zenzone

pergola

zenzone
15 years ago

Anybody here have experience designing/constructing a pergola?

Comments (31)

  • virgo91967
    15 years ago

    Yes... They are only as difficult as the amount of ornamentation you want to add to them and as local building codes require

  • kudzu9
    15 years ago

    I'm in the market, too. I've been able to find a wide range of structures at various web sites using Google; some with pretty detailed drawings or pictures. You'll also find sites that will sell you drawings or kits.

  • garyfla_gw
    15 years ago

    Hi
    Guess I'm in the market also.Built one in 92 that served as a fence,pergola,shadehouse and storage shed Survived Francis and Jeanne but Wilma took it out.
    Not sure how to do it differently as the hurricanes lifted the posts out of the ground though a couple had rot.
    What I'd really like to do is combine the whole thing with the garden shed that needs replacing also.
    I think I'll use vinyl posts this time but not sure how to secure them into the ground. Cement obviously caused the PT's to snap
    I suspect it's not possible to build anything hurricane proof but I'd like to try
    gary

  • zenzone
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    I'm curious about material choices. We live in Oregon, where much of what is green is from... moss! However, the pergola we want to construct will be in full west-facing sunlight, and in the summer months, we have drought conditions and many days above 90 degrees. What can tolerate moisture x 9 months of the year and also dry heat the other 3? This structure will be attached to the back of the house. One guy who bid on it (for supplying materials) suggested mahogany, and another suggested something like ipe'. Your thoughts???????

    Thanks

  • garyfla_gw
    15 years ago

    Hi
    Wouldn't mahogany be very expensive?? Not sure what IPE
    is. Only thing I've found that will hold up in the humidity of Florida is Vinyl. I have some over 20 years old and is still bright white!!
    gary

  • zenzone
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Ipe is a very hard tropical wood, known for its durability (and price). The contractor guy who suggested the alternative to mahogany actually suggested something LIKE ipe, but less expensive. I forgot what it's called... starts with a "b" (bauringa?? something like that). Was wondering if anyone here ever used it?

    The problem with vinyl is my almost 3 yr old labrador, who thinks anything of a plastic sort is for flossing his teeth. That would include 5 gallon planting pots (and larger). He thinks the little 4" pots are crackers or something. He cannot leave them alone. He's prone to nibbling on my espaliered apple trees, too, if he is outside when I am pruning. (sigh...)

  • conifers
    15 years ago

    Pretty "Generic" but I threw this one up myself with plain old treated lumber...Dax

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    How I surrounded the 4x4's for vine-clinging plants
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    Last Photo-Close Up of Posts
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    Your "basic" pergola...concrete, 4x4's, 2x6's that I beveled/tapered with a Bench Saw, Pie-shaped angled cuts for underneath the 2x6's that I used to screw into the 2x6 and also the 4x4 (you can see in above photos these pieces)....real "basic" stuff. Slats for across the top (on top) of the 2x6's that I also ripped with my bench saw...

    That's about it..

    Real Cheap, Solid, ...I like it ...Now has 4 clematis plants, one for each post with a big 'Sweet Autumn' Clematis that has covered the top in 3 years. (I did remove the Wisteria's...for those of you who notice them in the photos).

    Dax

  • milwdave
    15 years ago

    WOW Dax:

    You're a true Jack of all trades...:)

    Is that you in the last pic?...and what's the Rhodie in the background?...PJM?

    Dave
    Milwaukee

  • stressbaby
    15 years ago

    Dax, I've looked at lots of pergolas, but I can't recall ever seeing that treatment for the posts. Very clever! I like it! Did you design that yourself? SB

  • conifers
    15 years ago

    Thank you gentlemen!

    Hi Dave, (off subject) The rhodie is 'Roseum Elegans'...How's your HF treating you? I've determined that these things are so efficient that I probably could easily get by 99% of the time using one heater. Honestly... I've kept a chart of temps/conditions/times/GH Temps/ etc, and I've determined that anytime the sun is out in full force, even when it's in the teens...I cut my heaters off completely, have to open the door and use everything in my sack of goodies like my homemade screen door, the ultrasonice cool puff mister, and even crack open the vent. And this is without one of those solar pool covers everybody gets so much great use out of! Anyway, I didn't plan to get off subject there but I thought I'd let you know how my Harbor Freight has been doing.

    Stressbaby, Hello... I got the idea many years ago as I used to do lawncare/tree/shrub care and I ran across a pergola with the same design principle. I thought it was such a clever idea at the time, I promised myself I'd remember. Thanks...and yes, everything else about it, I designed myself.

    It really is basic...anybody with a miter saw and bench saw could build what I built... It's just the Instructions that come with anything else that get me every time!!!...Thanks again...

    Take care,

    Dax

  • conifers
    15 years ago

    I thought I'd look at the photos again and forgot to tell you Dave...Yes that's me and of course my friend of all friends: Onyx!

    See ya guys.

  • milwdave
    15 years ago

    Hi Dax;

    First of all, I LUV MY HFGH!!! Since I've moved the orchids in I've never seen them look better. Because of my temp needs I did add some bubble wrap to the roof, especialy over the vents as it was a bit drafty. As it is, the temps are fairly easy to manage, usually 60's to 70's during the day and the 40's to 50's at night. It HAS dipped to the high 30's with no negative effects on the plants. I think we tend to baby them a bit to much. The only thing I'm getting tired of is hauling water but because of zoning restrictions here (If it's plumbed/wired, It's a permanent structure), I've decided that's the best option. If I remember correctly, you're attempting to keep your temps in the mid 40's so heat gain may be a problem for you, but I welcome the excess. I've decided I need to get on Santa's naughty list as I need the coal. When I first moved the plants in fall I did have a problem with some burning but I bought some lath from HD and laid them, individually, vertically on the south facing roof. I didn't fabricate panels for it as I want control over the amount of shading...more shading/more lath, and vice/versa. Obviously this has not been needed since late November.

    I remember you were concerned about your floor and cold air infiltration. Has that been a problem for you, or did that become a non issue?

    Great pic of you and Onyx BTW. :)

    Whereabout in Illinois are you?

    Merry Christmas to all here!

    Dave
    Milwaukee

  • conifers
    15 years ago

    Sweet Dave! I really like the lath idea. It seems to me it would be much, much easier than dragging out my shade cloth (by myself) and getting it in place. The lath I could just keep upright standing against my home and throw it on as needed. Good idea. Thanks, I definitely welcome that thought.

    Excess heat has only been a slight problem for me. I've been over 60 maybe 5-10 times but not much over that. Then one day just a few days ago, it was really sunny and the temps were 40-45 F here... Since I'm not grafting yet as my plants haven't woken up yet, I didn't throw on the shade cloth rather I just let things be as they were. My exhaust system is working like a million bucks however. I can set my two heaters at 46 and my fans kick on at 46.5... and the greenhouse is always between 45-50 when the temps are anywhere from 5-10 all the way to 30-35 degrees. The combo is working very well in other words. As I mention, it's bright sun that really warms this thing up, not warm weather.

    I also introduced this 'ultrasonic cool puff mister' and that keeps the humidity up as well as keeps the temps down. It's a great little gadget I picked up at Walgreens and I'd recommend it to all folks. Then for those real bright sunny days, I also bring in my fan on a pole...which stands about 4 feet off the ground and put it right up against the 'clamp on' screen door I built pulling air through the greenhouse and exhausting through my inline-duct fans. SO>>>>>>>>>> I can keep this thing relatively cool with considering all parts.

    The floor.....not an issue.

    Have a Great Holiday Everyone!

    Dax

  • milwdave
    15 years ago

    hey Dax....got any pics of that screen door?

    I was considering assembling the extra door from the kit as a screen door but then I'd have to keep changing the doors during spring and fall. Very interested in seeing yours.

    Dave

  • conifers
    15 years ago

    What up Christmas Dave?

    I shot some new photos for you guys. You're going to be impressed with my carpentry skills...believe me!

    This is what you call your basic "screen door" with large orange "clamp" from Menards!!!

    No more kidding around...
    The door was simply (2) 2x4's that I cut 19 inches off of each end and attached those pieces with screws. The piece of screen is 24 inches wide and I bought a length of like 80.5 inches of and simply screwed the screen to the frame. Then you'll see the clamp...now you need to buy this big one...it is necessary. The clamp you'll see simply holds the frame to the "track" for the Greenhouse door. That's it.

    The photos probably aren't even necessary but I took several to show you guys how things work.

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    Door showing clamp and brick in lower left corner
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    "Da Clamp!"
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    Just some more photos:

    My new Walgreens Cool Mister...
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    Inline Exhaust Fans
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    'Clip On' Fans...which I really like
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    Lastly, My cuttings and understock
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    This thing is "butifol!"

    See ya guys!

    Dax

  • zenzone
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Wow, that is a great looking pergola. Thank you for the number of pics you sent. I'm also referring my sister to this thread so she can see the greenhouse set-up (she just got one herself). I will be happy to have my pergola up in time for some shade when the sun returns (April?).

    Question for everyone-
    What is your favorite garden-oriented X-mas gift? I got a flame thower! Happy-happy-happy!

  • conifers
    15 years ago

    A dog carrying a huge log around is my favorite gift...or is it his?

    Maybe a new birdfeeder? I just bought 3 to replace 1!

    Congrats on your new weed killer. I've always wanted one...(bitter!)

    Dax

  • chris_in_iowa
    15 years ago

    Having nothing to add but just wanting to post an observation.

    The use of nasty pressure treated wood does not seem to bother the climbing plants much. I don't think I would grow grapes on one, but ornimentals?... GREAT!

  • conifers
    15 years ago

    Good point Chris, good point. I know you can't use pressure treated as a mulch or soil additive but I hadn't really thought about it's use for plants. Anyone else know if it would be a bad idea for ANY plant groups?

    Maybe another forum...

    Just curious,
    Thanks,
    Dax

  • cottagefarmer
    15 years ago

    Treated lumber made before December 2004, known as CCA, contained chromium, arsenic and copper. Rainwater caused the chromium and copper to be leached out of the wood leaving the arsenic as a white powder on the surface.

    Treated lumber made after that date uses chromium, copper and ammonia or ethanolamine as the binder. A typical brand is ACQ (AC2).

    Obviously, for consumable plants, you don't want to ingest large quantities of any elemental metal but the newer wood is certainly safer to use around plants that aren't for consumption. Dogs and people should avoid chewing on the lumber too.

  • nathanhurst
    15 years ago

    If I were building an outdoor structure in north america I would take a serious look at timbersil.

    They have a silicated wood product that contains no heavy metals, is flame proof, lighter and stronger and completely water resistant (unlike CCA and ACQ which both rot if constantly exposed to water).

    I have't seen timbersil available in australia yet, so I'll stick with my eucalypt and tung oil mix for the time being.

  • conifers
    15 years ago

    Thanks for the info guys. Very educational!

    Mycket Bra pa' Svenska...

    Hey da'!

    Dax

  • agardenstateof_mind
    15 years ago

    Dax, very nice pergola - thanks for posting those pictures. I've been wanting my menfolk to build one over the patio along the back of the house ... not for shade, but to unify and soften that elevation and provide a sense of enclosure and privacy from the neighbor's yard and wraparound deck. Maybe your pictures and description will provide some motivation.

    Why did you remove the wisteria?

    Great pictures of the HF, too; looks like you've done a great job. You must be enjoying this. You've done so much research and modifying.

    Ironically, but not surprisingly, I find that the solar pool cover keeps the temps lower on sunny days. I do still have to vent, though, as it easily reaches the mid 70's by about 10:00 on a sunny day.

    Diane

  • conifers
    15 years ago

    Hi Diane,

    I just can't understand how that cover would keep temps cooler.

    Thanks for your nice compliments. The wisteria I removed because I wasn't thinking when planted it several years ago that it was right next to my sidewalk and the other very close to my garage...and the first as well being close to the garage too. Just not a good idea with these plants...same being with Trumpet Vine.

    The greenhouse...it's awesome! I'm awaiting some conifer scions from two GW members, but grafted five Spruce and three Pines two days ago. Also, I have either 400 or slighly less or more conifer cuttings and an extra flat's worth of Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon) going as well.

    Did my last modification or should say purchased my last bit. I'll have heating pads along the top of my benches to increase rooting. Another 150 bucks but like anything else so far, I consider it a great investment and also hobby.

    My newest hairball idea is to possibly put either one or two vents on the opposite side of the greenhouse to 'maybe' drag air through, to increase the quality of air in the GH using the same drier vent's I used for my exhaust fans. I'd simply remove the flap so air could come on in. Still thinking this one over though!

    Maybe I'll post a question about that!

    Thanks and see ya,

    Dax

  • nathanhurst
    15 years ago

    "I just can't understand how that cover would keep temps cooler."

    Two likely reasons: a) The pool cover reduces the transmitted light (I'd put my money on this one). b) The outside temp is higher than inside and the extra insulation reduces conduction.

  • stressbaby
    15 years ago

    Solar pool covers transmit 80%. I suppose it's like using a 20% shade cloth. SB

  • conifers
    15 years ago

    I see. Thanks for the explanation. It still defies the laws of physics in my mind however. I guess I just thought those pool covers were meant to be used to keep the greenhouse warmer as a general rule or to hold and/or retain any or as much heat as possible inside a greenhouse. There goes 80,000 dollars worth of college down the drain!

    Happy Holidays...hope you guys have a great growing year!

    Dax

  • noproblemoism
    14 years ago

    I find this pergola gorgeous from Costco.com. You can set it up in a few hours. Beautiful hardwood. I heard that the MSRP is $3999.99, but Costco runs a special deal on this high-end pergola for $2599.99 (shipping included).

    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11160592

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    Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11160592

  • noproblemoism
    14 years ago

    Sorry about the wrong information above. It's actually only $1,999.99 at Costco.com. They gave out a HUGE $600.00 COUPON until October 31.

    Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11169519

  • buyorsell888
    14 years ago

    My DH built out Pergola out of Cedar for significantly less money than that. Cedar certainly holds up here in rainy Western Oregon. Never heard of using Mahagony. Ipe is expensive as it teak. Prohibitive for building.

    This thread is old so the OP probably has a pergola already...

  • grow2eat
    12 years ago

    see step by step instructions for steel pergola at here