Boy Scout Porter Shively shares a pergola he built for his community to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. He built this project using Simpson Strong-Tie® Pergola Planner Software™.
I’m a junior at William Harrison High School in West Lafayette, Indiana. I’m a wrestler at the school, very active with my Boy Scout Troop, and volunteer in our children’s program at church. In my free time, I enjoy watching movies, playing Minecraft, and hanging out with my friends. After high school, I plan on getting a degree that will allow me to work toward becoming a zoologist.
I’m also part of the Boy Scouts of America. The Eagle Scout Rank is the highest achievement attainable in the Scouts BSA program of the Boy Scouts of America. In order to receive your Eagle Scout rank, you need to lead a project that impacts your community. For my project, I decided to build a pergola in the back lot of our church where the sun is most direct to provide a more welcoming gathering location for the church and the surrounding community. This has been a goal of the church as they’ve been working on creating a space for the surrounding community to use. For example, the space includes outdoor exercise equipment, hiking paths, and much more. This project is the start of a much larger project and the completion of it will kick off several more projects at the church.
I used the Simpson Strong-Tie Pergola Planner Software to design a couple of different pergola plans. Pergola Planner made it easy to both design and present the designs to the committees for approval. I also used the software on the jobsite to help explain the project to the volunteers . I was familiar with the Simpson Strong-Tie brand as my dad used to work for Simpson Strong-Tie after their acquisition of CG Visions.
Here is a list of the items we used for the pergola and their quantities.
I was basically the general contractor for the build. The biggest lesson I learned with this project was leadership and communication. If you don’t have good communication you can end up with hardware installed incorrectly or lumber cut incorrectly. The build went great. We had a number of people who didn’t have construction knowledge doing assembly and many commented how much easier the build was than they thought it was going to be. I learned how all of the hardware is used, as I wasn’t familiar with it prior to the build, and using the hardware made the build easier. I don’t even know how we would have built the pergola without the hardware. The structure looks great and I’ve had a lot of compliments.
There was a total of 48 hours of planning that was completed prior to the build. Once the build started, I had a total of 19 volunteers over 5 different days that completed a total of 137 hours to complete the project. I would like to thank Josh Fitzgerald and Sean Clark for working with me on my project and for offering to donate the hardware. I also want to be sure to thank Matt Sondgeroth for his volunteer hours on the build.