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Attaching a Pergola to Your Home

Attachment Options

There are 3 options for attaching our Attached Pergolas to your home (or another structure):

Schematic showing attachment method 1 illustrating that rafters can be attached to the home just underneath the roof soffit using a ledger plate that attaches to the outer wall of the home

Attachment Method #1 (shown in the diagram above) is the most common way to attach the pergola to your home. The ledger plate (which is included with the pergola kit) is secured to the outside wall of the home a couple/few inches below the roof soffit. The rafters are then secured to the ledger plate using stainless steel fasteners included in the kit.

In some cases, Attachment Method #1 is not a viable option because there's not enough room between the roof soffit and the casing for doors and/or windows to attach the ledger plate. This brings us to Attachment Method #2...

Schematic showing attachment method 2 illustrating that rafters can be attached to a ledger plate directly into the roof fascia if it is strong enough to bear the pergola's weight

With Attachment Method #2, the ledger plate is instead secured to the roof fascia (as shown in the above diagram). This method is only an option if there is a strong structural component behind the fascia (which is usually the case). This attachment method allows the pergola to be a few inches taller than Attachment Method #1 where the rafters are below the roof.

Schematic showing attachment method 3 illustrating that roof risers can be attached through the roof to the outer wall of the home to support the pergola's beam

The 3rd and final option is to install roof risers (which must be purchased separately) on top of your roof (with the riser supports being secured to the 2x6 of the outer wall), and then secure a beam into the roof risers, as shown above.

If you choose to go this route, you'll need to notify us when you're ready to place your order that you need to purchase an additional beam that will slide into the roof rafters attached to the roof of your home. (Normally, attached pergola kits only have beams for the side of the pergola out several feet from the home, but not for the side of the pergola that attaches to your home.)

Since Attachment Method #3 uses roof risers not sold by Sunset Pergola Kits, we cannot warrant pergolas that use roof risers to attach the pergola to the home. This doesn't mean the pergola won't be structurally strong. Over the years, we’ve had many customers use this attachment method without any problems at all. We just can't warrant these installations since they use non-Sunset Pergola Kits products.

To recap, Attachment Methods #1 and #2 are standard attachment methods that will not require any additional components. Attachment Method #3, on the other hand, is more of a custom attachment method that will require you to purchase 1) an additional beam from us, and 2) roof risers from a third party (such as skylifthardware.com).

What if my house has a "bump-out" where the pergola needs to attach?

It's not uncommon for homes to have either a square "bump-out" or a 45-degree-angled "bump-out" on the side of the home where the pergola needs to be attached. This isn't a problem. The following diagrams illustrate several options for dealing with bump-outs.

Schematic showing that on homes with square bump-outs, rafters can be attached to multiple ledger plates at a right angle

Square bump-outs are a piece of cake, as there isn't any possibility of a rafter needing to be attached to an angled wall. You simply saw the ledger plate into 2-3 pieces (as needed) and attach ledger plate to the outward-facing walls of the home. The rafters are then attached to the ledger plates. (Note: If you'd like extra ledger plate to have the ledger plate "wrap around" the bump-outs to create a continuous look, please let us know and we'll be happy to accommodate you.)

Angled bump-outs can be a little more tricky to handle, but they're really not too challenging either. You have 2 options for dealing with angled bump-outs. The 1st option is preferable if you can manage it...

Schematic showing that on homes with an angled bump-out, rafters can be spaced such that all rafters connecting to the bump-out attach on the straight part of the bump-out using a ledger plate

With this 1st option (illustrated in the diagram above), the rafters are spaced such that none of the rafters need to be attached to an angled wall. This being the case, installation is almost identical to that of a square bump-out. Simply saw the ledger plate into 2-3 pieces (as needed) and attach ledger plate to the perpendicular outward-facing walls where rafters will be attached. (Here again, contact us if you want extra ledger plate length so you can also have ledger plate on the angled walls to create a more continuous look, even though no rafters will be attached to the angled walls.)

It's worth noting here that the spacing of the rafters does not need to be uniform across the entire pergola. If you need to shift the placement of a rafter or two by a few inches in order to make it possible to use the above attachment method, it's perfectly fine.

Sometimes, though, it just isn't possible to space the rafters such that no rafters will need to be attached to an angled wall. This leads us to the 2nd option for dealing with an angled bump-out...

Schematic showing that on houses with an angled bump-out, rafters can either be attached perpendicularly or by using a triangular wood wedge on the angled portion of the home

As you can see in the above diagram, you'll need to use a triangle-shaped wood wedge (shown in brown in the diagram) to create a right angle the rafter can be attached to. You can put ledger plate on both sides of the wood wedge so it looks nice from all angles.

Regardless of which method you use for dealing with a bump-out, the following diagram illustrates how the shade purlins (shown in light blue) should be laid out. Note that a few purlins (on either side of the bump-out) are interrupted by the bump-out and therefore don't go across the entire width of the pergola.

Schematic showing that shade purlins should be cut short on both sides of a bump-out on a house

If you have any questions about attaching your pergola to your home, please contact us. We'll be happy to answer all of your questions!