#1 Do You know the Roof Size?

Often when a client says they would like a 14′ x 16′ DIY pergola kit for their patio they are usually talking about where the posts will sit on the patio, which would be the footprint size. A pergola is a permanent outdoor structure and as a designer we often have pergolas with varying roof over hangs depending on what they want to accomplish. For example, a pergola going in next to a pool might have the roof close to the edge of the pool but move the posts back to keep them out of the walkway around the pool. This makes the roof overhang bigger on one side of the pergola and that is something we do all the time but for this reason we price the pergolas by the roof size and not the post footprint.

swimming pool pergola

#2 What is Your Timber Package Size?

Now that we have the roof size figured out the next thing I need to know for pricing is the Timber package size and this is another area that is commonly miss-understood. Full size and Oversize timbers are thought of by most people as how big their pergola will be. This is actually what size the timbers in their kit will be and has nothing to do with roof size. Here is the list of timbers used in the two different kits.

Full Size Kit

• 6″ x 6″ Posts
• 3″ x 10″ Beams
• 2″ x 8″ Rafters (18″ OC)
• 2″ x 4″ Shade Planks (8″ OC)
• 2″ x 8″ Knee Braces
• All lags, screws and hardware
• Installation manual
• 1 can of touch up stain

fullsize pergola kit shade

Over Size Kit

• 8″ x 8″ Posts
• 4″ x 12″ Beams
• 3″ x 10″ Rafters (18″ OC)
• 2″ x 6″ Shade Planks (10″ OC)
• 3″ x 8″ Knee Braces
• All lags, screws and hardware
• Installation manual
• 1 can of touch up stain

cantilever roof timber frame pergola kit

#3 What is Your Pergola Height?

The standard height of a pergola is 8′ to the bottom of the support beams. This is the lowest beam on the kit and has all of the rafters (with the decorative ends) sitting on this beam. There are many times when a client might like more height than this under the pergola. For example, when a pergola is on a patio next to the house and there are steps coming out of the house down to the patio they might want more height so when they come out of the house they are not starring straight into a beam that feels like they need to duck to get under it. For this we use taller posts on the pergola kit which is an upgrade and this is why we need to know the height of the pergola for pricing.


#4 Are You interested in Any Upgrades?

Many clients are very interested in what they can add to their pergola for a customized feel. We have many options to choose from. Some are arched knee braces that span from post to post creating an arched entrance into the pergola. Another is our FullWrap™ roof which has rafters with the decorative ends on all four sides of the pergola. We have pre-wired posts with GFCI outlets and light switches and even USB ports notched into the posts as a way to control future lighting or electrical to be installed.

pergola outdoor lighting
timbervolt power phone charger

The Three Standard Choices:

Every pergola kit comes with your choice of the three standard choices. There are 8 different beam profiles, 6 stain colors and 4 knee braces to choose from. These are included in the standard price but we need those choices to place your order and if you want the white stain we offer it is an upgrade because it takes several coats of stain to get just the right look in white. If a customer wants a custom stain color this could be an extra as well.

#5 Which style of Beam End Profile would You like?


The decorative beam end profiles are no additional cost. Something that many of our customers opt for is to send us their own custom beam end profile. This is often the perfect way to tie in some other element of your home or business. These are just some of the more popular decorative beam end profiles that you can choose from.

checking beam end profile

Custom beam end profile (Upgrade option)

profile pavilion

Champion beam & rafter end profiles.

beam end profiles

#6 Which style of Knee Brace would You like?

Knee braces are a way to personalize your kit. There are four popular standard styles to choose from or you can choose to upgrade with a unique knee brace style. The full arch knee brace is an upgraded option choice that is often finished with upgraded decorative keystones for a beautiful finished touch. Knee braces add beauty and contrast to the horizontal and vertical beams and posts as well as strength and durability to your pergola and help ensure that you will not have any twisting or warping throughout the life of your pergola kit.

Knee brace example

Four standard styles of  knee braces.

standard knee brace shade structure

Standard style knee brace example


Example of an Upgrade custom knee brace

full arched knee brace

Available as an Upgrade: full arched knee brace

#7 What Stain Color would You like?

couple choosing stain colors

We only use the highest quality premium grade stains. These stains are our standard colors that we have had developed based on customer feedback.

diy pergola kit custom stain

As you browse our gallery, notice the examples. If you see something you like, you can have it in any color you see here. We also offer as an upgrade customized colors such as this pergola example to the right. Talk to one of our design managers if you have something specific in mind.

Wow! It is a lot of information that needs to be collected to give an accurate price for your project and to verify that it is exactly what you are looking for. All of the questions we ask are so you can be crystal clear on what your price includes and so we can serve you better.

Need a pergola quote?

Here is a recap of the 7 things we will need to serve you faster:

1- Roof size of the pergola

2- Timber package size (full size or oversize)

3- The height of the pergola (to the bottom of the support beam)

4- Any upgrades wanted (arched knee braces or full wrap roof etc.)

5- Beam Profile Choice (8 to choose from)

6- Knee Brace Choice (4 to choose from)

7- Stain Color Choice (6 to choose from)

Get the Free Ultimate Pergola and Pavilion Guide

Get the Free Ultimate Pergola and Pavilion Guide