You have decided on a new project, a pergola; the go-to-place for conversance and the renewing of vitality. Once you know what the scope of your projected plan is, you can begin the moment you have been anticipating, measuring for your pergola. This pictured “check for” and Measure Guide will help launch your vision into reality.
Measure twice, cut once. This old carpenter’s proverb means just what it says, double-check your measurements for accuracy. It is always faster to double-check than to waste time and material.
2. Choose Your Pergola Plan
Is your pergola freestanding, attached, or unattached close to a building?
4. Posts, Sides & Angles
If you are pouring a concrete floor before the pergola installation, deduct the nominal 4″ for posts. The posts will need to be longer if they will be below the gradeline. Envision how your pergola posts will look when approached at every angle. Do they give an open and inviting feel? Or, possibly they can have a wall added for privacy.
To layout for your post locations, the sides and angles you would like for your pergola uses the same 3-4-5 Method of measuring. Whatever shape or design you would like your shade shelter to be is easy if you think of it as being on a grid. Though the final drawing may not look square, as long as your measurments are square you will have an aesthetically pleasing layout for your posts.
5. Bottom of Beam Height
Eight feet is head clearance height for standard shade shelters.
For sloped or step-down areas you will need longer posts and a higher headway.
The perfect combination of coziness and wide-open freedom is found in the height of the “bottom-of-the-beam” and roof height. We recommend that you never go under 7 feet height to a bottom beam for headroom.
7. Measure for Obstructions
Every building is uniquely designed and often residential houses will have eaves that project out. If the Ledger Board will be anchored between eaves, the pergola can be designed to fit. Measure the roof overhang or pop outs.
9. Pergola Roof Height
Now, for the height of a standard pergola roof. If a pergola has an eight-foot head clearance, the beams will bring the height up to nine feet, then the rafters will total about 10 feet high. When placed close to a building the stature of the pergola will either be the level of a joist, second-floor level or taller when sheltering an entryway.
Here are 4 examples of higher bottom beams and taller roofs than featured on standard pergolas.