Pergola Addition to Deck

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Project by PKFF posted 06-04-2012 10:13 PM 3211 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This going on 3 year old cedar deck was in desperate need of attention, most certainly it lacked any bit of shade. (The last picture is the before picture.)It got full on sun for about 10 hours a day. It definately needed a face lift also, the cabot semi-transparent I used just one year ago was already faded and peeling. It had blotchey areas as well as areas that there were no longer stain on the wood.

The original plans included some sort of seating area in the Northeastern corner of the deck. That was not in the original deck budget though. Last year, it was over the average high with very little cloud cover most of the summer in Southeast Michigan. This called for several days of sitting out in the blistering sun for 15 minutes then seeking cover for 1/2 hour before repeating. It was not enjoyable.

The options were to put in a retractable awning or a pergola. In my township, gazebos are not allowed. The problem with the retractable awning is the deck is 18ft off the house and the largest awning I could get was 14ft. This wouldn’t really look good. We went with the pergola.

Needless to say, I am absolutely certain we went with the right choice. This thing produces quite a bit of shade, a lot more than I orginally thought. It is made from cedar to match the deck, and was assembled with my assistent, MY DAD, and myself in just under 5 hours. The speed which this went up shocked both of us.

We finished the deck with Cabot’s Austrailian Timber Oil, Natural and it looks 100 times better than the semi transparent. I know it may need a touch up next year, but with every deck comes deck maintenance, no big deal. Atleast, I can spot-sand and apply an additional coat with out having to strip and sand the whole deck like this year. A co-worker suggested the ATO as he has been using it on his deck for the past few years and is 100% satisfied.

-- "If you put your best effort forward today, you won't have to re-do it tomorrow"

8 comments so far

View PKFF's profile


48 posts in 2502 days

#1 posted 06-05-2012 01:14 AM

Additional build photos and more finished photos can be seen at

-- "If you put your best effort forward today, you won't have to re-do it tomorrow"

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3386 days

#2 posted 06-05-2012 01:35 AM

Nice looking home improvement project! It looks great. What’s a no gazebo rule? I’m just a country redneck who would never buy property with any restrictions. Heck I might want to put a sawmill in my backyard, or build a barn.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2614 days

#3 posted 06-05-2012 11:30 AM

How did you attach the pergola to the existing deck? Do the uprights continue down to grade? or are they bolted the the joists? or…...

Thanks :)

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3227 days

#4 posted 06-05-2012 01:59 PM

It looks very nice and bautifully done! How long did it take you start to finish? I’ve been considering one just like it as my back borch extension. My morning sun is nice and I don’t want to block that, but from about 10 to 4 OK sun could be sizzling and a semi covered pergola would be nice.

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Gary's profile


25 posts in 2355 days

#5 posted 06-05-2012 02:45 PM

were is the hot tube?

Looks great

-- Gary

View PKFF's profile


48 posts in 2502 days

#6 posted 06-06-2012 01:24 AM

Gary: The Hot tub is actually being considered!

LittlePaw: It took about 2 years to plan and convince the wife, 5 hours to construct, and about 4 hours to stain it. It does provide a bit of shade and now it is nice to be able to spend hours out there without seeking shelter from the hot sun during the day

Crashn: The main support beams for the deck were installed with this pergola in mind. They lie directly underneath those upright posts you see in the pergola. The posts are resting on the deck’s main beams (there are two that run lengthwise parallel to the house) and the posts are also bolted to the joist with 1/2” carraige bolts and post hardware. It is very solid, I was climbing all over it to install the trellis work on top and never once did it shift or move. So to recap, the pergola posts are resting on the deck’s main beams while bolted to the joists. That dead load the pergola produces is transfered accross the entire deck and down to the grade through the each main beams 6 support posts that are set 42” deep into the ground and cemented in.

-- "If you put your best effort forward today, you won't have to re-do it tomorrow"

View marcosvillamontes's profile


32 posts in 2331 days

#7 posted 06-06-2012 08:43 PM

very neat pergola job!

here is another one of our pergola jobs!

-- Marcos Villamontes, Santa Cruz,

View PKFF's profile


48 posts in 2502 days

#8 posted 06-19-2012 02:10 AM

Marco, Now that is a great looking Pergola! Poolside dining and lounging, Great Scenary and backdrop! What do you have on the top ?

-- "If you put your best effort forward today, you won't have to re-do it tomorrow"

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