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I am planning to install a Pergola/Lean-to to the back of my house, to use as a sheltered patio. I have been watching numerous videos and have picked up some fabulous information, however, I'm a little bit concerned with regards to the wall plate.

My house is rendered with pebble dash (in good condition no cracks) Now the thing I need assistance with, is how do I fix the wall plate to the pebble dash? I am in a housing association property, so chipping away at the pebble dash back to brick is out of the question. I would probably get into big trouble for this, but I suppose I can chisel the stones off to create an even surface. What bolts/screws etc. are best to use for fixing the wall plate?

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I would suggest fastening a piece of wood horizontally across at the top, and then fastening your shelter to that. Using the appropriate fastenings (for either wood or masonry) to fasten the wood to the house. This would only leave two or three holes that need to be patched if your pergola/lean to was removed.

Don't chisel any stones off the wall. It will be unsightly and a difficult repair if the pergola is ever removed.

Before you proceed, make sure it is not against your housing association rules...

  • Thank you very much , do you have any idea on the exact name for the fastenings atall? – Jenna K Jan 12 '15 at 19:14
  • It sounds like you have a brick wall with the pebble dash applied on top. If so, you need masonry fastenings with a fastener that is long enough to go through the horizontal piece of wood, the pebble dash, and then penetrate a minimum of 1.5" into the brick (2" or more would be better). With masonry, you need to predrill a hole for the anchor. There are several types of masonry anchors: screws, lead anchors with screws, and expanding anchors that wedge into the brick - these are the best. Choose a fastener based on the needed length and tools that you have. – Mark Jan 14 '15 at 5:47
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Making a ledger attachment that is sufficiently strong and flashed / sealed so it won't rot is often tricky. (Of course you know that, or you wouldn't be asking this question!)

Anchoring the ledger in brick is iffy. Brick is often brittle and varies quite a bit in strength. Lag shields (lead anchors) are not allowed for deck ledgers - they may not be allowed for a pergola either. The expanding anchors are made for concrete foundations, not brick or block. It would be better to get past the brick into something more solid, but you'd have to really know how the house is built to say what's best.

Another option would be to make the pergola self-supporting. I've seen this trend is developing with deck construction - rather than using the ledger to support one side of the deck, use posts along the house to support that edge of the deck. You sidestep the tricky attachment problem.

With a deck, you still have to make tension ties to hold the deck to the house. With a pergola, that wouldn't really even be necessary. The only concern would be aesthetics - you'll have to look at those posts and corner braces. In my opinion, with a pergola, that's fine - if you don't like the look of posts and corner braces (and rafters, and beams...) you wouldn't be building a pergola!

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