What are the Different Types of Pergola Kits?

Kaitlyn N. Watkins
Kaitlyn N. Watkins
Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

A pergola can be an aesthetically pleasing and functional addition to one’s landscape because of the open roof structure and latticed supports. Choosing between pergola kits depends on how the pergola will function in the landscape. The main types of pergola kits include freestanding pergolas, attached pergolas, and variations on both. Pergola kits can consist of materials like wood, vinyl, wrought iron, and aluminum, which affects the price and ease of construction. They can be adjusted based on the size and height of the area to be covered, both of which should be taken into consideration when choosing a pergola kit.

Freestanding pergola kits will provide plans and materials to build a pergola that is self-supported with poles or columns, often in a rectangular or square design. This kind of pergola can be used to provide shade for a patio area or act as an entryway or focal point in a garden area. A popular type of freestanding pergola kit has four box planters at each post base, which makes it easier to plant climbing vines to cover the pergola.

Attached pergolas are supported by an existing structure, like a house, garage or commercial building. These pergolas are very popular for covering an existing porch area because they can be less expensive than a screened-in porch or deck. It is possible to purchase attached pergola kits that come with a removable cover or sides to protect the covered area from excess sun or rain.

Whether attached or freestanding, pergolas serve a variety of functions that the proper pergola kit can address. For example, walkway pergolas are popular in commercial landscaping because they provide definition and limited covering for sidewalks between buildings. Walkway pergolas can also be fashioned by assembling a series of smaller freestanding pergolas in a row. These structures are reminiscent of an outdoor hallway.

A gateway pergola, also referred to as an arbor, is another type of pergola kit design. These pergolas can be placed at the entrance of a garden area and planted with climbing vines like grapes or flowers for aesthetic appeal. The overhead structure of a gateway pergola may be more narrow than a pergola used to cover a large area, and it can have a swinging gate attached to the posts. A similar design is a pergola kit with a swing or bench attached to the base, which may be used to hang planter baskets or support climbing vines.

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Discussion Comments


There are many different options to choose from when it comes to building a pergola. Like most things, there is a wide range of pricing and quality of materials.

One thing I kept in mind was all the exposure it gets to the elements. We live in an area that has four very different seasons, and along with that comes every kind of weather you can imagine. I knew it had to be sturdy and hold up well under all types of weather conditions.

We finally decided on a wooden one and bought a cedar pergola kit. The look of the cedar adds a lot of quality to it and so far it has made it through 3 years of unpredictable weather.

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