Lowering the joists and narrowing the width of the pergola
If the posts are too tall, use the board-stretcher to un-stretch them.
There are a couple of ways to reduce the height of the posts. The easy way seems to be just to use the scale tool, but if you select the pergola and scale it shorter, the dimensions of the structural members will scale down, too. That is why it is worth going through the steps to reduce the height of the posts as components.
Originally the posts were made to be ten feet tall, let's lower them two feet
- Select a post, get into the edit mode.
- Select the top of the post
- Use move tool to slide the top of the post down along a vertical axis
- Enter 24 into the dimension box.
- Select the groups that make up the beams, joists, and lattice
- Move them down in the blue direction 24 inches
To change the footprint from 12x16 to 12x12, follow these steps:
- Grab the individual groups that make up the patio and border; shrink each by 48 inches.
- Fill the hole on the grass by sliding the leading edge over 48 inches.
- Now, move the posts. Select the two posts at the long end and move them 48 inches.
- Select the end of the beams and use move tool to move 48 inches
- Use push/pull tool to shorten the lattice
- Delete the excess ceiling joists
Now, re-center the furniture and friends by moving each one 24 inches toward the center (half the distance of the width reduction).
—Matt Jackson is a master carpenter, remodeler, SketchUp Wiz, YouTuber, and contributing editor to ProTradeCraft. He lives and works in Rapid City, South Dakota.