Week 182 (Pergola Progress)

Ten months ago we poured the concrete footings for our Pergola.  Four months ago we had our cypress and steel orders in.  Over the next 6 weeks we finished the cypress with several layers of UV-resistant varnish and we galvanized the steel posts and flitch.  Six weeks ago we received the finished cypress boards, and five weeks ago, we swung the steel into position.

From the site’s perspective, we’ve gone from this:

To this:

The good news is that there’s a good chance that next week we’ll have the other half up!

While the Pergola has been the feature attraction of the past few weeks, there’s been a lot of other work happening just beyond the boundaries of the patio.  We’ve finished our ponds and filled them with stones and water:

The diamond pathway you see in the background was designed to look random, but putting it there was anything but.  We used an auto-level to ensure precise elevations:

And then carefully placed the diamonds so as to create an even descent across quite a bit of fall:

Here’s the end result of that:

Way in the background you can see some landscaping progress.  Here’s a closer view:

Finally, some more photos and perspectives of the Pergola construction.  Here’s the South Beam, waiting to go up into position:

And here it is in position, carrying the first few common rafters:

Here’s the engineering detail: our compound beam is a pair of over-sized 2×12 boards (1-3/4″ thick instead of the more common 1-1/2″ thickness) with a 5/8″ steel flitch plate between them.  The flitch plate is not so much carrying the weight of the common rafters (which the sistered 2×12 beams could carry), but to provide racking strength for the columns.  We don’t want the Pergola to collapse when it is hit by a 60mph gust of wind.

And finally, our progress to date:

It’s going to look great when it’s finished!

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