Pergola Kits Are a Speedy Way to Spruce Up a Deck or Patio

Trex Pergola kits are made of cellular PVC TrexTrim and a structural aluminum core. The kits are available in myriad styles and options and include the precut components and hardware necessary to install. They are paintable and may be attached to a structure or be freestanding.

The pergola is offered in two models, the standard Trex Pergola and the new Trex Pergola with Shade Tree Canopy, which features a built-in retractable canopy system. Compared to the standard model, the Shade Tree has a wider rafter spacing of approximately 30 inches to accommodate the canopies, and the stringers are aligned with the spacer bars of the canopy for an improved appearance. Both are suitable for residential or commercial environments.

For canopy pergolas, more than 40 decorator awning fabrics are available and are guaranteed not to fade. A patented, built-in awning wind-protection device is used on each section of the canopy. Although Trex recommends the canopies be retracted when not in use, if left extended during wind storms, the canopies will release so they can float freely in the tracks to minimize the danger of damage. Canopies can be removed easily for winter storage or for cleaning.

The kits may be ordered by the width and projection. Width is the length of the beam, including the decorative ends (approximately 12 inches each). Projection is the length of the rafters including the decorative ends (approximately 9 inches each).

To help clients visualize how a pergola will look, Trex offers a rendering service that will provide a perspective drawing of the design for a fee. The fee will be applied to the purchase price if the kit is purchased from Trex.

In addition to standard sizes, custom designs are offered. Through the use of computer-aided design and tooling, Trex has the capability to create longer spans, unique shapes and curves, and configure components to a custom size.

For those contemplating mounting swings, hanging chairs or other objects from the pergola, Trex cautions the pergolas were not designed to support heavy items. Detailed specifications concerning load performance, such as snow and wind loads, have been determined by actual load testing by licensed independent engineers and are available from the manufacturer.

In brief, the pergolas meet code requirements for winds loads up to 160 mph, Exposure C.

Trex states these are the only production pergola kits to be actually tested to prove they meet the requirements to withstand hurricane-type winds with coastal exposure, explaining the designs were first tested based on computer models and then physically tested and modified to meet code.

As for installation, the company says it is important to ensure columns are mounted solidly to the deck or patio. For ground or deck mounts, 6 1/2-inch TrexTrim post wrap can be used with a treated wooden 6 by 6. For attached models, the brackets may be mounted to the surface of the patio. For freestanding models, the support posts should be set 30 inches or more into the ground for patios and mounted securely to framing when added to a deck.