Pergolas: 5 Best Pergola Kits of 2023 | Reviews + Buyer’s Guide

Who doesn’t like a beautiful and spacious pergola in the garden?

In recent times, homeowners have been trying to improve their homes – for themselves as well as their guests. Those who have a backyard, a garden, or a swimming pool understand the importance of a dedicated structure where people can sit and relax.

That’s where a pergola comes in and beautifies the picture. You can customize and use pergolas in a lot of different ways, assemble it near the swimming pool and place a couple of pool recliner chairs, or keep a table and some chairs in it and put it in the backyard patio for a fabulous outdoor dining space.

To make the most out of your purchase, it is imperative that you select the optimal pergola kit, and choosing one out of hundreds of options can be a challenging task. And so, we have shortlisted twelve of the best products for you.

These recommendations cater to various budgets and requirements, so you will undoubtedly find at least one pergola that perfectly meets your home and garden.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Best Pergola Kits

From traditional wood designs to modern metal structures, we’ve got you covered. So, without further ado, here’s the list of the 5 best pergola kits to transform your outdoor space.

1. Backyard Discovery Cedar Pergola – Best for Classic Elegance

The numero uno spot on this list goes to a cedar pergola from the reputed brand Backyard Discovery. It is made from pre-stained cedar and makes an excellent addition to any backyard or patio. The arbor top measures 12 feet wide and 10 feet long, while the interior space is 7 feet wide and 9 feet long.

Experience

This pergola arrives in two large boxes. Assembling it is not a one-person job, and it took almost six hours for the two of us to get it done. But the instructions are quite easy-to-follow and all the wooden pieces are pre-stained, pre-drilled, and pre-cut.

When assembled, it looks exactly like the pictures online. It adds a touch of Mediterranean elegance to the backyard. It is not the most enormous pergola out there and can comfortably accommodate only two garden chairs. It works just fine for our yard, which is not too huge.

We especially liked its decorative foot covers, which entirely hide the anchors. It features a criss-cross overhead beam that provides excellent stability and can be used for hanging vines or lights. Overall, this is one of the best wood pergolas you can find, and it will make for a perfect place to relax in your backyard, lawn, or patio.

Material: Cedar Wood | Size (ft): 12 x 10 | Style: Traditional | Additional Features: Built-in Bench

2. Paragon Outdoor Ipe Frame Valencia Pergola – Best for Adjustable Shade

Unlike most of the pergolas on this list that are made using wood, the Ipe Frame Valencia Pergola from Paragon Outdoor is made of rust-free, powder-coated aluminum. It has a Canadian Cedar-like finish. It has a perfectly square frame, measuring 11 feet on each side. It is 7.75 feet high, which accommodates the tallest of your guests.

Taking a break from conventional pergolas that are supposed to have an open roof, the Ipe Frame Valencia features a sliding top canopy. You can manually operate the off-white canopy and get some shade on hot summer days. We live in an area that experiences extreme heat, so this pergola was the perfect option.

Assembling and installing this pergola is a breeze! The instructions include step-by-step diagrams, and the kit consists of hardware tools you will need, like ground stakes and bolts. You can quickly fix this pergola to a concrete or wood surface.

We especially liked its rust-free aluminum frame, which is bound to last longer than a wooden frame. Some homeowners who prefer a premium wood pergola might disagree, but we feel that it functions very well for its price. Moreover, it requires zero maintenance, so it is more attractive than wood pergolas for people operating on a tight budget.

It is powder-coated to look like Canadian Cedar.

Material: Ipe Wood & Aluminum | Size (ft): 12 x 16 | Style: Modern | Additional Features: Adjustable Canopy

3. Regency Grande Vinyl Pergola – Best for Expansive Spaces

This list would be incomplete without a premium vinyl pergola kit. The Regency Grande Vinyl kit from New England Arbors is the most enormous pergola on our list – it provides more than 250 square feet of coverage. Its arbor top measures 12 feet long and 24 feet wide.

Experience

If you want to add a touch of Mediterranean elegance to your backyard patio or garden, opt for the Regency Grande Vinyl Pergola. The assembly needs two persons and takes considerable time, but detailed instructions are included to help with the process. You will need a level, drill, measuring tape, and ladder to assemble it.

We especially liked the white finish of this pergola. It is made from high-quality, weather-resistant vinyl polymers that look like real wood. One of the most significant advantages of having this pergola is its quick and hassle-free maintenance. All you would need to do is wash it down properly with a garden hose once in a while.

A significant drawback that pushed this pergola down a couple of ranks on this list is the need to purchase extra materials. You will have to buy pressure-treated 4X4s for each of the posts, and pressure-treated 2X6s for the rafters and beams. That is about six hundred bucks of additional outlay.

Material: Vinyl & PVC | Size (ft): 12 x 24 | Style: Traditional | Additional Features: Maintenance-Free

4. Pergola with Swing Set

The final product to make our list of recommendations is a pergola with a swing set. It comes with the brand tag of All Things Cedar. Unlike the other products we have reviewed, it is a dedicated swing set pergola. It measures 7 feet wide, 6 feet deep, and 6.25 feet high.

Experience

We have included a wide range of pergolas in this list, except a dedicated structure for a swing set. It includes pre-assembled panels made from Western Red Cedar. Assembling it is much easier and quicker than all the other products we have reviewed. It consists of a chain and hanging bolts for attaching the swing.

You will appreciate the sanded finish of this pergola as it lends a sophisticated look to any outdoor space where it is placed. The swing has an overall width of 52 inches, while its seat is 43 inches wide. It has a durable and stylish finish, which ensures that it will last for years.

It is one of the more affordable products on our list. It is relatively smaller and is specifically designed to accommodate a swing set. Accordingly, its design includes only one open side to the front, while the other three include panels.

Material: Cedar Wood & Steel | Size (ft): 12 x 10 | Style: Traditional | Additional Features: Built-in Swing Set

5. PURPLE LEAF Retractable Pergola with Sun Shade Canopy

The Purple Leaf Retractable Pergola is an affordable and stylish option, featuring an adjustable canopy and a rust-resistant aluminum frame. With its UV and water-resistant fabric, it ensures both comfort and protection for outdoor relaxation.

Experience

We admired this pergola for its value for money and versatile design. The adjustable canopy comes in four colors, allowing you to find the perfect match for your outdoor space. The aluminum frame is powder-coated for longevity, and the 10 x 12-foot coverage area provides ample space for furniture and guests.

The Purple Leaf pergola may require additional reinforcement for those living in areas with high winds or frequent inclement weather. Securing the structure to the ground is recommended for safety and sturdiness.

Material: Aluminum & Polyester Fabric | Size (ft): 10 x 13 | Style: Modern | Additional Features: Retractable Canopy

Best Pergola Kits Comparison Table

Product Material Size (ft) Style Additional Features
Backyard Discovery Cedar Pergola Cedar Wood 12 x 10 Traditional Built-in Bench
Paragon Outdoor Ipe Frame Valencia Pergola Ipe Wood & Aluminum 12 x 16 Modern Adjustable Canopy
Regency Grande Vinyl Pergola Vinyl & PVC 12 x 24 Traditional Maintenance-Free
Pergola with Swing Set Cedar Wood & Steel 12 x 10 Traditional Built-in Swing Set
PURPLE LEAF Retractable Pergola with Sun Shade Canopy Aluminum & Polyester Fabric 10 x 13 Modern Retractable Canopy

Buying Guide For The Best Pergola Kits

Selecting the best pergola kit requires you to address certain crucial factors. We have listed all of those factors in this informative guide to help you pick the best product.

1. Pergolas Materials

Perhaps the most critical factor to consider is the material used in the pergola. Above all else, it determines the longevity and durability of the structure. Pergolas use various materials, the most common of which are wood, aluminum, and vinyl. The majority of our shortlisted products are wood pergolas as those are the most popular with consumers.

As stylish as a wood pergola may look, it is high-maintenance in the sense that you would have to re-stain it once every couple of years (if not sooner). That’s where the other alternatives like aluminum and vinyl come into the picture. They provide a longer useful life with hassle-free maintenance.

Another factor to consider if you are going for a cedar pergola is whether the wooden pieces in the kit are pre-stained or unstained. While some people prefer pre-stained wood to avoid additional costs, others like to get unstained wood and customize it as per their tastes and preferences.

2. Ease-of-Assembly

Buying a pergola kit is only half the battle won. The real struggle starts when you receive the product, and it is time to assemble and install it. Most of the products that did not make our list were not easy to assemble. Detailed, easy-to-follow instructions are a must! If you can find a pergola that comes with step-by-step illustrations for assembly, that’s even better.

All the wood pergolas we have reviewed come with pre-drilled and pre-cut wood. It is a prerequisite for an optimal pergola, as no customer wants to buy a product that is not ready to be assembled. As a general rule of thumb, you should go for pergolas that come from reputed brands to ensure easy assembly and installation.

3. Pergola Kit Size

The pergola size is one of the essential factors to consider. You want it to be a perfect size – it should not look too big in the garden, nor should it be too small to offer negligible functionality. After all, a pergola is meant to enhance any outdoor space.

Some people place pergolas right next to the exterior walls of the house instead of the backyard patio or garden. If you intend to do that, you should ensure that the size of the pergola is optimal. Likewise, only a few homeowners will go for the most enormous pergola we have recommended.

You must pay attention to the measurements of the arbor top as well as the interior space. The overall height and dimensions should be such that tree branches or rocks do not obstruct the structure in the spot where you intend to place it. The interior space determines what can be placed in the pergola.

4. Intended Use

You can use a pergola for various purposes – a poolside structure to place recliner chairs, a garden haven to sit and relax, or an outdoor dining experience. Based on the intended use, you can eliminate some of the pergola kits and narrow down the most suitable options.

For instance, if you want to use the pergola for dining or to place an outdoor hot tub, it makes sense to have the roof covered with a canopy for shade. So you should get a pergola that comes with a canopy or cover.

What size pergola kit should I get?

The size of your pergola kit will depend on the size of your outdoor space and how you plan to use the pergola. Pergola kits come in a range of sizes, from small 8×8 foot models to larger 12×16 foot models, so be sure to measure your space carefully before making a purchase.

Can I install a pergola kit myself?

Yes, most pergola kits are designed to be installed by homeowners without the need for professional installation. However, some kits may require more advanced carpentry skills or special tools, so be sure to read the installation instructions carefully before beginning.

Do I need a permit to install a pergola kit?

In most cases, you will not need a permit to install a pergola kit, but it’s always best to check with your local building department to ensure compliance with local regulations.

How long do pergola kits last?

The lifespan of a pergola kit will depend on the material it’s made from and how well it’s maintained. Generally, wood pergola kits can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance, while vinyl and metal kits can last even longer.

Conclusion

After thorough research, testing, and comparison, we have gathered the essential insights on each pergola kit, allowing us to provide you with our top recommendations.

Pergola kits should not only add beauty to your outdoor spaces but also provide functionality with durability to ensure they enhance your space for years to come. Out of these 5 pergola kits, here are the top three expert recommendations:

Best for elegance and a traditional touch: The Backyard Discovery Cedar Pergola is an ideal option. Its construction from 100% Chinese cedarwood adds a touch of Mediterranean elegance to any backyard or patio.

Its decorative foot covers, criss-cross overhead beam, and overall charm make it an excellent addition to your outdoor living space.

Best for adjustable shading and low maintenance: The Paragon Outdoor Ipe Frame Valencia Pergola is a good option. With its manually operated sliding canopy and rust-free aluminum frame, this pergola offers the perfect blend of functionality and durability.

Its powder-coated frame mimics the appearance of Canadian Cedar while requiring minimal maintenance.

Best for expansive spaces and low-maintenance beauty: The Regency Grande Vinyl Pergola is the right choice. This pergola kit offers more than 250 square feet of coverage without compromising on style.

Made from high-quality, weather-resistant vinyl polymers, it has a wood-like appearance with easy-to-clean perks.

Our hands-on experience with these pergola kits has resulted in these three fantastic options for you to consider when enhancing your outdoor sanctuary.

No matter which one you choose, rest assured that our expert recommendations will help you create an inviting and relaxing environment for you and your guests. Make your backyard or patio an ideal escape with a pergola that suits your specific needs and preferences.

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