Wooden Garden Pergolas
Create a Great Room, add some shade, dine outdoors, or just lounge by the pool under one of our handcrafted Redwood Garden Pergolas.
- History and Background: The Garden Pergola is our most traditional pergola. Similar variations go back thousands of years to pre-Roman times. Pergolas traditionally were built using the best quality wood available and then left unfinished to develop the character good wood shows after being outside "forever". The key to a successful long-term pergola project begins with the wood quality, then includes sizing, orientation, design and construction details. For example, the key to maximizing shade while maintaining as open a roof line as possible is to orient the main roof timbers north and south so that the sunrays are blocked as the sun rises and sets over the main roof rafters in the morning and late afternoons.
- Easy Sizing and Options: Begin by estimating the size you think will work for the space. Then, check the wood grades and other options in the Build it Your Way section to the right of the large photo above. Each Pergola is built your way. Our dedicated staff of designers and consultants stay with your ideas until we have something you are completely in love with. Every detail can be a standard option or customized as needed. If you want to add a detail or a size you do not see, just say the word.
- Built to Last: We are a forestry company. We hand select the best, fattest timbers from our forestlands for your project. Everything is ridiculously over built. All real wood and steel - no plastic/vinyl/ compressed glue/plywood or flimsy hardware or nails. Nothing lasts longer than California Redwood outdoors. We have over 20 years experience building, shipping and installing shade structures all over the country.
- Easy Design/Sizing Support: Your order's drawings are emailed within a couple days. The drawings are ideal so you don't have to figure it out beforehand. Usually just a couple emails with our design team is all you need until every detail is the way you want.
- Details Matter: All joints are notched so your pergola will never sag, warp, twist, or shrink. Each timber is finely sanded to a smooth to the touch feel. We use the best sealants on the market. We really do make the best wood shade structures you can buy anywhere. Check the competition carefully. Does any other manufacturer offer up to 30 year decay warranties?
- You Install or We Install?: Once you sign off on your drawings, your Pergola is fully erected and finely finished in the shop for easy re-assembly. All the stainless steel hardware is included. Just bolt the timbers back together. Most kits go back up in 6 to 8 hours with one helper (see Assembly & Care tab above). And, if you do not want to do the work, we can send our install team anywhere in the U.S.
- Turnaround Time & Financing: We can build in 2 to 3 weeks, but we recommend ordering 2 to 3 months in advance to have time to fine tune the details via the drawings. You can also take advantage of our 1/3rd deposit option on site to spread out the cash via a couple monthly payments.
- Questions? - Download the ebook "Everything you Wanted to Know about Pergolas" for answers to frequently asked questions or please contact our Pergola Specialist.
Specifications has the following sections, any of which you may go to directly by clicking on it:
DIMENSIONS & DRAWINGS (PROVIDED PRIOR TO CONSTRUCTION)
When we receive any Pergola order, we will provide you with a detailed set of drawings based on the options and sizes chosen. The drawings will clearly show all the details and dimensions from 3 different angles. They are an excellent tool for you to double check everything to be sure it is exactly as you'd like before it is built. Drawings are emailed within 3 business days and we'll revise your drawings as needed to make sure all details and sizing issues are perfected prior to beginning construction.
Below are some examples of drawings sent to prior customers:
Corner posts are 5 1/2" by 5 1/2" (standard sized 6x6s) and are recessed 12" in from roof dimensions (This can be adjusted to meet your needs just let us know).
Roof support timbers (lintels) and rafters are 1 7/8" x 5 3/4". If you prefer a different sizing or style write what you would like in the comments section or contact us.
Posts normally ship 9' long. 9 posts make the top of the roof 9' also and give you an 8' 4" clearance ("ceiling height") under the rafters. About 90% of our pergola customers go with the default 9' post height. If you'd like your pergola taller or shorter, just select Other Height and write in what you would like in the comments section.
The maximum roof size is 20' in either direction with a 4 post structure. The maximum span (with the standard timber sizes mentioned above) is 18' 2 1/2" on center between posts. Structures over 20' in any direction are built with an additional post to support roofs between 20 and 40 feet. For example, a 30' x 20' free standing pergola has 6 posts.
Forever Redwood Pergola kits are completely assembled in the shop prior to shipping to be certain everything fits together perfectly. All timbers are notched into one another to increase structural strength and to lock all your pergolas timbers in place so they will never sag, twist or move. There are hundreds of notches in the larger pergolas. Full notching is rarely practiced because it is labor intensive, but it is one of the secrets to a long lasting beautiful pergola.
All assembly hardware is included and is stainless steel.
For additional long-term structural strength, we add solid timber blocking in-between the dual support timbers as shown in the drawing below. With this blocking, the dual supports are in effect converted into one solid 5 3/4 inch x 61/2 inch or 7 1/4 inch x 6 1/2 inch timber as shown below:
TRIM TO HIDE ELECTRICAL WIRING
If you plan to run wiring to add lights or a fan or two to your Pergola, we can add a cutout to your timbers and add a trim piece that will hide the electrical wiring beneath it (see drawings). The trim is centered on the interior side of the Post and or is added to Roof Supports. It is attached with finish nails for a smooth finish.
If you only want to add it to just one or two posts, please let us know in the Comment box which posts you'd like them on. They will be included in your Pergola drawings that will be emailed to you within 3 business days of receiving your Pergola order. At that point, you can make any adjustments in case the trim was place on the wrong post or posts.
PERGOLA ROOF STYLES
We offer 6 Roof Styles to choose from. Below are comparative drawings of the 6 options for pergola roofs. The traditional Garden Pergolas are a flat roof design. We offer 3 timber spacing options for these Garden Pergolas:
1. Open Roof with Slats spaced at 18” and Rafters at 18” - This standard Open Roof is the most popular. It uses 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" roof slats spaced 18" apart on center (or slightly less depending on roof size so as to be equidistant from one another). The rafters below the slats are also spaced 18" on center or slightly less and run perpendicular to the slats. This spacing results in a balance between visibility and shade. You get excellent visibility and a good amount of shade in the mornings and afternoons when the sun is not directly overhead.
PLEASE NOTE: The best way to increase shading while retaining maximum visibility and not spending anymore money on extra roof timbers is to orient the rafters north and south. If the rafters are running north and south, the sun has to rise and set over them. This gives you a lot of shade in the mornings and afternoons.
2. Open Roof with Slats spaced at 12” and Rafters at 18” - If you prefer more shade, you can increase the amount of roof slats to 12" apart on center while leaving the rafters spaced at 18". Pricing is a bit higher to cover the added timber and notching involved.
3. Open Roof with Slats spaced at 6” and Rafters at 18” – For the maximum shade option with the traditional garden pergola open roof.
We usually recommend 18” on center spacing for rafters and slats initially. If you think you'll need more shade, you can bring the slats in to 12". It is easy to underestimate the amount of shade the 18" on center spacing creates. I after installation you realize you prefer extra shade, you can add slats then. We keep your construction details filed so you can add roof slats anytime and create the amount of shade that will work best for you.
4. The Lattice Roof – this style creates the most shade and privacy. It's the lowest cost option to maximize shading. Lattice panels are overbuilt using 3/8" x 1 3/4" slats with 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" openings and 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" framing. Each panel is fastened in-between the rafters and the lattice is protected from above with additional roof slats spaced every 24" on center. The rafters are normally set at 24 inches on center when lattice panels are ordered.
5. Arched Roof with Lattice Panels - If you prefer both a lot of shade and a stylish arched design, then this popular Pergola roof style is for you. The arched rafters are set 24" on center. The lattice panels are fastened in-between the rafters and sit on the Roof Support timbers on either end of the Pergola. The Arched Design has very tall Roof slats measuring 1 5/8" x 5 3/4" notched above the arched rafterstall roof slats spaced 24" on center above them for addiitional strength and protection
6. Arched Roof without Lattice Panels - Same beautiful Arched Rafters but with an open roof (no Lattice Panels). The arches are set closer together at 18" on center with the 1 5/8" x 5 3/4" roof slats above also set closer together at 18" on center for addiitional strength and protection. The Arched Roof without the Lattice Panels provides considerable morning and afternoon shade. Because of the taller slats used in the Arched Roof, you receive almost the same amount of shade whether you orient the arches or the slats above them North and South. So, this design gives you the added flexibility of orienting it the way that works best for your spot while still maintaining a maximum of both visibility and shade
DIRECTION OF ROOF SUPPORTS
When ordering a Rectangular Pergola (Length and Width of Roof are not identical), you can orient your Pergola's roof in the direction that best suits you.
Roof Supports can run Lengthwise (the long roof length) or Widthwise (the short roof length). The labeled drawings and photos below explain.
All Pergola roofs have 3 structural levels (see drawings):
First level: Roof Supports. We use 2 Roof Support timbers notched to either side of each post to insure structural integrity.
Second level: The Rafters sit above and are notched into the Roof Supports.
Third level: The Slats sit above and are notched into the Rafters.
The direction of the Roof Supports can be either:
For Open Roof Pergolas (no lattice panels), you can increase shading without sacrificing visibility by having your Roof Rafters run North and South. This way, the sun rises and sets over the Rafters for maximum morning and late afternoon shade.
Roof support timbers and Rafters are 1 7/8" x 5 3/4" for all Pergolas styles (Garden, Enclosed and Arched). Roof slats are 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" for the Garden and the Enclosed Pergolas but 1 3/4" x 5 1/2" for the Arched Pergolas. If you prefer a different sizing or style, let us know in the comments box or contact us.
You can add Lattice Privacy Panels to your Pergola or Pavilion:
The lattice is normally made with 1 3/4" W slats with 1 3/4" W openings that are diagonal. We offer you several options with the Lattice Privacy Panels:
- Lattice Privacy Panels can be up to 48" H each. If you prefer a shorter height, just let us know in the comment box at checkout. If you want to have privacy panels from the roof to the ground on one or more sides, you'll need 2 panels to cover the approximate 8' height.
- Lattice Privacy Panel(s) can be made long enough to fit between the posts (up to a 17' 1" distance). You have the option of adding 1, 2, or 3 panels. We always prepare drawings prior to building any Pergola. So, you'll have time to review your initial selection and make any changes to be certain the Privacy Panels are located where you'd like and that they are the correct height and height off the ground, etc.
- When ordering Lattice Privacy Panels, please let us know in the Comments Box at checkout the height off the ground you'd like the bottom of your panel(s) to be—we'll drill installation holes in the posts to achieve the height you specify. If no height is specified, we'll ship your posts without holes so you can determine the best height during installation.
You can add Shutter Panels to your Pergola or Pavilion:
We can build your Privacy Panels as shutters. The shutters sections open in and the bottom half of the wall is usually a solid wood panels as shown. Shutters are fixed and do not open and close. Shutter panels are normally made full length from 6 inches above the ground to the height of the first timber in the roof or 8’ total height. If you require a different total height, let us know.
Pergola With Shutter Panels
You Can add Louvered Panels for your Pergola or Pavilion:
You can have louvers installed for your Pergola for maximum flexibility in terms of light allowed in and privacy. Louver panels are made up to 8’ tall and the louvers normally begin 6” off the ground. If you require louvers for only a portion of the height of the wall or a special size or shape, please let us know.
Pergola With Louvers Panels
PERGOLA HEIGHT (POST SIZE)
The standard pergola height is usually 9ft. and 90% of our installations are this height. Attached to ground level a 9ft post will create an 8’ 4” ceiling height under the rafters. We also offer post lengths of 8.5 ft, 9.5ft and 10 ft. Note for any of these your ceiling height will be 8 inches less than the post size selected.
For any custom length, just note the size you want in the Comments Special Request section. We’ll contact you if it changes the pricing of your pergola.
PERGOLA ANCHORING KITS
All Pergolas posts should be attached to the ground. Below are the most common scenarios.
To anchor the posts, you need metal anchors and bolts. Our anchor kits, whether for concrete or wood decks come with everything you need to attach your Pergola securely.
OPTION 1: Standard Anchor Kit
The metal anchors sit on the surface and are attached using either 2 anchor bolts (for concrete) or 2 lag bolts (if you attaching to a wood deck). The posts sit on the anchors and are attached to the anchors with lag bolts provided (2 per posts). A wood trim box is included to hide the metal from view. See anchor kit installation images below.
For paver patios and flagstone patios we don't recommend attaching directly to these surfaces because you may have issues of cracking or movement long term. Instead we recommend installing footings (concrete foundations for the posts) to make sure you have zero issues long term.
If you are placing the Pergola on a paver patio, flagstone, or undeveloped ground, we recommend digging holes 30" deep (in snow areas adjust depth to go below the frost line by 6”) and placing 8" diameter cardboard Sono tubing in the hole up to ground level. Then add some metal and rebar and pour concrete flush to ground level (or level with the walking surface area of your paver or flagstone patio). Allow up to 7 days for the concrete to cure before attaching metal anchors at the top of the concrete pour (see below).
By going with an 8 inch diameter concrete pour, when you finish attaching the posts to the anchors and adding the trim, the posts at the base with the trim box included wind up being 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" and they hide the concrete from view from above. The posts with the trim boxes will look like they are just sitting on the ground or the flagstone or pavers. You can buy anchors at your local hardware store, but we do not recommend it because if you set the anchors in the concrete pour and they are not exactly on center to the fraction of an inch, your installation will not go smoothly. By using our anchor kit, if your concrete pour is off by a half inch or so, you can always place the anchor a bit off the center of the concrete pour at installation to compensate.
If you do not want the posts in the weather and do not mind being able to see the concrete from below, pour the concrete half an inch above ground level.
The photos above show the 4 simple steps to follow once your surface below the Pergola is in place. Choose the anchor kit for the appropriate surface:
- Stone, Brick or Concrete - Anchor Bolts (1/2” x 4” Stainless Steel 307A) for attaching to stone, brick, or concrete.
- Wood (e.g., Wood Deck) - Lag Bolts (3/8" x 4” Stainless Steel 307A) for attaching to a wood deck
Read more about anchoring your Pergola in our FAQ, including the best grade of wood to choose for your climate.
More technical details:
Ideally Confirm your Pergola Drawings prior to laying foundations – especially for paver or flagstone patios.
By confirming your Pergola drawings first you may realize that you overlooked something or you may want to make a change that will affect the length or width. For example, for a standard 10' x 12' Arched Pergola, the posts are recessed back 12 inches from the edge of the roof. This places your posts at 8' x 10' to the outside 4 corners of the posts and at 7' 6 1/2" x 9' 6 1/2" on center. If you are certain this is what you want, you can do the footings before ordering your Pergola and before you receive your drawings for your order (all Pergola orders receive drawings within 3 business days for your review to give you the time and tool to make last minute adjustments before building). Often, when customers see their drawings, they decide to change some detail like adding a bit more space between the posts or you may want to add a foot or two to the length or width.
If you are in the process of laying a foundation for a Pergola that will require footings (recommended for flagstone or paver patios), it is best to have the design of the Pergola confirmed so you or your contractor can incorporate footings in the exact location (see descriptions of footing above). Once footings are installed you will not be able to move the post position after reviewing the drawings without causing yourself an unnecessary headache.
Paver or Flagstone Patio Installation details - If you are placing your Pergola on a paver patio, pour the concrete to be level with the finished pavers. This way, after adding the trim, the bottom of the trim will rest atop the pavers seamlessly. Since the paver patio is usually a few inches above grade, you may have to pour a bit higher than on undeveloped ground to get the post height to line up exactly with the paver height.
If you decide to order the Anchoring Kit you’ll have all the hardware you need and will not need anything from the hardware store if you are attaching to an existing deck. If building on undeveloped ground, just add the concrete and a bit of rebar as described above. Choose the anchor kit for the appropriate surface either wood decking or stone, brick or concrete surfaces.
OPTION 2: Gale-Wind Anchor Kit
Gale Wind Anchors are recommended for installations where strong winds of up to 80 mph are expected occasionally. It is not recommended for hurricane areas. Each Pergola and Pavilion order includes drawings for concrete installation instructions. The Gale Wind Anchors are normally installed in a 30 inch deep concrete pour that is 10" x 10" or 10" in diameter as shown:
Note: In areas where the ground freezes, please go 6 inches below your frost line with the concrete pour.
OPTION 3: Hurricane Wind Anchor Kit
We have installed our Pergola in Hurricane areas with the Hurricane Wind Anchor kit shown above. It is rated to withstand winds of up to 110 miles per hour. The recommended installation is to dig a 12" x 12" hole that is 30" deep and place a significant portion of the anchor in concrete underground as shown in the drawings below. For best results, we recommend doing the concrete work at least 3 days ahead of the Pavilion install so the concrete will cure prior to attaching the Pavilion to it. For best results, we recommend doing the concrete work at least 3 days ahead of the Pavilion install so the concrete will cure prior to attaching the Pavilion to it. You then place the wood posts in the cradle and bolt the wood to the anchor. We supply wood trim pieces to hide the metal hardware completely so the bottom of the posts looks like they have a wooden boot around them when installation is complete.
- If your Pergola is placed in a snow area, the concrete must be 6 inches below the frost line
- At least 2" clearance between edge and steel to be filled by concrete
All our furniture ships finely sanded to 220 grit for a smooth to the touch finish.
The most popular finish is our Transparent Premium Sealant. This sealant leaves your furniture looking natural and helps keep the beautiful wood surface colors from fading for several years. We use Sikkens brand finishes because they are the best finishes on the market.
Transparent Premium Sealant - Recommended for Outdoors:
Below are the 5 grades of wood we offer with the Transparent Premium Sealant applied. The color tones shown are close representations of the color your furniture will look like. There is no extra charge for the Transparent Premium Sealant:
Redwood(15 yr Warranty)
Mature(20 yr Warranty)
Old Growth(30 yr Warranty)
Mosaic Eco-(10 yr Warranty)
Douglas Fir(10 yr Warranty)
We also offer the Transparent Premium Sealant with the following stains added. There is a small charge for adding these stains:
Stains with Premium Sealant (Coffee and Cherry):
If you are applying your own stain or want the surface color to fade to a "weathered look" in a few months.
Off-White Oil-Based Primer:
If you are painting a light color. We apply two coats so that it is ready for one final coat.
Gray Oil-Based Primer:
If you are painting a darker color. We apply two coats so that it is ready for the final coat.
Wax Finish - Recommended for Indoors:
If your furniture is for indoors, we recommend the Wax finish. Your furniture will ship with 2 coats of Howard's Feed 'N Wax. Without maintenance the finish becomes a beautiful patina. With minimal care, the finish gets richer and more beautiful year after year.
If you need a specific stain, let us know.
Photo Series: Transforming Undeveloped Ground in to a Garden Pergola
Assembly Instructions for: Garden Pergolas
Assembly Instructions for: How to Anchor Your Pergola
All You Need is a Few Tools and a Friend
Assembly is best done by two people and usually takes about half a day to a day, depending on size. Pergolas need a ratchet wrench, a hammer and a ladder to put them together. In some cases you might need a drill to attach the posts into concrete. As with all our products, we preassemble pergolas in our shop to ensure everything fits together. All hardware is included and all parts are clearly labeled before it is shipped. We also include detailed step-by-step instructions.
Take a look at our assembly instructions below for specific details. If you plan to pour concrete to hold the posts, the project will require an additional half day prior to assembly. Please do the concrete pour a few days prior to assembly to allow the concrete to cure.
Special talent is not required to re-assemble our pergolas. But, if you would like help, just let us know. We have our own team for installations in California, Nevada and Southern Arizona and a network of local contractors we recommend for farther afield.
Care: Your Forever Redwood Furniture will last for decades in year-round weather without maintenance.
Depending on the wood grade you choose, even with harsh year-round outdoor conditions, you can expect your furniture to last from ten to forty years without maintenance of any kind.
Being outside year round is rough on any woods finish. The surface absorbs UV rays, pollution, constant variations in moisture and temperature and it also oxidizes. This is why most wood just doesnt hold up and the surface color slowly changes towards a silver patina over the years. But, with Forever Redwood, you dont have to worry. The silver patina is surface deep only (less than 1/64") and is not indicative of decay. Your set will last decades and is not compromised in any way by the surface color change. For example, we keep our display items as is without refinishing to show off this natural aging (we like the patina!).
Although Forever Redwood is maintenance-free, we recommended you take a few minutes as needed to clean by either hosing down and/or brushing/dusting away accumulated debris (no soap or chemicals needed). If youd like to keep your set looking its best for decades, please go to: Care and Finish
Keep the colors looking vibrant for decades
A quick power washing every 5 to 10 years clears away the accumulated grim, UV surface burning and the old sealant in a few minutes. When power washing be careful not to spray close to the surface or you may cut into the grain of the wood. Once dry, go over any rough spots to smooth out and ready for sealing. Youll need $2 and 10 minutes to do it. Pick up 2 sheets of sandpaper (one 100 grit and one 220 grit). Go over the spots with 100 grit for ten strokes or so and dust off. Then do the same with the fine 220 grit. Redwood sands easily. Dust off and youre ready for sealing.
For best results, sand in the direction of the grain (same direction of the growth lines in the wood). For example, on a picnic tabletop, sand in the lengthwise direction of the boards. After sanding, choose any stain/sealant you like. Redwood takes well to most.
The secret to outdoor longevity begins and ends with the wood. We use generous amounts of the most decay resistant wood available. We encourage our customers to compare photos of our items side by side with any competing product. Thickness counts. Furniture that is thin and light simply won't last in the year round weather.
To keep your furniture beautiful, we use only stainless steel hardware and the highest quality stains and sealants. We use only the Sikkens brand of sealants.
Our primary customer has always been the homeowner that appreciates spending a bit more for quality that will last decades.
Our products are installed with organizations that appreciate longevity like the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. military installations, State and City parks, golf clubs and hotels
We are favored by many landscape architects and contractors because they can count on exceptional quality and quick personal service to complete projects.
We build each item by hand. This insures your set is finely finished and carefully inspected. Old-fashioned hand building also allows us to adjust the size or design of any item to fit your needs.
Because we are a forestry company, we can offer 5 exceptional wood grades to choose from our carefully managed forests with warranties of up to 30 years against decay in any weather. Click for more about our 5 wood grades
Wood decay is warrantied up to 30 years depending on the wood grade. No other outdoor furniture manufacturer has warranties like this. The key is the excellent quality of our wood and the extra-thick timber designs of all our pieces.
Wood Grades and Decay Warranty:
- Douglas-fir: 10 years
- Mosaic Eco-Wood: 10 years
- Redwood: 15 years
- Mature Redwood: 20 years
- Old-Growth Redwood: 30 years
Forever Redwood stands behind its products. We are committed to quickly resolving any issues that might occur. For more information please see our Warranty page.
We offer 4 Shipping Options in the U.S.:
Priority Shipping (ships in 2 to 3 weeks)
Standard Shipping (ships in 4 to 6 weeks)
Free Shipping in the Continental U.S. (ships in 8 to 10 weeks)
Wait & Save Shipping (ships in 12 to 14 weeks) - Free Shipping plus save 5% on your order.
Yes, you can have free shipping plus save 5% off your order! We carefully hand build each Forever Redwood item. When you choose a longer shipout date, you give us more time to build. This lowers our cost and we pass the savings to you. If you choose the Wait & Save Shipping option and prefer we ship out a specific date (up to 6 months in advance), just enter the date in the Comment Box at Checkout. If no note is included, we'll ship in 3 months.
Orders ship from San Diego, CA. Add 3 to 6 business days transit time (depending on location).
We ship to any country. Canada orders ship in 6 weeks. To see Canadian shipping costs, just add item to cart.
For orders outside the U.S. or Canada, just enter your country in the shipping information section at checkout or in the shopping cart to see your freight cost. We ship outside the U.S. or Canada in 6 weeks. For all international shipments, the shipping companies handle any customs paperwork and then contact you to arrange delivery.
Assembly Service Available in California: Just add a note in the comment box at checkout that you'd like "Hand-Delivery & Assembly". We'll email a quote. Minimum $95 assembly charge.