Grape Arbor 11' x 14'

lavender_lass(4b)February 8, 2010

I'm wondering if anyone has built a grape arbor/pergola this big? What dimension wood should be used? How close to each other should the support posts be? I want to use pressure treated wood or cedar...any suggestions?

I'm hoping to have a strong enough structure to support grape vines and snow...which we sometimes get a lot of in this area. This winter, not so much, but the last two winters...almost 100".

I have heavy clay soil and should probably sink the posts in quite a bit, but still want plenty of room to walk under the arbor/pergola without bumping into the grapes. I want to have a large table, maybe 3' x 6' and up to six chairs under the arbor/pergola.

I was thinking maybe four posts on either of the long sides, but I'd like to span the 11' without a center post. Does this sound reasonable? I want some cross pieces on the top with the smaller 1" x 2"s perpendicular to the cross beams. Will this be enough support for the grapes? I don't want lattice as it is too difficult to maintain and will rot with all the snow.

Any pictures or suggestions would be very appreciated. I have a contractor who will build it for me, if I supply the dimensions and materials list. He builds a lot of lake homes, but there aren't a lot of pergolas in our area. We have hot summers, but they're not very long and most people want to get as much sun as possible. I like shade :)

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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

Awhile ago we installed a water feature in this customers back yard. I thought they had a nice arbor so I took some pictures of it.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 10:55PM
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lass, get yourself a book on building decks. The structure you're describing will be framed just like the understructure of an elevated deck. Investigate post spacing and joist sizing ... and, yes, a structure can be built without a center post if you design it right. I can't put my hands on it right now, but my deck book has a table that shows how much space different size joists can span.

I think mature grapevines would eat a 1 x 2 for lunch. A structure like you're describing will need some hefty lumber ... from the posts, to the joists, to the cross pieces. The pergola Eric shows looks like it has 6 x 6 posts, and equally beefy lumber in the overhead framing.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 6:20AM
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Connie- I think you're right, it is going to need a heavier structure.

Eric- Great photos! I'll show these to my contractor. That's exactly the kind of pergola I was imagining...except with grapes :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 12:47PM
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