A pergola can be made from steel and or timber and needs to be protected against the Cape weather. The main structure of a pergola is very similar to the standard mezzanine floor structure only it has to have a fall if the roof cover is to be water proof. All the steel in the main structure of the ‘Afdak’ will need to be galvanized and or painted with a durable exterior enamel and etch primer or red oxide undercoat. If the pergola is a timber structure then all the timber would need to be graded structural pine or laminated beams. Harder woods such as Meranti are also commonly used in an exterior application. You can also opt to use the more exotic hard woods such as Garapa or Balau.
If the ‘Afdak’ is small enough it can be suspended from an existing structure, for example between two buildings or from the side of a building, so as to avoid the use of columns. The supporting structure would need to be strong enough in order to support the extra weight of the pergola. In the case where the pergola is self supporting, as with our standard mezzanine floor construction, the columns can be imbedded into concrete footings or fixed to a concrete slab. If the columns are timber they would need to be protected against continuous exposure to water to prevent rot.
In the case of a water proof pergola, roof sheets will either be galvanized or colour bonded which is a durable treatment available in various standard colours. Generally there are two profiles available for roof sheets namely corrugated or IBR roof sheets. The corrugated profile is most commonly used in the domestic pergola application where the IBR is more preferred in the industrial sector. Other roof covers are also available such as shade cloth, timber slats or Perspex. An exterior mezzanine floor can be used as a shade pergola as well as a deck.
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