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Forum topic by cathyb posted 01-22-2010 10:24 PM 1252 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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768 posts in 3206 days

01-22-2010 10:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip

This weekend I will complete the refurbishing of my 20 year old pergola. I find it is useful to take a second look at a project and see how you could have improved the design. Here’s what I learned from the pergola:
1. I failed to appreciate that once the stephanotis vine took over the pergola that I would be unable to maintain the finish. You know when wood sits in water it will rot and it did.
2. I should have primed and painted all of the limbers before adding the top cross pieces. I assumed that because I used blocks between all of my 2×2 cross pieces that the underlying limbers would be protected-not true. What I discovered was that the water worked its way down the shaft of the nail and compromised the wood underneath and that realization surprised me.
On the positive side, the posts and underlying structural limbers were protected by the awesome Simpson ties that I used. My 2×4 cross bracing keep the structure true and solid.
I ripped off all the 2×2’s and used epoxy to repair any damage to the limbers directly below those pieces. I then primed and added two coats of paint to the repaired limbers and all of my crosspieces. This time I have added aluminum flashing with a small drip edge on all the cross pieces and any horizontal piece below to prevent future water damage. I used this technique on my fence and it works great. If you think, about isn’t the top of a fence or a pergola similar to a small roof?

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

5 replies so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3266 days

#1 posted 01-22-2010 10:32 PM

nice skill share..but how about a few pictures..more fun to see then to just hear…hows that weather over there..nice here in alabama… complaints about that..aloha…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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768 posts in 3206 days

#2 posted 01-22-2010 10:51 PM

beautiful weather-not a cloud in the sky. i sent my camera in for repair, it should be here in a few days. the pics will be coming. the pergola looks so happy now!

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3209 days

#3 posted 01-23-2010 08:38 AM

Sounds like a serious weekend of work. If your pergola is anything like your other projects, it’ll be stunning too : ) Pictures when you get your camera back.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3296 days

#4 posted 01-23-2010 12:33 PM

Any pictures of Hawaii are very welcome with or without a pergola this time of year in Norway! Although I would like to see the pergola too. I also think that the preservation of outdoor wood is an interesting theme. I made a plant stand some years ago out of fir (shudder, shudder). It had legs with end grain showing, so I thought I would just glue on some thin strips to cover it. The climate is very wet here, so exposed end grain gets bad pretty fast. That was about 5 years ago, and the stand sits out year around and is still in great shape. It surprises me how little it takes sometimes to improve the lasting ability of outdoor wood structures.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View cathyb's profile


768 posts in 3206 days

#5 posted 01-30-2010 08:11 AM

It finally happened. I tossed the Olympus after three attempts at a repair and bought a Nikon. Here are the photos of the pergola: wait a minute. I don’t know how to add a picture to a forum topic.
I’ll list this as a project and show the photos there.
Could someone tell me how to add a picture for just a topic?

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

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