How a pergola on a deck or patio completely transforms your outdoor space

A pergola on a deck is a simple outdoor structure that blurs the boundary between inside and out while providing overhead shade. This addition is great for families who want to be outside during peak sun times without scorching. The canopy and rafters minimize sunlight for a few hours each day. The space and size of pergola’s louvers and lattice give different amounts of shade or sunlight and transforms your deck into a partially shaded outdoor room.

D&M Outdoor Door Living Spaces deck builders are mavericks at creating these sturdy outdoor structures. Each pergola can be freestanding and close to the house or attached to the deck.

How to Support Free Standing Pergolas
Freestanding pergolas stay upright by first using a power auger, shovel or clamshell digger to dig post holes to the recommended depth set forth by local building codes. Once the holes are dug, the craftsmen measure diagonally to make sure the measurements are identical before setting the posts and making sure they’re plumb.

Builders brace the post with stakes and pour concrete in the holes until it reaches an inch below the surface. The concrete will be the consistency of peanut butter. Builders churn the concrete to break up air pockets and then let the concrete set for 48 hours. This is the foundation for a pergola that’s placed in the yard.

Securing a Pergola on a Deck
Whereas a free-standing pergola is set with concrete in the ground, a deck pergola sits up high and builders must ensure the pergola remains steady in heavy wind.

Instead of burying the posts in the ground, a deck pergola is held up by four posts attached to the joists—not the floorboards—of the deck. This prevents the structure from tumbling. Often some deck builders will use extra coated hot-dipped galvanized thick steel hardware to connect it.

In both instances the post bases and columns support the weight of the structure. Timber bolts secure the beams which create the pergola’s iconic open framework.

There are countless ways to customize your structure regardless of whether you desire a freestanding pergola or to build a pergola on a raised deck. By adding a pergola, it embellishes an otherwise a plain appearance of a deck that is devoid of additional architectural details.

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