Properly attach a deck beam on a pergola post

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Forum topic by ethanol posted 02-17-2016 02:23 PM 768 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1282 days

02-17-2016 02:23 PM

Hi all,

I am currently planning on building a 12×16 pergola with a wooden deck.
Now the idea is to have 5 6×6 (or 8×8 ? ) posts going all the way up to the top and support both the deck beams and the pergola.
However I understand that the correct installation for a rim beam on a pole is to make a notch in the pole (like this ) in order to not have the weight supported only by the bolts like in the “sandwich style” beams we often see.
Is it even possible to have a poles support both the pergola and the deck ?

Thank you by advance for your advices and your helpl !

1 reply so far

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1372 days

#1 posted 02-22-2016 01:53 AM


Notching the vertical posts to carry horizontal load-carrying members is superior to relying on bolts alone. Notching the vertical posts to carry the deck and the pergola could work, but sufficient lumber must remain where the deck horizontal member is let in to carry the weight of the pergola above. I would think that 3-1/2” left after the notch is cut would be sufficient to carry the weight of the pergola. The joint should be a tight fit.

However, I would not rely on any opinions here, including mine. Rather, and what I routinely do and for some reason others are reluctant to do, is to develop a set of plans and submit the plans to the governing building department. Pull the permit if required, but if not required, the building inspector will be able to answer your question authoritatively. The building department exists primarily to ensure the safety of structures. If you take this route, I hope your building department is as helpful and easy to get along with as mine.

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