The 24 Best Pergolas to Create Shaded Style in Your Backyard

The arched Joyside Steel Pergola is weather resistant and rings up at a budget-friendly price.

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Backyard Discovery Windham White Steel Metal Freestanding Pergola with Canopy tout
Photo: Courtesy of Lowe's

On a warm, sunny day stepping out your back door into your own shady retreat to relax or hang out with family and friends is like going on a mini vacation. A pergola, with its post supports and open framework roof, adds a defined outdoor seating area to your house that extends your living space and ups your backyard's appeal.

While custom-built pergolas allow you to design a personalized look, they can cost thousands of dollars and require getting on a contractor's schedule. DIY pergola kits are an attractive, affordable solution you can have delivered to your home and build on your own time in a day or a weekend, depending on your DIY experience and the pergola's size and design.

Sara Bendrick, a licensed landscape contractor in San Diego and TV host on the DIY Network and HGTV, loves how a pergola brings a wow factor to an outdoor living area. "A pergola adds a ton of advantages to your yard," Bendrick says. "It creates a shaded space that's nice to have in the summer when you need a place to cool down. It can also keep a house cooler when it's attached or right off the back door, and it adds scale to your outdoors that creates a transitional space between your home and yard."

To create this list of the best pergolas, we looked at each pergola's cost, materials, design, size, features, and more. We also evaluated the ease of construction and durability.

We like the Joyside Steel Pergola for a weather-resistant pergola that also has interesting architectural details and a budget-friendly price. If you want to attach a pergola to your house, the Vita Vinyl Elysium Attached Louvered Pergola features louvered roof panels that you can adjust to vary the amount of shade.

Here are the best pergolas.

Aluminum

Composite

Fiberglass

Steel

Vinyl

Wood

What We Recommend

Best Aluminum Pergolas

Ecotouge Outdoor Patio Pergola

Ecotouge Outdoor Patio Aluminum Pergola
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This durable, lightweight aluminum pergola comes with an adjustable hook-on canopy for shade.

Keep in Mind: The aluminum frame is not recommended for windy or snowy locations.

Invite a shady seating area into your yard with this simple yet wallet-friendly aluminum 10-Foot Outdoor Patio Pergola from Ecotouge. It comes with a retractable canopy that you can slide open when you want to catch some rays, then draw it closed when the sun gets too hot.

The 10-foot aluminum frame is a lightweight option that includes rectangular stand poles for solid support. You can also anchor this pergola to a deck or patio for extra stability.

Grab a friend and the two of you can put it together and have an outdoor room in a weekend. Just keep in mind that this pergola isn't recommended for areas that experience strong winds or heavy snowfalls.

Product Details:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 7.4 feet
  • Color: Black frame with beige canopy

Coolaroo Aurora Pergola

Coolaroo Aurora Aluminum Pergola
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Wayfair and Walmart

Why You Should Get It: The meshlike canopy keeps out 90% of UV rays while letting air circulate.

Keep In Mind: the pergola's side panels are sold separately.

Coolaroo started as a shade-solution company that specialized in protecting people and their patio furniture from the sun's harsh UV rays. The brand now also has a line of pergolas, including the Aurora Pergola.

This pergola kit's light-filtering, adjustable canopy is perfect for those who need a stylish, backyard escape that provides essential protection from the sun—it filters 90% of UV rays. The mesh, Roman-shade-style canopy also lets air circulate and prevents water from pooling overhead. You can add side panels for extra privacy, but you'll have to purchase them separately.

The powder-coated aluminum frame resists corrosion, so you'll be able to use this pergola for years to come. Plus, the how-to instructions are pretty basic, so you should be able to easily build it in a weekend.

Product Details:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Dimensions: 118 x 118 x 86 inches
  • Color: Black frame with a mocha, smoke, or terracotta-colored canopy

Veikous Aluminum Outdoor Patio Pergola with Retractable Sun Shade Canopy Cover

Veikous Aluminum Outdoor Patio Pergola with Retractable Sun Shade Canopy Cover
Courtesy of The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: This pergola creates a 130-square-foot outdoor room that can shade a full dining set.

Keep in Mind: It requires at least two to three people to assemble.

The minimalist Veikous Aluminum Outdoor Patio Pergola includes a shade canopy for all-day comfort. It's large enough to accommodate several friends hanging out around a patio dining set for a barbeque or for a family who wants to lounge in a secluded outdoor room setting. The canopy is rated for protection from the sun up to UV 50, but you can also retract the canopy to catch some rays.

You'll want at least two to three people on hand to set up this pergola and to anchor the legs to help it withstand any winds or inclement weather.

Product Details:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Dimensions: 13 x 10 x 7 feet
  • Color: Gray frame with matching canopy

Purple Leaf Outdoor Louvered Pergola with Adjustable Hardtop

Purple Leaf Outdoor Aluminum Louvered Pergola with Adjustable Hardtop
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The polycarbonate tilted hardtop roof can handle up to 176 pounds of snow and includes drain pipes for drainage.

Keep in Mind: The anchoring stands must be secured to a hard floor, like a deck or cement patio. The pergola cannot be built freestanding on grass.

Extend your living space right off your back door with an attachable aluminum pergola kit from Purple Leaf. The Outdoor Louvered Pergola has a tilted polycarbonate hardtop roof made of six retractable tiles that you can open and close with a manual crank in different combinations to accommodate the sunlight's shifts throughout the day.

The roof's 7-degree tilt allows for rain or snow to melt and drain away through the attached drain pipes. In snowy areas, this pergola can handle up to 176 pounds of snow as well as 45 mile-per-hour winds.

The powder-coated aluminum frame resists rot and rust, but you have to anchor the structure to a hard floor, such as a deck or cement patio. The pergola is not designed to be freestanding.

Product Details:

  • Material: Aluminum frame, polycarbonate roof
  • Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 7.5 feet
  • Color: Black

Heritage Patios Aluminum Pergola

Heritage Patios Aluminum Pergola
Courtesy of Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: The aluminum frame is wall-mounted and can handle winds up to 115 miles per hour. It also comes in seven sizes, from 8 x 10 feet up to 12 x 12 feet.

Keep in Mind: Each size option is rated for different snow loads, from 10 to 20 pounds.

Bring the traditional look of wood and the durability of aluminum to your patio with Heritage Patios' Aluminum Pergola, which attaches to your house's exterior. The frame is made of high-grade aluminum that is embossed with a driftwood finish for a higher-end wood-grain style. Its open-lattice roof allows for ventilation while the angle of the slats cuts in half the amount of direct sunlight that streams through.

You can choose from seven sizes to find the best fit for your space. Plus, this pergola's posts can be cut to the desired height for a custom fit, and additional posts can be added to lengthen the covered seating space. The frame can handle winds up to 115 miles per hour, but the snow load capacity only goes up to 20 pounds, depending on the size of pergola you select. This may not be a high enough capacity for those in particularly snowy regions.

Product Details:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Dimensions: From 8 x 12 x 10 feet
  • Color: White

Related: The 9 Best Tiny House Kits You Can Buy Online and Build Yourself

Best Composite Pergolas

Vita Lakewood Composite Pergola

Vita Lakewood Composite Pergola
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: This composite kit's lightweight frame takes on a rustic wood look that requires no maintenance.

Keep in Mind: Sun can stream through the lattice roof's widely spaced rafters, so it may not be the best option for those who want a shady escape.

Sometimes all you need is a getaway for two in your own yard. This petite pergola's classic design will fit right into a small-space patio, entryway, or yard. The Vita Lakewood Composite Pergola is about 7 x 7 feet and can help define a seating space. Keep in mind, though, that this pergola doesn't come with a cover, so the sun will be able to peek through the rafters.

The composite frame combines sturdy vinyl with wood pulp, which gives it a grain feel, but it won't rot or sustain insect damage. The frame's color can vary based on the manufacturing process but presents as a natural brown/wood tone. An anchoring system is sold separately. Two people can usually install this pergola kit in two to four hours.

Product Details:

  • Material: Composite
  • Dimensions: 88 x 88 x 95.5 inches
  • Color: Brown

Highwood Bodhi Pergola and Weatherly Swing Set

Highwood Bodhi Composite Pergola and Weatherly Swing Set
Courtesy of Overstock

Why You Should Get It: This pergola kit comes with a porch swing for kicking back and enjoying a summer breeze.

Keep in Mind: You can only use the swing and chain sold with the kit to uphold the warranty.

Finding a pergola that can handle the weight of a swing can be tricky. The Highwood Bodhi Pergola and Weatherly Swing Set is made for those who dream of spending some leisurely time rocking back and forth outdoors.

The kit includes one swing, a mounting kit, and two sizes of zinc-plated steel chains so it's easy to hang it at the desired height. Plus, there's an assembly guide and video to help you put up the structure.

The frame is made of high-grade poly composite lumber that can stand up to year-round weather without requiring staining like some wood options. This kit comes with a 12-year manufacturer warranty, but keep in mind that you can only use the swing that the pergola comes with to avoid voiding the warranty.

Product Details:

  • Material: Poly lumber (composite)
  • Dimensions: 120 x 138 x 98 inches
  • Color: Black, weathered acorn, and coastal teak

Related: The 10 Best Hammocks for Lounging, Camping, and Everything in Between

Best Fiberglass Pergolas

Peaceful Patios Round Column Stock Fiberglass Pergola

Peaceful Patios Round Column Stock Fiberglass Pergola
Courtesy of Peaceful Patios

Why You Should Get It: You can order it in any Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore paint colors.

Keep in Mind: Heavy-duty anchors for helping the pergola withstand high winds are available, but they cost extra.

This stately structure from Peaceful Patios speaks to a pergola's architectural heritage as a prominent garden feature that has been around since the ancient Greeks and Romans. Peaceful Patios' fiberglass take on a classic design will hold its shape, won't rot, resists insect damage, and can withstand weather of all types.

For a color pop, Peaceful Patios will paint your pergola in any Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore paint colors. Plus, you can choose from seven different rafter options to adorn the roof, run electrical wiring through the hollow posts for installing string lights, and attach a swing or chair with the proper anchoring.

Because the fiberglass is relatively lightweight, a do-it-yourselfer can install it in a weekend or less with a helper or two. You can also add heavy-duty anchors to withstand over 90 miles-per-hour winds to your order if you live in a windy climate, but they come with an additional cost.

Product Details:

  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Dimensions: From 12 x 12 feet
  • Color: White; can be ordered in Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore paint colors

Related: The 10 Best Solar Lights to Brighten Your Outdoor Space

Pergola Kits USA Fiberglass Louvered Pergola Kit - Modern Contemporary

Pergola Kits USA Fiberglass Louvered Pergola Kit
Courtesy of Pergola Kits USA

Why You Should Get It: You can also choose from more than 40 different pergola sizes for a custom fit.

Keep in Mind: The rafters are spaced 1 inch apart, which means this pergola won't let much, if any, sun through.

A pergola made of a fiberglass is an investment, but in exchange, you get a material that won't rot, warp, corrode, or delaminate. Pergola Kits USA's Fiberglass Louvered Pergola is a modern-inspired design that can fit in anywhere outdoors with its simple, clean lines. The louvered rafters are spaced 1 inch apart, which can provide complete shade depending on the angle of the sun.

The fiberglass frame won't expand or contract with changes in temperature or sun exposure, so it can also be set near a fire pit or outdoor fireplace without warping. Plus, if you're looking to add a pop of color to your yard or match your home's trim, you can order it in a Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore paint color at the same price as the white option.

The pergola can be wall-mounted or freestanding, and you can choose from over 40 different sizes to get the right fit for your space. You can also opt for vertical rafters rather than horizontal. The structure comes with a lifetime warranty for peace of mind.

Product Details

  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Dimensions: Starting at 10x10 feet
  • Color: White; can be ordered in Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore paint colors
  • Best Steel Pergolas

Joyside Steel Pergola with Canopy

Joyside Steel Pergola with Canopy
Courtesy of Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: The two shelves at either end add stability and ensure you have a serving spot for drinks or treats—or a place for your favorite potted plants.

Keep in Mind: Although the included canopy fits snugly over the arch, rain can filter through it, so it's not waterproof.

Invite architectural interest into your yard with this arched, solid-steel frame pergola from Joyside. The frame's powder-coated finish is given a distressed look during the manufacturing process, lending it a more textural presence as a yard or garden structure. The pergola's full-width shelves let you prop up potted plants or food and drinks when entertaining.

While the canopy minimizes the sun's rays, it can be removed if desired. Keep in mind, though, that the canopy lets rain filter through it, so it's not waterproof.

The pergola comes with anchoring materials and a metric wrench for easier assembly. Just make sure to anchor it in the ground, on a deck, or on a patio for stability.

Product Details:

  • Material: Steel
  • Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 8 feet
  • Color: Black frame with a gray or beige canopy

Related: The 9 Best Small Greenhouse Kits You Can Assemble Yourself

Sunjoy Maverick Modern Steel Pergola with White Adjustable Shade

Sunjoy Maverick Modern Steel Pergola with White Adjustable Shade
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: Need some protection from the sun? Just grab the handle on either end of the weather-resistant white canopy and pull it to where you need it to prevent party-ending squinting.

Keep in Mind: The white canopy may be more prone to showing dirt.

Sunjoy's Maverick Modern Steel Pergola has a modern, minimalistic style with a slatted wall that shows off a faux-wood grain finish while providing extra privacy and structural support. It's also low maintenance since the frame is made from a rust-resistant powder-coated black steel.

Whenever it gets too sunny under the pergola, you can pull the weather-resistant shade to where you need it to extend your time outdoors. Plus, the Maverick easily accommodates a full-size dining table for six.

Four powder-coated steel anchoring plates come with the kit to simplify mounting it to a deck or patio.

Product Details:

  • Material: Steel
  • Dimensions: 144 x 117 x 87 inches
  • Color: Black with white canopy

Backyard Discovery Windham White Metal Freestanding Pergola with Canopy

Backyard Discovery Windham White Steel Metal Freestanding Pergola with Canopy
Courtesy of Lowe's

Why You Should Get It: It comes with three electrical outlets and three USB ports to charge your devices.

Keep in Mind: You'll need to wire the pergola to a power source if you want to use the electrical outlets.

If you love a simple yet modern look, Backyard Discovery's Windham powder-coated, galvanized steel pergola lends a sleek elegance to your yard—and coverage for plenty of seating at almost 200 square feet.

Available in a bright white finish, the Windham withstands up to 100 miles-per-hour winds, and the stainless-steel hardware is fully welded against rust and corrosion. For easy setup, there is a downloadable app with 3D instructions. Plus, the anchoring plates are hidden in post covers for a clean look.

The breathable canopy allows air to flow through to cool down the seating space while also protecting gatherers from UV rays. Rain can pass through the canopy, so it won't pool overhead and turn into a mosquito haven.

If you want to recharge while you charge up your devices, you can plug them into the pergola's included power port with three outlets and three USB ports. Just keep in mind that you'll have to connect it to a power source to use that feature.

Product Details:

  • Material: Steel
  • Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 7.5 feet
  • Color: White

Related: The 7 Best Outdoor Rugs for Patios, Porches, and Decks

Best Vinyl Pergolas

Dura-Trel Kingston White Vinyl Pergola

Pergola
Courtesy of The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: At 7 x 7 feet, this small-space vinyl pergola can go over a front entry or in a backyard.

Keep in Mind: This kit cannot hold the weight of a hanging chair or porch swing.

Frame an entrance or create a backyard relaxation spot for two with Dura-Trel Kingston's White Vinyl Pergola—while staying within your budget.

Constructed of high-quality PVC vinyl, the Kingston pergola instantly lends cottage style to your home. Grow climbing roses or jasmine up its posts for a sweet-scented mini getaway that doesn't require regular painting to stand up to the weather or preserve its good looks. If a passing storm kicks up dirt onto the white vinyl frame, just spray it clean with a hose.

With two to four people, you can install it in an afternoon. Ground anchors are included, and it comes with a 20-year warranty. The pergola cannot support the weight of a porch swing, but we think a stylish patio conversation set will look equally nice under the structure.

Product Details:

  • Material: Vinyl
  • Dimensions: 105 in. Wx96 in. Hx105 in. D
  • Color: White

Related: The Best Patio Furniture to Upgrade Your Outdoor Space This Summer

Vita Alcove Corner Pergola

Vita Vinyl Alcove Corner Pergola
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Walmart

Why You Should Get It: This corner-style pergola is perfect for small spaces.

Incorporate a classic New England vertical structure into your yard, up on a deck, next to a pool, or any other corner you would like to turn into an outdoor destination.

Keep in Mind: Its open-style lattice roof allows sun—and rain—to come through.

Make the most of small corners with Vita's Alcove Corner Pergola. Its hardy vinyl frame is manufactured from high-grade polymers that won't crack, split, or mildew. It can also withstand sea salt as well extreme weather, so it's a great fit for coastal areas or up on a rooftop deck with room for two chairs or chaise lounges.

The frame's faux-wood finish ups its presence. Just grow a flowering vine up its posts and through the slats to turn this pergola into a cozy garden seating area. The open lattice roof will allow plenty of light—and rain—through, so it's not the best choice for those who want a pergola that protects loungers from the elements.

Product Details:

  • Material: Vinyl
  • Dimensions: 96 x 96 x98 inches
  • Color: White

Vita Vinyl Elysium Attached Louvered Pergola

Pergola
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Home Depot and Walmart

Why You Should Get It: The roof comes with a three-panel adjustable louver that allows you to control the amount of sunlight that shines on your seating area.

Keep in Mind: The roof's louvered slats don't completely close, so rain can come through.

Add some welcome shade—and an extra room—right off your back door with Vita's Vinyl Elysium Louvered Attached Pergola. The louvered roof allows sun through when you want to soak up some vitamin D, or you can close the louvered panels for a covered retreat that will also keep the indoor room adjacent to it cooler when needed. Just keep in mind that it's not possible to completely close the slats.

There's room for a seating area or dining set for four to six people, and the vinyl pergola requires just a quick wash down with a hose when it gets dirty. Low maintenance, it comes with a 20-year limited warranty for the structure and five years for the louvered panels against material defects.

Product Details:

  • Material: Vinyl
  • Dimensions: 144 x 141 x 104 inches
  • Color: White

Related: The 13 Best Outdoor Storage Essentials for Your Backyard

Vita Vinyl Regency Grande Pergola

Vita Vinyl Regency Grande Pergola
Courtesy of Wayfair

Also available at Walmart

Why You Should Get It: If you love to entertain, this easy-to-maintain 24 x 12-foot vinyl pergola can accommodate a dining table for six plus a conversation set.

Keep in Mind: You will need to buy an anchoring system and treated lumber separately to insert into the frame for stability.

Vita's Regency Grande Pergola is all about extending the outdoor living space to give you 288 square feet of extra room. Set up a dining room table and a chaise lounge chair or two, or arrange a few conversation seating areas to make entertaining friends and family an alfresco affair.

The pergola's vinyl frame is water, rust, and UV resistant to withstand the elements year-round. Two handy people can put it together in a weekend, and it can be freestanding in the grass, anchored to a deck or concrete patio, or attached to your home. You'll just want to purchase an anchoring system and some treated lumber for extra stability. The pergola comes with a 20-year limited warranty, so you can feel confident about your purchase.

Product Details:

  • Material: Vinyl
  • Dimensions: 305 x 87.75 x 105.75 inches
  • Color: White

Peaceful Patios Attached Vinyl Pergola

Peaceful Patios Attached Vinyl Pergola
Courtesy of Peaceful Patios

Why You Should Get It: This classic-style attached pergola can withstand winds up to 105 miles per hour and won't sag.

Keep in Mind: An optional fan mount, beam attachment brackets, and hurricane clips to raise the wind rating to 120 miles per hour are all sold separately.

Turn your too-sunny deck or patio into a shady retreat with Peaceful Patios' attached vinyl pergola that won't fade or chalk. Its vinyl external frame is reinforced by an internal rust-proof aluminum structure for extra stability, and you can install a fan to improve air circulation and help chase away bugs.

You can also customize the pergola's size, shade coverage, and post shape when ordering. The pergola is rated for winds up to 105 miles per hour, but you can also add hurricane clips to raise the rating to 120 miles per hour for an additional cost.

Product Details:

  • Material: Vinyl
  • Dimensions: 10 x 10 feet
  • Color: White or Tan

Related: The 10 Best Outdoor Sheds to Keep Your Backyard Organized

Best Wood Pergolas

Backyard Discovery Verona Wooden Cabana Pergola with Bamboo Privacy Panels

Pergola
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: Put a corner to good use by installing a private seating nook that easily fits into small spaces. Faux bamboo panels up the style, support, and privacy.

Keep in Mind: The frame won't support the weight of a hanging swing, chair, or hammock.

Backyard Discover's Verona Wooden Cabana Pergola with Bamboo Privacy Panels is a corner problem-solver. Designed to create a private retreat for two, the kit's cedar frame and bamboo-look composite panels make for a secluded seating area that vines can scale for an organic accent.

The kit includes pre-drilled, pre-stained, and pre-cut materials for easy assembly. Plus, you can download the interactive app for step-by-step directions. Just keep in mind that the pergola's frame cannot support the weight of a suspended swing or chair.

Product Details:

  • Material: Cedar frame, composite faux-bamboo panels
  • Dimensions: 154.8 x 115.2 x 90 inches
  • Color: Light brown with black powder-coated steel accent panels

Veikous Solid Wood Pergola

Pergola
Courtesy of Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: The arched cedar pergola can withstand winds up to 70 miles per hour.

Keep in Mind: Ground anchoring stakes are included, but a deck or patio anchoring system must be bought separately.

Gather with family and friends outdoors under Veikous' Mediterranean-inspired cedar pergola. Details like the arched, crisscrossed-beam style roof add extra support and visual interest.

Decorative foot covers hide the stake anchors out in the yard or on a deck or cement patio, and you can train vines and climbing roses to entwine up its supports for extra vertical appeal. Note that while anchoring stakes for setting the pergola up in a yard are included, you'll need to purchase a separate anchoring system if you want to place your pergola on a deck or patio.

The cedar wood is naturally water, insect, and UV resistant and can withstand winds up to 70 miles per hour. Since it's made of cedar, this pergola is also paintable if you want to change up the color and are willing to repaint as needed.

Product Details:

  • Material: Cedar
  • Dimensions: 169.2 x 137.8 x 90.4 inches
  • Color: Brown

Yardistry Gray Wood Attached Pergola with Canopy

Pergola
Courtesy of Lowe's

Why You Should Get It: A group of friends can easily chat under and around this this traditional, teak-inspired arched pergola. A snap on, removable canopy filters out strong rays.

Keep in Mind: In climates with lots of rain or snow, you'll want to apply a weather-resistant stain to the cedar frame before assembling to maintain its original color longer.

It's time to get the party started under Yardistry's Gray Wood Attached Pergola. Built from premium cedar, this pergola comes with a breathable canopy cover that is woven from a quick-dry wicking fabric.

The pergola's attached shelf and bar adds stability while doubling as prep and serving space, and its wooden corner balusters also enhance the design while adding support. The kit is precut, pre-drilled, and finished with a gray wood stain.

A how-to video is available with tips to help with assembly, which can be accomplished in a weekend with two or three people. You'll want to add a weather-resistant stain to the frame if you'd like it to keep its original color longterm.

Product Details:

  • Material: Cedar
  • Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 8.17 feet
  • Color: Gray with matching canopy

Cozywor Solid Wood Pergola

Cozywor Solid Wood Pergola
Courtesy of Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: The pergola's cozy atmosphere and built-in shelves make for the perfect place to take a dip in a hot tub with a cool drink or relax on a chaise. The design is also suitable for snowy regions—the pergola's steel roof can hold up to 100 pounds.

Keep in Mind: The cedar's wood grain naturally varies.

Would you like a little more privacy for your hot tub or outdoor seating for two? Cozywor's small-space, solid-wood cedar pergola features a tilted, steel roof that shades everyone from the hot sun or cool rains. It also has built-in shelves for hosting snacks and beverages.

The pergola's back fence-like panels are made for vines to entwine up to create additional privacy. The freestanding cedar frame is also resistant to water and UV rays. Plus, the steel roof can hold up to 100 pounds, making it a good choice for snowy regions. An anchoring system comes with the pergola, which can be installed in the ground, on a deck, and on a concrete patio.

Product Details:

  • Material: Cedar frame, steel roof
  • Dimensions: 100.8 Hx130.8 Wx 21.2 D
  • Color: Brown

The Pergola Depot the Sombrero Pergola Kit

pergola
Courtesy of The Pergola Depot

Why You Should Get It. You can attach it to your home or install it freestanding. The pergola's airier slat style provides medium-sun coverage.

Keep in Mind: The pergola does not come with a canopy cover.

Want a wood pergola that allows you to customize some of the design features? Try the Sombrero kit from The Pergola Depot. You can select from dozens of sizes in two kinds of wood: pressure-treated pine or rough-sawn cedar. All are built with stainless-steel hardware.

The Sombrero is a classic-style pergola design that comes with double 2x8 beams, 2x8 mortised (notched) rafters on 24-inch centers, 6x6 mortised posts, 2x6 decorative angle braces, and 2x2 top slats. Customizable options include wood type, post length, post mounting method, end shape, and post base trim.

Product Details:

  • Material: Pressure-treated pine or rough-sawn cedar
  • Dimensions: From 8 x 8 feet
  • Color: Natural wood, can be painted

Forever Redwood Attached Garden Pergola

Forever Redwood Attached Wood Garden Pergola
Courtesy of Forever Redwood

Why You Should Get It: Each kit is stained and assembled in the shop first to ensure homeowners won't have to drill, sand, or cut anything.

Keep in Mind: Each handcrafted kit is designed to order and can take two to four months between ordering, approving the plans, and delivery.

Go au natural with a customizable California redwood pergola from Forever Redwood. The company harvests its wood from its own forest as part of a forestry restoration program. Known for its rich-red good looks when sealed regularly (otherwise it will start to gray), California redwood is a hardwood that outlasts teak or cedar. It naturally stands up to the weather and insects—although gently removing grime with a soft brush and re-applying a sealant regularly is recommended.

All the pergola's joints are notched to prevent the wood from sagging, warping, twisting, and shirking, and all pieces are sanded smooth. You can select shading options, privacy screens, anchors, electric wiring trim kit, and custom stain colors to get the exact look you're envisioning for your space.

Keep in mind that California redwood is heavy—the kit requires at least three people to assemble—and that the pergolas are made to order, so it may take up to four months before your structure is delivered. However, detailed plans are emailed for review within 5 days of the order to confirm all specs and options before building begins. A kit made from California redwood comes with a 15-year warranty.

Product Details:

  • Material: California redwood
  • Dimensions: From 8 x 8 feet
  • Color: Redwood

Pergola Kits USA Triangle Pergola—Western Red Cedar

Pergola
Courtesy of Pergola Kits USA

Why You Should Get It: Turn an overlooked corner into a cozy seating area with this three-post triangular pergola kit made from long-lasting western red cedar that can handle high winds.

Keep in Mind: The lattice-look roof and walls are sold separately.

Turn a corner into a statement seating area with Pergola Kits USA's Triangle Pergola. The pergola is made from western red cedar, which naturally resists rot and insects and can handle high winds. You can select a natural stain or choose from six other stain options, including black cinder.

Starting at 8 x 8 x 11 feet, this pergola kit comes in 1,056 sizes, with different roof panels, side panels, and post-sizes to choose from. Add an electrical package to include one or more outlets.

The pergola kit comes pre-cut and pre-drilled for easier assembly, and all the top runners are notched to fit over the rafters for stability. Half-moon corner braces also provide stability and prevent swaying. A 36-inch-tall trim base hides the posts' anchoring hardware. You can also add a lattice roof and walls for extra privacy. The pergola comes with a 10-year warranty for peace of mind.

Product Details:

  • Material: Western red cedar
  • Dimensions: From 8 x 8 x 11 feet
  • Color: Light brown

The Bottom Line

For a weather-resistant option that will add architectural interest to your yard at a relatively low price, check out the arched Joyside Steel Pergola. If you want to attach a pergola to your home, the Vinyl Elysium Attached Louvered Pergola from Vita comes with louvered roof panels for adjustable shade. For a rustic, natural look at a price that won't break the bank, look at the cedar Veikous Solid Wood Pergola. If you're a fan of modern, contemporary style, we recommend Sunjoy's Maverick Modern Steel Pergola for its sleek looks and canopy.

What To Know About Pergolas Before Shopping

Materials

Pergolas are available in a variety of framing materials. Because these structures have an open roof, they are more wind-resistant when well anchored than roofed gazebos or pavilions.

Aluminum

Aluminum is a lightweight material that can look traditional or modern. When powder-coated, it will resist rot and rust. Aluminum costs less but can dent or bend. Less-expensive aluminum-frame kits can be considered a temporary structure that will need to be taken down before winter or a bad storm arrives.

Cellular PVC/Composite

Made from wood-like polymers and synthetic PVC plastic, this material is low maintenance since it resists moisture, splitting, rotting, and UV damage.

Fiberglass

One of the pricier options, fiberglass is a little heavier than aluminum while still being lightweight. It features hollow components that simplify installing lighting, fans, and patio heaters. Fiberglass can crack in extreme temperatures and is usually not made to handle high winds.

Vinyl

Vinyl has greatly improved over the years and is now resistant to cracks, chips, and fading. Vinyl pergolas are usually more expensive than those made of other materials, but they also often come with a longer warranty. Some vinyl pergolas feature an internal metal frame while others require treated lumber inserted inside the frame to reinforce its structural integrity.

Wood

This heavier, natural material lends an authentic outdoor look. Some woods, such as pine or Douglas fir, will require regular maintenance, such as painting and waterproofing, to maintain their color and reduce the chance of rot or insect damage. Pricier hardwoods, such as cedar and redwood, require less maintenance because they are naturally more resistant to weather and bug damage. Wood pergolas can be stained or left to weather to a natural gray or brown (redwood). Pressure-treated options can require staining to up their appeal and reduce the chance of cracking.

Steel

This metal pergola option typically comes in a modern, minimalistic look. Steel is durable and can handle being spanned over a wider area with fewer supports. It must be treated regularly to prevent rust or corrosion. Steel pergolas can come in splashy, dark, or neutral colors.

Location Considerations

Before selecting a pergola, contact your local government about any permit or zoning requirements, like setbacks from utility poles, sidewalks, or other structures. If you live in a community with a homeowner's association, verify their aesthetic and building rules.

If you are going to dig footings, know what your area's frost line is to prevent heaving. You should also call 811 a few weeks ahead of the kit's delivery to mark where electrical, sewer, water, and cable lines are, so you don't accidentally hit any lines during the pergola's installation. Likewise, locate any overhead lines or tree limbs that may be an obstruction and relocate or remove them.

If you live in a location prone to gusts or high winds, make sure a pergola's wind rating can handle your area's breezy conditions.

Research the Manufacturer and Pergola Requirements

Download or request the how-to instructions from the manufacturer to see if you have the tools and skills to build the pergola or if you should enlist a pro's help. Some manufacturers offer apps or online videos to help step you through the building process. It's also a good idea to verify the warranty's length and for any installation, site, or maintenance issues that could void it.

Consider making sure the customer service is responsive, so if you receive damaged parts, items are missing, or you need clarification on the instructions, you'll be able to get prompt assistance.

Additionally, if you will need to anchor your kit to an existing deck or concrete patio, see if a bolt-down brackets kit for the posts is included. Pergola posts cannot be bolted to pavers, stones, or bricks. You'll also want to check the kit's structural weight limits if you want to hang a hammock, planters, swing, or chair from the pergola's beams.

Your Questions, Answered

How do you set up a pergola?

Pergola kits typically require two to three people to constructand must beanchored to the ground—even freestanding ones—to keep them from moving or blowing over in a wood storm. They can be staked in the yard, bolted onto an existing deck's beams, fastened to 6-inch-deep concrete patio slabs, or attached to the house. The most secure method is to pour post footings to create a stable foundation so your pergola won't topple or buckle. Installing side panels or bracing will add additional support. Some pergolas come with canopies or shades to help you control the amount of sunlight. Lightweight, less-expensive pergolas may not be designed to stay up overwinter in cold climates and may need to be taken down and stored.

Where in my yard should I place a pergola?

When considering where to place your pergola, keep in mind the size of your yard and how you want to use this outdoor room. If you have a smaller yard or want quick access to a grill, kitchen, or bathrooms, set it near your home or attach it to your house. If you desire a more private, secluded spot and have a larger yard, set it farther back on your property with a clear pathway to draw visitors to it. The site should be level and well-draining so water doesn't collect around your pergola's posts, which can lead to the posts rotting or rusting.

How do you attach a pergola to a house?

The method of attaching a pergola will vary based on your home's exterior material. Bendrickrecommends consulting witha pro beforescrewing anything into your exterior to make sure you don't negatively impact your home's structural integrity or allow moisture or insects to get in.

"The last thing you want to do is put holes in your house that might create issues," Bendrick says. "When you do install it, you will want to make sure anywhere screws go in is waterproofed and that you seal all contact points so you're not creating an intrusion where water can get in. You also want to make sure wherever you attach a pergola is structurally sound. You don't want to attach to something like your eaves, which can't support its weight."

What size of pergola do I need?

"You don't want to go too small. That's the biggest mistake I see," Bendrick says. "You need to figure out what type of outdoor furniture you want under the pergola. You need enough room to house your furniture comfortably while also having enough room for people to freely circulate around it and exit the pergola to go back into the house or out into the yard."

How do you build a pergola on a deck?

Pergolas built onto an existing deck need to be anchored. You can use 90-degree strap brackets or a pergola bracket kit that is bolted into the deck's supporting beams—never the deck's boards. You can find a bolt bracket system online and at home centers if they don't come with your kit.

Can you have a fire pit under a pergola?

Bendrick recommends you consult your local code, but generally you can use a gas-burning fire pit under a pergola since there's no open flame. Avoid wood-burning fire pits under a structure since they can be difficult to control and could start the structure on fire.

What plants are best for trellising up a pergola?

Once you install your pergola into your landscape, plant flowering climbing vines around its base for a lush accent that will sweeten your backyard escape. Bendrick recommends selecting vines, such as jasmine, that grow by sending out tendrils, which are soft new growth that can wrap themselves around a structure as they scale up it.

Who We Are

For over 25 years, Samantha Thorpe has covered gardening, home, organizing, holiday, and lifestyle topics for magazines, books, and online. She is a writer, editor, stylist, and project manager. Samantha started her own content-creation company, Shriver House Media + Studios in 2019 to write, edit, and produce stories that inspire readers to make the most of their homes, gardens, and more. To come up with this list of the best pergolas, she researched dozens of pergolas, evaluating each based on cost, design, style, materials, assembly, dimensions, features, and more. She also consulted Sara Bendrick, a licensed landscape contractor in San Diego and TV host on the DIY Network and HGTV.

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