Should I build a pergola from scratch or a kit??? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-21-2012, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Should I build a pergola from scratch or a kit???

I'm getting ready to build a pergola from scratch in my back yard and was all set to go buy the lumber when I saw a Costco ad for a 10' x 12" cedar pergola kit for $1,450, including all hardware and delivery. Now I need to weigh the pros and cons of both options. Does anyone have a ballpark estimate of how much all lumber (cedar) and hardware would cost from a typical lumber yard to build a 10' x 12' pergola similar to the one in the link below?

I appreciate any insight.
Thanks.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11704746&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&eC at=BC|50126|90722|55910&N=4047913&Mo=6&pos=1&No=0& Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=55910&Ns=P_Price|1||P_Sign Desc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC39588-Cat90722&topnav=
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-21-2012, 05:41 PM
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I'm no expert on the subject of estimates, but I will say this.....if it were up to me, I would think that $1450 was a little pricey considering that I still had to do all of the work myself. I would also prefer to hit a lumber mill, and get the cedar a little cheaper, and build it myself. I think it's a pride thing and I think that you would enjoy the build more than following the instructions on someone else's kit. Not to mention, that I have never seen a kit that had all of the hardware, and all of the parts cut with no errors. Either way, I'm sorry that I wasn't able to give you a price, but I really do think that you could do it for cheaper than $1450 and have a gorgeous pergola to show off as well.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
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post #3 of 23 Old 02-21-2012, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenbo View Post
I'm no expert on the subject of estimates, but I will say this.....if it were up to me, I would think that $1450 was a little pricey considering that I still had to do all of the work myself. I would also prefer to hit a lumber mill, and get the cedar a little cheaper, and build it myself. I think it's a pride thing and I think that you would enjoy the build more than following the instructions on someone else's kit. Not to mention, that I have never seen a kit that had all of the hardware, and all of the parts cut with no errors. Either way, I'm sorry that I wasn't able to give you a price, but I really do think that you could do it for cheaper than $1450 and have a gorgeous pergola to show off as well.
+1. I agree. The cedar can be shopped for the best price. As for construction methods, there will likely be many free plans or suggestions on the internet to draw from. Besides, you have us for help.






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post #4 of 23 Old 02-21-2012, 05:50 PM
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Even if it costs you a little more--and it might--it's hard to put a price on the satisfaction of it being your unique design, and not one that was created by someone you don't know to appeal to the widest range of clueless consumers.

For just a little more, you can do it yourself.
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-21-2012, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kenbo View Post
I'm no expert on the subject of estimates, but I will say this.....if it were up to me, I would think that $1450 was a little pricey considering that I still had to do all of the work myself. I would also prefer to hit a lumber mill, and get the cedar a little cheaper, and build it myself. I think it's a pride thing and I think that you would enjoy the build more than following the instructions on someone else's kit. Not to mention, that I have never seen a kit that had all of the hardware, and all of the parts cut with no errors. Either way, I'm sorry that I wasn't able to give you a price, but I really do think that you could do it for cheaper than $1450 and have a gorgeous pergola to show off as well.
I'm in the same boat as you with having the pride to build it from scratch. The reason I was contemplating buying a kit is that in some cases they can be less expensive than buying the materials. But then again, you do usually get an inferior product too. I'll look to see if there are any lumber mills in my area (So Cal). From scratch is where I always stood until I saw the ad, scratched my head, and second guessed what I should do. Thanks Kenbo.

Last edited by blue sky; 02-21-2012 at 11:16 PM.
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-21-2012, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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+1. I agree. The cedar can be shopped for the best price. As for construction methods, there will likely be many free plans or suggestions on the internet to draw from. Besides, you have us for help.





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I've actually done quite a bit of research into different designs. I have all the tools, buddies, and beer (at the day's end) to put this up with no problem. It'll be a fun project.
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post #7 of 23 Old 02-21-2012, 08:16 PM
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I doubt there is $400 worth of lumber in that pergola, 4pcs 4"x4"x8' posts, 7 or 8 pcs 2"x4"x12' top purlins, 7 pcs 2"x6"x10' joists with arch cut out and waste placed on top , 2 pcs 2"x8"x8' corner brackets, 4pcs 2"x6"x12' carrying beams, few lengths of molding for the bottom of the posts, maybe a dozen carriage bolts and a half pound of nails or screws. Add a few common 2x4s for temporary bracing. The kit isn't even close to the actual cost of the materials but the cuts have been made for you. As long as you have some basic skills, you could even buy the necessary tools, a step ladder and do the concrete for the post holes and come out ahead, way ahead.
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-21-2012, 08:33 PM
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hey what part of socal are you from? im in san diego i might be able to send you to a few places.
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-21-2012, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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hey what part of socal are you from? im in san diego i might be able to send you to a few places.
I'm in Escondido. Do you know of a good mill in the area?
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-22-2012, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue sky View Post
I'm getting ready to build a pergola from scratch in my back yard and was all set to go buy the lumber when I saw a Costco ad for a 10' x 12" cedar pergola kit for $1,450, including all hardware and delivery. Now I need to weigh the pros and cons of both options. Does anyone have a ballpark estimate of how much all lumber (cedar) and hardware would cost from a typical lumber yard to build a 10' x 12' pergola similar to the one in the link below?

I appreciate any insight.
Thanks.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11704746&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&eC at=BC|50126|90722|55910&N=4047913&Mo=6&pos=1&No=0& Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=55910&Ns=P_Price|1||P_Sign Desc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC39588-Cat90722&topnav=

Most people on here will not know the cost nor availabilty of wood in southern California. You might want to provide that data point.

I would expect that your local cost may be a lot higher than many other parts of the country.

George
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post #11 of 23 Old 02-22-2012, 07:51 AM
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10 x 12 isn't very big if you plan to spend much time under it. I built a 16 x 20 foot pergola from pressure treated last summer for ~ $300...took less than a weekend. Cedar will definitely cost more, but cutting it yourself should save quite a bit.
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post #12 of 23 Old 02-22-2012, 08:29 AM
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Built one in CA from Redwood, milled everything myself, using only a router and a miter saw. Took two week-ends.

Can't remember the exact size, but it was bigger than 10 x 12 and I did a lot of fancy trim.

The materials cost me close to $1,800.

Pure mathematics is, in it's way, the poetry of logical ideas. - Albert Einstein.
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post #13 of 23 Old 02-22-2012, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by blue sky View Post
Costco ad for a 10' x 12" cedar pergola kit for $1,450,
You are kidding - - - right?

The one you build won't be limited to the skinny sticks that the commercially prepared kid will be. Plus it'll be your design and your work, whatever size, and as beefy or elegant as you please to make it.
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post #14 of 23 Old 02-22-2012, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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10 x 12 isn't very big if you plan to spend much time under it. I built a 16 x 20 foot pergola from pressure treated last summer for ~ $300...took less than a weekend. Cedar will definitely cost more, but cutting it yourself should save quite a bit.
That's a great looking pergola you made. Nice job. I want cedar because from everything I've read, it'll will be bug resistant, weather resistant (as long as I seal it well), and most importantly, the wife likes the way it looks.
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post #15 of 23 Old 02-22-2012, 12:13 PM
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.....

Last edited by user27606; 02-24-2012 at 02:21 PM. Reason: few errors fixed
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post #16 of 23 Old 02-22-2012, 03:59 PM
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around here for lumber there is that rockler in mira mesa
there is frost on mira mesa blvd. their prices aren't too bad
i don't know about up here but down in el centro the lowes and home depot would carry cedar fence pickets.
Google
Tule Peak Timber
Frost Hardwood
JW Lumber
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post #17 of 23 Old 02-22-2012, 04:34 PM
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Cost can vary due to your location and availability. I put this up a few years ago. It is all western red cedar except the beams are Alaskan yellow cedar. 16ft x 40ft. It took sixteen gallons of stain. I was just staring to build the planters in this pic. Check out my photo album for the pic.

Last edited by Burt; 02-22-2012 at 04:41 PM.
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post #18 of 23 Old 02-22-2012, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Google
Tule Peak Timber
Frost Hardwood
JW Lumber
Thanks for the these sources! JW isn't too far from my house.
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post #19 of 23 Old 03-07-2012, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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I went to a local mill (JW Lumber) and got a qoute for $1,300 for the cedar and all hardware. This is more than I had expected, but it is what it is. Also, they were cool and very helpful. I decided to (with outside advice) to not bury the posts in concrete, but to attach them to Simpson Strong Ties at grade.

I'm going with a 10x12 pergola, with the beams spanning the 12' sides and plan to use two 2x8s on each side of the 6x6 posts. I'll place the 2x6 rafters every 2'. Does anyone have any advice about the pairs of 2x8s spanning 12' will support this? If not, would 2x10s do the trick? I don't want them to sag.

Also, I've seen some designs where the posts have cutouts at the top for the beams to rest. Is the neccessary? Or can I simply bolt the beams to the posts without any cutouts? Thanks.
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post #20 of 23 Old 03-08-2012, 12:43 PM
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Are you anchoring posts down to concrete patio? You should check your local building codes. These things can have substantial wind loads.
Gosh, mine has had 40" of snow, then in June we get 80mph gusts sometimes. She's still steady....
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