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  1. #1
    Platinum Member ustmd's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    544
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    Manor, TX (outside of Austin)
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    Kioti CK25

    Default Front Arbor Expansion

    I thought I would post a few pictures of a quick project we did this fall. My contribution to "project porn" before the winter blahs set in.

    We moved to the "sub rural zone" in 2001 and built the house in fall of 2001 (moved in Jan 1 2002). One of the first outdoor projects we did (besides plant a million rose bushes and fruit trees) was build an arbor/pergola next to the house (these pictures are from Dec 2003):


    -dec-200302-jpg-dec-200303-jpg

    The house faces due south and we planted wisteria to grow up on the arbor to get summer shade and winter sun.

    Flash forward 10 years and we have closed in the front porch and the area under the arbor is a great place to be in the afternoons and evenings during the s[ring/summer/fall here in Texas--we get deep shade from the house. The wife and I love setting out under it and having outdoor diners under it with our friends. The only problem is that I was young and inexperienced when I put in the arbor. All of the support poles are in exactly the wrong place for any table for more than 2 people. Either we end up stretched out or crammed together.

    So this fall, we decided to expand the arbor.

    P.s. I would appreciate it if none of you let my wife know that I am post a picture of her "better side" for the world to see--especially since there is less of her better side now than then.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member ustmd's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    544
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    Manor, TX (outside of Austin)
    Tractor
    Kioti CK25

    Default Re: Front Arbor Expansion

    In looking at how wide we wanted to expanded the arbor we wanted to go from 7 ft between support poles to at least 14 or 16 ft. Doing it in wood would not easy or possible (plus we would lose some head room by the time I up sized the cross pieces), so I decided to use steel for the cross beams. My supplier told me that for materials once I went to 16 ft, the pricing was the same until I got 24 ft. So, if we were going to go to 16, I might as well go whole hog to 24.

    First, I replaced the existing 4 x 4 cedar posts next to the house with 4 x 6 cedar. I also use the opportunity to correct some minor layout defects from my first effort (lets just say not everybody was lined up in church):

    -front-arbor-poles-1-jpg-front-arbor-poles-14-jpg-front-arbor-poles-16-jpg


    Then I poured new footings 16 feet out from the line next to the house and put in 4 x 6 x 10ft cedar poles (the ground slopes down ~8-10 inches)

    -front-arbor-poles-2-jpg-front-arbor-poles-12-jpg

    As you can see the yard has filled in over the years.

    Next I had to wait on my steel guy. He has great prices and does great work for me (welding), but can sometimes run on his own clock.

    Once it showed up, the quality inspector had to check it:


    -front-arbor-steel-5-jpg-front-arbor-steel-14-jpg

    We painted it and hung it. I was worried about working it through the wisteria vine and having to cut the vine significantly, but it turned out not to be too difficult:

    -front-arbor-steel-31-jpg-front-arbor-steel-33-jpg-front-arbor-steel-38-jpg

  3. #3
    Platinum Member ustmd's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    544
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    Manor, TX (outside of Austin)
    Tractor
    Kioti CK25

    Default Re: Front Arbor Expansion

    All that was left was to tie the existing arbor cross pieces into the steel beams, run some cross pieces across the front, install some cedar 2 x 2 slates for the wisteria to grow across and then take out the remaining 4 x 4 posts. I must have done something right because so far it has not collapsed.

    -done-4-jpg-done-6-jpg-done-8-jpg-done-9-jpg-done-10-jpg-done-11-jpg-done-12-jpg-done-13-jpg

    In a couple of pictures you can see a table (benches not pictured) I built out of some left over cedar I had from another project. Assuming the weather cooperates this year, we will most like be having Thanksgiving dinner under the expanded arbor using that table.

    Once we finish the landscaping under the arbor, I will post some finished pictures.

  4. #4
    Gold Member mvwicker's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Tractor
    2007 New Holland TC34DA

    Default Re: Front Arbor Expansion

    Lovely spot you've built there! With established wisteria vines, pretty much any trimming will grow back in one season.

    ...and I'm jealous of your weather, allowing Thanksgiving al fresco.

  5. #5
    Super Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    9,871
    Location
    Industry, Maine
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    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Front Arbor Expansion

    Very nice! The transformation over the past 10 years is amazing. It shows, you have put a lot of effort into your property.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

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