White vinyl, artisan style, pergola with an outdoor dining area.

5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Pergola

A pergola is a great addition to any outdoor space, providing both architectural interest and comfortable shade. To get the most enjoyment from your new pergola you’ll want to do some research to be sure you get the best value for your money. Here are some key factors to consider as you evaluate your options for buying a pergola.

1. What materials will be used to build my pergola?

The key to a long-lasting outdoor structure is quality materials. Most pergolas are built using wood or vinyl, but the quality can vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer. Ideally, you’ll want a balance between affordability, attractiveness, and longevity.

At Country Lane Gazebos, we build our wood pergolas from high-quality, Pressure-Treated Southern Yellow Pine, Cedar or Hemlock lumber that combines strength and durability in an attractive and affordable package. Plus, we offer plenty of stains and paint colors, along with attractive posts, columns and available lattice roofing to customize your pergola’s look and feel.

We also offer a line of low-maintenance vinyl pergolas made from pressure-treated lumber and covered with a high-quality vinyl that offers lasting beauty and additional protection from the elements.

2. How do I determine what size pergola to get?Traditional-Wood-Pergola_size

The size of your new pergola will depend, in part, on your available space and the size of other outdoor structures or landscape elements.

If you wish to size your pergola based on the dimensions of an existing patio or concrete pad, you’ll want to find out if the size dimensions published on our website fit your patio requirements.

Our pergola sizes do not refer to the roof or post center size. So a 10’x10′ pergola will have a larger roof than 10’x10′ and the post center size will be smaller than 10 feet. This is an important consideration if you wish to install your pergola at the corners of a concrete slab or patio. You’ll want to make sure your order the proper size so the posts will fit inside your available space.

Be sure to ask to see a post hole diagram to confirm the dimensions. You might also mark your projected post hole locations to get a feel for the overall sizing before placing your final order.

3. How much shade will my pergola provide?pergola-vinyl-gallery05

The amount of shade you’ll get from your pergola will depend on where it is placed in your backyard, as well as the spacing between the rafters and slats that make up the pergola roof. The closer the slats and rafters are spaced, the more shade protection they will provide. You can also add lattice on the roof or a canopy shade to increase the amount of shade.

Before making a final decision on where you’ll place your pergola, you may wish to observe where the sun tends to shine in your yard during different parts of the day. For the best shade opportunity, choose a spot away from the midday sun.

4. Can my pergola be installed on an existing concrete pad, patio or deck?

Most pergolas can be installed on an existing concrete pad, paver patio or deck, but you’ll want to consult with your pergola builder just to be sure. The build quality of your existing pad, patio or deck will determine how much weight it can safely handle.

At Country Lane, our knowledgeable staff is always available to answer technical questions regarding the installation of your new structure. We can even visit your home to look at your proposed location and make recommendations regarding proper installation.

5. Will you provide installation for my new pergola?

Proper installation of your new pergola will extend its lifetime. Ensuring a stable, safe structure you and your family will enjoy for years to come. For this reason, you’ll want to ask your dealer or pergola manufacturer if they provide installation services.

Companies that provide installation services are often more knowledgeable about the particulars of their product line and can be helpful, even if you decide to install the pergola or hire a contractor to do it.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the perfect pergola for your backyard space. Comparing pergola materials, build quality, finding out how to properly size your pergola, asking about the amount of shade you can expect, deciding on a freestanding, or attached pergola, and determining how the installation will be handled are all great places to start to get the best value for your money.

Whatever you decide, adding or buying a pergola always brings something positive to your space and will build new memories.

Want more ideas and inspiration? Check us out on Pinterest for some ideas. Want some ideas on how to arrange the space under your structure? Check out 8 Design Tips for the Space Under Your Structure.