Pergolas are fancy outdoor shades that have for long been used in Europe to provide shade without the roof being fully covered. Their popularity has spread around the world due to their beauty and stylish look, especially during summer. The easiest way to identify a pergola is that it’s a simple structure made of columns that support a grid roof that can either be sheltered or left open to let sunbeams sip in. Pergolas can be free standing or attached to the main house.
Most people can’t tell the difference between a pergola, pagoda, gazebo, arbor and even a pavilion. The common fact between all these structures is that they are found outside in your backyard or out in the deck. However, they all vary in terms of design, size, and functionality. For example, unlike a pergola, an arbor has plants climbing on its side to create a natural look.
For those that are handy around the house, they may opt to build a pergola by themselves from scratch. However, the market has pergola kits that can quickly be assembled to create a beautiful shade in your backyard. Pergola kits can be made of wood, vinyl or aluminum that quickly come together to form a beautiful structure. Since having a pergola can be a pricey but worthy investment which requires careful selection. In here is a list of some the best pergolas and pergola kits available to transform your backyard to a haven for you and your loved ones. Let’s indulge.
Top 10 Pergolas And Pergola Kits Of 2020 Reviewed
1. Garden Winds LCM1271B Arched Pergola Replacement CanopyBest Arched Pergola
From Garden Winds comes this third-placed arched beauty, the Garden Winds LCM1271B Arched Pergola Replacement Canopy. Given this is an outdoor structure, how long it will serve you is directly correlated to the strength of the manufacture. The fabric is the first line of defense. It has dual-walled lines interlocked to secure the structural integrity of the fabric. It basically gives you an anti-rip performance. In order to complement the fabric, the stitching had to be fortified.
A four-ply thread called the Ultra Stitch came into play. It holds down the seams even under moderate to strong windy conditions. In case you’re reading a book under the LCM1271B Arched Peloga on a hot summer day and you’re worried about your chances of getting Ultra-Violated, get it? The canopy has been given an (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) UPF 50+ rating to ensure you’re always protected from the sun’s rays. Have we mentioned it’s also resistant to both fire and rain?
- Replacements and spares are cheap
- Fits well
- Offers reliable rain protection
- No installation instructions
- Doesn’t make for an easy wash
- Some models had leaking issues
2. Sunjoy L-GZ798PST-E Regency II With Mosquito NetBest Additional Features Pergola
Magnificent is one of the best words to describe this masterpiece that will bring life to your backyard. It comes in a vented double roof design that helps reduce the impact of wind and reduces heat when inside the shade. The pergola measures 10’ by 12’ which provides shade for an area of 140 square feet. Weighing only 95 pounds, this pergola kit is light but will build a shade to last
For added comfort, it comes with a mosquito netting so that you may comfortably sit in it even on those warm summer nights. Other features include plant rings, corner shelves and a center hook to hang a fan/light. The brown tanned canopy is made of 100% polyester which resistant to water and fire. The steel frame is sturdily built and powder coated to keep off the rust. It’s easy to assemble with no tools required.
- Lots of useful features
- Double roof design
- Water and fire resistant
- Assembly may take longer than the indicated 30 minutes
- Not ideal when there are strong winds
- Materials may not be strong enough
3.ABCCANOPY Replacement Canopy roof for Target Madaga Gazebo Model L-GZ136PSTBest Canopy Roof Pergola
I know this might be embarrassing, but it happens to everyone. Your Madaga gazebo, just like anything else, will wear down and get dirty and tired. Before you decide to throw the whole gazebo away, check out the ABCCANOPY Replacement Canopy roof for Target Madaga Gazebo Model L-GZ136PST. It will give new life to your gazebo thanks to the new and improved top cover. The top tier comes in a measurement of 53” by 53”.
While spacious enough to host your family and friends, it is manufactured from fabric strong enough to weather harsh weather conditions and water-proof enough to survive the rains. It has a UPF 50+ rating meaning that harmful UV rays are well kept at bay. By also having CPAI-84 standards, this fabric has been certified to be flame retardant meaning a barbecue accident will not bring the whole establishment down.
- Good quality material
- Makes for a perfect fit
- Offers value for your money
- Fades in a matter of months
- Corner poles could damage the fabric if installed wrongly
- Some models had off dimensions
4. Backyard Discovery Cedar PergolaBest Wooden Pergola
Bring that Mediterranean feeling to your backyard with this beautifully crafted cedar pergola kit. When fully assembled, the pergola measures 10 inches by 12 inches providing adequate space for a number of people to sit back and enjoy some sunshine. Its sculptured beams provide an airy and strong cover which is further strengthened by the 5 ½ ‘’ cedar vertical posts with diagonal braces.
The product is also firmly held on the ground by patent-pending resin foot covers that hide the concrete anchors. It also pre-stained, pre-cut and pre-drilled making it ready to assemble without much hustle. It also features the brand’s unique Safe T Fuse hardware with powder coated metallic brackets for added strength. The manufacturer gives a 1-year warranty on the parts while the wood gets 5 years prorated for rot and decay.
- Strongly anchored
- Large capacity and headroom
- Easy to assemble
- May need further drilling
- Some have issues with the quality of the wood
- Its ends may chip easily
5. Backyard Discovery Cedar Pergola 10 x 10
With the end to end dimensions of the arbor measuring 10 by 10 with headroom of 6’7, this pergola is large enough to hold a large number of people. Its sculpted beams provide a strong shade while the 5 ½’’ cedar posts with diagonal braces make this beautiful structure extra strong. The product also has unique covers that hide the concrete anchors. It also comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Strong anchorage
- Strongly built structure
- Airy and large holding capacity
- May need further staining
- The drilled holes may need more work
6. Kozyard Atlantics Outdoor Extra Large BBQ Grill PergolaBest For Barbeques
For perfect barbeques and family fun days in your backyard, then this sunshade with a beige canopy is a must have in your home. The posts are made of aluminum making them light and rust resistant. Measuring 10’ by 13’, this pergola is huge and adequate to hold several people comfortably as you prepare a scrumptious barbeque in your backyard. The canopy is made of a fabric that is resistant to UV rays and won’t fade due to the sun. The canopy can also fold or stretch depending on what you prefer.
- Light in weight
- The canopy can fold or stretch
- Large sitting capacity
- Not waterproof
- Not ideal for areas with strong winds
- Some parts may come missing
7. Backyard Discovery 1802513 Pergola
Measuring 10’ by 14’, this sturdily built pergola will allow you to accommodate a group of friends and loved ones in your backyard. It’s beautifully crafted using sturdy beams that have diagonal braces to provide an airy and nice shade. For strength, the pergola kit comes with 5 ½’’ cedar posts that come together to give you a strong structure.
All the parts come pre-cut and pre-drilled for easy and quick assembly. The pre-stained medium brown color blends in well with your outdoor space creating a beautiful centerpiece for your events. For Anchorage, the pergola kit has strong resin that with durable concrete anchors. With a headroom of 6’7, this pergola can fit both furniture and people comfortable.
- Large sitting capacity
- Strong anchors
- Pre-stained for added beauty
- The pre-drilled holes need modification
- Doesn’t have a cover
- Very heavy
8. Kinbor 10 x 10 Grill Pergola
Barbeque parties in your backyard will never be boring again with this 10’ by 10’ pergola designed to provide shade to a group of people. Its top is made of a PU coated fabric that shields you from harmful UV rays while giving you much-needed shade on a hot summer afternoon. Its canopy can be stretched when the sun is out and retracted when the temperatures are lower or at night for your guests to gaze at the stars.
It’s also easy to clean and requires low maintenance. The metallic frame is sturdily built and will last for a long time. The unit requires assembly and you might need an extra hand to help you interpret the included manual and set this pergola kit up.
- Canopy folds and stretches
- Low maintenance
- Keeps away harmful UV rays
- Some find the frame weak
- Doesn’t hold up in rain or snow
- Corners have plastic construction
9. Yardistry 11 x 13 Wood Pavilion
Combining the spacious qualities of a pavilion and the aesthetic look of a pergola, this shade will be a great addition to your backyard. With a beautiful brown aluminum roof and strong wooden cedar posts to support it, this pavilion is built to last. The posts measure 6 inches by 6 inches with classic plinths. The pergola kit comes with all the wood and metallic hardware where you just need to quickly assemble them.
- Large sitting capacity
- Sturdily built shade
- The roof doesn’t fold
- May eat space
10. Quictent 12 x 12 Metal Gazebo Canopy PergolaBest Waterproof Pergola
Pergolas don’t come any better than these with an ability to provide shade in the 12’ by 12’ shade making it ideal for large family gatherings, big parties, and other group outdoor events. For added comfort, the pergola has a mosquito netting that keeps bugs and other insects away. The top has a solid canopy that keeps harsh sun rays away.
The sides are zippered for easy entry while the plastic rings allow for a quick set up. It has a heavy duty frame that has been powder coated giving it an exquisite finish and making it rust resistant. For firm grounding, the ends are rounded and staked to prevent any movement.
- Waterproof canopy
- Solid curtain protection on the sides
- Durable and stable
- Assembly takes time
- Doesn’t come with instructions
- Some of the parts may be low quality
How to Choose the Best Pergola And Pergola Kits: The Ultimate Buying Guide
Adding a pergola to your backyard or deck will not only give a luxurious look but it will make it a haven for your loved ones to come and enjoy the summer. Laying back and soaking up the sun inside a pergola is one of the best feelings of summer since the shade shields you from direct sunlight while the open sides let in a breeze for an enjoyable experience. Pergolas usually have four posts that support a roof that can be open or have a fabric canopy that folds or stretches depending on one’s preferences.
What Are The Best Materials For a Pergola?
Traditionally, most pergolas are made of treated wood such as pressure-treated pine, cedar, and even teak. Such types of pergolas have an authentic look seen the wood is stained and sealed to help it last longer. On the downside, such material is usually a lot of work to maintain. For this reason, most homeowners are switching to aluminum or vinyl materials which are cheaper and low maintenance. Some of these modern materials look like wood without being susceptible to insects.
Do I Custom Make or Readily Buy My Pergola Kit?
The answer to this boils down to personal preference and each choice has its own strengths and weaknesses. If you an excellent handyman, then you can take up the challenge of creating your pergola from scratch which will be time-consuming but at least you have control of the materials used. For ready-made pergola kits, you will not be in control of the quality and dimensions of the shade system but it saves time in terms of assembly and the headache of building something from scratch.
Things To Keep In Mind When Shopping For a Pergola Kit
Before adding that pergola kit to your shopping cart, here’s a number of things you need to keep in mind:
- Space – Pergolas come in different dimensions and it’s important to pick one that will fit nicely into your backyard without eating up all the space.
- Materials – For an authentic look, you may opt for a wooden kit but if you are not looking for a high maintenance kit, then an aluminum or vinyl one is the way to go.
- Canopy – You will find that most canopies are made of fabric especially polyester. Ensure that the fabric won’t fade easily, can stretch/fold to meet your preferences and it could even be waterproof.
- Other features – These are features such as mosquito netting that keep bugs at bay and a plant rings that you use to add a natural look to the pergola.
All in all, giving your backyard a makeover by introducing a pergola will be a valuable decision during summer. You can get to comfortably host friends and family for barbeques and evening dinners in a luxurious atmosphere. We hope that this review has shed some light on the best pergolas and pergola kits out there that will add a Mediterranean touch to your backyard.