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Questions to consider when building a heavy timber pergola
Explore the Benefits of Owning a Heavy Timber Custom Pergola
Now a heavy timber cedar pergola, like I had said, is going to be a 3 by minimum, so you’ll have 6 by or 8 by cedar posts and then you'll have your 3 by or your 4 by Cedar beams. We typically do a split beam, as you'll see in the photos, and that would be a 3 by 10 or 3 by 12 or a 4 by 10 or 4 by 12 or you can even go with like a 6 by 10 or 6 by 12 cedar beam and then the rafters would be a 3 by 8 by 10 or even a 4 x 8 or 4 x 10. We've even done the 6 by 8 and the 6 by10.
Is cedar good for support beams?
Cedar is an excellent choice for support posts, underlying frame and cross beams in your deck. It is one of the few species of wood that is naturally resistant to the elements, which is why it is classified as durable for outdoor use in building codes across North America. With cedar, you can be sure that your pergola will stand strong for years to come.
A heavy timber pergola is more designed to give an architectural statement, just want it to look heavy, you want to look beefy. It does have some properties where it’s giving you shade but really it’s more of a statement piece than anything else. You could put 2 x 4’s on the top to give it a little bit more dimension, a little more shade.
How much weight can a cedar 4x4 support?
A Heavy Timber Pergola is a great option for adding architectural interest and beauty to your outdoor space. With an 8-foot 4x4, you can safely support up to 500 pounds in the center, or up to 1,000 pounds when the weight is spread out along the same 4x4.
The other reason you would do a heavy timber pergola is because the span of the space you are wanting to cover. If you are wanting to cover let's say a 20 ft by 18 ft space, you're not really going to be able to comfortably cover that with 2 by cedar material, you really need to go with the heavier timber.
Can you use cedar as structural lumber?
Western Red Cedar is often seen as a non-structural material, however this is inaccurate. While it is not as strong or load-bearing as other woods such as Douglas Fir and Hemlock, Western Red Cedar can still be used in structural applications. It is naturally durable and stable, making it an ideal choice for outdoor projects such as pergolas.
If you are considering having a heavy Timber pergolas installed make sure to let us help you understand all of your options. Of course when building a Heavy Timber Pergola, those heavier dimensions of cedar are going to be more expensive and Cedar is at a premium right now but it tends to balance out because you don't typically do as many rafters in a heavy timber pergola application.
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