pergola building question - foundation


hi folks, I'm getting ready to build a pergola/arbor to support my grape vines, and I've run into a snag.... around here, if a "structure" has a foundation (including sonnet tubes), it is considered permanent, and therefore taxable (add even more onto the already astronaomical property taxes)..... I'm planning to build a timberframe style pergola with 6 posts (2 rows of three posts each). The three posts are 6'9" apart, and the 2 rows are 8' apart. The pergola will be 8'6" at the highest point.
My question is: is there any way to build this without putting a "permanent" foundation down? I'd like to avoid tying the posts together at ground level, as I'm hoping to set it up so that people cane walk in and out of it easily (without tripping on a sill).....
Acording to the local building contractor "stakes" are not considered permanent, but I'm not sure a stake wouls provide suffucient strength. I'm not worried about settling (up and down movement), but more racking - the structure will be very rigid at the top - there will be braces from the 6 legs to the top sill, but unless the legs are securely anchored to (or sunken into) the ground, I'm worried about them shifting laterally.....
thanks
--JD
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Do your neighbors like or dislike you? I'd consider putting in the tubes to anchor it down and just hope that no one reports your "landscaping feature" to the township. Really, I'm not a die hard" keep the government out of my pocket" type person, but seriously. Taxing someone for building a grape vine holder is crazy. I'd go for the tubes though because with your vines on top, that structure is going to get fairly top heavy.
Dave
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Commercial plastic film greenhouses have 3' galvanized pipes as ground stakes, about 1.5" diameter. You put the end of the pipe on the ground, slip a bigass bolt into the top and pound it into the ground. Then slide a smaller pipe bow into the ground stake and put a horizontal bolt through 2 holes in each pipe.
Nick
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net says...

I've seen this done for a motorhome shelter, where they were also trying to avoid a permanent foundation. The posts all set into brackets welded to the top of a foot-wide, half-inch-thick steel plate with beveled edges. Not much of a tripping hazard, plenty heavy and stiff, but still a temporary base that just sat on the ground.
--
snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
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Why don't you build it like a pole building. Just buy the posts a few feet long, weather proof the ends and set then into the ground just like a fence post.
is Joshua Putnam

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Treated posts sitting on concrete or metal standoffs, so the wood isn't in direct ground contact. You do need to tie it down so it doesn't blow away. Mobile home anchors, or if you want to get fancy, have a welder make some square-section tubes to slip the legs into, with big augers like used for huge dog tiedowns attached to them (or even just bigass metal stakes), and holes for horizontal bolts through the uprights. Or, like the other guy said, just plant the posts like fenceposts or mailbox posts, cut the tops off even, and frame it up from there. I don't think things without solid roofs and/or panels (like sheds or fences) are considered 'structures' in most areas. Drive around the neighborhood, and see what the neighbors have put up- you can probably get away with the same.
aem sends...
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<<snip>>

You can also buy precast foundation plinths that may or may not be taken as "permanent" by your local tax office.
Personally, I'd set to sonotubes deeply enough to cover them with soil and have a galvanized bracket set into them sticking up out of the ground. Tell the tax inspector that the bracket is just driven into the ground.
mjd
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anything that is 121 sq.ft. or more is taxed. whether attached or not. concrete filled or sand filled - doesn't matter
that's why my dog house, garden shed and tool shed are exactly 120 sq.ft
| hi folks, | I'm getting ready to build a pergola/arbor to support my grape vines, and | I've run into a snag.... around here, if a "structure" has a foundation | (including sonnet tubes), it is considered permanent, and therefore taxable | (add even more onto the already astronaomical property taxes)..... I'm | planning to build a timberframe style pergola with 6 posts (2 rows of three | posts each). The three posts are 6'9" apart, and the 2 rows are 8' apart. | The pergola will be 8'6" at the highest point. | | My question is: is there any way to build this without putting a "permanent" | foundation down? I'd like to avoid tying the posts together at ground level, | as I'm hoping to set it up so that people cane walk in and out of it easily | (without tripping on a sill)..... | | Acording to the local building contractor "stakes" are not considered | permanent, but I'm not sure a stake wouls provide suffucient strength. I'm | not worried about settling (up and down movement), but more racking - the | structure will be very rigid at the top - there will be braces from the 6 | legs to the top sill, but unless the legs are securely anchored to (or | sunken into) the ground, I'm worried about them shifting laterally..... | | thanks | | --JD | |
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You forgot to say 'around here' at the start of that. Property tax rules and enforcement practices vary greatly by state, county, and even township/city. Around here they use the 'permanent foundation' rule, which is usually interpeted as slabs or poured piers. Precast piers usually slide, even if below grade level. Lotsa people have wood-floor sheds on precast deck blocks, over gravel, even when a slab would have made better engineering sense and avoided a ramp. I'm lucky- out here in the township, enforcement is very spotty. My metal shed screwed to the slab floor of an abandoned dog pen is apparently invisible, tax-wise, since the chainlink pen is still surrounding it. (all work of the previous idiot owner, but it works well enough for my current needs.)
aem sends...
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