Pergola, board placement

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Forum topic by zipmac22 posted 05-20-2016 02:41 PM 384 views 1 time favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 274 days

05-20-2016 02:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question


I was looking at making a pergola, but I couldn’t find a standard spacing of the boards on top. If anyone has made a pergola what was the spacing you used between the top boards? Also, do you think a 2×12 would be too tall of a board to use? I wanted to get the maximum amount of shade. Thanks!

2 replies so far

View devann's profile


2200 posts in 2113 days

#1 posted 05-21-2016 01:03 AM

I’ve built many pergolas and there is no standard spacing. It’s generally what ever the architect specifies. Usually the spacing is something that is symmetrical. The spacing choices are determined by structural integrity and the amount of shade one wishes to have. This is generally achieved by using layers of boards spaced equally, running perpendicular to the proceeding layer.

2×12s are okay to use, at opposite ends of the day the taller boards will provide more shade. However at high noon, spacing will determine the amount of shade. It’s mostly a matter of taste and style.

Some pictures to see would be nice. Here’s some of the last one I built to show examples of what I’ve stated.

Here are a couple pictures, although not the one I wanted to show you. Hope they help some.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View dalepage's profile


113 posts in 262 days

#2 posted 05-21-2016 09:07 AM

If you want “maximum amount of shade, use wide boards close together. You can find out the angle of the sun on the hottest summer day and then figure out the spacing to have the most shade at that time. Draft it out; don’t guess. It’s the same principle as how much overhang to put on an eave in order to keep the sun off the window.

You might also decide what time of day you’d use it most and orient the top boards for maximum shade at that time.

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