Cedar pergolas are the quintessential example of a traditional Mediterranean-inspired pergola. The strong perpendicular beams encourage the growth of climbing vines and flowers and invite your guests to enjoy the garden for an hour … or two. A pergola creates a gathering place that you didn’t even know you needed. But once you have it, you’ll never turn back.
With so many different cedar pergolas to choose from, narrowing them down can be a bit cumbersome. After taking a few factors into consideration, however, you’ll be able to choose the pergola that is ideal for your purposes, backyard size, and budget.
How And Where You’ll Be Using It
Pergolas can be used in a variety of ways. They can serve as a small haven in the garden, provide a bit of coverage over an outdoor dinner table, or create shade poolside. By having an idea of what you’ll be using it for, you can more easily narrow down your options.
If you’re wanting the pergola to serve as a source of shade, consider options that can accommodate a shade sail or pergola cover. Some pergola options offer a model-specific shade that you can purchase separately. Or, check out our pergola canopy buying guide for one that fits the dimensions of your pergola.
Once you have an idea of what you’re going to use the pergola for and where you’re going to put it, it’s time to think about size. Pergolas come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from a small 6’ x 6’ to an extra large 12’ x 20’. You’ll want to be sure to provide yourself with plenty of room to not only house the pergola but to assemble it as well.
It’s important to consider two different dimensions: the length and height of the arbor top and the overall area when you’re standing inside the structure. In general, these are two completely different sizes, so paying attention to both is key. Accounting for the height of any nearby trees, foliage, or other structures is important when you’re looking at the dimensions of the arbor.
Alternatively, taking into consideration the dimensions of the inside of the pergola itself is important because the last thing you want is for your patio set or outdoor dining table to not fit. Also, if you have any tall family members … remember to pick a pergola that they can comfortably fit underneath without having to duck!
Treated vs. Untreated Cedar
Pre-stained cedar pergolas are for those who want their pergola fast. You can set it up and be ready to enjoy your new backyard oasis instantly. However, unfinished wood allows for you to choose the stain color of your choice. Consider also if the wood is finished and weather-resistant. If not, you’ll want to consider doing that on your own before assembling the finished product.
Cedar pergolas available for sale online range in cost from approximately $500 to $6000. Most cedar pergolas fall in the $1000 to $2000 range. The most important factors in the cost of cedar pergolas are:
- Whether a canopy is included or not
- Whether the pergola is stained or unfinished
The least expensive cedar pergola we’d recommend is the 12′ x 10′ Cedar Pergola. The cost is low because it’s a bit smaller than other options on the list.
The most expensive cedar pergola on our list is the 16′ x 10′ Pergola. The cost is high because the pergola is a larger size.
12’ x 10’ Cedar Pergola
Arbor Top: 12’ W x 10’ L
Interior Space: 7’ W x 9’ L x 6’7’’ H
Material: Pre-stained cedar
At 10’ x 12’, this pergola is a reasonable size for a backyard or garden without taking up your entire outdoor space. The interior would easily fit a few Adirondack chairs, but if you’re trying to fit your outdoor dining table, it will be a bit too snug. The kits comes with pre-cut wood that is ready to assemble. Reviewers say that it takes around 6 hours to put this pergola together.
With pre-stained, pre-cut, pre-drilled cedar, there isn’t much in the way of preparing the wood for assembly. One reviewer does mention that weatherproofing the pergola would be a good idea. The diagonal braces make for a sturdy, reliable structure that will stand up to all sorts of weather conditions.
As for the hardware, it’s all included and is powder-coated for extra strength and protection against the elements.
Backyard Discovery 14’ x 10’ Cedar Pergola
Arbor Top: 14’ W x 10’ L x 8’ H
Interior Space: 12’ W x 8’ L
This larger pergola is a multi-functional option that has a built-in bench and a table area. Unlike the 10’ x 12’ option, this 14’ x 10’ pergola could easily fit an outdoor dining table and a large patio set with room to move. Though it will take closer to 10 hours to assemble, all the cedar wood is pre-cut, pre-drilled, and pre-stained.
One reviewer did mention, however, that the bolts are coated in black paint, making them a bit too thick to fit perfectly into the pre-drilled holes. They said with a tap-and-die kit they were able to fix all the hardware.
The pergola kit comes with a concrete anchoring system, ensuring that it will stay put during wind storms. The double resin feet work to prevent decay from groundwater, something that’s important if you live anywhere wet and soggy.
Yardistry 12’ x 12’ Cedar Pergola With Sun Shade
Arbor Top: 12’ W x 12’ L x 8’ 2’’ H
Interior Space: 10’ W x 10’ L
Material: Pre-stained cedar
If you’re in the market for a pergola and you have an incredibly sunny yard or garden, you might consider this 12’ x 12’ option. It includes an attached sunshade! The cedar itself is pre-drilled, pre-cut, and pre-stained. The arbor top gives the interior a bit more height for your taller guests.
The sunshade snaps on and off for easy removal and cleaning. The sunbrella material is waterproof and protects you from the sun.
The unique criss-cross design of the beams separates this cedar pergolas from some of the other options on our list, providing a contemporary, modern flair to your backyard.
As for the installation, this pergola is surface-mounted, and the mounting hardware is not included.
Breeze 10.5’ x 12’ Pergola
Arbor Top: 12′ W x 13′ 6” L x 10′ H
Interior Space: 10.5′ W x 12′ L x 8′ H
Material: Unfinished red cedar
Made out of renewable resources that are naturally resistant to decay and insects, this 10.5’ x 12’ pergola is pre-cut, pre-drilled, and unfinished. Without a finish, you can choose the stain color you prefer. All the hardware needed to assemble this pergola is included and it is installed with anchor points.
As for the interior, at a height of 8 feet, even your super-tall guests won’t have a problem feeling comfortable. The interior may not fit an entire outdoor dining set, but it could easily fit a hot tub or your existing patio set.
Breeze 16’ x 10’ Pergola
Arbor Top: 16′ W x 11.5′ L x 9.5’ H
Interior Space: 16′ W x 10′ L x 8′ H
Material: Unfinished red cedar
This massive 16’ x 10’ cedar pergola is large enough to fit whatever you need it to. A large outdoor dining set, a hot tub, or an extensive patio collection will all fit with plenty of room to spare. The hardware is made out of stainless steel, and the pergola is installed with spiked anchors.
The cedar is unfinished, allowing you to decide what stain or paint color you’d prefer. The interior space has a height of 8 feet, allowing for plenty of headspace.
Cedar Pergola With Deck and Swing Hangers
Installation: Anchored Stakes
Interior Space: Available in 6’ x 8’, 8’ x 10’, and 8’ x 8’
Material: Available in unfinished or finished Western red cedar
For an all-in-one option, this A & L brand pergola is a solid choice. This pergola is available in three different sizes and nine stains to fit your needs and preferences. They are naturally weather and pest-resistant. With an attached deck and swing hangers, you could use this pergola for a variety of purposes.
In addition to adding a swing, you also have the option of adding curtains for a bit of privacy or shade.
Featured image courtesy of Field Outdoor Spaces on Flickr (Creative Commons)