Welcome to PergolaKitsUSA.com, America's retailer of custom and standard size pergola kits and patio covers. Whether you're looking for a shady backyard structure under which to cook up a barbeque, or a modern centerpiece for a commercial property, we have what you are looking for.
We founded our company to help you create a distinctive look for your property with an investment that will last decades. But the most satisfying part of our business is that we help you create the atmosphere to enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family. It is for this reason that we coined the slogan "Great times...delivered straight to your backyard!"
How Big of a Pergola do I Need?
Only you can answer that question, and it will depend largely on the layout of your property. But we can share with you some basics about how pricing works in the shade structure industry, which will help you weigh your options.
Price per square foot decreases as square footage increases. For example, the smallest kits, those that give you 64 sq. ft. of space (8 x 8=64), are priced the highest on a square foot basis. From there, prices per square foot drop sharply as you go up to about 120 sq. ft. After that, the price per square foot continues to drop, but at a slower rate. All of this is due to the ratio of wood/area (or vinyl/area, etc.), and to semi-variable costs of shipping and production.
If you buy a small model (8x8 size or a 10x8 size) you will be paying the highest price per square foot. Prices for small models run 30% to 50% higher than large models on a per square foot basis. If you buy a model that is a bit larger, say an 11x11 or a 12x10, you will be paying more than an 8x8, but you will get more for your money on a per square foot basis. The advantages of a larger structure are that you can entertain more guests under it, and you can fit more under it, such as an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, a hanging swing, furniture, etc.
Consider this: A 12x10 gives you almost 100% more room as an 8x8, but it only costs 25% more on average. That’s a 4:1 ratio to your advantage.
If you live in a northern region that has a milder summer, there is less of a need for a huge design in your backyard. The further south you get, the more frequently you will want the benefits of shade. On the other hand, we have sold designs to customers in rainy regions who put their covered roof models to good use.
Attached vs. free standing
A pergola attached to the house is less expensive than a free standing design because an attached model only has two support columns instead of four. Fewer columns and lower shipping costs leads to a lower priced product for you. Sometimes you will see these models advertised as a "two post pergola" or a "wall mounted pergola".
A pergola with a roof is more expensive because of the extra material and craftsmanship required to create the roof. Roofs are heavy, and therefore cost a lot to ship. But a design with a roof arguably has more utility because it offers more shade from the sun and shelter from rain.
Covered pergola kits may simply have a look that appeals to you. They have a more solid look, and some say a more inviting look, almost begging visitors to relax under their shelter and stability. If you want to take a look at our covered models, check them out here.
If you don’t want to spring for the roof, but still want the option of shade, then a good compromise is a "retractable roof pergola". These have a canopy that is tailored to fit your outdoor structure exactly. The canopy can be moved back and forth, depending whether you want to soak up some rays, or cover yourselves (and your dining table!) from a sudden mid-afternoon summer rain shower.
You will see these models sometimes advertised as a "retractable pergola", or "retractable shade pergola". They are all the same concept. Our most popular retractable is the Everylynn Western Cedar. It comes in a variety of popular sizes, including 14x14, 14x16 and even 20x20. We can also customize a size for you at no extra cost. Just give us a call and we will create your drawings for you.
The Arched Premium
Arched pergolas are beautiful, but they are materially more expensive than other types. If you want to save some money, consider a different style. On a per square foot basis, arched models cost 25-30% more than other styles. For example, for a 16x16 size, the arched will cost you some $1,600 more. Sometimes you will see these advertised as "curved pergolas".
Of all the various materials used to build backyard structures, wood is the most common. Wood takes paint fairly well, so if you don't want a rustic or Tuscan look, you can simply paint yours. Consider painting yours white for a wedding or catering atmosphere. Or paint it grey or light blue for a nautical or coastal landscape. Or paint it brown or black if your property is wooded.
Our wooden pergola kits are made from several different wood species, but California Redwood and Cedar are the most common. Let's compare the two:
Advantages and Disadvantages of California Redwood
California Redwood is the most expensive of all outdoor woods. However, it looks the most beautiful. It has a gorgeous reddish hue that is noticeably more uniform than cedar wood (i.e. less discolorations and knots). It also has a tighter grain than cedar that appeals to many.
Of all the wood species, redwood it is the most resistant to decay. Redwood will last for decades with little to no risk of rotting. Insects do not eat redwood; it contains phytochemicals that harm them. In fact, felled redwood can lie dormant on the earth for decades and still be in good shape. We are so confident of the durability of our redwood, that we back our redwood models with a 15 year warranty.
A redwood pergola kit looks fantastic in any landscape setting, particularly when new. This color will fade over time but it can be restored with a strong power wash.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cedar
I would venture to say that there are more cedar pergola kits sold each year than any other type, with the exception of perhaps vinyl. Cedar is the most common wood used for all types of backyard structures, including gazebos, pergolas, sheds, decorative bridges, furniture, etc.
A cedar pergola is slightly less expensive than one made of redwood, but many feel it doesn't look quite as nice when new. It has a yellowish color, compared to the gorgeous red of redwood. Over time, both woods will turn gray unless treated. Cedar's decay resistance is nearly on par with redwood's.
Cedar takes paint better than redwood, so if you want to paint your backyard structure, go with cedar or even Eastern Pine if your budget is tighter.
Douglas Fir is a bit less expensive than redwood and cedar. It's decay resistance is a bit weaker, but better than that of Eastern Pine. If cost is a heavy consideration for you, consider our Eastern Pine model. Of all the woods, Eastern Pine is the least expensive. It doesn't look as nice, and won't last as long, but if you paint it you can alter its appearance and extend its useful life, and it will serve you admirably.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Composite Fiberglass Kits
Fiberglass pergola kits, (also known as "composite"), are a completely different look. Don't want a country-ish or rustic structure in your backyard? Rather have a modern, contemporary centerpiece? Then consider a fiberglass model. Our structural fiberglass is lighter than wood, but pound for pound stronger than steel. Given its lighter weight, shipping costs are less for fiberglass, which means a lower price to you.
Fiberglass composite does not rust, rot, warp, bend, or suffer from insect attacks. And if you want a waterproof pergola, but are not comfortable with the quality of vinyl, them fiberglass composite is the way to go. Another big advantage of fiberglass is that it comes in any color you can imagine. We will paint your fiberglass pergola in any color you want for only $200 additional.
All of our wood and fiberglass models can be customized to your sizing preferences.
Vinyl or Plastic
Vinyl has come a long way since the 1980's. It used to be that the biggest advantage of vinyl, also known as plastic, is that it was the least expensive of all the different materials. Vinyl used to have a shorter useful life than wood or fiberglass composite. It used to shrink and expand with changes in temperature, leading to cracking and warping. And it usually came in only one color, white.
But times have changed. So much so that today many believe vinyl is the preferred material for outdoor backyard structures. Today, vinyl comes with sun-protective additives that extend its useful life. Vinyl fence and outdoor structure makers provide multi year warranties on their products, some as long as 20 years!
Should You Buy a DIY Pergola Kit, or Buy a Custom Pergola?
We'll let you in on two major secrets: First, all pergola kits, whether labeled "DIY" or "custom", are DIY kits. Whether you want to "do it yourself" is another question. But there is no difference in assembly difficulty between the two. Second, there is no difference in price between the two.
Why? Because we will draw up your custom plans for free. Many people don't know this, and unfortunately they settle for a standard size kit size that doesn't quite fit their landscape perfectly.
As for assembly difficulty, regardless of whether you buy a standard size DIY kit, or have a custom pergola made specifically for your property, they both will come to you fully cut, with holes drilled, and with instructions. You don't need to be particularly handy to assemble a custom design. All you need is two or more people. And all you have to do is move timbers and screw them together with a wrench. That’s it! Two people can assemble our products in well under a day, even a custom one. Check out this page for our DIY tips.
Top 8 Places People Place Their Backyard Pergolas
Our customers find many unique ways to use their purchase, but here are the most popular:
• to protect your car • cover your deck • cover your patio • protect your barbeque or outdoor dining area • over your hot tub • put next to your pool • adorn a garden