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At the Luxury Pergola, we like to understand everything there is to know about the louvered aluminum pergola industry. In doing so, we built the mirador adjustable louvered aluminum pergola to understand the components used and how it goes together.
The short answer for our impressions are: You get what you pay for
What you get is a rock bottom price
What you give up is durability, motorization, versatility, and quality
It will not handle high winds (with louvers in)
It can't handle extreme weather conditions (with louvers in)
Now when you're looking for a great louver roof pergola, you need to balance quality, versatility, and durability. There's a great saying in home improvement
You can get quality, price, or service: CHOOSE TWO
In our opinion, you really only get price, as the difference in quality can be quite stark depending on who you are buying the Mirador and/or Costco pergola from. Our search is for the best aluminum pergola kit in the world.
Everything in this article constitutes the personal opinions of the installation service professionals who install both the Luxury Pergola and assembled this Mirador pergola.
Introduction to the Build
Now we wanted to start the build by making sure we understood the purpose of the pergola that opens and closes. The kit is designed to meet applicable hoa guidelines, and have a modern frame design.
The kit offers an advantage over traditional wood pergolas, as this will allow you to change the lighting angle of your outdoor deck garden patio with a hand crank.
These kits are almost half the price of the Luxury Pergola kits, so we needed to see if they met the same build quality, building codes, and could handle other extreme weather conditions.
If you are considering pergola cost in your build, this kit may be a good option. Before taking delivery, we had several delivery appointments, that were missed, and had issues with securing deliver dates.
Unboxing the Adjustable Louvered Roof
The unboxing experience was very easy and straightforward. It left us with the impression that this louvered pergola would be pretty easily assembled. The whole thing came in only 3 boxes!
There isn't a way that the company will offer installation service, but that's okay as the prefabricated rails made it look pretty easy to install. We found the installation manual and got to work.
Shockingly Thin Material
The biggest surprise was how incredibly thin the material was when pulling it out of the packaging. They have aluminum louvers rather than steel louvers (which you can find in some places) and with a regular price of around $2,500, the only way to get there would be with thin metal.
This is not a motorized louvered pergola, and the reason the manual option works, is that too much force would need to be applied to a heavier louver roof, such that a manual operation is impractical.
The Difference in Beams
The main difference in the frame comes down to the thickness of the beams and the height of the beams. The Mirador Pergola has a very thin and light beam, but offers a nice modern flare.
If you're looking at what a louvered pergola costs, the main difference will all come down to how much metal you are buying. If you have a supplier in your local city that can help keep cost down, that's a big win.
The Integrated Guttering System
The integrated guttering system and integrated drainage system difference between the Luxury Pergola and the Costco Pergola was stark. The Costco/Mirador adjustable louvered aluminum pergola, had a 1 inch gutter (probably won't handle much water) vs. the Luxury Pergola which has a 5 and a half inch gutter.
Between the two systems, the modern frame design shows that the louvered pergola kits come in all shapes and sizes. The quality also varies dramatically when you look at innovative design and practicality.
The Louvers: Very Thin
The louvers require an end cap that may not sit perfectly on the end of the louver with stainless screws. You do get a (mostly) dual wall louver which is the way to go in the louvered pergola game.
The biggest downside, we thought, was the high variance in louvers. Many of the louvers had a bow in the middle of them, that prevented them from sitting flat on the ground. If they were all bowed in the same way, it isn't a big deal.
The issue comes when you try to line up several louvers and you get light gaps and areas for rain or water to get through. Protection options from the elements are scarce as the engineering notifies the customer to remove the louvers in high winds, snow, or excessive rain.
The Post Mounting Plate
The post mounting plate appears to be galvanized steel, which will be incredibly strong. This adjustable roof would meet zoning requirements, if that steel went up the post.
The issue is if you have an aluminum pergola in Miami, for example, you would not meet local building codes as the plate is only held on by a few stainless steel screws. Miami would say it is not stably attached, in our opinion.
The supplied expansion bolts will give a sturdy attachment to the mounting plate, however the rest of the pergola may not survive in your outdoor living space.
Pinch Fit Beams to Posts
The beam to beam connection is incredibly easy and just slides on and pinches with screws, tightened with an Alan wrench. The adjustable roof goes together easy for your outdoor bbq area.
We are not sure if the louvered aluminum pergola will stay together with this mechanism, but it seemed secure to us as we were building. Are there better ways to do it? Sure. But those ways are more expensive.
Framing the Louvered Aluminum Pergola
The framing of the pergola is very straightforward. If you have experience with any kind of adjustable roof or outdoor structure, this will be easy. Make sure you have 8 foot ladder or this will be difficult.
The frame is somewhat ready for shade screen accessories, but the shade screen accessories installed will be kind of difficult to manage.
Gaps on the Louver Roof End Cap
The louvers for this adjustable roof are difficult when it comes to the end caps. They tend not to sit flat on the end, but you rarely see that.
For your outdoor space, the only difference between this and other cheap pergolas is the rotating louvers. With hung lights you could hide the gaps on the louver end caps, but it's going to be difficult.
Inspecting the Final Product
Inspecting the final product left us with a few things to know:
You get what you pay for
It's easy to install
It's not very strong
Variance in tolerance is high
The order page makes it easy to get your aluminum pergola. It is superior to a large umbrella, but will not be a very strong pergola.
If you want a motorized louvered pergola, this isn't your product. This is purely designed for a price point. This is far from the BEST louvered pergola kit, but it meets the definition of one and does so at a good price point.
All said and done, all the installation service took was 2 hours with our team (who builds louvered aluminum pergola kits regularly). It is an open and closing pergola, that can offer delivery appointments, and aftermarket roll up shade. It is a unique louvered hardtop design that will give you shade, but not much else.
It is louvered aluminum that comes to market. The best pergolas in Florida, will need to handle heavy rain and wind. The included installation instructions are easy to understand, but it isn't the strongest or highest quality.
You get what you pay for. That's about it.