Outdoor Pergola Frequently Asked Questions
The width of your pergola indicates the length of the beams that sit directly atop of the posts or columns. The depth of your pergola refers to the length of the rafters that lie cross-ways on top of the beams.
Extremely well! In fact, we are so confident your pergola will stand up against heavy winds that, with the high-wind brackets (an optional add-on when you purchase your pergola), we offer a warranty against any damage caused by wind. If the pergola is correctly installed (with high-wind brackets) and suffers any kind of damage due to heavy winds, we will replace the damaged components and ship them to you free of charge. Click here for more details about our limited lifetime warranty.
Absolutely. Our kits have been put through thorough FEA testing performed by an independent structural engineering firm. The results helped us to design our pergolas to withstand high wind speeds. We are so confident in the structural soundness of our pergolas that we provide a warranty against wind damage. You can read more about our wind warranty here.
You bet they are! All of our structures are designed to withstand the heavier use that is typical of public areas.
Very well! All Zen Pergolas have an internal aluminum frame. This means they won’t sag, bend, break or rust in extreme weather. The vinyl exterior is thick and durable enough that you don’t have to worry about it deforming in heat or cracking in the cold.
You sure can. A plexiglass or lexan roof is a great way to create a rain-protected outdoor space that still allows sunshine in. We do recommend adding a slight slope to the pergola roof in the direction you want your water run off to go. Also, please be aware that the solid roof will retain snow, and while our testing has shown our pergola roofs to be very resilient under load, we will not warrant against damage caused by extreme snow accumulation.
Sure, we encourage it! Adding a fan to keep air moving on a hot day is the perfect way to get even more enjoyment in your outside space. Lights and speakers are also a great addition. The best part is that because all of the structural components have a hollow core, it’s easy to chase wires and add boxes and switches to your pergola.
Please visit the Assembly Information page for everything you need to know about assembling your pergola, including helpful step-by-step instructions and contact information to talk to our skilled professionals if you have questions or run into troubles.
For general cleaning, good ol’ soap and water will do the trick! You can also tackle hard stains with a Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser®.
A power washer is a great way to not have to hand-clean with a brush. But please do keep in mind the power of your machine as some commercial grade power washers could damage the vinyl. We recommend that you first try your hose with a good spray nozzle attached.
Most owners choose not to simply because of how beautiful the white or tan vinyl looks, but you certainly can paint your pergola. We recommend Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint® (exterior acrylic latex) for a durable finish.
Our pergola kits are designed to provide shade and sun protection and are not built to handle a moving force like a swing or hammock, so please do not hang anything from your pergola.
Most types of vines are just fine, yes. Vines can increase the amount of shade and can add beauty to your outside area. We do recommend that you do not grow woody vines (such as wisteria, for example) as woody vines can undermine the structural integrity of your pergola.
Here’s an overview of the ordering and fulfillment process…
- Design and order your pergola.
- Allow about 7 business days for manufacturing and packing.
- Our shipping company will contact you to arrange a specific delivery time.
- You can either unload the shipment yourself (in which case shipping is FREE) OR choose the “White Glove Delivery Service” to have everything unloaded for you (see below for more details).
- Check your order for missing, incorrect or damaged parts (we’ll send replacements to you ASAP at no additional charge).
Since each pergola is built to order, it takes about 7 business days for us to manufacture and package your order in preparation for it to be shipped. You will then receive a call from our shipping carrier, and they’ll give you an estimated shipping date. Larger orders or custom orders can take a little longer. If you need an order rushed, please contact us.
You will be contacted by Old Dominion Freight Line to schedule your delivery. Because of the value of the pergola, you are required to be present to receive the shipment.
Unless you choose to get the optional “White Glove Delivery Service” (see FAQ immediately below), residential customers will need to open the package and unload everything (including the beams, rafters, and posts) by hand. Accessories, caps and fasteners are included in separate boxes. You should verify each component against your packing list and note any missing or damages items on your packing slip before signing.
Commercial customers: If you have a forklift, we encourage you to use it to unload items from the truck. If not, you can follow the same procedure as residential customers.
While a single person that can lift up to 80 pounds could unload the truck on their own, we recommend having a helper. Please note that the driver of the truck is not required to help (although they often will).
If you think you may need assistance with unloading, please refer to the FAQ about “White Glove Delivery Service” immediately below.
For an additional flat rate of $350, your order will be unloaded for you by the freight carrier. You will not need to unload anything yourself. The delivery workers will unload everything for you and store it in the nearest dry area (such as your garage). The White Glove Delivery Service is available to residential, medical and retail facilities.
We carefully pack and wrap each of our kits to minimize the chance of damage, but accidents do happen. If parts of your order are missing or damaged, call our toll-free number to let us know, and we’ll take care of getting a replacement shipped out to you as quickly as possible and at no additional cost to you. There is no need to even file a claim with the carrier. We will take care of everything, even if that means sending a brand new kit.
Due to the custom nature of our product, we cannot accept returns. All pergola kits are made to order specifically for your space and requirements.
Two. Ask a friend or spouse to help you, or consider hiring a local contractor (or even just a handyman on CraigsList). Do not try and assemble it on your own.
It honestly isn’t very intense or complicated. There aren’t any “moving parts” and it’s pretty straightforward how everything fits together (even if you didn’t have detailed, fully illustrated step-by-step instructions like you will have). Even a novice in basic construction can assemble our pergola kits without much trouble at all. But here’s the best part… if you have any questions on a certain step, you can talk directly with our trained staff via FaceTime or Skype (free of charge).
If you are getting the help of a contractor or handyman, the two of you should easily have it up in about a day (or even less). If you do it on your own, plan for two days. Also, if you are attaching it to your house or deck or need to dig footings, you will need to add some additional time. Either way, in one weekend you can have your pergola up and ready to enjoy.
You will need just a few basic tools to assemble your pergola. You’ll need a level, measuring tape, ladder, drill with a 6-inch extension, drill bits and drivers, and a circular or miter saw. That’ll do it!
It depends on a) where you live, b) where you are installing the pergola, and c) the size of the pergola. While every locality has its own regulations, most residential structures that are less than 150 square feet do not need a permit. If your pergola is part of a commercial structure, a permit and full engineering calculations are usually required. Contact your local building inspector’s office before installing the pergola.
All of our standard pergola kits include CAD drawings detailing dimensions and construction (in addition to the step-by-step assembly instructions). If the building code official requires a stamp, we will happily refer you to a structural engineer who is familiar with our kits (additional fees may apply).
Most individual pergola components weigh between 10 and 40 pounds. Pergola beams, however, typically weigh between 50 and 85 pounds, depending on their length. Again, we recommend having two people unload the shipment and assemble the pergola.