When comparison shopping for an outdoor structure, it’s like comparing apples to apples, right? Some of the outdoor structures you see look alike, but most will vary on closer inspection of blueprints (elevation charts). The elevation charts for different structures can demonstrate the difference between more or less room under your outdoor space and shade. So, it pays to ask a design consultant questions or salesperson about the elevation charts to better compare structures. In this blog, we will dive into what to look for when comparing outdoor shade structures and the value of buying Country Lane products.
A few questions to answer before you start comparing:
- What size does the outdoor structure need to be to fit your concrete slab or deck?
- Does your space need to be a specific size to accommodate your family, friends, or a much larger crowd?
- Do you need a specific size to accommodate a dining or seating area, kitchen features, etc.?
If you’re starting this process, it may help to read our blog, “4 Tips to Prepare your Yard for an Outdoor Structure,” before you compare, so you know what other expenses or things to consider before starting your project.
Find the appropriate size for your backyard
If comparing several companies, make sure you know what you’re comparing. It helps to evaluate them by the same size. Use the elevation guide to measure your outdoor space (most companies have these available to customers). Measure your concrete slab or deck to figure out how large you want the structure using either masking tape, cones, pieces of paper, or layout where the posts will sit, based on the elevation charts. Stand in the space. Is the area under the structure large enough? Are any posts going to block entrances or windows? Will I have enough room for my furniture, seating, or kitchen features? Try adding the dining table with chairs to that area to see if there’s enough room for furniture and movement around the furniture.
Compare the different products by size
Often companies are selling very similar products, so checking the elevation charts is essential. Modifying the size to make the structure larger usually results in spending more money. It’s crucial to compare what you’re purchasing. Take the chart below. One is the Artisan Vinyl Pergola by Country Lane Gazebos, and the other is a competitor. We will call this pergola, “Competitor A.”
As an example, let’s use a 12×16 pergola to illustrate the differences. Overall size: CLG: 18’ Competitor A:16’ 16”.
They measure the overall length of the structure, which includes the scrolled ends. Where you need to look is the measurement from the center post to center post. This measurement is how much space you will have under your structure. CLG’s measurement is 14’4” from center post to center post, while Competitor A’s measurement is 12’6”. That’s a significant difference of more than a foot! To get CLGs center post measurements, you would have to go up a size with the Competitor, which means more money.
Another question to ask is, how far apart are the rafters/purlins spaced? Looking at our Competitor’s pergola, they only have seven purlins, whereas CLG has eleven. That much space between purlins is going to allow for more sun. Country Lane also offers an EZShade canopy for a pergola or curtain for either a pergola or pavilion.
This example is only one of how products can vary between competitors.
Some other considerations or questions to ask:
What quality is the wood? Double kiln-dried or once?
What materials are the parts used to assemble the outdoor structure? Country Lane Gazebos uses powder-coated brackets, which can help sustain a wood pergola by preventing rot. Cheap metal pieces rust with the weather and can promote decay in an outdoor structure.
These are a few reasons as to the value of buying Country Gazebos is ideal for your outdoor investment. When planning to at an outdoor structure to your backyard, these are a few things to keep in mind when comparing. We, at Country Lane Gazebos, stand by the quality product we produce. Please don’t hesitate to call us or email us questions.