Floating a Pergola in Place

Built by Joseph Cracco and his company, Modern Yankee Builders of Cumberland, R.I., this pergola is 78 feet long: 60 feet is curved and supported by steel columns, and 18 feet (the construction of which is another story) runs along the screened porch.

Focus on good design and clever construction

by Laurie Elden

Built by Joseph Cracco and his company, Modern Yankee Builders of Cumberland, R.I., this pergola is 78 feet long: 60 feet is curved and supported by steel columns, and 18 feet (the construction of which is another story) runs along the screened porch. Cracco did exhaustive research into epoxies and made trial runs to determine how best to lay out, glue, and clamp clear cedar to laminate the 60-foot curved beam on site, no small feat in cool April weather. Choosing lap joints for gluing together the lengths of 1x2s (atop the purlins) cost an extra 40 man hours, as the wood split at the joints when the pieces were bent, and the crew had to reglue using scarf joints. Even so, the assembly was ready right on schedule for the crane, which lifted the structure while the crew placed the columns underneath. To see more photos of this project, go to “ Complex Pergola Details ,” a PDBWebExclusive at deckmagazine.com . — Laurie Elden


Photo credit: Joseph Cracco


Photo credit: Joseph Cracco


Photo credit: Gary Moyer


Photo credit: Gary Moyer


Photo credit: Joseph Cracco

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