Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.
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I'm building a gazebo and have a question about how to attach the beams at the top of my posts. I had originally planned to attach the beams on the outside of my posts using either lag bolts or bolting all the way through my posts, but after seeing your gazebo plans, it appears that you place the beams on top of the posts. Is this a better solution? How do you attach the beams to the posts when they are placed on top? The gazebo will be 12X16 and have a hip roof. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Placing the beams on top of the posts is structurally the best way. This way all the weight of the beams and the roof is supported on the posts, rather than bolts. Toe-nails are used to tie the beam to the posts. When the beams come to a corner such as in our Gazebo Plans, there is no problem with the beams sitting on the post. When a beam is sitting on a post and has a tendency to lean one way or the other, I usually put a scab on the beam extending down over the post, as shown:
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