down south may have more wind load to consider, all things the engineer will be able to evaluate while drawing up sealed plans to build from.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No offense dirtbike ... but I wonder if they approached you because you do fences and they think you will be cheaper than a regular contractor. It could be a good opening for you to expand your repertoire, but as others have pointed out its a big enough structure to require plans and permits.
good point...thanks for those thoughts
 
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