pergola for shaded patio

KINGDOMBELIEVERSeptember 7, 2011

HI,

THANKS FOR BEING THERE FOR THESE KINDS OF QUESTIONS! I HAVE A PATIO BACKYARD AT THE TOWNHOUSE FACING DIRECTLY SOUTH. MY CONTRACTOR IS CONSTRUCTING A FREE STANDING PERGOLA ON FRIDAY. I WANT MAXIMUM SHADE BECAUSE IT IS 90-108 F FOR 6 MONTHS OF THE YEAR. HIS PLAN IS TO PLACE THE TOP 2X6'S PERPENDICULAR TO HOUSE 10-12" APART. TO MY WAY OF THINKING, THAT WILL NOT CAST ENOUGH SHADE AT THE HOTTEST TIMES OF THE DAY WHEN I NEED IT. I READ THE COMMENTS ABOUT THE HEIGHT NOT BEING TOO TALL FOR BEST SHADE. YOUR EXPERTISE WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ALL COMMENTS!

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

(Just making the first post a bit easier to read.)

KINGDOMBELIEVER said:

Hi,

Thanks for being there for these kinds of questions! I have a patio backyard at the townhouse facing directly south. My contractor is constructing a free standing pergola on Friday. I want maximum shade because it is 90-108 F for 6 months of the year. His plan is to place the top 2x6's perpendicular to house 10-12" apart. To my way of thinking, that will not cast enough shade at the hottest times of the day when i need it. I read the comments about the height not being too tall for best shade. Your expertise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for all comments!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 9:42PM
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adriennemb2(z3/4)

If the crossbeams were placed any closer than 10-12", you'd end up with a roof shelter overhead, not a pergola. Besides growing vines up the posts, there are many fixed or retractable shade covers widely available. Google can help you look for your perfect solution...

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 9:53PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

There was a thread many years ago by someone who put lacy metal panels atop a patio pergola. Her inspiration came from this site:
http://www.parasoleil.com/
but if I remember correctly, she found a local metalworker who could produce something similar more cheaply.

And the original thread's still around:
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/design/msg1114472530583.html?30

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 11:53PM
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natural-sens

IMO- 10" is WAY too close for 2x6's. It will weigh heavy over head and create more of a surface than a shade screen. I would run fewer 2x6's and add a third story of 2x2's over those. If shade is really your goal, plan for climbers. Ultimately my advice is to google the design you like and SLOW DOWN. Not having design figured out 2 days before production is a bad start

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 12:14AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

When I was eight, my parents had a pergola built above the patio on the southwest side of our house in California (at least, at this point I imagine it was a pergola; I think we kids referred to it as the patio roof). I've no idea about the beams and what-not, but what provided the shade was a lattice of diagonal 1x2's. Nowadays you can buy that pre-fab.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 1:51AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

stretch and secure shade cloth to the 2x 6 rafters.
you can figure out the sun's azimuth with a standard calculation ( google will help ) and this will help with setting the rafters, but due to the rotation / seasons, you would be better served by installing a piece of shade cloth to the top of the rafters.
Shade cloth comes in a variety of colors, various weaves for different % of sun block and they will install grommets for you .
If you don't want the extra cost of grommets, order the cloth a few inches longer and use a 1 x piece of stock to wrap the edges around and tack it down to the top of the rafters.
It will last for a decade or so.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 2:37PM
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rosiew

A shade cloth covering could be designed to be removed for the fall-winter-spring seasons. I have had them in frames over large skylights. The shade cloth lasts an astounding length of time and there are online sources galore.

HTH, Rosie

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 9:30AM
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skygroove

For the hot months a canvas should do the trick. Alternatively, climbing vines provide shade from the sun while allowing air to circulate, like under a tree. Using a canvas or a closed roof may block the sun rays completely but it will also absorb the sun heat reflecting it downwards, so in that case it is better to plan the beams and cross beams higher with an increased over hang to filter out sun rays.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 2:15AM
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