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Outdoor Living Structure Guidebook A Roadmap to Your Perfect Pergola, Pavilion, or Gazebo

A glistening white canvas securely perched on the easel in front of you invites the creative touches of your brush to its clean surface. Yet, maybe your canvas is not the white fabric of an acrylic artist, but rather the green open space of your yard. Any of the spaces in your care are yours for infusing with your creativity, color, structure… in order to create a special and unique experience.

Crafting the Perfect Outdoor Experience

With every artistic touch, whether it’s to a white canvas or a backyard, there is an experience that we try to achieve. In your case, you want an outdoor structure because you are after a certain outdoor experience. You desire an outdoor structure to create an atmosphere of beauty, class, inviting mystic, charm, or relaxation. In a nutshell, you want to bring an experience of outdoor happiness home to your home and family.

You are on the Right Track! A magnificent outdoor structure can certainly bring a renewed happiness to your outdoor experience! Just as an artist plans for his painting by thinking about the design and by laying out the necessary choice of colored paints and brushes, you also recognize the need to prepare and to plan thoughtfully for the anticipated addition of a stunning backyard structure.

16x24 backyard montford pavilion in lancaster pa

Planning is Crucial for Success

In order to have successful execution of any project, the planning process is key. While planning is essential for attaining ultimate satisfaction, it can also feel overwhelming and confusing.

10' octagon wood4

Partner for a Sure Victory

At Lancaster County Backyard we understand the importance and challenge associated with thorough planning. We are here to help you navigate this process seamlessly. In this blog we will do the work of planning while you enjoy dreaming and discovering the structure that will fulfill your desired experience.

At Any Stage of the Game

Whether you are entering this process open-ended, with a few vague ideas, or if you know what you want and just want it installed, we are here to help! Review the following steps, and jump right into any stage that’s applicable to the state of your project!

Step 8: Choose and Prepare your Foundation

a good foundation goes a long way

Which Foundation Is Ideal for my Structure?

Your foundation holds up your structure 24 hours a day. A well-paced foundation is essential. The following foundations will ensure that your structure will stay stationary and stable at your desired location.

  • Gazebos – Crushed stone foundation or a concrete slab
  • Pergolas – Footers/Piers
  • Pavilion – Footers/Piers

Specific Q&A about Pergola and Pavilion Foundations

Can I mount a pavilion on a concrete pad?

We recommend that the pavilion columns are placed on concrete piers (cut the concrete and place piers in).

Can I place a pergola or pavilion on bare ground?

To place a pergola/pavilion on bare ground, you should first install concrete piers that mound just a bit above the surface of the ground. (for concrete pier details, see Answer to Q. Can I mount it on my paver patio?)

Can I mount a pergola or pavilion on my deck?

If you’re mounting to an existing wood deck, a good and proper mounting method is to drop the posts down through the deck and secure them to the joists. The recommended method is to take the wooden portion of the post down through the deck. (Trim pieces for vinyl make this a bit simpler.)

Can I mount a pergola or pavilion to my paver patio?

We do not recommend fastening to pavers. They do not provide structural stability and are not a secure anchoring method. The recommended method is to install concrete piers 18” in diameter and 36” deep. Remove a section of pavers approximately 24” in diameter. Then dig down 36”. Fill with concrete to approximately one to two inches below the bottom of pavers. After the pergola or pavilion is installed, the pavers can be cut to fit and replaced around the columns. [Note: Footer size to be verified per job.]