Pergola - external structure attached to house

My building inspector did not identify the pergola has not been correctly / fully attached to the house - in fact the brackets have nails but these don’t go through several of the strutts.

As home inspection reports include decks and free floating deck stairs shouldn’t the pergola - which is attached to a trim which is attached to the house be included?

My suggestion would be to call him and talk to HIM about your concern.

I did. I also emailed them photographs which show the strutts are just a 1/2in on the bracket. I was ignored for two days. Today they told me that as per NACHI guidelines there is no mention of pergolas and they are not part of a home inspection.

I AM SPEECHLESS. This really does not make sense to me.

or her :wink:

We do not know what Standards of Practice was used. It is difficult to understand the problem when we did not see it or have knowledge of the agreement that was used (If one was used.).

This is InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice: Home Inspection Standards of Practice - InterNACHI

I hope you can work it out…good luck.

Pergolas are free standing structures and do not rely on anything else for support. They may have added an attachment to the home for no reason or it could have been added for some minor stability but that attachment should have zero structural importance.

Thank you for your input. My replies are as follows:

a) Talking with the company, they cited 'The InterNACHI Standards of Practice. I’m confused as to what actually applies to this situation. I would appreciate specific detail for this. Thanks.

b) This Pergola is NOT free standing.

This structure IS fixed to the trim of the house, above a window and a patio door via purlins sitting on brackets - which should be nailed/screwed into place - this latter part is the issue.

There are upright beams are approx 8 ft away and are braced by the purlins and a cross support beam.

There are a number of joists which act as sun shades BUT these have been uniformly put on so it kind of has a look like someone took a saw and cut them down the middle of the structure.

My point is this. As decking and stairs are included in the home inspection then this structure which is part of the overall house structure as a) it is attached physically to the house and b) it cannot stand alone, should surely also have been included?

If I could post a picture I would do so.

No disrespect intended, your “overall house structure” argument is quite weak. The house is the structure-period.
If you’d like to send me pictures, I’ll put them up here for you.
You will remain anonymous.

Yes, pictures would help. Purlin? Are you sure that’s the proper name for the component you are describing?

You can post pictures elsewhere (DropBox, etc.) and put a link to them here or send them to Marc as he offered.

They will help.

If it’s attached to the home, it’s part of the home and should have been inspected. I don’t recollect that a pergola is excluded by the SOP.

Thanks for your responses. I’ve just emailed Marc the photos. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.



The OP sent me these pics tonight to post here



The pics are not showing up, Marc…

Darn site!!
I uploaded a different method now…
Thanks Larry.

Thank you for supplying the photographs. While the terminology of the framing members comprising the pergola are a bit off, your description of the issue is spot on and needs to be repaired.

Following is an excerpt from the InterNACHI Standard of Practice (emphasis added)

While pergolas are not specifically called out, they are close enough in context that in my opinion, if attached to the house, should be included in the scope. They certainly are not listed as exclusions.

In my opinion, if the report did not expressly state that the pergola structure was not inspected, you have every reason to expect that a competent inspection would have listed the connections as deficient.

The Inspector may be referring to this section:

  1. Limitations, Exceptions & Exclusions
    III. The inspector is not required to: Q: inspect any system or component that is not included in these Standards.

In my opinion, that would be a poor excuse for not noting the defects in those pictures.

IMO, Chuck has a good point.

I have no further comment due to Larry-Chuck-Brad are all Inspectorsaurus!

before you get hosed again i advise you & your contractor review
DCA 6 - Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide
there are specifics for ledger attachment & flashing which are not evident in your pix
joist hanger attachment definitely appears inadequate in your pix
& now that the entire patio cover has shifted away from the main structure
properly installed & secured diagonal bracing will be needed once realignment occurs
hire a contractor that utilizes the services of an engineer to redesign & prescribe the above & any further corrections not visible in your pix