Today is your day. You’ve decided to create one of the most beautiful architectural paradises right in your backyard —a nature inspired timber pavilion. Let’s start. It is going to be a fast and easy project that will be a redwood-sized success!
For all practical purposes, a well planned shade shelter such as a pavilion, pergola, gazebo —should accommodate multiple functions. Whether you have an expansive area, large enough to entertain several guests or a narrow side yard, every detail is important.
Three vital things a plan should include is how much shade coverage is needed, the applicability, and traffic flow for enduring year-round usage.
Placement of Your Shade Shelter
The largest determining factor as to where to erect your shade shelter is the landscape and established structures. The direction it faces can also play into the type of shelter — a pergola, pavilion, trellis, or arbor — which is best suited for your dream backyard getaway.
How you intend to use your outdoor space should be a consideration in where you choose to place your arbor, gazebo, pavilion or pergola.
- For example:
- If you are creating a backyard kitchen area, being relatively close to the indoor kitchen will be more convenient in the preparation and transportation of food.
- For a barbecue area, place it away from active child play areas, or a sport court. You would not want to have a ball bounce over into a hot grill.
Things to include in your landscape layout on paper:
Determine the area you have to work with and what areas that you cannot change (e.g. your driveway or particular tree). Consider your budget and remember that you can finish your landscape in stages.
Each outside boundary and its surrounding landscape.
Plants and trees.
Which way does the home face, north, east, south or west?
Utilities such as air conditioner, heating pump, and dryer vents.
Downspouts and existing irrigation systems.
Sheds, storage buildings.
The views you would like to hide or protect.
Any slopes, grades, and drainage.
Playing around with a floor plan layout to fit your unique space is a great way to determine how you can wisely use your space. If you are a party person, a good rule of thumb for comfort is 5 square feet per person. However, the beauty of an outdoor space is that the area for activities readily expand out into the yard.
Figure the area of the intended outdoor living room, by multiplying the length by the width. For example, if your outdoor room is going to be 16 feet long and 20 feet wide, the area is 320 square feet (16 x 20 = 320). If you have a room that is shaped irregularly, separate the room into square portions for ease of measurement. If you measured the room in sections, add up the square feet of each section.
In the example above, divide the square footage of 320 by 5 square feet — to fit 12.8 people with ample room to move about. Rounding down — that room should comfortably hold 12 people — with arms spread out and plenty of “personal space.” However, the occupancy will be lower with the addition of obstructions, such as tables, couches, water feature, movie screen, hot tub, barbecue, kitchen bar, fire pit, etc.
Size Visual of 16′ x 20′ Pavilion Kit
Pictured to the left is the 16′ x 20′ ShadeScape® Pavilion Kit. On the floor area is an 8′ folding table that is 30″ wide, 4′ serving table, 20″ wide. In addition is a drink dispenser stand, a round table, a few boxes and two coolers — of which the measurements are unknown. The photo to the right is the 16′ x 20′ ShadeScape® pavilion kit with 20 people and all the previously stated items.
16′ x 20′ ShadeScape® Pavilion Kit
16′ x 20′ ShadeScape® Pavilion Kit
Site Prep for Your Timber Structure
Prep the build site
There can be many types of foundations for posts such as attaching to an established or new deck, a building, a concrete post base or concrete pad. We recommend sloping the ground away from the site for proper drainage and avoid water
accumulating in the finished area. If you are concerned about drainage, you can lay gravel as a sub-base before adding the foundation.
To prevent pooling of water, make sure that the site slopes out 1/8″ per foot all the way around the structure in the desired direction. Once you clear the site, you can lay the foundation.
Trellis posts attached to concrete in the ground.
Pavilion posts here are attached to a concrete pad.
Foundation – Pavers/Brick/Stone
If your ground is already prepared and ready, the stones can be placed right on the compacted dirt or gravel. We recommend leaving the areas around the posts unfinished until after the installation of the timber kit is complete so you can cut the pavers, brick, or stone around the posts for a clean finished edge.
Foundation – Concrete/Cement
It is recommended to pour a concrete slab that is at least 4” thick for a pergola. For a pavilion, you will need footings. You can mount your structural EarthAnchor® knife plates (or post mounts) to any type of gray cement, stamped concrete patio or footing system.
We would recommend keeping the posts of the pergola (or timber structure) off any grass area so that you don’t have to mow around the posts. The knife plate will hold the bottom of the posts above the patio about ¼” to prevent it from wicking up any standing water.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, our Design Consultant can help you plan for your site.
Can My Concrete Pad Hold My ShadeScape® Kit?
One of the concerns people have is when they hear how much our timber kits actually weigh. How much load-bearing capacity a concrete block has is determined by a number of factors. How compact is the soil, the concrete mix, the age, (the hydration and hardening process of concrete causes it to become stronger over time), the size, shape and structural content all have to be taken into consideration.
For example, the weight that is brought to bear upon a concentrated point or when it is distributed over a wider area. A block that is used to support an individual column will bear less weight than a load distributed across a network of support from other load bearing units or columns. When weight is uniformly distributed it requires twice as much weight to break it as it would be the weight concentrated at the center.
Concrete is measured for strength in PSI meaning pounds per square inch of pressure that it can bear. A typical residential patio is 4″ thick with an average of 3000 pounds per square inch ratio. It is designed to carry more than the weight of two automobiles. The average compact car is about 3,000 to 3,500 lbs. A mid-size car, van or light truck is about 5,000 to 7,000 lbs. A full-size truck is 7,000 to 12,000 lbs.
Two automobiles covering the same amount of space far outweigh an oversized heavy duty timber frame pergola. The overall total weight of an oversized pergola is nearly 4,000 lbs. which would compute to be around 1,000 lbs. of undistributed weight for each beam. Simulating this would be like placing 4 extra large sized men standing on one corner. After the weight is uniformly distributed between three other beams the PSI is considerably less.
What if your don’t want to wait for concrete?
What if you do not have concrete yet – or maybe you would like to pour concrete later? Some prefer no concrete at all.
That is NO PROBLEM. You can have your dream deck or shade shelter with NO major construction undertaking — No BIG holes in the yard — No Waiting or Dry Time. Part of the beauty of a ShadeScape® DIY deck or pergola plan for an outdoor living area is that it can be the space can be completed, expanded in steps, and budgeted out over time. Under conventional foundation and footing methods, digging and waiting for concrete to dry is required.
Western Timber Frame™ offers exclusive anchoring solutions from GoliathTech™ for pavilions, pergolas & gazebos where you can opt for a simple and rapid installation, without excavating —and NO delays between the end of the installation and the beginning of work.
• No damage to landscape or structures
• Perfectly leveled structure
• Ideal for restricted spaces
• Possible no matter the season
• Removable and reusable system
ShadeScape® Kit Sizes
A dimension of the posts is the size of the ShadeScape® structure. If it is a 12,000 ShadeScape® series it will have 12″ wide posts. Every kit is unique. They are not a cookie-cutter kit you like can be found in a big box store. To give you an idea of size, here are the standard ShadeScape® Series in rough-sawn timber stacks, representing a 16′ x 20′ ShadeScape® Series Pergola Kit.
- 2,925 Pounds
- 886 Board Feet
- 6″ x 6″ Posts
- 3″ x 10″ Beams
- 2″ x 8″ Rafters
- 2″ x 4″ Shade Planks
- 2″ x 8″ Knee Braces
- 4,561 Pounds
- 1,382 Board Feet
- 8″ x 8″ Posts
- 4″ x 12″ Beams
- 3″ x 10″ Rafters
- 2″ x 6″ Shade Planks
- 3″ x 8″ Knee Braces
- 6,556 Pounds
- 1,988 Board Feet
- 10″ x 10″ Posts
- 6″ x 12″ Beams
- 4″ x 10″ Rafters
- 3″ x 6″ Shade Planks
- 4″ x 8″ Knee Braces
- 9,035 Pounds
- 2,738 Board Feet
- 12″ x 12″ Posts
- 8″ x 12″ Beams
- 6″ x 8″ Rafters
- 4″ x 6″ Shade Planks
- 6″ x 8″ Knee Braces
Again, Note: Each ShadeScape® Series rough-sawn timber stack, represents a 16′ x 20′ ShadeScape® Series Pergola Kit.
Extra Pavilion gables help to define an entrance, and create an open view showcasing your pavilion’s impressive trusses. They are also a great way to expand your pavilion with an additional wing.
Adding extra hips or gables typically cost more than most other upgrades. This is primarily due to the additional material used and the compound angles on the dovetails.
A single small gable on a pavilion can use up to 40% more timber and it takes twice as long for our craftsmen to build. Furthermore, a hipped pavilion is nearly as complicated as a gazebo to cut out because of the multiple compound cuts and angled dovetails.
A hipped roof is a symmetrical rectangular construction with two hips meeting at either end with four sloping uniform sides meeting at a single peak. When the hip is equal on all four sides, it is sometimes called a pavilion roof or a pyramid roof. Where the adjacent sloping sides meet is the hip. The degree that the hipped roof slopes from the peak is the hips bevel. At the center of the hip roof is the king post showcasing the artisan crafted interlocking joinery.
Hipped roofs are more durable than gabled roofs. Often hips are used in more advanced architecture adding quality and solidness to a home or shade structure. Hipped roofs on shade structures are common in areas with high winds such as coastal resorts. A well-designed hipped roof structure with the mortise and tenon joint system can withstand 140+ MPH winds as well as resist significant seismic activity.
Picture: King post in the center of a hipped roof of a DIY old world pavilion kit with mortise and tenon dovetail connections.
Note: If desired, you can go even further with a cross-hipped roof. For more information, please speak to your Design Consultant.
With Western Timber Frame’s sturdy timbers, one post is more than enough to provide adequate support for each corner. For those who want a powerful look, triple posts deliver. This upgrade is beautiful and unique.
Two Tone Stain
Two Tone Stain is very attractive on timber frame Pavilions. On darker stained pavilions, it gives a lighter feel beneath to have a light or Natural stain finish beneath the roof overhead. Below are some samples of two toned pavilion roofs.
Upgrading with a 4″ or 6″ thick vertical band of fascia creates an impressive thick looking roof above your beams.
We are consistently hundreds to even thousands of dollars lower than comparable size and quality of kits. For the quality of our structures, you will be hard-pressed to find a better overall value, as affirmed by our 5-star customer reviews on all third party review sites.
When you contact us, you will find that we are upfront and open with our pricing. Your Design Manager will work with you to determine what your needs are for your unique situation. They’re experts in outdoor living environments.
They’ll listen to you, and in turn, ask you questions to help you create a truly inviting outdoor living environment that fits your needs and your budget. After determining the scope of your project; your Designer will give you a quick no obligation quote in as little as 20 minutes.
We don’t post pricing on our kits because each kit is custom designed and manufactured to your specific needs, and costs fluctuate seasonally depending on material supply and a few other factors. That said, we are consistently hundreds to even thousands of dollars lower than comparable size and quality of kits, which is just one of the many reasons why we are the #1 pergola and pavilion kit manufacturer in the United States and Canada.
Not publishing pricing is not a way to keep pricing from our customers (as a testified by our across the board 5-star customer reviews on all third party review sites). It’s actually how we are aggressive in our pricing and what we offer. We continually adjust our prices to the cost of timber to keep our prices competitive. We don’t offer cookie cutter kits in a few set sizes. We don’t keep any “kits” in stock because each Timber Frame Structure is a custom creation offered at a Kit Price.
Engineering & HOA
We will help you work through local building codes and engineering. It doesn’t matter where you live; your Design Manager is there to assist you past any hurdles. We will help you get your project approved.
It will be easier than you might think. We will help you get quick HOA approval with our streamlined HOA approval process. We a predefined template and specification guide that will make it easy for your city to give its stamp of approval.
With up to a 160 mph wind ratings, and a tremendous snow load capacity, you can rest easy under a kit that will last for years to come.
With superior construction techniques, properly engineered designs, and expert craftsmanship; a timber frame structure can be expected to last a lifetime. Our 15-25 year warranty protects all ShadeScape® Series timber structures.
The lead-time between the placement of your order and the delivery depend on the size and design of your pergola and also the time of year. Typically we can have your kit ready to ship within 2 ½ -3 ½ weeks. In the contiguous 48 states, shipping time averages around five business days, depending on your location. Shipping to Alaska or Hawaii would take longer. We will inform you of the estimated delivery date.
We make installation simple. We test fit every single piece before we ship it to you to ensure that your installation will be easy and fun. With very little carpentry skills, a few basic tools, and the help of a friend or two, you can install your Timber Pergola in one afternoon.
Your kit will be numbered/lettered with detailed instructions for a fast and easy assembly. The joints will have a clean, tight joint finish without the view of unsightly hardware. All our pergola kit parts are pre-cut, pre-drilled, and pre-notched with easy interlocking corners and drop-in rafter layouts.
We provide instructions in our installation manual as well as technical support from one of our installers at your request. Our support team is available during the week to answer any questions you have via phone or email.
We are very happy to assemble and install your pergola for you, just give us a call. However, if you are just feeling intimidated by the massive size of these timber frame pergola kits, you will find it quite easy to install, and we are there to ensure your installation is successful.
“After researching locally for a contractor to build our outdoor pavilion with kitchen and fireplace we found Western Timber Frames. Locally everything is built out of cedar. Having plenty of experience with cedar, douglass fir really appealed to me. Cedar life expectancy down here is about 10 years. Western Timber Frames has a 25-year warranty.
Due to the size of the investment and the uncertainty of who I was buying from, My wife and I flew up to Salt Lake from Houston. We met with Brian once we arrived. A super fantastic gentleman who’s very accommodating and laid back. Brian took us around on a Saturday when they were closed and showed us actual finished products. He also gave us a tour of the plant and explained the manufacturing process. We were impressed and made the decision while we were visiting. They are legit. They are quality. Our product, we couldn’t be happier.
If I had a complaint, it would be that Brian told us it would take us 2 weeks to build, It took two old men and two young strong guys 2 DAYS!!!! It went together SOLID and without any modifications!!! Awesome engineering!!”
Don Ward – Texas
Wow!!! Check out the Ward family DIY ShadeScape® Pavilion kit install progress in pictures below. The 8,000 Series ShadeScape® 19′ x 25′ Pavilion Kit has the TimberVolt® Power Post and features a two-Tone Stain Roof.
Western Timber Frame™ or Certified Contractor Install
If desired, we can do the installation for you. We can send one of our certified installers, or we can help you find
a contractor near your location. Contact us for details.
Integrated Outdoor Power
Two more innovative designs of Western Timber Frame™ is the Drill for Power and TimberVolt® Series. Arbors, gazebos, pavilions and pergolas can be pre-drilled for power with a hole down the center of one post to accommodate any and all of your electrical and lighting needs. The TimberVolt® series is prewired and ready-to-go.
Features and Benefits of the TimberVolt® Series
• Aesthetically pleasing
• Eliminates conduit, and/or nails
• Eliminates unsightly and unsafe exposed wire
• Eliminates the need to trench over power
• Reduces the cost of, or even eliminates the need to hire an electrician
• Eliminates the chance of damaging a post trying to add electrical wiring to a post after it’s installed.
• Your structure is ready to use the moment it installed no need to wait for someone to wire it up.
• You can add as many TimberVolt® posts as needed in various configurations.
• The Dragon and the Inferno are protected with GFI plugs for your safety and you equipment
• Easy grid-free power. The Dragon and Inferno models are a completely self contained unit. Simply plug the male plug into a generator and you’re ready to go. For a silent application, we recommend a GOALZERO generator with a GOALZERO solar panel installed on top of your outdoor living structure and your ready to go.
• The Inferno model features integrated USB outlets; charge your smartphones, tablets, and other USB devices, while you watch movies on your outdoor TV that is plugged into one of the main electrical receptacles up top.
Our Design Consultants will guide you step by step from your initial ideas, to a completed custom kit. They are committed to making your kit fit your yard, your style, and your budget.
From Concept to Creation
Building a Project with Western Timber Frame is a simple process you can do in person, over the phone, or via email with as little or as much help as you like. Our Design Managers know the industry and can pull your project together with just a few suggestions. This whole process usually takes less than 20 minutes. You only need to know the color and the ‘look’ you want to get started. Your Designer will guide you step-by-step from planning, measuring your yard, and getting your kit built and shipped.
Western Timber Frame™ is different; we do not fit you with a pre-made, cookie cutter kit. These are not kits that you can buy in your average big box store. All of our kits are custom built to match your requirements and to fit your back yard.
A Design Specialist will give you a Backyard Living Design Consultation™. This consultation analyzes your issues, desires, and dreams for your project and assists you in crafting and designing a kit for your specific needs and budget. Your pergola will be an outstanding hand crafted room in your backyard.
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