Pergola Perfect
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If You Have a Backyard, You're Going to Want a DIY Pergola Kit

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Pergola Perfect
Johner Images / Getty Images CC

Pergola Perfect

Spring is here, and it's time to spruce up your outdoor living space with a wood, metal, or vinyl pergola. A DIY pergola kit can give your yard a focal point, double as a backyard trellis, or help keep things cool on the patio. This home improvement project can be completed in a weekend or so, but there are two things to keep in mind. First, you'll need a partner or two to help with assembly. Second, anchor kits are essential for keeping a freestanding pergola secure and stable — and kits rarely include the necessary hardware. (You can pick them up at your local home improvement or hardware store, however.) Also worth noting: Demand for DIY pergola kits is particularly strong this year, prices are higher than last year, and some models are back-ordered for weeks.


Prices and availability are subject to change.


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Brazoria Solid Wood Pergola
Wayfair

Brazoria Solid Wood Pergola

Price: $196 from Wayfair
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If all you want is a simple wood pergola kit to create a focal point on your backyard patio, string some party lights, or hang some paper lanterns, you won't find many options cheaper than this bamboo version. It measures a compact 5 feet, 7 inches square, making it an option for tight spaces or places where a heavy-beam cedar pergola might look out of place. Note that an anchor kit is not included.


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New England Arbors White Tile Freestanding Pergola
Lowe's

Vita Alcove Corner White Vinyl Pergola

$658 from Walmart

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Got only a tight corner space? No problem: This 8-by-8-foot vinyl alcove pergola kit lets you create a cozy corner for a pair of lounge chairs or an alcove garden area. Unlike wood pergolas, this one is constructed of PVC and comes with a 20-year guarantee against cracking and warping. One drawback: The base kit is sold separately.


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Hampton Bay Longford Wood Outdoor Patio Pergola
The Home Depot

Hampton Bay Longford Wood Outdoor Patio Pergola

$1,099 at Home Depot

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Here's an updated twist on the traditional wood pergola, with classic cedar pillars, a modern steel canopy, and a retractable shade. It's large enough to shelter an outdoor dining space or a hot tub and measures 10 feet by 12 feet.


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Seneca Privacy Arbor Solid Wood Pergola
Wayfair

Seneca Privacy Arbor Solid Wood Pergola

Price: $1,130 from Wayfair
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Unlike most pergolas, which are designed for larger groups, this cozy 6-by-4-foot solid cedar pergola kit is sized just for two. The privacy wall allows light in but shields you from view, making it an option for smaller yards and intimate spaces. Base anchors are extra, however. This model sells out frequently, so if you see it on sale don't wait.

Freemont Attached Vinyl Pergola
Amazon

Freemont Attached Vinyl Pergola

$1,401 from Amazon

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This freestanding pergola kit by New England Arbors provides 144 square of space to shelter a rear patio or other outdoor living space. The PVC structure carries a 20-year warranty. 

Regency Vinyl Pergola
Amazon

Regency Vinyl Pergola

$1,481 from Amazon

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This New England Arbors pergola kit also measures 12 feet square, but it's a freestanding model. Like the Freemont model, the beams and rafters are made of long-lasting PVC. 

Yardistry Madison Pergola
The Home Depot

Yardistry Madison Pergola

Price: $1,499 from Home Depot
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Attention, gardeners: This wooden pergola kit from Home Depot has corner panels that climber roses, grapevines, and morning glories will love slowly creeping up and over. With 144 square feet of sheltered space, there's room for a pair of lounges or four comfy chairs beneath this large pergola.


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Sol 72 Uttoxeter Vinyl Pergola
Wayfair

Sol 72 Uttoxeter Vinyl Pergola

Price: $1,527 from Wayfair
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Create a backyard oasis with this 16-by-20-foot vinyl pergola kit. Unlike freestanding pergolas, this model is designed to attach to your home, creating an instant focal point for an entryway or bank of windows. And its vinyl components are warrantied for 20 years against weather damage. Anchor hardware is extra.

Tignall Solid Wood Pergola
Wayfair

Tignall Solid Wood Pergola

Price: $2,439 from Wayfair
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If you dream of sitting beneath a flowering arbor in your garden, start with this freestanding pergola. At 10 feet wide and 4 feet deep, it's just big enough for a garden bench, and the fat Western red cedar posts are hefty enough to accommodate a trellis or climber vines. Note: Anchor hardware costs extra.

Catalina Cabana Pergola Set with Furniture
Wayfair

Catalina Cabana Pergola Set with Furniture

$3,140 from Wayfair

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Unlike most DIY pergola kits we found, this is one of the few that comes with matching furniture (saving you the trouble of going out to shop for it separately). The cedar pergola kit, which measures a hair over 7 feet long, includes built-in seating for up to six, though that seems a bit snug, and a side table with fade-resistant Sunbrella fabric-covered cushions.

Swingbed Cedar Pergola
Wayfair

Swingbed Cedar Pergola

$4,600 from Wayfair

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One common question shoppers ask is: Can a swing be attached to a pergola? In the case of this 10-by-10-foot wooden pergola, the answer is yes. In fact, it comes with a cedar swingbed that's  large enough to fit a twin mattress (a cushion is available for an additional cost). Available in eight finishes as well as unfinished.


Highwood Bodhi Pergola with Weatherly Swings
Lowe's

Highwood Bodhi Pergola with Weatherly Swings

$5,970 from Lowe's

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What's better than one swing on your pergola? How about two 4-foot swings? This PVC pergola kit measures 12 feet square and, unlike most other vinyl pergolas, this one isn't white.

Rear Yard Pergola Covering Patio Furniture
Thomas Bullock/istockphoto

Pergola FAQs

How much does a pergola cost?

Pergola kit prices range from less than $200 for a cheap, small bamboo pergola suitable for not much more than decorative purposes all the way up to $10,000 or more for patio-sized wooden pergolas with built-in seating. Custom-built pergolas designed and installed by a private contractor can cost even more.


Does a pergola need to be anchored?

Yes. Typically, a pergola will be secured with stainless-steel anchors and anchor bolts (to concrete) or lag bolts (to wood). For larger pergolas and those mounted on uneven surfaces such as flagstones, you may need to dig holes and sink footings in cement as well. Pergola manufacturer Forever Redwood has a good step-by-step PDF that outlines how to anchor a pergola.


Can a pergola be built on a deck?

Yes. Pergolas are suitable for most any level outdoor space, provided that they're properly anchored.


Can a pergola be attached to a house?

Yes. Lowe's and Home Depot both carry attached pergola kits, as do other retailers. But freestanding pergolas are more common.


Where can I find DIY pergola plans to build my own?

If you'd prefer to build a custom pergola rather than from a pergola kit, you'll need to download a detailed building plan. You can find free DIY pergola plans and how-to videos at HGTV, DIY Network, Popular Mechanics, retailers like Lowe's, and home renovation blogs.


Does a pergola block sun?

A pergola's overhead joists will block some sunlight on their own, but for additional shade look for a pergola that comes with an awning.


Does a pergola require a permit?

Building a pergola on your property may or may not require a construction permit, depending on where you live. Contact your municipality to find out if a permit is required.


Can a pergola have a solid roof?

No, that's called a gazebo.