How to Build a Pergola

An outdoor pergola is a great way to transform your backyard and give it the upgrade you want. These open-roof structures add style and functionality to your outdoor space and provide a centerpiece for gardening, entertaining, relaxing, and more.

When it comes to building it, there are a few routes you can take. You can go the labor-intensive but money-saving route or the pricey contracting route, but there’s a third option that makes it easy to assemble yourself.


Ways to Build a Pergola

There are three general ways to approach building a pergola:

  • Do it yourself: This option requires some advanced assembly and carpentry skills, and it isn’t recommended unless you’re an expert.

  • Have it custom-built: Custom-building your pergola is great in that you don’t have to do the work…it’s all done by a professional. But it’ll cost you. And unlike gazebos, which have more unique options because of roofing choices, pergolas are generally more standard structures with horizontal lattices connecting the columns.

  • Ready-to-assemble kit: Kits are the best way to go when building a pergola. Purchasing a kit gives you material that is already pre-cut and pre-drilled, along with all of the hardware needed and easy assembly instructions. It’s much cheaper than a custom build and takes far less time than doing it yourself. All pergolas from Backyard Discovery come in ready-to-assemble kits!


Factors to Consider

There are several things you’ll want to take into account before you decide which option is best for you to build your pergola:



Perhaps the most important factor for many, the three options will come in at various price points. Custom-building your pergola will be the priceiest because you’re relying on a professional to do all the work. Doing it yourself could also get pricey because of the cost of all the hardware and the tools needed to build it.

A ready-to-assemble kit allows you to save money on installation by opting to assemble it yourself. And while you may not be able to do it alone, kits have easy-to-follow instructions. If you need help, you can often get it from a friend or family member without necessarily paying for the cost of a professional.



If your time is valuable to you, then building the pergola yourself probably isn’t the best option. After all, you’ll have to design the plans, buy all the tools and products, measure and cut the material, and drill the holes for the hardware. That’s a lot of work, and if you aren’t a professional it can be a time-consuming venture. Not to mention once you get all that done, you still have to assemble it, and that’s only if you didn’t make any mistakes in the prep.

Sure, hiring a professional to custom-build your pergola doesn’t require a lot of time for you, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get your pergola any faster. All that work we just mentioned will have to be done by somebody, and having it custom-built means a long waiting period between when your design is approved and when you actually get your product.

A ready-to-assemble pergola kit saves the most time. You can choose from dozens of different sizes, styles and colors, and have your kit in no time. From there, the assembly is easy since the materials are already pre-packaged, pre-cut, and pre-drilled.



Unless you are a skilled carpenter and builder, building the pergola yourself is not going to be an option. There are just too many things that can go wrong. Getting a kit not only gives you peace of mind because all of the parts are cut, drilled and in the box for you, but it comes with step-by-step directions to ensure you won’t miss a step.

Building a pergola yourself requires expert carpentry and building skills. If you don’t consider yourself a pro in these areas, that option is probably not best for you. If that’s the case, you can opt for a ready-to-assemble kit, which comes with all the parts you need, both pre-drilled and pre-cut. All you have to do is follow the instructions to put it together.



It’s important to consider the insurance you’ll have if your pergola gets damaged. With a do-it-yourself pergola, you won’t have a manufacturer warranty and will need to shell out some cash if you want your pergola insured. A custom-built pergola with a professional also raises questions, as it’ll depend on whether they offer any type of warranty or insurance.

Conversely, most ready-to-assemble kits come with a manufacturer warranty included, so it’s not something you’ll have to shop around for. Backyard Discovery has an industry-leading five-year warranty on all pergolas.


How to Anchor a Pergola

Regardless of how you decide to build your pergola, you’ll need to make sure it’s properly anchored. While there are ways to properly anchor pergolas to wood (such as decks) or the ground (with earthen screws), the most secure option is to anchor to concrete.

You can do this by using footposts and drilling into the concrete to anchor them, then attaching the pergola columns to the footposts. You can also use brackets to attach the columns to the footposts or fasteners to attach to the concrete, depending on what your kit has.

Not only is a properly anchored pergola necessary for safety, but in many cases it’s required to keep your warranty intact.


Get a Pergola Kit and Be On the Way to Backyard Paradise

You have several options when it comes to building a pergola. Doing it yourself may end up being the cheapest option, but it requires carpentry mastery, a lot of time, and immense precision. One wrong move could be disastrous.

Hiring a professional to build a custom pergola allows you the flexibility to build it the way you want, but this comes at an enormous cost. In addition, this will also take time.

A ready-to-assemble kit is the ideal solution. It requires the least amount of time for installation, the parts are already there, and you can save money by tackling the assembly without the help of a pro if you’re feeling up to it. Turn your backyard or patio into the hotspot of the neighborhood with a pergola kit from Backyard Discovery today.


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