Pergola for the Yard #5: Erection Day

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Blog entry by builtinbkyn posted 06-20-2016 08:21 PM 1819 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: When Life Gives You Lemons, Stain Them Part 5 of Pergola for the Yard series no next part

Hmmm? Well at 56 that’s always a good thing. :)

The best laid plans are never quite that. Had everything done and ready to erect the structure on Saturday and actually got started by drilling and anchoring the posts. What I didn’t plan on was a plumbing issue that needed to take precedence over the pergola. My wife accidentally forced flushed a rag down the bowl on the lower level. She was using it to clean something and then tossed it in the cleaning bucket full of soapy water. Not remembering that she did that, she proceeded to dump the bucket water into the bowl and then watched as the blue rag disappeared down the loo. “I swear I didn’t flush the toilet.” I said I knew, but that the volume of water she dumped from the bucket, force flushed the toilet and the rag with it. That level is below the house trap so I have a rather large sewage ejector pump for the lower bathroom and to evacuate storm water from the lower patio. The rest of Saturday was spent retrieving the blue rag before it caused problems with the pump. And being we’re expecting rain Monday night and Tuesday, I didn’t want to leave it until Monday just in case there were any issues.

But this morning was a new day and with the help of two friends, Rob and Paul, I was able to finish the structural part of the installation. Now all that remains are the purlins, post caps and bases to be built and installed. All in all, I’m very happy with it and how it looks in the yard. I’ll just need to touch-up some of the nicks and scratches after it’s all done.

Oh Paul had to get down with my Milwaukee on Saturday. He’s a carpenter’s foreman that now works with large breed dogs. Says they give him less lip than the guys on the job LOL

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

11 comments so far

View bearkatwood's profile


1809 posts in 1612 days

#1 posted 06-20-2016 09:03 PM

Very nice work!!

-- Brian Noel

View chrisstef's profile


18021 posts in 3606 days

#2 posted 06-20-2016 11:12 PM

Thats inspiring work right there. Youve got me jonesing for a pergola in my yard now. A little brooklyn oasis rightdere.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View BurlyBob's profile


6881 posts in 2865 days

#3 posted 06-21-2016 02:21 AM

That is looking nice. Makes me wish I had a big back yard for one.

View putty's profile


1292 posts in 2206 days

#4 posted 06-21-2016 01:28 PM

Very nice, fits well with your beautiful yard. Is that grass in the last picture real?

-- Putty

View CaptainSkully's profile


1612 posts in 4158 days

#5 posted 06-21-2016 01:39 PM


-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View builtinbkyn's profile


2999 posts in 1540 days

#6 posted 06-21-2016 02:23 PM

Thanks folks. It’s been a fun build with a little more work remaining to complete it. I always like doing something that adds to the enjoyment of our home. Though it’s only been up a day, sitting here now, the pergola has changed the patio to a more defined and intimate space. Adding some hanging plants or some creeping vines, will give it a more natural look. Heck, maybe I’ll grow grapes :)

Putty, if it were natural grass, which it was at one point, it would be dead natural grass lol Though the yard gets southern exposure, the lack of full sun in some areas for enough hours, the work that get’s done on it from time to time and Willie our German Shepherd running around, it wouldn’t have a chance. It’s Synlawn. One of the better investments I’ve made. No brown spots and no mud to be tracked into the house by the dog. Obviously it stays green all year long and it’s LEED certified too. I didn’t want to use hardscape. There’s enough of that outside the front door. The yard is a little oasis from that with plenty of large trees, greenery and birds.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View AandCstyle's profile


3258 posts in 2857 days

#7 posted 06-21-2016 09:47 PM

Bill, that is a real upstanding project! Paul scares me; does he have all his fingers? Next we need to see you enjoying a (Long Island) iced tea in the shade of a wisteria or a clematis. haha

-- Art

View builtinbkyn's profile


2999 posts in 1540 days

#8 posted 06-21-2016 11:38 PM

Upstanding, erec….......... Ah I won’t go there. ;)

Paul scares a lot of people. Oh, if you only knew :O But he’s a good egg. He has done a lot of pretty sophisticated work and that includes work in Germany where evidently they are fanatical about training and protocol. He was making a thin rip on that 16 footer and used his index finger as a guide. I told him I was taking a pic in case he lopped off the tip of his finger and I needed proof I didn’t do it. He just glared at me and went about the cut. The rip was dead straight.

Looking forward to that LIIT under the crepe myrtle ;)

Bill, that is a real upstanding project! Paul scares me; does he have all his fingers? Next we need to see you enjoying a (Long Island) iced tea in the shade of a wisteria or a clematis. haha

- AandCstyle

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View builtinbkyn's profile


2999 posts in 1540 days

#9 posted 06-24-2016 03:13 PM

Just a small update here. Installing the purlins was proving to be problematic from a six foot ladder. Well installing the purlins that are furthest from the patio side of the pergola were as that side abuts the railing with a 10’ drop on the other side. Reaching over to nail them was the issue. So I needed to extract my baker scaffold from one of my storage lockers (need to have a sale and clear out and consolidate). The baker made it much easier to lay out and secure the purlins and the post caps.

Using some teak I had stored from a shelving unit I built about 20 years ago, I made the caps for the posts. I’ll also use this teak to make the two base assemblies that wrap around the posts. Ran the boards thru the planer to remove the old finish and dings. I should finish up early next week. The wife has plans for us for the weekend.

The purlins are cut from 5/4 pine and are 1 1/4” wide. I think they scale well with the overall design.

Nails used to fasten the purlins are the only mechanical fasteners aside from the bolts that hold everything down to the concrete base.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3466 days

#10 posted 06-26-2016 08:20 PM

This is a beautiful piece of work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View builtinbkyn's profile


2999 posts in 1540 days

#11 posted 07-01-2016 01:58 PM

Thanks Charles. There are things I could have done better, but I had fun making it. One of the difficulties was not having the time to finish the bases that go around the posts, before the weather changed and influenced movement in the wood. Because of the recent stretch of humid weather, the posts moved a bit and went out of square. I’m kind of surprised at how much movement there was in the wood. Two of the posts ( one on each set) twisted enough to make installing the base caps quite a bit more difficult. In hindsight, I should have joined the posts together at the bottom to keep them in plane, immediately after erecting them. It would have made for better results when installing the mitered caps on the bases. But it’s not fine furniture and they look fine for what they are.

All in all, the pergola accomplished what we wanted, a bit more privacy. It also makes the patio feel more intimate and as a defined space.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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