A grand feature in many homes, pergolas are garden additions that protect people from the elements. Installing a pergola is great for your deck or patio, but you're probably wondering if you should anchor it on the ground or how you should do it. We've looked into it and we have the answers for you.
Pergolas look heavy and sturdy, but to keep them secure, anchoring them to the ground is a must. This outdoor structure needs enough space in order to stabilize it properly. Regardless of the kind of pergola that you will be installing, it is still very important to anchor it securely in place.
Preparing your area for the installation of a pergola can be quite overwhelming. Fortunately, we have some tips on how you can easily plan for this project. Keep reading our post because we will also talk about the kinds of pergolas you can install in your home, and ways how to stabilize them.
Do Pergolas Need To Be Anchored?
A rather popular addition to gardens and patios, pergolas are outdoor structures that provide shade to walkways or sitting areas. They come in a variety of styles to fit the look of your home, but their common feature is the slatted roof.
There are many reasons why people consider putting up a pergola in their gardens. Homeowners who like to entertain or spend time outdoors in their yards love their pergolas. It gives them ample shade and protection, while still enjoying the warmth of the sun.
Pergolas also add visual appeal to the space. On their own, pergolas look pretty grand as additional outdoor space guests can stay in. For those who have a penchant for gardening, pergolas turn into beautiful trellises to grow vines in. They are multipurpose, aside from adding shade to the space.
If you are planning to have a pergola for your home, you will find that most of them require a lot of space because of their size. They are quite big, which is one of the reasons why pergolas need proper anchoring and mounting on the ground.
The pergolas are often heavy, but this weight can also cause untoward incidents when strong winds blow into your property. Pergolas that are not mounted properly can get blown away or they may get damaged by the wind and break down.
Regardless of the kind of pergola that you will install in your home, it is always important to anchor and secure them to the ground. The best way would be to anchor it deep into the ground to provide stable support. However, some pergolas will do well being mounted on a deck or a poured concrete patio.
How To Anchor Pergolas
There are multiple ways to anchor pergolas during installation. This will wholly depend on the surface that your pergola will be standing on, as well as the size of the pergola you will be using. If you are quite unsure about how to set up a pergola, there are professional services that can help do the job for you.
This method will require you to dig a hole deep into the ground to anchor the pergola in place. Make sure to check with local authorities about codes and restrictions on digging into the ground to prevent hitting utility lines.
- Tape measure
- Post hole digger
- Quick drying concrete mix
- 4-foot level
- Mark the location of the pergola's posts. Using a tape measure, make sure to accurately set the spacing of the posts correctly so that the installation of the pergola will be seamless.
- Dig holes for the posts of the pergola. Using the post hole digger, make a hole that is at least 12 inches in diameter. The depth of the hole should be about 1/3 of the height of the post.
- Prepare a batch of the quick drying concrete mix according to the package instructions.
- Pour 4 to 6 inches of wet concrete inside the hole. Set one post into the hole and add a 12-inch layer of wet concrete to the hole.
- Using a 4-foot level, make sure that the post is perfectly leveled vertically or "plumb." Make the necessary adjustments to ensure that the post is level on the ground.
- Fill the remainder of the hole with wet concrete while making sure the post is plumb. Secure the posts temporarily until the concrete completely sets.
- Repeat the process for all of the pergola's posts.
When installing a pergola on a wooden deck, it is important to check whether the deck can fully support the pergola. Because they can be quite heavy, you can always get an engineer or a professional to check the load-bearing capacity of the deck prior to the installation.
There are multiple ways how you can install a pergola onto a wooden deck. Some pergolas come with a wooden deck installation kit. There are some workarounds that you can do to install a pergola on your existing deck, such as bracing the bottom with more wood for support.
- Tape measure and marker
- Post anchors
- Lag bolt
- Using a tape measure, begin by locating the installation places for the pergola posts. Mark the area using a bright marker. Make sure that the location of the posts sits on top of a solid deck beam and not just on the deck boards.
- Drill holes on the deck according to the screw holes of the post anchors. Attach them properly with the appropriate 1/4 inch lag bolt for the post anchors. You can use an impact drill or a socket set to install them.
- Pre-drill a hole on the bottom of the pergola post so that it doesn't hit the lag bolt on the post anchors. A 1-inch hole that is 2-inches deep should do.
- Raise and lift the pergola posts in place. Use a level to check that the posts are properly straight and plumb before screwing them in the anchors.
- Screw the post on the post anchors using lag bolts and timber screws. Brace the posts with 2x4 wood while you work on installing the other posts of the pergola.
What Are The Kinds Of Pergolas?
There are different kinds of pergolas and each of them works beautifully with any kind of space in gardens or patios. Depending on the location where you will be placing them, a pergola can get support from an existing structure (like a house) or it can hold itself up on its own.
True to its name, attached pergolas are pergolas that use an existing structure to provide a big bulk of its support. Typically, they use the wall of another structure with a ledger beam holding up one side of the pergola.
Since attached pergolas make use of an existing structure for support, it also has fewer posts than standard freestanding pergolas. A small pergola that typically has 4 posts will only need 2 for an attached pergola.
Before you decide to put up an attached pergola in your home, make sure to check with your municipality about the building codes for this structure. Some areas may have restrictions concerning this so it would be best to seek advice beforehand.
The most popular and commonly installed pergolas in homes, freestanding pergolas stand on their own without being attached to any existing structure. These pergolas are easy to install and most DIYers can put one up all by themselves.
Check out this wooden pergola kit on Amazon.
If you have experience in creating your own structures, you can even make your own DIY pergola. The only disadvantage with these pergolas is the bracing and stability it needs to stand. Freestanding pergolas must be properly anchored to prevent them from being blown away by strong winds.
Pergolas add a touch of whimsy and style to any home by design, and it is also functional by adding shade to a sitting space. These grand outdoor features require proper anchoring to keep them durable and stable. When done right, you'll have a beautiful pergola you can relax in during warm sunny afternoons with friends.
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