I have attached a few photos of how this looks currently - but I have concerns about the top bit with the rafters from a structural perspective. As you can see, I have used the timber on the outside of the posts (that were concreted in) using carriage bolts. In retrospect, I would have done this differently and maybe cut a piece out at the top of the post, so that those sit on top, instead of to the side to make it even more secure (hope that makes sense) - however I am reluctant to pull all of this down, especially having to take out all of the nails from the joist hangers.
So even though I could / should have done this differently if I was doing this again, my question is what I can potentially do based on what I have currently. A few ideas that I have thought of are:
- Adding further posts that are concreted into the ground at the back only. Obviously I wouldn't want to do this at the front, as I naturally want to keep the big opening as currently.
- Adding triangular corner pieces. Not sure how I would this exactly, with the timber beams being outside of the posts, but I see quite a lot of pergolas doing this. I am personally not a huge fan of how this looks, but if it helps structurally then I am willing to do it.
- Not sure if this will work, but adding another set of timber beams below the ones currently set up around the whole perimeter, which are attached to the posts - not sure if this will help at all though
Any recommendations on what I can do? I don't necessarily feel like this is going anywhere as everything is bolted in, but for example if I were to hang from one of the rafters, there is movement that is concerning me, hence this post.
This does tie into the same question, but I have attached a picture of the carriage bolts. My question on this is I have had to use one bolt only towards the bottom of the beam, as I have the cross beam also needing to be attached by the bolt too, so I added those more towards the top on those. Ideally I would bolt this up twice at the top and bottom - but obviously couldn't do this as the bolts would hit into each other. So if there is a way I can possible sure this up too, let me know.
Please go easy on any novice mistakes made.