A practical and well planned outdoor living space often accommodates multiple functions. Whether you have an expansive area, large enough to entertain several guests or a narrow side yard that can host 2 to 3 people comfortably — implementing a plan for applicability, traffic flow, and covering is needful for enduring usage.
Your Pergola Plan Layout
If your plan is to complete your shade shelter with all the furnishings you would find indoors, such as lounge chairs, couches, a dining table, or what not — layout just as you would for an indoor room will help in determining the best size for your yard. Larger in size areas may include an outdoor fireplace, fire pit or Chimenea for nighttime ambience or cool evenings. They may also incorporate seat walls, water features and outdoor lighting.
We do have a Design Service
A Design Consultant 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. Below are some items of interest for a successful outdoor living area, with the right shelter for you and your family.
Your Design Consultant will make sure that your project is a Success
- We help you measure and choose the correct size of kit for your yard.
- You will see what you’re getting, with free 3D Renderings & Design.
- Get easy HOA and engineering approval, when our experts help you.
- We work with your subcontractors, to get your project done on time.
Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States in a letter he noted Europe’s sunless climate in contrast to the hot summers of America —a country dependent on shade to escape the heat.
“Under the beaming, constant and almost vertical sun of Virginia, shade is our Elysium, our abode, our state of ideal happiness, our paradise. In the absence of shade no beauty of the eye can be enjoyed.”
America’s Architect Thomas Jefferson built a U-shaped connection of pavilions for the University of Virginia.
As sparing as the shade is against the heat of the day, not all shade is the same. Shade has atmospheric thermodynamics that greatly varies in its degree of relief from the sun. The type of material used to intercept the UV penetration is the key component to quality shade.
Timber, the Best Material for Comfort
Timber produces the highest quality of shade. Stepping into the shade under a massive solid wood timber framed pergola is a very pleasing experience. Wood is a natural and extremely effective insulator. It retains heat during the daytime and releases heat at night and is four hundred times warmer than steel. The earth’s primary source of energy is derived directly or indirectly from the sun. The sunlight warms the earth at an optimal temperature that can sustain life. Touch heavy duty timbers and you will become aware of being re-energized by the timber itself.
Magnificently, timber can balance temperatures for us, feeling cool on one side and warm on the other. No other shade is more healing the human body than shade produced from trees. And on this wonderful earth, genuine wood products are still of the finest, most dependable materials known to man with its long lasting benefits and positive influences upon our environment over man made synthetic alternatives.
Wood rejuvenates and stimulates our senses with its warmth, smell, texture and variations of colors. One of the remarkable characteristics of timber is that bacteria will not reproduce itself on wood; it is earth friendly and given the right conditions it contains immortal-like properties that can last indefinitely.
Placement of Your Shade Shelter
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.
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. Here are some illustrations, along with four families —where and why— they chose their particular structure for outside an abode.
- Sunshine gives us energy and is wonderful, yet too much sun can get uncomfortable and also drain us of energy. Timber shelters are a must have for a swimming pool to really enjoy the water especially during heat of summer. The Sanders family wanted shade and with this design they doubled their space and quadrupled its function by having a deck, diving platform, and waterfall installed on top of their ShadeScape® pavilion kit.
- Because of the direction it faced, the Sonja family’s small sized deck was blasted with sun through most of the day. An attached pergola allowed for more space with cooling shade —becoming their favorite place to eat out.
Trellises and privacy panels are a great way to add give additional shade, borders, dividers, and privacy in targeted areas of the landscape.
- The Lawrence family created multiple integrated places of entertainment, a lot more room in a not so large area. You can view more about their project here: Dan and Melanie Lawrence’s Western Timber Frame Experience
- ShadeScape® kits are popular for outdoor weddings. Camber’s family wanted a ShadeScape® arbor kit to serve as an indoor winter wedding cake display.
A ShadeScape® timber frame wedding arbor, Chuppah or Mandap are impressive architectural masterpieces enjoyed long after the ceremonies are over.
Arbor, Cabana, Gazebo, Pavilion or Pergola Foundation
Pergola posts attached to concrete in the ground.
Pavilion posts here are attached to a concrete pad.
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. One of the concerns people have is when they hear how much our timber kits actually weigh. The question they ask is:
Can My Concrete Pad Hold My ShadeScape® Kit?
How much load-bearing capacity a concrete block has is determined by a number of factors such as how compact the soil is, 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 14′ x 22′ 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 14′ x 22′ ShadeScape® Series Pergola Kit.
Visual Illustration of Post Size
Can I Have a Custom Size?
Western Timber Frame™ does not have “kits” in the traditional sense of the word. Not one timber kit is actually pre-stocked at our 20,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility. Instead, each kit is custom designed and crafted for each client’s individual needs and desires. We do not fit clients with pre-made kits. We tailor each timber kit to the customer. Therefore no two kits are the same.
Installing a ShadeScape® is Fast & Easy
Whether you do it yourself or have it installed for you, erecting a ShadeScape® arbor, cabana, gazebo, pavilion or pergola is fast and easy. And here are just a few details and the reasons why…
Fast & Easy Installation
We test fit every single piece before we ship to ensure that your installation will be easy and fun.
First, we help you design your kit, then we ship your kit right to your door. Each kit is pre-marked and includes easy step-by-step instructions. With easy interlocking joints, your kit will be ready to just drop into place like Lincoln logs. We do the hard work for you so that you can have your kit installed in as little as one afternoon.
Pre-Notched Shade Plank Guide Slots
There are two main benefits of the drop-in rafter layout. The first is the ease of installation. Because the timber beam that supports the rafters is already marked and slotted, you don’t have to measure anything or try to figure the proper spacing of your rafters. The primary benefit of the drop-in rafter layout is that it helps prevent warping and twisting of the rafters year after year. The hard work is done for you by our experienced craftsman.
The Dovetail Difference®
The Dovetail Difference®, patented design of Western Timber Frame™, exceeds the status quo of conventional timber framing constructions. Architectural frameworks and immobile structures are considered to be solid and immobile, yet we live on earth, in an environment of recurrent and perpetual motion with seismic waves of micro-motion moving up and down, as well as side-to-side. Western Timber Frame’s patented design The Dovetail Difference® creates an architecturally more responsible structure, allowing the wood to perform as nature intended, expanding and contracting while keeping a tight, joint and the integral portion of the timber intact as illustrated below.
Similar to a three dimensional puzzle, Lincoln Log style. The tenon, a reverse image of the mortise, slides in, creating a tight, fit that also allows the wood to naturally expand and contract, virtually eliminating gaps!
Attention to the Details
Hidden Structural Hardware
The Dovetail Difference® virtually eliminates any visible hardware, bolts, screws, hangers or other mechanical fasteners unless they are decorative in nature.
Shade Planks Placed Closer Together
Our top “shade planks” are spaced closer together as compared to other pergolas giving not only a unique look but offering additional shade as well.
The Western Timber Frame™ standard shade plank layout ensures that your pergola has at least an 85% shade coefficient; the perfect sunlight to shade ratio for human comfort; the equivalence of a good shade tree.
1/4″ Rounded Edge on All Timbers
We take great pleasure in our attention to the smallest of details. All exposed edges on our heavy timbers are smoothed with a ¼” round. This allows the timbers to retain their rough appearance, with a touch of refinement.
Pre-Drilled Holes for Lags/Bolts
All lags, screws and hardware are included in each kit. All of our Kits are delivered with pre-drilled holes for lags and bolts and all lags, screws and hardware are included in each kit.
All ShadeScape® arbor, cabana, gazebo, pavilions, and pergola kits are delivered pre-stained with two coats of premium grade UV-rated exterior semi-transparent stain, which makes installation even faster, more convenient and ensures high quality!
True to Size Timbers
You may have noticed that a two-by-four piece of lumber isn’t in reality 2″ x 4″ but actually measures 1.5″ x 3.5″. So the size may seem misleading. Processing the lumbers starts with rough-cut green wood and shrinks somewhat smaller during the drying process. It does not really shrink that. Mills began cutting 2×4’s” slightly smaller to begin with to get more from a given tree.
Western Timber Frame™ uses true-to-size rough-sawn timber for all components rather than standard smaller ‘dimensional’ lumber. This means the post of a 12,000 Series ShadeScape® pergola is actually 12″ x 12″, true to it’s size.
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.
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