Is a DIY Pergola Kit the right Project for you?

Introduction: What is a Pergola?

A Pergola is an outdoor structure, often found in gardens or yards that usually consists of a framework covered with trained climbing or trailing plants.

Customized pergola in your backyard using pre cut materials in a kit form.  4 posts and other material can create great times!

Pergolas are designed to enhance an outdoor living space. They often provide a defined space for various activities such as dining, relaxation or entertainment. They often also have a variety of styles and designs, ranging from the traditional structures with wooden beams to modern variations using materials such as metals or composites.

Lumber and other wood used to create this DIY Pergola kit.  Entertain friends for years with your pergola kit.

Pergolas can also add a different and unique aesthetic to your current landscape while offering a combination of semi open space for outdoor and indoor experiences.

Understanding DIY Custom Pergola Kits

Now that we have learned what a Pergola is, now we can discuss a pergola kit. A pergola kit is a way to buy a pergola in which all of the necessary cuts have already been made at the manufacturing facility. Typically, pergolas have been bought and installed via long pieces of materials being extruded. All cuts would traditionally be cut on the job site.

When purchasing a kit, there is oftentimes a savings to be had. A DIY pergola kit is designed for a homeowner to install. They are much easier and don't need much thought prior to installing. As long as you know the space you have open, you can order the kit for that size and begin to work.

Assessing your DIY skills and experience

The first thing you need to figure out before starting a pergola kit project by yourself, is to make sure you are not getting in over your head. Sometimes the allure of saving a few bucks can outweigh the wise decision (to hire a contractor).

Know your DIY skills prior to starting a new project.  Put a plan together to save hours and enjoy the benefits.

Think back to other DIY projects you may have worked on in the past. How did those end up? Were you able to complete them in a timely manner and save money or did they turn into lengthy projects that dragged on and ended up costing much more than they should have?

You will also need to take stock of current tools you have available and also what tools you will need to build your new pergola kit. Your budget could skyrocket if you need to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of tools.

Cost Comparison

Make a chart showing what different contractors will charge you to install your DIY pergola kit. You can also speak with friends and family to see about some "cheap" labor, ha. You can usually save hundreds of dollars if not thousands by doing the installation on your own.

As we spoke about earlier, make sure to also take stock of any tools you currently have or will need to build your pergola. Tools, by themselves, can become quite the expensive investment. If you are not comfortable with a DIY project, it is probably best to hired a certified professional who can work on your project for you.

Very Important to compare diy pergola costs vs a professional contractor.

Time Commitment

For budgetary reasons, it is very important for you to also get a good estimation on how long your project should take to finish, once started.

Your time is also valuable, as you know. You don't want to get involved in a project that is going to take "too much time" when a certified pro could have done it in mere hours.

Make sure you plan and know about how long your project will take from start to finish, to completely finish.

Customization Options

Style and how to assemble are very important items to think about when considering a DIY pergola kit. Will you be using lumber and wood or aluminum, PVC or a composite material?

It is wise to review all available options when you choose an area to fit in a diy pergola kit. You also want to decide upon how much shade or shelter you would like when adding these products. A roof can also be open or can be closed with motorized or manual roof louvers. You may find these to be quite helpful.

Wood is a nice, solid product can rot and decay over time. It can also be susceptible to insect infestation. Wood needs yearly maintenance and also needs sealing, painting or staining, often. You can lose any initial cost savings by the need of yearly maintenance.

Wood kit made out of lumber.  Pergolas are becoming very popular, in pre cut kit.

Vinyl can be a less expensive building material and that can be of interest to many people. It is also virtually maintenance free and can be cleaned with basic cleaning materials and water.

Vinyl is another pergola material available.  Depending on your situation, you could choose vinyl products.

Aluminum may be the superior building material to use. It is virtually maintenance free and comes in at a favorable price point. It will also not decay, rot or become infested by insects.

DIY Pergola with 4 posts for an area designed for the perfect size.  Enjoy the sun and shade, as you see fit.  Most pergola kits with be built as a independent structure while some will be attached to a house.

Tools and Equipment needed

Below are some common tools and equipment that are needed to install a DIY pergola kit.

Many tools are needed for a DIY pergola kit.  Make sure you are aware of all needed before deciding to go that direction.


Is a DIY Pergola kit the right move for you as you design and build your perfect outdoor space? There are several things to consider before making this decision. You will need to thoroughly examine the type of material you'd like (vinyl, wood, aluminum or composite) also dig into your construction experience and ability to tackle projects, amongst several other items.

There is absolutely money to be saved by doing a DIY project, just make sure you are able and up to it!

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