The Best Alternatives to Composite Pergola Kits

Outdoor eating area with a pergola covering a sitting area. There is a table with six chairs and two lanterns on top.

Adding outdoor living space can enhance the value of your home and increase the enjoyment of spending time with your family — and a pergola is a great way to accomplish that. You may already have a deck or patio that is occasionally used for gatherings and cookouts, but once the sun is high in the sky, that space is no longer fun to be in, and everyone retreats inside.

That trend can be reversed by providing shade and architectural interest with a beautiful pergola. This article will focus on choosing the best material for your pergola.

What Are Pergolas?

In the simplest terms, a pergola is a structure that can be attached to the home or detached. It is supported by columns with a roof structure that allows the sun’s rays to pass through indirectly while providing different levels of shade. A pergola is more substantial than an arbor, as it will cover a large deck or other space rather than just a walkway. However, it also differs from carports and gazebos because those structures have closed roofs.

During the Roman era, pergolas were only in the estates of the rich and were often built from stone. Construction techniques have evolved, so they are now made from wood, composite materials and vinyl. Homeowners who want to save money can purchase a ready-to-assemble pergola kit and put it together themselves, or they can have it installed by a local contractor.

Drawbacks to Composite Pergola Kits

Pergolas have evolved since their old days of stone-siding, but some materials are still not as conducive as others. While wood is a high-maintenance option that requires frequent replacement of individual framing members to retain that “new” look, composite pergola kits are primarily made from fiberglass, resin, aluminum and PVC to combat the drawback of wood materials.

However, though similar in construction to vinyl kits, the main drawbacks to composite construction are price and potential availability. Fiberglass will be more expensive and has some limitations when it comes to customizing a design.

Vinyl is a great material for a pergola structure compared to the other options. With its all-aluminum core framing members, it is just as strong, available at a lower cost and offers the same lifetime warranty compared to other materials.

Traditional Attached Pergola Kits

Attached pergola with white siding. There are steps that lead up from the yard to the covered deck area.

Heartland Pergola kits are available in both attached and detached models. The most common attached models cover decks and patios, creating inviting living areas that extend the home by naturally drawing family and visitors outside.

The louvered purlins are angled specifically to create real shade and offer you the option of 50%, 75% or 90% coverage. Some manufacturers’ kits only offer 20% to 30% shade and require additional screens to block the sunlight from above.

Freestanding Traditional Pergola Kits

Freestanding pergola in the middle of a backyard garden. The siding is white and stone pillars are featured.

Detached patios, decks and pavilions are often covered by full roof structures when shade is the main desire. Wedding venues are a great example of this. Part of the pavilion will need to be waterproof, but a free-standing pergola extends the venue by offering an area where the sunlight can still be enjoyed without exposing the guests to the blinding rays. If stability is a concern, we provide structural columns guaranteed to stand up against the elements, including high winds.

Modern Pergola Kits

A modern pergola with white siding is covering an outdoor eating area. It overlooks a valley.

For homes that choose the sleek look of modern architecture, we offer square columns with enclosed rafters that highlight function and streamlined form over the more ornamental features common in today’s homes. This flexibility allows you to add a fresh design element to your landscape that will be in keeping with the theme of your home.

Installation is DIY-friendly, as we provide detailed instructions and free videos on our site. Maintenance is easy and requires only soap and water to keep your investment looking new for years to come.

Heartland Pergolas Are Made to Last a Lifetime

This attached modern pergola offers shade to an attached patio.

Here at Heartland Pergolas, we have been designing and manufacturing beautiful vinyl pergolas for over 30 years. Our family-owned business builds everything locally in Davenport, Iowa, and we ship to anywhere in the continental U.S. with no additional charge.

We make pergolas that are affordable, durable and able to stand up to a lifetime of use. We use fully extruded aluminum inside a vinyl sleeve, which means you never have to worry about warping, splitting, rotting or sagging.

We offer you the ability to order online, and you will have access to a team of customer service professionals to guide you through any difficult situations. In fact, we guarantee to get back to you within 24 hours.

Our website provides complete installation instructions, CAD drawings and videos, making installing and maintaining our pergolas simple and satisfying. Contact us today for a free quote and see why Heartland is the best choice for your pergola!