Pergola, Kit, Or Build Your Own.

White Gardens

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Bloomington IL
Figured I would ask here as hard-scapers probably have the most experience with them.

Customer wants a 10x10 or 10-14 pergola. Not sure if it's cheaper or faster just to buy a kit with those dimensions or build it yourself.

Woodworking isn't a problem, I'm just think cost effectiveness for not only us, but the client also.

And, if budget isn't a factor, would you use red-wood or pressure treated lumber. Cedar or Redwood would probably be the better choice, but didn't know if it really mattered.

Thanks

Nick
 

shovelracer

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
North Jersey
I think that's more of an arbor than a pergola. Regardless, the material type is all about budget. Redwood looks a lot like PT pine, cedar is very clean, vinyl is the easiest to maintain. You can build the structure in house for half or less than you can buy the kits for. Building them is not hard, but with the kits the engineering is already worked out for you. I guess the biggest advantage of doing it in house is that it is one of a kind.
 
OP
White Gardens

White Gardens

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Bloomington IL
Ya, I think I'm leaning towards custom built.

One of the problems I'm noticing is none of the kits have any flare to them. Just generic and look generically built.

Building one shouldn't be an issue, I've got plenty of wood skills to get the job done.

I haven't found a kit also with just two posts. I've still got to get the design hammered out, but I would love to do a two post arbor/pergola instead of the 4 post design because of the space and location.

Still feeling out the budget. Got to get some numbers together for the HO first.
 

JimLewis

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Beaverton, OR
Mrusk, the arbor in that photo is sweet! Really nice work.

Our arbors & pergolas as usually a little more basic than that. But they are nice, for the price.

White, we do them all in-house. Pretty quick and easy. I've seen some nice kits online, but they usually sell for 3-4x what we can make them for ourselves. I just haven't found that my customers want to spend quite that much.
 

JimLewis

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Beaverton, OR
I understand that issue very well. Fortunately, I have a neighbor who has a woodworking shop in his garage. So I've always had him do all of the cutting and scrolling for us and then our guys just throw it together. I pay him a good rate ($30 an hour) and we end up only having to pay a few hundred dollars plus the cost of lumber to get a nice full ready-to-go pergola made.
 
OP
White Gardens

White Gardens

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Bloomington IL
I understand that issue very well. Fortunately, I have a neighbor who has a woodworking shop in his garage. So I've always had him do all of the cutting and scrolling for us and then our guys just throw it together.
That's really my biggest concern is detailing the end of the boards. That's where I see the most time spent in the construction.

I might have access to a band saw, but then it going to take two people to wrestle the 10 foot peices.

Or, I can just use a jig saw and then use a drum sander of sorts to square and clean up the cuts. That's probably the easiest and one person can do it.

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