Pergola construction on second story deck

Can I add a pergola to a second story deck?

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More Posts Needed For a Pergola?

by David
(Houston TX)

Closer View of Joists Over Beams

Closer View of Joists Over Beams

Closer View of Joists Over Beams
Closer View of Trusses on Pergola
Trusses  Going Up
The Posts, Beams and Joists

I am building a larger pergola and am wondering if more posts are needed for a pergola.

It is a post and beam structure with truss style roof frame. I am really second guessing myself. First of all I know I could have done this many different ways but this is where I'm at.

I'm wondering if I need to add another 6x6 cedar post under the middle joist. I'm afraid that 6x6x20 beam on top won't carry the load. I plan on adding 3/4 v groove pine and a painted copper metal roof. The span between the post is 12'8.

I'm thinking I should add a post on each side under the middle joist. I won't be center but then I could come from the middle of the joist to tie in for cross bracing. The joist are cedar also, but it is going to be a lot of weight. What do you think?

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A first time Pergola builder

by Barrett Chan
(San Francisco)

I currently have a 14' x 14' deck less than 2 feet off the ground. I want to build a 12' x 12' pergola on top of the deck and I want to anchor it to the deck by using the Titan Post Anchors.

I will position each post anchor directly above a concrete pier. Do you think this is structurally acceptable? Thanks in advance for any advise you may offer.

Comments for A first time Pergola builder

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Nov 03, 2009
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Building a Pergola with Titan Anchors
by: Rich Bergman - Editor

We receive lots of comments from homeowners and builders using the Titan Post Anchor in both pergolas and gazebos with excellent results.

The structure will be very rigid given its shape and it should work very well.

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Building pergola on top of existing deck - best way to anchor posts?

by Wade
(NY)




I have an existing deck (pictures of basic plan, construction and finished result attached) and was considering the addition of a 10'x12' or 10'x14' pergola on the far end to provide shade on that most sun-exposed portion of the deck.

I was considering standard PT 6"x6" posts being lag-bolted to joists and the bracing between joists below the deck surface - this is how our 4"x4" posts were installed for the railing.

I'm guessing that the posts will need to be at least 8' in length: about 1' would be bolted below the deck, which gives us 7' height for adding the pergola beams, etc. I was considering cedar for cladding the post and for the pergola top.

Essentially, I was wondering if my anchoring idea makes sense for these dimensions and installation location.

I was also curious if Titan Post Anchors might be appropriate for this application, because I'm not sure what those anchors would attach to below the deck surface for proper support.

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Jul 14, 2011
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Traditional framing method will work fine
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

The traditional method of securing your pergola posts into the deck framing is definite way to do it. You might also wish to incorporate the pergola posts as part of the railing posts also. In this way you will make them more rigid including building a rigid roof frame structure overhead and braced to the posts.

But most joists are 2x8 unless you choose to use larger joists for that area. You may wish to consider using joist to rim joist connectors and bolts as well to really secure those posts.

If you are in pre-construction phase then this is the time to consider the post to joist method. The only other issue to consider is your weather. If you live in a moist area, consider how long typical wood posts last before they begin to rot away in your neighborhood. The posts will be in direct contact with the joist structure for years to come so make sure they are up to the task.

Otherwise if you already have rotting posts or the deck is already built and you want to do this after the fact the Titan post anchors may be a good solution. However they are not designed for 7 or 8 foot free standing posts.

The only way you can use the Titan Post anchor for that application is to of course add blocking under the decking between joists but also rely on the shape of the structure itself and the roof framing and roof to post bracing to firm up the pergola.

We have gazebo manufacturers who build huge gazebos using our 4x4 and 6x6 post anchors and secure them to wood decks or concrete surfaces and have given glowing remarks about how strong the final structure was.

Just keep those tips in mind and consider incorporating the posts into the railing as well. If you go that route, you may save some labor and hardware costs and the posts should last longer because they will remain drier. But remember not to expect the post anchor alone to resist the moment force on a 7 or 8 foot post.

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