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  1. Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum! After a few summers of not getting around to it, I am determined to get a lean-to-pergola erected this year. My procrastination has mainly been down to a few issues I need to be sure of before commencing. Please refer to attached images. I want the pergola to cover the entire area of the raised patio which is 5m x 5m with a height of 2.3m to the centre of the decorative brick course. My idea is for the ledger board to be attached to the garage. I will then have 4 supporting posts (6"x6"?) sat behind the low wall. My 1st doubt is how to secure the posts and would like advice please. Posts 1 & 2 have a drain pipe underneath the patio so digging isn't an option. Post 1 can be secured to the bungalow wall IMO. Posts 3 & 4 could be dug and secured with concrete(?). Post 4 I have concerns as it is right in the corner of the raised patio area and I would suspect that digging will result in the collapse of the immediate earth? (image) Could Post 2 & 3 be secured with a kind of 'above deck' post bracket? I would suggest a bracket for Post 4 too, but as you can see the paving bricks already seem to be falling away so I have concerns about solid foundations for Post 4 if I went for a bracket. These 4 posts would support the main beam (2"x8"?) which has a total length of 5m! The gap between posts 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 would be 1m leaving a span of 3m between 2 & 3. There would also be a number of cross rafters from the ledger board to the main beam, which raises more doubts... 1) The main beam: a 5m length of 2x8 will be quite weighty I imagine. Will I need 1 beam or 2 (1 at either side of posts) 2) the 5m rafters will have no support along their span, is this unadvised? i guess the rafters aren't as thick/heavy as the main beam(s) but still, 5m might be a bit of an ask. -The light post would obv be removed - the existing electric supply would be kept to supply lighting to the pergola. - the low wall would be rebuilt to extend to hide posts. I would appreciate any advice to help with the build. 🙏
  2. Creating a raised deck (approx 900mm above GFL at it's highest point (see corner where Muttly's standing): Looking to KISS and keep costs minimal as the composite decking itself is costing quite a bit. Obviously little point in going for composite boards if the structural deck starts rotting away in a few years time so looking at solutions that will last at least the warranty period of the composite (20-25yrs). It will be a wrap around L-shaped deck with steps leading off one corner into garden and a small set of steps down the side of the house. Will need balustrade of some type with perhaps partly glazed (keep the wind at bay from the adjacent field) and wire balustrade. No abnormal large loads such as a jacuzzi but I'd still like to achieve above imposed load 1.5kN/m2 specifications. These are the plans so far: Post fixed into ground with concrete. Postcrete calculator suggests 1 bag every 10cm deep...so if I do go down as far as 700mm that's 7 bags per post! And I need quite a few posts! Ker-ching @£5/bag!!! So just mixing plain concrete will be a bit cheaper! Most 100mm x 100mm posts are good for 15yrs so I'd have to take extra measures to make them last beyond that and could try the 'postsaver'. I did also consider using ground screws that are drilled into the ground. Quick, but still pricey with 28 screws costing be around £1000. Concrete decking posts would be fine also but due to the shortage chaos caused by (take your pick) the unseasonly bad weather/COVID/brexit/climate crisis/Napoleonic wars/demise of the USSR are difficult to get hold of (and are pricey!). Working from the Trada span tables, I have gone for doubled-up beams to support the 400mm centred joists. The decking boards I will probably go for are fine with 500mm (https://www.eva-last.co.uk/item/infinity-iseries/ ). Ledger board will be affixed to the slab of the house and concreted 100mm structural timber posts into the predominantly clay ground. Plan is to place a concrete block in the hole with bitumed leg of each post on top and then fullt concreted to above GFL with postsaver. QUESTIONS! 1) First question I have is will 700mm be sufficiently deep? That seems to be the standard to aim for. 2) One thing I don't understand is the 'beam size' in mm in the Trada tables. Perhaps someone can enlighten me! Using the Trada tables, I plan to do the following: Joist spans of approx 1.94m using 45x147mm Beam span at 1.8m using 45x170mm Any major holes with these plans? I'll probably get someone to construct the main deck for me but have seen some shocking decks that 'experts' have thrown together so I want to ensure that whatever is erected is pretty much in alignment what I have planned for.
  3. In our renovation, the middle room was always very dark as it has no natural light. We have removed the wall between that room and the kitchen which helps and on the other side, we have removed the plasterboard and exposed the staircase posts with the aim to leave some of it exposed, while plasterboarding the left hand half of it. the idea is to get some of the light from upstairs, down into that room. Also, as the space from the lounge into that room is rather tight, I want to remove completely the bottom-most post and instal new structural posts slightly further back to hold up the beam above. As this is structural, I did ask an engineer to check it was okay while he did the calculations for the kitchen rsj's. However, I cannot understand his report at all. This is the stairs as it was when we took off the platerboard. You'll notice that the 'posts' and cross pieces are all just tree branches, with the bark still attached. I guess there were no building regs in those days! Picture above is from the stair side and you can see the beam at the top which supports the upstairs. Here is a plan which I hope explains what we plan to do. The new plasterboard will cover the three old posts and the bottom triange between old post 3 and the bottom of the stairs. Between 'old post3, new post 1 and new post2, we plan to get glass from the balustrade companies if possible to allow light through and also, when entering the room from the front, it will open up the middle room in a much nicer way than previously. if the glass is too expensive, then good old fashioned spindles will have to do with a handrail. I am hoping someone can interpret the engineers report and confirm what I think he is saying, which is using C24 timber, using a 75 x 112 mm post, it must be within 1.2m of the wall. But I have been to a timber merchants and TPerkins and neither have C24 timber. I shall try another timber place tomorrow but it would be useful if I knew exactly what the report says we should do. Any advice will be gratefully received. ignore the first 10 pages as that relates to the rsj's for the kitchen which have all been done. And any suggestions of where to get the right timber posts. they need to be reasonably nice as I want them to be seen, maybe painted. AB2782-01 for pillar.pdf ab2782 calcualtions for pillar.pdf Picture of stairs as they are now.
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