The DIY Pergola Shopping Guide

Pergolas have seen a rise in demand over the last several years and are a beautiful addition to any home. While you might prefer to hire a contractor to install a pergola, the reality is that you likely already have the tools and skills needed for a DIY pergola installation. 

In this article, we’ll cover the different options available for DIY pergolas to help you determine which one is best for you. 

Step One: Choose A Pergola Material

Pergolas come in many different materials, the most popular being wood, aluminum, and vinyl. Our experienced team high recommends that installation of vinyl pergolas. Here’s why: 

Vinyl pergolas:

  • Won’t absorb water so they never rot or rust;
  • Never need to be painted or stained;
  • Don’t attract insects that could cause damage;
  • Can withstand extreme weather conditions, including wind, rain, ice, snow, and sun;
  • Won’t crack, splinter, or peel. 

Vinyl pergolas with aluminum reinforcement are strong enough to hang a sedan from – in fact, we’ve hung a Ford Fusion from one of our freestanding pergolas! 

Overall, vinyl pergolas are low maintenance yet highly durable. 

Step Two: Choose Between Freestanding And Attached

Attached pergolas are just that – a pergola where one or more sides is attached to a building. Attached pergolas are commonly added over decks, patios, driveways, and are even attached to sheds to overlook a garden.

Freestanding pergolas are also as they sound. A freestanding pergola is not attached to any structure. This allows placement to go almost anywhere on a property. 

Step Three: Choose A Pergola Size 

Pergolas can literally be any size. Once you’ve chosen your location, take measurements and sketch out your plans to determine how large the pergola will be. 

Step Four: Pick A Pergola Color 

Many pergola kits only come in the traditional white vinyl and while this is a gorgeous choice, it’s to always the best option for every home. Plastic Lumber Yard also offers vinyl pergolas in clay, almond, and black. 

Step Five: Find A DIY Pergola Kit That Includes Everything 

Not all pergola kits are the same. Be sure to review everything that is included in a package before making a purchase. At Plastic Lumber Yard, our pergola kits come with all of the parts needed to complete the pergola including: 

  • Columns
  • Column trim sets
  • Column Mounts and Leveling Plates
  • Beams
  • Beam reinforcements
  • Beam Mounts
  • Rafters
  • Rafter reinforcements
  • Your choice of shade slat dimensions
  • All required hardware and fasteners (except for concrete mounting bolts)

Every kit comes with a full set of assembly instructions. If you have any installation questions, don’t hesitate to contact our team. 

Custom Vinyl Pergolas Available

If you can’t find the perfect pergola in our online store, our online pergola builders can be used to create the perfect custom pergola. If you have any questions about the process or would like someone to review your sketches and dimensions, feel free to reach out to