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October 13th, 2011

US Aluminum Services, Corp. is providing you with several steps on how to plan and post a pergola! You can also view these steps at popularmechanics.com

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.

July 1st, 2011

Get your backyard ready for the summer by installing a Pergola or Lattice to create shade from the blistering hot Florida sun!

Pergolas comes in an assortment of colors: White, Bronze, Sand and Adobe

Features and Benefits of Owning a Pergola or Lattice

  • Our Aluminum is guaranteed Not to Peel, Blister, Flask, Chip, Rust or Crack
  • Pergolas Receives a Shade Factor of 40-60 Percent
  • Rain, Sun & Weather Resistant
  • Carports have a shade factor of 100%

US Aluminum Services has provided you with 8 steps in installing your very own pergola! All supplies can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowe’s. You can also view these steps from DIY Network.

Step 1: Determine the Size of the Area

Determine the size of the area to be covered and order the canopy. The key to your design is to figure out how much of the deck you want to be covered by the canopy and how far the canopy will project out from the house. The deck that was used for this particular demonstration is small: 12′ x 14-1/2′. The canopy covers most of the deck from the house to the first step off the front of the deck.

Step 2: Build Support Boxes

Build rectangular boxes to support the canopy base posts. These boxes are mounted flush to the top of the deck stringers and kick-plate on the first step off the deck surface; are attached to the boxes.

Step 3: Notch Deck Planks for Posts

Visually line up the posts and mark out a notch in the decking planks to accommodate the 4×4 posts. Using a saw, cut out the notches and clean the cuts with a sharp chisel.

Step 4: Notch Posts to Accept Header

Clamp the upright canopy posts together and notch out where the headers attach to the posts. Make a series of parallel cuts to create a notch, break it off with a hammer, and clean up any ridges with a chisel. Be sure the chisel is sharp and always cut along the wood grain.

Step 5: Attach Front Posts

Raise a post into place and plumb it with a level. Support it with 2x4s angled to the ground. Attach the post to the rectangular box below the deck using galvinzed nails and or long screws. Use carriage bolts to attach the post to the deck itself. Repeat for the second post.

Step 6: Attach Double-Sided Header

Measure and cut each header while on the ground. Raise the first header board into the its appropriate notch on the posts. Raise the other header and place it in its notch on other side of the posts. Clamp both headers in place and drill holes for the bolts. Ratchet the bolts into the headers.

Step 7: Attach Return Boards

Measure the distance between the outside header board and the frieze board, which is a 2×6 board attached to the house with a small lip where the canopy frame can be attached to the house. Add to the overall length any amount of desired overhang. Cut the “return” boards to length. Raise the boards and rest them on the headers and frieze board. Make sure the returns are square to the house and to each other. Attach the return boards on both ends with galvanized metal brackets.

Step 8: Attach the Shade Canopy

The canopy comes with tracts that are pre-cut to the proper length. One end attaches to the house frieze board and the other end to the frame header.

Mount the brackets for the tracks under the return boards. Cut a little piece out of the frieze board molding (Image 2), and space them far enough apart to allow for the roller mechanism to function effectively on each side of the fabric.

Screw in the brackets (Image 3) that are supplied by the canopy manufacturer, and, using the locking bolts that come with the canopy tracks, attach one end of each track to the house and the other end to the header (Image 4).

Note: The canopy comes pre-assembled with cross-members. On the end of each cross-member there’s a roller; the rollers go directly into the tracts.

Below are a couple of US Aluminum Services Pergola’s and Lattice that have been installed in the Central Florida Area.

Pergola Attached to a Sunroom

US Aluminum Services White Pergola

Perfect Pergola for any Backyard Retreat