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Pergola options

Looking for suggestions for putting a pergola in to heavy wet soil in the wet west of Ireland! 

Pressure treated pine won't last long enough with wet feet in this damp environment, was thinking of Douglas fir or alder if possible to get posts in lengths of these timbers that are not prohibitively expensive. 

Metposts rust too quickly. Recycled plastic posts are available locally but there has to be more posts and supports added due to posts likelihood to sag which is a no-no as will be growing climbers along structure. 

Any suggestions?

May remove the pergola from design altogether and put in a bit of pleaching or other planting. 

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  • PRO

    How about using those post savers you weld on with a blow torch ? 

    Or concrete / postcrete platform above soil level to accept the bolt down met posts ?




    Take a look at solutions like Mi-T metal posts or 'off-ground post anchors'.

    Both types are secured in the ground in concrete boots with fence panels, wooden posts etc effctively bolted / coach screwed on to attached or 'clad' it.

    Might get you thinking....? 


  • PRO

    Oak, would laat a long time but probably to expensive. I have been using Post savers over the last year or so, they are meant to double the life of pressure treated posts & only cost a couplle of £s each. Slip them on & blow lamp them to create a bitumen seal to stop water ingress. Along with the Post set for setting them in, this is cheaper than concrete mixes.


  • More on Postsaver here:


    Fence Post Failure - Has It Happened to You?
    As a producer of long life fencing products, we're always interested to hear about peoples experiences using timber fence posts. We're seeing more an…
  • I am in the West of Ireland & you forgot the wind :)  I haven't built a pergola for a while but I would probably dig the holes overly deep & insert a piece of plastic pipe (wavin) with gravel in the bottom for drainage then concrete the pipe in place.   Your uprights can then just slot in but I would still protect them with extra preservative.

    This way it's easy to replace them if necessary & don't forget to protect the post tops to stop water percolating down the post.  Good luck with finding timber - it's almost doubled in price thanks to brexit & covid.

    Be careful not to make it too low - allow for plants to droop.  I usually make mine free standing, especially when then are going onto paving, so that the posts don't need much anchoring.

  • Supplier PRO

    Hi Donall, 

    Have you considered Postsaver Pro-Sleeves? Our dual-layer rot protection system keeps your posts protected against ground rot and are a low-cost option compared to your alternatives. You can find all the info at www.postsaver.com. Hope this helps. 

  • Could you install 4' concrete post spurs onto the pergola posts, even if the wooden posts rot the concretes will be doing the work. Not always possible as they can look unsightly. 

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