Pergola Kits: Are They Worth It?

Have you ever walked into a home improvement store to buy an outdoor pergola kit and thought, “should I really be spending this much on a pergola?” or wondered if it would just be cheaper to hire a construction company to build it for me?

There are two things you should keep in mind when trying to decide if pergola kits for sale are the right choice for your home.

  • The first is that cheap pergola kits don’t include installation costs, while more expensive kits do.
  • Second, If you plan on having an experienced craftsman build your pergola, you can expect to pay between $1,600 and $3,600; this is true even if you buy a more expensive pergola kit.

Are pergola kits worth it? Based on experience

A question that I get asked a lot from people who want to build a pergola or spend time looking at plans for one is “are pergola kits worth it?” To answer that question in a simple and easy way, let’s take a look at the kit itself.

First, what exactly is a pergola kit?

A pergola kit is a wooden structure that is designed to be easy to assemble and install. Once you have built your pergola it is just a matter of fixing it up on your property.

Types Of Pergola Kits

There are two main types of kits:

  1. The kits that contain all the materials you need to build your own pergola and
  2. The kits that leave out some of the materials or add on some stuff.

Incomplete Materials

The drawback to buying a ready-made kit is that sometimes you will have to buy the wood or other materials because not all pergola kits has everything you need. If you purchase on a kit that doesn’t come with all the wood, for example, you might have to buy new wood or extra material.

Not Beginner Friendly

Another drawback is that many of the kits available come with instructions which can often be confusing for beginners. For instance, say you decided to build a pergola using a kit from Home Depot.

If you’ve never done any building before this could be a big mistake. You really don’t want to be reading instructions for a product that you have no experience in building before!

Do It Yourself

The great thing about making your pergola yourself, however, is that you get to choose the design, the colors, and materials.

In most cases, kits tend to be a compromise between several different designs. Most of them will be a square or triangular shape, and there will be a few others which are more round or triangular in shape. Some are meant to look like gazebos, others like arbors and lattice.

You can even get a kit that combines both of these elements into one complete structure.


There are some designs, though, which will require you to make additions and modifications to the basic kit in order to achieve the exact look and feel you were hoping for.

Take Your Time And Enjoy The Build

If you’re thinking, “I don’t have the time to build a pergola,” then you should think again. A kit will give you the freedom to create your own pergola and it’s a lot easier than you might imagine.

Once the kit arrives it is delivered right to your house. You won’t have to worry about finding an old box somewhere or trying to find someone willing to build it for you because the kit comes with complete instructions and a detailed list of all the tools you’ll need.

Another thing you’ll like is the fact that a kit is so simple to put together. There isn’t a lot of guesswork involved. The design elements are very predicated upon the style of your home and pergolas come in a wide variety of styles so you shouldn’t have any problems coming up with a style that fits. All you really need to do is decide whether you want to use wood or vinyl and nail it all together.

After that, you’re finished.

Is It Cheaper To Build Or Buy A Pergola?

Having a backyard all to yourself is one of the little luxuries that many people take advantage of. One way to enhance your backyard is by building a pergola. But which option is best for you? Should you build or buy a pergola? Have you thought about both options?

As it turns out, there are ways for you to spend less money on an outdoor pergola.

First, if you’re planning to build your own pergola on your own site, you’ll save an extra $500 or so by doing it yourself.

Second, You’ll also save an additional $3,000 or so by using an inexpensive PVC kit that you can get at Home Depot or Lowe’s. (If the panels are going to screw together, expect to pay considerably more than $3,000.)

Working Alone VS Getting Help

New pergola kits are challenging to assemble alone because of what’s involved in setting the posts into the ground. One or two people can make it happen, but in many cases, you’ll have to call for the professionals.

Tip: The $500 you’re going to save for doing it yourself most likely won’t make up for that particular expense.

And while you can expect to pay $2,500 or $6,000 for a pergola from an architect, you can always save some green by building or buying a pergola kit given that you have some woodworking skills.

Where Can I Buy A Pergola Kit?

Amazon sells a kit for pergolas that can be as little as $239 and weigh as little as 100 pounds.

Some of the pergola kits are available at Home Depot or Lowe’s, though you must be in close proximity to one of those stores, or else you will have to assemble the kit yourself.

A good place to look for cheap pergolas is at Craigslist, but keep in mind that a lot of the ads found on Craigslist are scams.

So, All I Have To Do Is Buy A Pergola And Set It Up?

Not necessarily.

Depending on where you live, your state and local building codes may require you to have it inspected by a local inspector and for all parts to be listed in written form.

The basic concern is that the parts can fail as they work their way into place. This is more likely to happen with an improperly fitted post but there can be other problems, too. For example, the lower pergola could sag since no bracing is provided. The best protection is to get it inspected before you build it.

guidelines for choosing a contractor for your pergola kits

Be Careful!

Follow these guidelines when checking out for a contractor:

  • Check references and find out whether he has built similar projects.
  • Check his background for feedback and reviews.
  • How long has he been in business?
  • When he came to bid on the job, did he make notes to himself?

Remember that the more you start to get too-good-to-be-true prices, the more likely it is that someone is ripping you off.


While most people would view building a pergola as something that takes a long time and money, it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you want to save money, but still build something that looks impressive then Pergola kits are for you. It just takes a little extra time to get the materials together and then figure out how to assemble them. If you’re worried about making a mistake, don’t worry too much about it because the instructions are very easy to follow and fairly easy to understand.

The thing that really makes a pergola kit a great buy is that they are pre-fabricated. If you really want a pergola that will last a lifetime, then you will want to purchase a kit. However, even then, you can probably save money by doing the project yourself.

You will definitely need some sort of woodworking experience, though if you are going to do this project yourself.

You should also be prepared to cut some wood and make a few parts to go with the kit. Pergola kits really can be a great investment if you are looking to add value to your home while at the same time enjoying the process of building your pergola.