Pergola kits are a wonderful addition to your backyard. It makes you the epic host when you have friends and family over. One of the most popular pergola kits is wood pergola kits because they are sturdy and simply because they add a gorgeous addition to your backyard.
In this article, you will see a variety of pergola ideas that will give you some inspiration that will give you a perfect space for entertaining.
How to Choose a Pergola Kit
Choosing a pergola kit is solely a personal decision as many factors come into place. It depends on your budget, the type of material used, and the type of design that you are going for. For example, you may want an open-top wood pergola for your home. Or you may want a covered aluminum pergola that mimics an outdoor living room. Whichever you decide, it will surely be a beautiful addition to your backyard.
Types of Pergolas
Vinyl is popular because they are inexpensive, durable, and have a universal design. You can easily choose a custom design for vinyl pergolas.
A majority of pergolas are open top which means it gets sufficient sunlight and it is well circulated. These types are typically found in backyard gardens, and sometimes even viewed as a magical structure because some people wrap vines around it to create that look.
If you live in a northern climate that has harsh winters, a steel pergola works for you. It can withstand rain, snow, dust storms, heat without having any issues. This type is likely to last the longest, but steel pergolas are not common due to their design.
These types of pergolas have a stretched fabric instead of open-top or traditional roofing. They provide a modern and sleek look to your pergola and outdoor space.
Gable or Pitch
A gabled or pitch pergola is suitable for those who want protection from the weather elements. It also protects the outdoor furniture that you don’t want to be destroyed by the weather.
Tips for Installing and Using a Pergola
If you’ve decided to install your very own pergola, you will find the following tips very useful. You’ll still need to follow the instructions in your pergola kit because each pergola has different materials that you’ll use to build it. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind when it comes to installing a pergola:
- One of the first steps you’ll want to do is decide on a spot to put your pergola and check with your city. The reason you should check with your city is because you need to know if it’s legal or if there’s any underground livewires in that particular spot.
- After you’ve chosen the spot and cleared it with the city, you can now start digging post holes. You can use a regular old shovel, clamshell digger or power auger. By now, you will already have the information from your city (building codes) of how deep you can dig. It is entirely dependent on your pergola’s post size of how deep the holes should be. No matter the size, it should never be smaller than 10 inches, you want the holes to at least be big enough to support at least a standard size pergola (4×4).
- Now that you got the holes dug out, you can start setting up your pergola posts. Setting pergola posts goes like this. For this part, you’ll want to follow step by step in your kit’s instructions to make sure your posts actually stand.
- Finally you’ll want to get your support beams and rafters ready. Both of those should already be precise with the kit that you got to make installation easy. Then you’ll install both of these with some screws and use a drill bit.
Materials you’l need for pergola:
You can’t build a pergola without having the materials on hand. A pergola kit usually includes:
- Pressure-treated boards
- Ready mix concrete
- Carriage bolts
- Wood & deck stain paint
- Bagged landscape rocks
- Wood screws
How to Build a Pergola if You are a Crafter
How to stain and seal a pergola
Most people don’t even think about this part until it’s at the end. But it’s important to do this first because once it’s built, you’ll miss every nook and cranny that needs to be stained and sealed. Besides, it’s a bit dangerous trying to do this part when the pergola is already built. The simplest step is to stain all the boards and posts at first, then you are going to seal it. When it’s sealed, you’ll have to apply a bit of touchup to keep it looking natural.
Installing Pergola Posts
If you’re a regular person, the pergola posts are already cut, stained, sealed and ready to be installed. But, if you’re a crafter, you are starting from scratch and will need a few tools to get the pergola posts ready. Here are some steps that it takes to get the posts ready.
- Run the posts through a planer so that the posts are smooth. Put them on a roller support as you are smoothing out the post.
- You stain your posts if you haven’t already. Allow them to dry.
- You place the post on a bracket (make sure you have one other person holding it)
- You start to install the screws to give the post some support.
- You drill holes for your lag bolts.
- You then use a ratchet, to make sure lag bolts are tightened.
- You are done, the post is now freestanding. Repeat for other 3 posts.
How to wall mount a pergola frame
Some people want the pergola attached to their house. Some just have a very small space so it’s more practical. Here is how to mount a pergola frame.
- You measure and install the ledger board.
- Anchor and install posts
- Install main beam to anchor posts
- Install rafter clips and rafters
How to build a pergola frame
It’s clear that you do not want to hire anyone to build a pergola frame for you. You are saving money when you do the labor yourself. Here’s how to build the frame:
- Dig the holes, then put posts in it (assuming they are wood)
- Algin the posts, cut away excess wood
- Fasten the cross beams
- Make lap joints
- Place the covering (roof boards)
- If you choose, put lattice panels on it
- Stain the wood before putting it together
- You’re done!
Installing Pergola Rafters
The slats (pergola rafters) really makes the pergola’s appearance look really good. You can choose from different styles of which one you’d like. Here’s how to set up a wood pergola rafter:
- Make sure all of your beams are measured
- You’ll want to make sure you straightened all of your frame boards
- Put center beams up
- Screw in all the important screws on edges and sides
- Attach other rafters to the center beam
- You’re done!
Installing pergola post caps
If you live in a climate where snow or rain is a factor, or even too much sunshine, you’ll see that wood tends to either dry out or just rots over time. For those reasons it is wise to install pergola post caps to your posts so that the posts will be protected from the weather elements. Here are a quick few steps on how to install the pergola post caps.
- Make sure you got the correct size
- Put the post where you want it
- Cut off excess wood to make sure the post is shaped evenly enough for the post cap
- Put caulk on the top of the post
- Set your pergola post cap on top
- You’re done, repeat for the other 3 pergola posts
10 Beautiful Wood Pergola Kit Ideas to Consider
This pergola is a beautiful solid wood structure that will create a rustic theme in your backyard. It has the perfect amount of shade so it will protect your outdoor furniture or plants that you have under this beautiful structure. It is 14×10, with 63 square foot of space, as well as 6-7’ of headspace.
This gorgeous solid wood pergola comes with a built-in bar and shelf which is a bonus for entertaining. It is 14 x 10 which means it’s big enough to have a few friends in the space or use it as a huge outdoor garden for your plants. It also comes with a snappable canopy if you decide you need shade in this pergola.
This pergola is a beautiful solid wood cedar structure. While the wood is pressure treated, it still gives off that beautiful cedar color that you are looking for. It is a 10×10, which should provide space for outdoor furniture or a garden. It has decent shading, but it is not full shade, so you’ll still get lots of sunshine in this pergola. It is weather resistant, so you don’t have to worry when it rains or snows when it comes to this pergola.
This type of pergola is a very unique one because it has built in seating. The seating is a steel furniture frame and has 4-piece sofa cushions. The seating also fits 6 people comfortably. You can tell by the design that it’s meant to be near a pool, or a certain corner of a backyard. It is a barnwood stained cedar, which means it has a beautiful color and it is very sturdy.
This beautiful pergola is a sight for sore eyes. It is light-colored and cheery because the brightness is extremely appealing to be used as open-aired entertainment space. It is 10 ft x 12 ft with 3 options for wood types (stained, unstained, cinder) so you have options for your own personal tastes. It comes with a mount/arch kit should you need to use it to install this pergola.
This stained cedar free standing pergola is a beautiful and simple structure that is perfect for small backyards. It’s freestanding and doesn’t require a lot of materials to get this pergola stalled. You can put a pretty bench underneath it in a garden, or just use it as a decorative feature in your garden.
This one-of-a-kind cedar pergola has a lattice style covering and you can hook up the ps50 swing to get the swinging bench with it. Imagine you and a partner just swinging away under this beautiful structure at any time of the day or night. This pergola is 82 W x 72D so that means plenty of space for whatever you want to do.
This gorgeous cedar pergola is 10ft x 10ft which means you can put furniture underneath it, or have a garden as this allows tons of sunlight. This pergola is weather and rust resistant making it a safe choice to have if you live in a climate that has snow or lots of rain.
Non-Wood Pergola Kits you Can take in consideration
This gorgeous metal pergola is one of those where you’ll want to kick back and relax with your friends and family. The pergola is made out of metal and is meant to be anchored to a patio. You get a nice canopy with it which is UV resistant, water & weather proof which is always a nice bonus when it comes to outdoors. The pergola is 13” W x 10” D so it’s large enough for the gathering we’ve just talked about, making it a popular choice for backyard patio parties.
This pergola is a 11 ft x 11 ft aluminum pergola that creates a paradise-like oasis. It also includes the canopy, which helps protect you from the dangerous UV rays when sunbathing or whichever you decide to use the pergola for. This pergola is practically maintenance-free; it hardly gets rusted and doesn’t have the same issues wood structures have. You can use this pergola year round for your liking. The ground stakes and bolts are included so that you can set this pergola either on the concrete, deck or the ground.
Cool Backyard Pergola Design Ideas
This type of pergola is one of those where you attach it to the patio which most people want for entertaining reasons. This pergola is beautifully stained, and you can put any type of outdoor furniture that you’d like underneath it.
This contemporary pergola is best for entertainment reasons. You can put outdoor couches, chairs, fire bowls underneath the pergola. You can also just put a larger patio table outside if you prefer to serve breakfast, lunch or dinner.
If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your patio, a wood pergola would look amazing on it. Besides the easy foundation to set up the pergola, it also has enough space if you should want a larger pergola.
A wooden pergola with a bunch of lattice design can bring a boring patio to life. You can put a table underneath that beautiful pergola and have cookouts. If the pergola is lattice for the covering as well, you’ll also have some shade protection from the sun.
Maybe you’ve got a large backyard or live up in the hills. Either way, you probably have a special corner in your outdoor space where you could place a pergola in. Some people think of these pergolas as magical because some put vines and such around these types.
The type of pergola you would use in this setting would likely be wood. Wood pergolas work in this situation because of the outdoor space.
In this type of backyard, you’d want a pergola that rises up a bit. Why? In this space, where the wooden pergola is situated makes the perfect bonfire/firebowl area. You just need to grab a few more chairs or even couches, with some friends and drinks, and have a fire underneath this beautiful pergola.
In this gorgeous backyard, you’ll see that there’s a ton of stonework already done. It is a medium-small size backyard so where they placed the wood pergola *attached to the house* was perfect so they’d have some space left in their outdoor space. It’s perfect for a night under the stars with your friends.
What is the point of having a pergola?
People add pergolas to their backyards for a variety of reasons. They give you privacy, protection from the sun, more space for your plants and obviously an outdoor entertaining space. They also come in different styles and add a lot of value to your home. If you are a DIY’er, it is definitely one of those projects you will enjoy doing because the pergola kits will give you an instruction manual and it’s easy to set up.
Why are pergolas so expensive?
If you are doing DIY pergola kits, you can probably get a kit for less than $1000. But often, people would prefer to hire labor to set up their pergolas. Pergolas if you want electricity, plumbing, or other features in that pergola. There are so many factors that go into a customized pergola, and it can start at $2000 if you’re getting a contractor to do it for you.
What is the difference between pergola and gazebo?
They look alike, but Pergolas and gazebos are different. A gazebo provides full coverage no matter what with a pavilion while a pergola is a structure that has a partial roof that usually allows sunshine and some shade.
Is it cheaper to buy or build a pergola?
It is always cheaper to build a pergola because you don’t have to pay labor or installation fees. Plus it may be fun if you’re into DIY. Pergola kits are extremely popular because of this reason.
Having a pergola enhances your backyard. Whether you get one for entertainment reasons, adding value to your home or creating a nice garden space, a pergola will look nice. Make sure you do research so you can decide where to put the pergola. As you can see, there are so many examples and ideas to help inspire your future investment.