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Best Overall: ALEKO Grape Trellis Aluminum Pergola
Measuring 9.5 x 9.5 feet, this pergola is spacious enough for you and a few friends (plus a few pieces of outdoor furniture), but small enough to fit in just about any yard. It also features a removable canopy to keep things cool.
The pergola is constructed from aluminum and available in multiple finishes to match your backyard decor. You’ll find the aluminum pieces to be lightweight and easy to piece together, though some reviewers mention that it's a two-person job. You’ll also want to make sure that this pergola is weighted down or bolted to the ground so that it doesn’t blow away in the event of moderate to heavy winds.
The Aurora pergola from Coolaroo costs just under $400 but includes all the components necessary to complete this pergola kit. You won’t need to purchase additional lumber or hardware, making it a one-stop-shop solution for backyard pergola kits.
Best Vinyl: Dura-Trel Kingston Pergola
Sun and rain can take a toll on your pergola, but a vinyl version like the Kingston from Dura-Trel offers improved weather-resistance and helps you enjoy your outdoor living space all year.
This vinyl pergola resists sun fading and premature cracking. It also offers maintenance-free care, unlike wood pergolas which often require periodic sealing or painting to preserve appearance.
Though the support pillars of this vinyl pergola are hollow, users say they're quite sturdy. The included support posts come with 24-inch steel ground anchors to keep the pergola in place, though some people have taken the extra step to insert wooden posts into the vinyl shell for added stability.
Nearly all reviewers would recommend this vinyl pergola, making it a great buy at under $400.
Best for Large Yards: New England Arbors Regency Pergola
If you have a big backyard and need a pergola to match, consider the oversized 12 x 12-foot Regency pergola kit from New England Arbors. This is a vinyl pergola kit and offers plenty of room for everyone to stay in the shade while enjoying the great outdoors.
A freestanding pergola, you’ll find that there’s plenty of room for outdoor dining or seating options underneath the Regency pergola. The vinyl offers maintenance-free care, and the company backs this pergola kit with a 20-year warranty to protect your investment.
Just realize that this pergola kit will still require you to purchase the specified pressure-treated lumber and hardware to complete the set-up. But once it’s installed and ready for use, your backyard will never be the same.
Best for Small Yards: New England Arbors Portland Vinyl Pergola
If you want more shade for your small yard, consider a small and lightweight pergola like the Regency model from New England Arbors. Constructed of weather-resistant vinyl for easy care and maintenance, this 6.5 x 6.5-foot pergola is small enough to fit in a cozy corner or small backyard.
Constructed of vinyl, this pergola won’t pass for the look of real wood and a few people found the color to be lighter than expected. However, the easy maintenance—just rinse it off with a hose—more than makes up for the lack of lumber-like aesthetics.
Most people found this pergola kit for small yards easy to assemble; just make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for correct support post sizes. It’s the perfect structure for creating shade on a sunnier deck, covering a hot tub, or just adding an element of interest to the backyard of your condo or home.