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Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the following FAQs for more information regarding Zen Pergolas. If you have questions that you can't find answers to, we're more than happy to help!

What type of wood should I use when building my pergola?

The two most common types of wood to use when building a pergola are western red cedar and redwood. They are naturally insect and rot resistant and have natural oils & resins that make them less likely to decay. These oils & resins also make them less likely to be infected with bugs, even when left outside in the elements year-round.

Another great option is pressure-treated pine. The pressure treating process also makes it more resilient to weather & insects.

In general, any dry, straight lumber will work. Some types of wood may just require a little more maintenance than the aforementioned woods.

For a full list of the types of wood that you should consider when building your pergola, click here.

What is included with my purchase of a pergola kit?

When ordering a pergola kit from us, your order will include the following:

  • All pergola brackets* included with the specific kit that you purchase
  • 1.5" pan (round) #10 self-tapping stainless steel wood screws for securing wood into brackets

*IMPORTANT NOTE: Depending on the pergola kit you order, it may or may not include a roof, privacy wall(s), side railing(s) or corner support brackets. Most pre-configured kits include at least one upgrade. But if you purchase a base kit, you will need to add these optional upgrades separately.

What is NOT included with my purchase of a pergola kit?

Wood. Wood is a) very expensive to ship and b) readily available to most people at local home improvement and building supply stores. By buying your wood locally, you also have more options on the exact type of wood you'd like that is appropriate for your area's climate.

Anchoring Hardware. While our pergola kits do include stainless steel wood screws for securing 6x6" wood posts into the brackets, they do not include anchoring hardware for securing the base brackets into a secure base (i.e. cement pad, deck, landscape toppers, concrete footing, etc.) or a permanent structure (i.e. your house). This is because the anchoring hardware you need will vary based on a) what type of material you're going into and b) local building codes.

What is the recommended height of a pergola?

The recommended wood length for posts is 8 feet. Since the cross beams will sit on top of the posts, the overall height for a pergola using 4x4 wood will be 8 ft 3.5 in tall and the overall height for a pergola using 6x6 wood will be 8 ft 5.5 in tall.

Pergola posts should never be taller than 10 feet. For any posts longer than 8 feet, we strongly recommend using corner support brackets.

How wide can I make my pergola?

Zen Pergolas are modular, which means you can make your pergola as wide or as deep as you need it to be! But for each 'section' of your pergola, it is recommended that the beam be no longer than 12 feet. If you would like your pergolas overall width or depth to be greater than 12 feet, you'll just need to add on another section.

Although we don't have every possible width/depth combination listed out, it may be helpful for you to take a look at our Pergola Kits by Dimension page.

How many people do I need to assemble my pergola?

For most jobs, having 4 people is sufficient. But for bigger jobs, it may be useful to have as many as 6 people there to help. You may want to check out the instructions page to see what all is involved with assembling your Zen Pergola.

We know it sounds cliche, but there is a lot of heavy lifting involved & many hands make light work!

How do I secure the pergola to the ground or to a house?

Due to the fact that there are so many different surface types that a pergola could be mounted or anchored to, and the fact that many HOA's & city's require it to be done a certain way, we can't give advice on how to mount your brackets to the ground, house or other permanent structure.

What we do recommend is that you check building codes in your area to see if it needs to be done in a certain way. We also recommend speaking to a local hardware store associate or building contractor in your area to see what would work best for you and your unique circumstance.

What wind speeds can Zen Pergolas withstand?

When installed correctly, Zen Pergolas can withstand winds of up to 50 mph. To increase their strength, we recommend adding corner support brackets. Not only do they look beautiful, but they do, in fact, make the pergola stronger & more secure. We also highly recommend checking your local building codes to make sure your pergola is mounted to the ground and/or house or other structure properly.

If you purchase a shade sail, we recommend taking it down during the winter months and during extreme weather events.

I need help placing an order... can you help?

Absolutely! We realize that piecing together the perfect pergola can be complex. That's why we have customer service representatives standing by to help.

You can reach us during regular business hours at (877) 760-6992. You can also send us an email at or live chat with us.

Are Zen Pergolas covered by a warranty?

All of our metal brackets and accessories are covered by a 5-year limited warranty. This means that they are warranted against manufacturer's defects upon arrival and that they are arranted to be effective & adequate for their purposes for a period of 5 years.

Shade canopies have a similar warranty, but only for a period of 1 year.

What size of wood should I use when building my pergola?

All of our brackets are built specifically for the following US-standard lumber sizes:

  • 4x4 (actual size: 3.5" x 3.5")
  • 2x4 (actual size: 1.5" x 3.5")
  • 6x6 (actual size: 5.5" x 5.5")
  • 2x6 (actual size: 1.5" x 5.5")

If you stick with these standard lumber sizes, the wood will slide right in to the brackets and fit perfectly. It couldn't be any easier if we tried!

What are your brackets made of?

No matter the bracket, the following specs apply:

  • 14-gauge steel (approximately 2mm thick)
  • Laser-cut, bent and welded
  • Advanced weather coating technology to withstand extreme weather conditions
  • Pre-drilled holes for securing wood and accessories to brackets