Reply by richgreer

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Posted on Planning to Build a Pergola on a existing deck but I don't know how to attach the posts.

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4541 posts in 3098 days

#1 posted 07-22-2012 02:17 AM

I’ve built decks with pergolas (see project 65103), but I built the deck and the pergola at the same time. Those post run through the deck and attach to concrete pylons below. Very sturdy.

Adding a pergola to an existing deck is, IMO, more challenging. I’ve never done it.

FWIW – Here is what I think I would do – -

The first question is if the post from the ground up to the deck are in the same position as the posts you want to run from the deck up for the pergola. If the are, great. If not, I would build some solid framing under the deck so you have something solid to work from.

I’d get an extra long drill bit and drill a hole straight down into the post or framing below. I’d also drill a hole into the bottom of your new posts. Then I drive a steal rod or a hardwood dowel hole below and mount the post over the dowel or steal rod.

So far, I have only described the approach and I have not commented on sizes or materials. I think steal is better than wood, long is better than short and thick is better than thin. You can decide how strong you need to make it. A key factor is how much wind it will be subjected and how rigid the top will be.

As a bench mark, I would probably go 12” down, 12” up and us a 3/4 steel rod – but I over do everything.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this project is getting those holes in the deck and post or framing below perfectly vertical. I would probably build a jig to help me keep the drill vertical.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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