Does A Gazebo Or Pergola Need Footings?

Does A Gazebo Or Pergola Need Footings?

When building a garden structure like a gazebo or pergola, one of the key decision you can make is selecting the perfect footing.

So, does a gazebo or pergola need footings? Yes, a gazebo or pergola footing provides a steady foundation that prevents erosion and protects your garden structure from the wind. It also creates a barrier between the ground, wall and post, minimizing the risk of decay.

There are three popular options, you can choose:

The Post With Concrete Footing

Image via Familyhandyman.com

Concrete footing has been a popular choice and is still used a lot, especially for a fence post, because it’s easy to make. If you dig a hole and pour in some concrete, insert the post and wait until the concrete hardens.

But, If you use the quick-dry concrete, you’ll have the finished product in forty minutes. Also, you can use SonoTube, this will reduce the amount of concrete needed and make a nicer-looking gazebo or pergola footing.

This option gives you are very steady post and is more stable than using an anchor in the post. However, there are two problems with this option, The first, if you are a beginner, you’ll have a harder time placing the post in the perfect spot for maximum support.

Then, if the post is not perfectly vertical, once the concrete sets, you can’t change the location.

Direct Contact With Post And Concrete

Direct contact of the wood and concrete will not protect your post from rot. As the wood dries, it will eventually shrink away from the concrete, leaving a slight gap.

This gap will fill with water and studies have shown, a wooden post in concrete will not last any longer than the ones that are directly into the ground.

Post with Metal Anchor And Concrete Footing

Another option is the concrete and metal anchor. The concrete provides stable support, and the anchor acts as a barrier between the wood and the soil to prevent rot.

This footing will last a long time, however, it has the same problem as the first that is, you must put the anchor in the perfect spot early before the concrete sets.

What I dislike about the footing is the final structure is not stable, I notice the structure is not always solid and the metal anchors are too flexible. While I can fix this with diagonal braces, the pergola will not have that clean look I prefer.

If you would like the try this footing, buy the strongest footing you can find.

Post Directly In the Ground

With this footing, insert the post into the ground. One downside of the footing is it requires more wood; you must insert an extra three feet of wood into the ground. 

This option may cost you for the extra wood, but you don’t have to buy concrete or anchors. Plus, it creates a sturdy structure that protects your gazebo or pergola from the wind and doesn’t collect any water.

Read more: Best wooden Kits.