Installing a Pergola in 7 Steps
A pergola is a unique architectural blend that places you both inside and out at the same time. A pergola can be used to define a passageway or frame a focal point in your yard.
Features and benefits of a pergola:
- Pergolas Receives a Shade Factor of 40-60 Percent
- Rain, Sun & Weather Resistant
- Come in a variety of different colors
Step 1. A Toro Dingo’s 16-inch auger makes short work of straight, 40-inch-deep holes for footings, or whatever depth will reach below frost line in your climate. For drainage, pour and pack 4 inches of gravel into the holes before installing the posts.
Step 2. To lay out posthole locations, build a 2 x 8 frame. Its inside corners mark the four posts. Dig a small trench, level the frame, then remove it to dig the holes. Next, replace the frame, set the posts and fasten them to the sides of the frame so they’ll stay plumb.
Step 3. After fastening the posts to the frame, install 2 x 4 angle braces from the frame to the posts. These will keep the posts from twisting or warping before the rafters go up and lock the posts in place for backfilling. You can remove the braces later.
Step 4. Posthole depth varies. It’s best to install the posts long and trim them to final height, measuring from the frame upward. Finish the circular-saw cut with a handsaw, then install a cleat 6 inches down (inset) to hold the girders while fastening.
Step 5. Temporarily set the girders with deck screws above the cleats, then install the through-bolts in the girders and posts. Allow the girder to rise above the post an inch or so in case you decide to run wire for lights or power.
Step 6. Cut the rafter tails on the ground, then mark their 18-inch cantilevers against the posts. After wedging one end up top, walk the other end up the ladder. Toe-screw the rafters to the girders using a 3-inch deck screw.
Step 7. A 2 x 4 rafter stay atop the rafters every 24 inches adds the right detail while holding the rafters in place. Install stays over the girders first, then over the rafters. After two coats of tinted oil-based stain, add a layer of sod, then a table and chairs.
Below are some pictures of pergolas that Us Aluminum Services, Corp. has done in the Central Florida Area.