Questions About Pergola Kits
These are some of the most frequently asked questions about pergola kits. If you don’t see an answer to your specific question, feel free to contact us! We’ve been building quality pergola kits since 2008 and shipping them to customers coast-to-coast. Our pergolas come in over 90 standard sizes and designs as well as custom pergola sizes.
Q. What styles of pergolas do you offer?
We have a range of pergola styles and over 90 sizes of pergola kits in freestanding or attached, made from either rough sawn western red cedar or pressure treated #1 grade southern yellow pine. For a comparison of all of our pergola styles complete with specifications, we’ve created a quick reference chart.
Here’s a quick snapshot of our pergolas:
The Big Kahuna – Classic pergola design, built for maximum sun coverage and engineered for extreme weather conditions. Standard sizes 8×8 to 20×20 in freestanding or attached. Custom sizes available.
The Big Kahuna Solar Ready – The Big Kahuna Pergola design configured to accommodate solar panels. This kit includes all materials required to assemble a solar pergola, but doesn’t include solar panels, racks, or other solar related equipment. Standard sizes 8×8 to 20×20 in freestanding or attached. Custom sizes available.
The Sombrero – Our Big Kahuna pergola design, built for medium sun coverage and engineered for extreme weather conditions. Standard sizes 8×8 to 20×20 in freestanding or attached. Custom sizes available.
The Melbourne – Same design as Big Kahuna and Sombrero, a budget-friendly backyard pergola built with 3-5 rafters for an open design. Offered in freestanding or attached in standard sizes 8×8 to 20×20.
The Fedora – Classic pergola style, with a more open design, taller/un-notched roofing system. Standard sizes 8×8 to 20×20 in freestanding or attached. Custom sizes available.
The Brim – Garden pergola that offers a graceful wooden trellis-like design. Perfect as a patio or walkway border, or for hanging plants or outdoor lighting. Sizes 8′-20′ and custom sizes.
The Visor – Wall, garage door, or eyebrow pergola kit that has multiple uses and easy to install. Standard sizes 6’, 8’, 10’, 12’, 14’, 16’, 18’, 20’ and custom sizes that provides shade above a window or door.
The Peak Timber Frame – Strong & sturdy outdoor structure that is built using heavy hand-cut timbers, mortised joinery, and wood pegs. Standard sizes 12×12 to 30×30 and custom sizes upon request.
Q. Do you sell Attached Pergola Kits?
Yes, all of our full size pergola kits (Big Kahuna, Big Kahuna Solar Ready, Sombrero, Melbourne, and Fedora) can be ordered as an attached pergola kit and have been engineered with two posts for sizes 8×8 up to 20×20. To order an attached pergola: 1) Select the style pergola (either Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Melbourne, or Fedora); 2) Choose the size pergola; 3) Then select Attached from the dropdown menu after you select your wood type. You can request a custom attached pergola kit for any size project. How many posts? Our full-size pergola kits in sizes 8×8 up to 20×20 have been engineered with two posts. Once you go over 20 feet overall (17 feet outside post to post) in either direction we will need to add extra support posts to bear the weight of the pergola. Our Visor pergola is an attached pergola with no posts.
Q. What size pergola kits do you offer for your standard size pergolas?
Our Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Melbourne, and Fedora pergola kits come in over 90 different sizes, including: 8×8, 8×9, 8×10, 8×11, 8×12, 8×13, 8×14, 8×15, 8×16, 8×17, 8×18, 8×19, 8×20, 9×9, 9×10, 9×11, 9×12, 9×13, 9×14, 9×15, 9×16, 9×17, 9×18, 9×19, 9×20, 10×10, 10×11, 10×12, 10×13, 10×14, 10×15, 10×16, 10×17, 10×8, 10×19, 10×20, 11×11, 11×12, 11×13, 11×14, 11×15, 11×16, 11×17, 11×18, 11×19, 11×20, 12×12, 12×13, 12×14, 12×15, 12×16, 12×17, 12×18, 12×19, 12×20, 13×13, 13×14, 13×15, 13x16, 13×17, 13×18, 13×19, 13×20, 14×14, 14×15, 14×16, 14×17, 14×18, 14×19, 14×20, 15×15, 15×16, 15×17, 15×18, 15×19, 15×20, 16×16, 16×17, 16×18, 16×19, 16×20, 17×17, 17×18, 17×19, 17×20, 18×18, 18×19, 18×20, 19×19, 19×20, 20×20; and any other custom size pergola you can think of. If you don’t see the size and style you need, contact us and we can send you a quote for a custom size.
Q. How are your pergolas measured?
Our standard pergola kit sizes for Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Melbourne and Fedora are listed as Rafter (projection) x Beam (width), measured from outside tip to outside tip with a 1’6″ overhang past the post of each side for freestanding kits. For example, a 9×11 Freestanding Big Kahuna will have 9′ rafters and 11′ beams, with an outside post to post dimension of 6′ x 8′. With no post on the wall side, the attached version of the same kit would have the same overall measurement of 9×11, but with an outside wall to post on the rafter side of 7’6″ and a beam side post to post measurement of 8′ (7’6″x8′). For more detailed instructions, read How to Measure for a Pergola and review our Footprint Diagram, which contains the dimensions for standard pergola kits. Feel free to email or call us if you have any questions.
Q. How do I measure for a pergola?
Whether you’re interested in a pergola that’s attached to a wall or would like a freestanding pergola, these steps will walk you through taking the measurements needed to help choose the size pergola you’ll need for your outdoor space. These steps apply to our Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Melbourne, and Fedora pergola styles. More details about each step are contained on our How to Measure for a Pergola page. Step 1: Plan your space. Step 2: Determine pergola rafter length (there is a different calculation for an attached pergola and a freestanding pergola). Step 3. Determine pergola beam length. Step 4. Calculate overall tip to tip dimensions. This is the size pergola you’ll choose. Step 5. Determine post height. Here are more details for each step.
Q. What if I don’t see a size that will fit my situation?
We offer custom sizes on all models of pergolas. Just fill out our custom quote request form and someone from our sales department will be in contact with you. Every effort is made to have a quote ready for you within 24 hours, but at peak times of year it could be a little longer.
Q. What are the pergola specifications?
For a comparison of all of our pergola styles and specifications, reference our Comparison of Pergola Styles chart.
- Your choice of pressure treated #1 southern yellow pine or rough sawn western red tight knot cedar
- 6X6 posts (Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Melbourne, and Fedora) (optional 8, 10, or 12 foot lengths)
- Double 2X8 beams
- 2X8 rafters on 12″ centers Big Kahuna; 24″ centers Sombrero; 3-5 rafters for Melbourne; 3 or 4 sets of 2 for Fedora
- 2X2 top slats on 6″ centers Big Kahuna; 12″ centers Sombrero; 8 or 10 for Fedora; 0 for Melbourne
- 2X6 angle braces
- Stainless steel hardware
- Optional galvanized steel post base mounting hardware
- Assembly instructions
- Your choice of end cut designs
- Attached or freestanding
Check your local building code to see if you are required to pull a permit to construct a pergola in your area. If so we can provide you with drawings and a specifications sheet to help you in this process. We have a Florida engineer stamped drawing for the Big Kahuna. Just let us know upon checkout and we will forward them to you via email.
Specifications for our Timber Frame Pergola Kits include:
- 8X8 posts (Peak Timber Frame Pergola)
- 6”x6” joists (rafters) and 3”x3” purlins (top slats) dressed down by one-half inch each dimension
- Standard sizes include joists (rafters) on min 18″ centers, purlins (top slats) on 10″ centers, posts 9’ to bottom of beam
- Stainless steel post base hardware
- Your choice of end cut designs
- Engineer stamped drawings available after purchase
- Delivery and installation services are a component of this pergola offering
Q. How many posts will my pergola have?
All of our Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Melbourne, and Fedora pergolas have been engineered with four posts on freestanding sizes (2 for attached) all the way up to 20×20 which is the largest standard size on our website. For our Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Melbourne, Fedora, and Brim, once you go over 20 feet overall (17 feet outside post to post) in either direction we will need to add extra support posts to bear the weight of the pergola. This would require a custom quote, and you can request a custom size here or contact us by phone or email.
Q. What is the difference between a Pressure Treated Pine and Rough Sawn Cedar Pergola?
Western Red Cedar is a beautiful light amber color. It has a wonderfully appealing fragrance that adds another dimension to its qualities. Western red cedar is also highly resistant to decay, which makes it great for outdoor use. It is lightweight with close, even grain. It is easily worked and can be finished smooth with little effort. Western red cedar takes paints and stains very well. Paint or stain can be applied as soon as you receive the pergola kit. Western red cedar is used in situations where exposure to the elements is continually severe. Western red cedar is sustainably harvested in North America.
Pressure Treated Pine is also very insect and rot repellant, and able to withstand severe elements, but has chemicals added to give it those properties. Pressure treated pine comes with a green appearance. As it dries it will turn to a golden brown, then gray if it is not water sealed or stained. You will need to wait until after your pine pergola is installed to stain or paint it — wait a few months before staining or painting the lumber since it will be saturated with the pressure treatment when you get it. Southern yellow pine is sustainably harvested in the southeastern United States.
You can click here to see a comparison chart and closeup pictures of pergola wood types.
Q: Do you have a comparison of all of your pergola styles?
To decide on your pergola, you’ll need to answer questions such as how much coverage do I need for my patio? Do I want the pergola attached to the wall or freestanding? What type of wood? Our pergola comparison chart provides an overview of all of our pergolas and will help you choose the right pergola for your patio. Here’s more information on how to measure your space for a pergola, a footprint diagram, and a pergola wood comparison.
Q. What Makes Our Pergola Kits Special?
If you are looking to build a pine or cedar pergola, and are comparison shopping, beware of other online retailers that sell easy install DIY pergola kits that are mass produced with cheap lumber, coated zinc hardware, steel plates that hold rafters together, and have complicated assembly instructions. Here at Pergola Depot we never use any inferior materials or building practices such as these. We produce our pergolas with the mission of uncompromising quality, and have taken every step to make certain that your pergola kit will be easy to install, and stand the test of time no matter which part of the country you live in.
Our pergolas are engineered to withstand 160 mile per hour wind gusts!
Our pergola kits were originally designed to be used in the Central Florida area where we have to deal with extreme weather situations all year round such as:
- The second highest air salt content in the world
- Daily summer rain/thunderstorms
- Winter drought conditions
These elements can be detrimental to the life of the materials used in outdoor products. So as you can see we have good reason to be sure that our easy install pergola kits were designed with quality materials that can stand up to harsh elements.
For our Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Fedora, Melbourne, Brim and Visor kits, we have two different lumber options to choose from: pressure treated pine, or rough sawn western red tight knot cedar. We use stainless steel hardware to prevent rotting, and offer optional galvanized steel post base mounting hardware. Every kit comes complete with all pre-cut, pre-drilled lumber that is pre-marked for easy assembly. It also includes a set of step-by-step instructions to guide you through the assembly process. Our pergola kits are so easy to assemble that two people can easily have most kits set up in four hours or less with absolutely no construction knowledge whatsoever. It’s that easy!
So choose your size, and your end cut preference. Then decide if the pergola will be going on a patio, or into the ground, and before you know it you will be enjoying your backyard under a beautiful pergola cut specifically for you.
For our Peak Timber Frame pergola kits, we have other lumber options to choose from: Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Southern Yellow Pine (kiln dried after pressure treatment).
Q. What if I need a pergola that is different from all of the designs you currently offer?
If you have a drawing or an idea of what you would like, let us know and we would be happy to work with you to see if it can be made into kit form and give you a quote on it.
Q. I’ve ordered my pergola, what happens now?
If you’ve ordered one of our Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Melbourne, Fedora, Visor and Brim pergolas:
- You will receive an order confirmation showing the date that your order will ship.
- Your order will then go to our shop where your pergola will be manufactured.
- Upon shipment of your order you will receive a shipping confirmation with a link to the shipping company’s website and a Tracking Number to use while tracking your shipment. We will also attach the packing list for the shipment, a picture of the crate before getting loaded onto the truck, and the installation instructions.
- The shipping company will then call you (usually once the freight has reached the destination terminal) to set up a delivery appointment. Remember, the kit will need to be hand unloaded piece by piece.
If you’ve ordered one of our Timber Frame pergolas, you can find information about the ordering process here.
Q. How long will it take to receive my pergola once I place the order?
This varies based on the details of your order, your location, and the season. Standard size pergola kits that are Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Melbourne, Fedora, Brim or Visor style, ship from our facility in Florida generally within approximately 20-40 business days from the day we receive cleared payment. This varies based on season, shipping location, and the size kit. Once your order leaves our production facility in Florida, delivery times are typically between 2 days and 12 days from the date of shipment, depending upon your location. Current economic conditions and the reopening in many parts of the country do cause occasional shipping delays. Some circumstances require that our shipping timeframes may need to be adjusted during these uncertain times. We will make every effort to build and ship your pergola on time and will communicate with you throughout the production process. So all together you’re looking at about 2-1/2- 5-1/2 weeks depending on the season and your location. The shipping timeframe varies for Peak Timber Frame Pergola kit orders. Peak Timber Frame orders include shipping and delivery, and will be estimated during the quote process.
Custom sizes follow the same guideline, but could take less or more time depending on the size pergola. Note: We ship FREE anywhere in the contiguous United States*. *Over 90 sizes of our standard pergola styles we sell ship free to most locations in the contiguous US! Exceptions include delivery to hard to reach destinations or locations that require a ferry to deliver, and timber frame pergola purchases for which shipping charges will be itemized. We build each kit to order. Delivery times vary depending on your order and location.
Q. How does the pergola kit come to my house?
For Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Fedora, Melbourne, Brim and Visor pergola orders:
We custom build a pallet that goes under each kit, stack the pergola pieces on the pallet, then strap the pieces down and build crating around the outside to protect the lumber. The kit will come on the back of a semi truck and you will need to hand unload it piece by piece. The driver is not required to help unload it, but most will anyway. The whole process takes about 15-20 minutes. Just make sure there are 2-3 healthy adults present to unload the lumber for a standard size kit.
For Peak Timber Frame pergola orders:
At this time, we only offer timber frame pergola kits with shipping and installation included. We will arrange for delivery to your assembly location, and our install team will meet the shipment, unload and install. We will include installation in our itemized estimate based upon your location.
Q. What do I need to have when the delivery driver shows up at my house?
For Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Melbourne, Fedora, Brim, and Visor pergola kits: You will need to have 2-3 healthy adults available to help unload the pergola (2-3 healthy adults can typically unload a standard size kit in about 20 minutes). You’ll also need a tool to cut the strapping from the crate (scissors or knife) and possibly a screw gun with a Phillips bit to uncrate the lumber. Every kit is crated a little differently due to the different sizes of pergola kits available. Not all crates will need to have screws removed but those that do will usually have 4-6 screws to take out in order to remove the pergola pieces from the crate.
Q. Where do you ship and how much does shipping cost?
Two of the most common questions about pergola kits we hear is do you ship to my location and how much is shipping? Pergola Depot pergola kits are shipped for free* to the lower 48 states (with a few rare exceptions*): Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. *Shipping to zip codes that have special transportation requirements (such as ferry transport to islands, delivery to a remote location, or delivery to a hard to reach location due to narrow streets) may include a surcharge to cover the special transportation need. Please contact us for a shipping cost estimate for shipments to zip codes that may require special transportation.
Q. Do you do installations?
We do not offer installation services, but we do have a directory with companies listed that offer installation services. These companies are not endorsed by us in any way, but are companies who chose to list themselves on our website to offer installation services. You will also receive a complete set of installation instructions with your pergola kit.
For our timber frame pergola kits, we only offer those purchases with shipping and installation included. For timber frames, we will arrange for delivery to your assembly location, and our install team will meet the shipment, unload and install. We will include installation in our itemized estimate based upon your location.
Q. Do you have a Contractor Program?
Yes, we have a Contractor Program. Landscape design and build companies, landscapers, pergola installers, and other contractors can apply to be a member of the program. We work with contractors coast-to-coast and ship pergola kits anywhere in the contiguous United States, and offer a year-round discount on Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Melbourne, Fedora, Brim, and Visor pergolas. The discount is not valid on timber frame pergola kits, planter box kits, canopies, or shade sails.
Q. What if I am not ready to install the pergola once it gets here? What should I do with it in the meantime?
The best thing to do is to stack the parts neatly either inside of a garage or under a porch overhang. If you don’t have either of those, then stack the lumber neatly and place a tarp over top of everything. You do not want the parts getting hit by the elements until it is installed and screwed together. If you must delay the installation of your pergola for an extended period, we recommend you contact us prior to production of your kit to ensure the best quality.
Q. Can I stain and water seal the lumber before I install the pergola?
For pressure treated southern yellow pine pergola kits, stain or water seal after installation and the lumber has dried. If you order a pressure treated pine pergola you will have to wait a few months (depending upon your climate and weather conditions) after it is installed in order for the lumber to be dry enough to absorb the stain or sealant. If you order a cedar pergola, you can stain the lumber before or after installation.
Q. Will the pergola need to be stained or water sealed?
To keep the lumber looking it’s best we recommend sealing it once the first year (for pine pergola kits, stain or water seal after installation), then every 2nd year thereafter. You can purchase a stain and water seal combination from any hardware store that goes on in one application and saves tons of time. Follow advice from your local stain & paint specialist for how and when to stain and paint outdoor structures. The lumber does not need to be stained or water sealed, but as with any lumber it will weather to a gray color if not stained or sealed.
Q. Can I leave the parts out to dry before I install the pergola?
For pressure treated pine, it is not recommended to leave the pergola parts out on the ground to allow the drying time as this will cause parts to twist and bow. If it will be a day or two before you install the pergola, we recommend stacking the lumber neatly, and keeping it under a tarp or in a garage until you are ready to install it.
Q. How do I get more information about a pergola canopy for my pergola?
You can order a canopy for any Big Kahuna, Sombrero, Melbourne, or Fedora pergola size 8×8 through 20×20. Once you place your pergola kit in your shopping cart, go to Retractable Canopy for Freestanding Pergolas or Retractable Canopy for Attached Pergolas, depending on the type of pergola you are purchasing. Select the size canopy that corresponds with your pergola size. For example, if you’re purchasing a Big Kahuna 12×15 Freestanding pergola, you would select Canopy for 12×15 Freestanding Pergola.
If you did not purchase your pergola from us, contact Infinity Canopy directly to order a canopy to ensure the proper fit. Infinity canopies are sold on our website as a convenience to our customers who are purchasing a pergola or have purchased a Pergola Depot pergola in the past. If you have or are purchasing a pergola from us and would like to purchase a canopy for your pergola, you can order an Infinity Canopy on our website and we will facilitate the order processing with Infinity Canopy. Infinity Canopy will configure and ship your canopy directly to you. If you have questions or require service after you purchase a canopy, please visit the Infinity Canopy website or Infinity Canopy FAQ.
Q: Do you have shade covers for your pergolas?
Yes, in our Accessories, we offer a shade sail pergola cover that is hand-made per order for Pergola Depot pergola kits. Made using UV-blocking water resistant fabrics, our pergola shades are uniquely sized to fit our Big Kahuna, Sombrero, and Melbourne freestanding pergolas sizes 8×8 up to 20×20. These sails are not sized to fit other brand pergolas.
Q. Can you send me the engineered drawing before I place my order so I can make sure I get my permit or approval from HOA?
If you require a permit: you would place your order and pay in full. After we receive full payment, we will email you the engineered drawing upon request and place your order on hold. On-hold orders can be changed or canceled at any time – see below for further details. We do not put your pergola order on our production calendar until you inform us that you have received permit approval.
We will hold your order for as long as needed to accommodate your project; however, after 45 days from order date (date that payment has been received), on-hold orders are subject to price adjustments to the then-current retail price (less any discount per the original order or any available active discount if better than the original offer).
You have the option to change or cancel an on-hold pergola kit order at any time due to a permit rejection. Note that changes may result in an adjustment to price – based on then current retail prices (less any discount per the original order or any available active discount if better than the original offer).
Any price adjustment must be paid before an order is placed into production.
Cancellations for pergola kits due to a permit rejection will be refunded in full less any non-refundable deposit or engineering charges.
If you require a change to your on-hold order for a pergola kit, contact us by email: email@example.com or phone: 877-563-0002 to indicate the required change. Changes may result in an adjustment to price – based on then current retail prices (less any discount per the original order or any available active discount if better than the original offer). Any price adjustment must be paid before an order is placed on our production calendar.
Q. What happens if there is damage to my kit during shipping?
In the rare instance that there is damage to your kit during shipping, here’s what to do.
- If the crate has sustained substantial damage (such that you believe it may be difficult to identify individual parts that are damaged), then it may be best to refuse the shipment (please call us if you would like our input). This way the shipment will be redirected back to our warehouse where we can inspect each piece. We will then rebuild the parts that were damaged, re-pack the crate and resend the shipment to you. If we receive a shipment back with damage, your order will take priority in our production schedule and your kit will be reshipped ASAP.
- If you find damage to one or more individual pieces (when unloading the crate piece by piece), you must make a note of the damage on the driver’s delivery paper work before signing to accept the shipment. If this is not done we will be unable to make a claim against the shipping company and we will need to charge you for replacement parts and related shipping costs. It will be helpful if you also take pictures of the damage. We will review your information, get back to you with any questions, process replacement parts and reship them back to you ASAP.
- In any case when there is damage or parts are missing, your replacements will be prioritized in our production schedule and we will typically ship replacements back to you within 1-3 days. Please contact us if you have any questions and, email us a brief explanation of the damage or missing parts, copy of the delivery paperwork (either refused or marked as damaged), and any pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.