If you are fortunate enough to have a large open space in your backyard patio or deck, one of the best ways to accommodate this space is with a pergola kit.
They are not just a great way to spruce up your outdoor space with a little bit of style, but they also help to provide some much-needed shade when the hot sun is beaming down in the warmer months of the year.
With more on everything you need to know about pergola kits, as well as some of the best options available to you right now, we’ve put together the following guide.
What is a Pergola Kit?
A pergola kit is an attractive and functional architectural structure that helps to provide shade by using a durable frame with columns supporting a series of beams, rafters, and stringers. Which are both ravishing and resilient, ranging anywhere from simple to elaborate.
Pergola kits are generally designed using high-quality precut, notched, and drilled pieces of wood, vinyl and other materials, each coming with it’s own distinct list of advantages and disadvantages. As well the necessary hardware to assemble and anchor it in place.
That being said, you can also opt to go with DIY kits that come just with the brackets and some hardware to put it all together. This allows you to choose your very own materials, and how you’d like to construct it.
What to Consider When Buying a Pergola Kit
Arguably the most important aspect to consider when buying a pergola kit is the materials used. The good news is that there have never been more material options for pergolas than now, and no matter which material you use, it still maintains the same (or similar) structural properties.
That being said, most modern pergolas are durably constructed out of wood, with reclaimed wood widely regarded as being the best overall material. There are a number of high-quality lumbers that can produce beautiful results, such as oak or walnut. As well as a few hardwoods that, if matched with the proper finish or stain, can deliver exceptional outcomes.
Alternatively, marble and stone are other classic materials that are commonly used for constructing modern pergolas, especially when it comes to the columns. With white stone, and granite acting as a tremendous material choices thanks to their stunning natural beauty. Though both of these can be relatively expensive compared to other materials.
Other quality materials often associated with pergola kits include vinyl, metal, and fiberglass. While they all too produce a masterful finished product, they have primarily been made popular due to their ability to produce quickly, and ship at a reasonable cost.
Plus, they are easy to disassemble and transport if you need to move your pergola around down the line. However, these sorts of materials are not nearly as aesthetically-pleasing as wood or stone, and typically do not hold up as well over time.
Much like with any piece of outdoor (or indoor) furniture, you will need to account for the overall size of your pergola as well. The truth is that pergolas can be rather tall and wide, with sizes ranging from anywhere as small as 7’ x 7’, to as big as 20’ x 20’.
To put it simply, your pergola should be the appropriate size for your yard, patio, or deck, meaning that it should not only fit into your space smoothly, but also it should look good as well. Additionally, you will want to ensure that there is enough clearance surrounding your pergola so that you can avoid any swaying tree branches, awnings, or other potentially damaging obstacles.
Also, keep in mind that there are various shapes of pergolas available, many of which will depend on not just individual preference, but the overall space you have available as well. So, just make sure that you measure your space once, twice, or even three times before making your purchase.
The last thing which you will certainly want to take into consideration is the weatherproof capabilities that the item holds. Now obviously part of this is going to come down to selecting the right materials based on where you live. For example, if you live near the sea or a large body of saltwater, then you might not want to go with an all-wood design.
As the combination of the hot sun and the salty air can easily strip away the paint, and destroy the exterior of the pergola over time. In which case maybe a sturdy, corrosion-resistant metal frame might be the best option for you. Regardless of the item you buy, you should always be aware of the weatherproof capabilities that the unit holds, as well as the environment that you live in and how this can contribute to the overall longevity of the item at hand.
Louvered vs Stationary
To have a louvered pergola, it simply means that the sheltering design has the ability to open and close, almost like a window blind. This is a great option to hide away from unwanted weather, direct sun, and more! Stationary pergolas are still great, they are often more affordable, making them the more popular option. However, if you can opt for a louvered design, I can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed! Check out our 7 Best Louvered Roofs for Your Backyard here!
10 Best Pergola Kits for Your Backyard
The absolute best pergola kit on the market right now is the Bjorn Woodworks Pergola Kit. Recommended for those in search of the best DIY option, this incredibly sturdy set comes with 4 pergola bracket shoulders, 4 pergola bracket boots, and all the necessary lag bolts. With your only job being to cut your wood of choice down to the desired length and assemble what’s left.
Plus, the entire set is accompanied by heavy steel braces that are strong and stabilizing, as well as flat black powder-coated hardware that is specifically designed to complement any type of wooden beams.
All in all, it has evolved into an astoundingly popular alternative because you can safely assemble your very own pergola in less than a day, and do it at a fraction of the cost of competing products.
2. Dorain Outdoor 10′ x 10′ Acacia Wood Pergola (Best Wood Option)
Without question, the top-rated wooden pergola kit is the Dorain Outdoor 10’ x 10’ Acacia Wood Pergola. Not only is this stunning set made entirely out of durable acacia wood, which is an incredibly strong and capable hardwood that is able to naturally withstand outdoor elements, and not darken over time.
Not to mention the fact that it helps to add a certain level of rustic charm to your space. But it also comes with an open rafter which allows you to place this accessory in any space of your yard or patio, providing you with optimal shade and privacy.
Furthermore, this pergola offers multi-purpose capabilities, and is designed to match any outdoor space, whether that be next to your pool, garden, or deck.
Another fantastic solution for those looking for an aluminum design instead is the Coolaroo Aurora Pergola. This gorgeous set features weather-resistant Coolaroo knitted fabric that is breathable and light filtering along with powder-coated aluminum poles and beams.
The Coolaroo Aurora Pergola is a sturdy yet lightweight design that not only provides superior UV protection, but also incredible durability versus the elements. Moreover, it stands as one of the easier to assemble pergola kits, and comes available in up to 3 different colors, and 2 different sizes.
The Camelot 12’ x 12’ Adjustable Louvered Vinyl Pergola is a truly grandiose design that features one of the most durably assembled and traditional looks on the market. At 12’ x 12’, this pergola is more than capable of providing sufficient coverage and privacy, with the ingeniously designed 3 panel louver system helping to block out just as much sun as needed.
As the entire system is fully adjustable, and able to provide coverage from every angle imaginable. Furthermore, the entire piece is crafted from premium weather-resistant vinyl, helping to make it both maintenance-free and long-lasting. However, because this features one of the more intricate builds on the market, it will also take more manpower, and time to assemble.
5. Cardan Outdoor Acacia Wood Triangle Pergola
Another extraordinary pergola kit is the Cardan Outdoor Acacia Wood Triangle Pergola. Perfectly crafted out of rich acacia wood, this one-of-a-kind pergola is strong, sturdy, and capable of providing optimal coverage from any seating position. With the durable hardwood able to naturally withstand all outdoor elements, without darkening over time.
Plus, acacia wood is perfect as a solid, heavy frame that is designed to resist wear and tear. While the unique triangular design and open slat top allow you to tuck this accessory into a corner of your yard or patio to provide refreshing shade and privacy year long. Making it particularly ideal for smaller nooks, and corner spaces.
All in all, this is another multipurpose design that can masterfully blend with any outdoor space, and retain it’s natural beauty for years to come.
Next we have the Antsky Stainless Steel 3-Way Right Angle Corner Bracket. These 3-day corners are multi-functional, as they can not only be used for building pergolas, but also gazebos, playhouses, treehouses, log cabins, and much more.
Moreover, the entire package comes with 80 pieces, and 304 SS screws that can be applied to wooden beams, as well as extremely simple installation. All of which are made of a durable stainless-steel material with black finishing that is remarkably sturdy and features anti-rust properties. As well as an optimally-placed sun shade sail hanging hole for additional convenience.
Another wonderful alternative is the Sunnyglade Louvered Patio Pergola Canopy. This vast and sturdy pergola kit features an aluminum frame that is coated with high-quality powder coating, with the canopy roof made out of steel louvered material that is anti-corrosion, and rust-proof.
Furthermore, the top of the canopy that has been equipped with a louver is entirely adjustable, enabling you to easily rotate and adjust the blinds to your liking by simply shaking the hand pole. Allowing for optimal shade, as well as wind and rain protection.
Moreover, this patio pergola can cover up to 200 square feet of shade, meaning that you can set up a spa, outdoor barbecue area or leisure and entertainment center all-in-one with this purchase. Not only is this one of the more high-end modern pergola kits on the market, but it is also one of the all-around best louvered roofs available as well. More of which can be viewed in the following link; https://thebackyardpros.com/best-louvered-roofs-for-your-backyard/
Next up we have the Yardistry Pergola with Sunshade and Bar. This unique all-in-one design comes with everything for all of your outdoor entertainment, including a bar and counter space. Made out of 100% cedar lumber that is finished in a beautiful timber gray stain, this multifunctional pergola stands as one of the absolute best value deals on the market.
Featuring a gorgeous sunshade that is entirely removable, and made from PVS coated breathable fabric to enjoy either the shade or sun whenever necessary. As well as a premium corner design with wooden balusters. Plus, the entire kit comes ready to assemble with all of the wood, hardware, and metal components provided for you. Churning out one of the absolute best pergola kits available.
Another fantastic pergola is the VEVOR Woodwork Pergola Kit. This strong and capable set is crafted out of powder-coated carbon steel, which provides tremendous performance for withstanding abrasion, corrosion, and rust. Helping to enhance the overall lifespan of the product. While the 3-way right corner brackets also provide additional support and stability, even in inclement weather.
As the pergola brackets post features weather-proof performance, so you won’t have to worry about long-term damage from severe weather storms, and strong winds. Furthermore, the 0.1” thickening plate makes the pergola brackets boot breakage-proof, and deformation-proof, so it will not break off or lose shape easily.
Plus, the entire set comes with just over 100 screws, 16 bolts, and remarkably quick and easy installation. All together forming one of the best pergola kits on the market.
Finally we’ve got the Backyard Discovery Cedar Pergola. It’s a stunning 100% cedar pergola that features sculptured beams that crisscross both directions to help add in additional strength and flair.
While their patented decorative foot covers hide unique anchors that help to keep the pergola firmly in place, as well as their 5 ½ thick and incredibly long-lasting 4 uprights that are also made entirely out of cedar.
All things considered, this is another beautiful all wood pergola that is built to last, and one of the most aesthetically-pleasing designs on the market. Plus, there’s even free 3D interactive assembly instructions available through their BILT app.
Is it Cheaper to Build a Pergola from Scratch or Use a Pergola Kit?
Even though there are plenty of pergola kits that come ready to assemble, with quick and easy installation. Sometimes you can save a lot of money by just building your own pergola. However, how much you spend will depend on the level of quality, size, and building materials you intend to use.
While you will get your own choice of materials, which can ultimately help you save time and money, as well as add in your own personal touch to the matter. It is also more likely to take far more time (and manpower) to assemble if you build a pergola from scratch. Although, by building your own pergola, you can also use rarer materials, and create your own custom designs for the overhead beams. So you can really put your creativity to the test!
Essentially, there are certain pros and cons to both options, neither is necessarily better than the other. But, technically speaking, you are more likely to save money by building your own then by buying a prefabricated one or hiring a professional to construct one.
Do I Need Professional Help to Install my Pergola Kit?
While maybe not necessary, it’s never a bad idea to hire professional help to install your pergola if you have any hesitancy or concerns. The truth is that in addition to the posts, hardware, and additional tools, you will also need to set aside a good amount of time to install a pergola. Whereas a professional already has all of these items, and can even custom-build a pergola to match the design of your home. Which is not always an option with pergola kits.
Above all else, hiring a professional to help install your pergola kit can save you a lot of time, and potentially a trip to the hospital in the long run. This becomes even more important if you are intending on installing lighting or other electrical wirings for stereo systems and other electronics. So, while it will depend on a variety of factors, it’s never a bad idea to at least consider hiring professional help.
What’s the Best Material for a Pergola?
When it comes down to the best material for pergolas, much of this will depend on what you want it to look like, what your environment can handle, and what you can afford to pay.
That being said, if you’re looking for a more rustic, natural appeal, then pergolas made out of wood or stone are the best option for you.
Plus, these are also extremely durable, and create beautiful contrast to your outdoor space. If you’ve got an unlimited budget and space, you could easily go with one that is made entirely out of walnut and stone.
The Verdict – Are Pergola Kits Worth it?
Absolutely pergola kits are worth it! Not only are they a great way to add a sense of elegance, and style to your backyard or patio space. But they also provide more than enough protection and privacy for you or your guests to comfortably enjoy full relaxation during any point of the day. Now that you are equipped with everything you need to know about pergola kits, all that’s left to do is take that leap of faith, and invest in one for yourself!
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.