The Best Heavy Duty Pergola Kits & Why…

Pergolas are a great way of adding a focal point to your garden or patio to eat, relax, or have drinks underneath.  They’re often used to shade ponds and hot tubs too.

Decent pergolas must be pressure treated to preserve the wood, have strong posts and canopy section if included, and ideally, have a guarantee included.

Best Pergola Kits in 2022

Free-standing Wooden & Metal Pergolas DIY Kits


Dunster House


Arbor Garden



(L x W x H)

3.30m x 3.30m x 1.97m (10' 9" x 10' 9" x 6'5")

3.6 x 3.6 x 2.85 metres

3.00m x 4.80m x 2.70m

3.0m x 3.0m x 2.3 metres

3 x 2.85 metres (H = 2.20m & 2.80m)








Pressure Treated Spruce

Softwood Pine & Redwood Posts

Construction grade CLS C24 pressure-treated softwood Pine


Steel frame, PU canopy

Release Date

27 July 2020

26 May 2019

26 May 2019

2 Feb. 2019

15 Jun. 2016

My Pergola Kit Reviews

Good quality and heavy-duty pergola kits

Dunster House Utopia Pergola Kit Review

The Utopia freestanding pergola kit by Dunster House is ideal for covering a large deck or patio area to provide shade and a strong focal point in your garden.

The pre-notched beams make assembly easy and eliminate the need for tools and sawing of the beams.  The roof has a growing lattice ready for attaching climbing plants.

Dunster House Utopia Wooden Pergola

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The 4 posts that support the roof are very strong and have extra thick bottom sections to provide additional support and strength during harsh weather conditions.

Should you require a slightly smaller pergola then there is the 2x2m pergola available and also a larger 4m x 3m pergola from the same company.


Things I Like...

  • Very solid structure
  • Pressure-treated
  • Extra support on legs
  • Lattice roof ready for climbers
  • No planning permission needed
  • Build your own roof if necessary
  • Takes 3-4 hours to build
  • Doesn’t have to be fixed down

Things I Don't Like...

  • Holes are not pre-drilled


Lattice roof

The lattice roof is ready for you to add climbers for your natural eco-friendly roof that will attract wildlife but also help your pergola to fit naturally into your garden area.

You can also thread solar fairy lights through the lattice roof frame to enable you to use the pergola when it begins to get dark but also during the winter if necessary.

Large size

With a walk-in height of 6ft 5in (1.97m), you and your guests should be able to walk into the pergola without ducking down.  The pre-notched beams just slot into each other.

The uprights that support the roof are 70mm by 70mm (7x7cm).  The extra support for the upper section is really helpful as you begin to add decorations, plants, or even a roof.

No planning permission needed

Because the total height of this pergola is less than 2.5m high then no planning permission is required and you can place it as close to the border as you need to.

However, building over 2.5m high must be placed 2 metres away from the boundary (fence line)

What about a Summerhouse?

Champion Wooden Garden Pergola Kit Review

The wood of this pergola has a natural, light green look to it and has been pressure treated to increase the durability, longevity, and overall strength of the wooden uprights and roof.

The strength of the frame is also reinforced by the company ‘Champion’ using redwood as this type of premium wood is regularly used for its weather, insect, and rot resistance.

Champion Wooden Garden Pergola Kit 3.6m x 3.6m and 4 posts

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The instructions are easy to follow as the holes are pre-drilled, the beams are notched and pre-cut to size.

If you’re impressed with the quality, strength, and style of the Champion range of pergolas then there’s definitely a size for you, with 42 different sizes available to buy.

Things I Like...

  • Pressure-treated timber
  • Pre-drilled holes in the timber
  • Straightforward to build
  • Good quality Redwood posts
  • Use on a hard or soft surface
  • Corner post double brace support
  • Rot-resistant up to 15 years
  • Frame side will support drapes

Things I Don't Like...

  • Takes 2 to build


A roof or shade can be added

As the cross beams along the top of the pergola are frequent and pre-notched to ensure that they sit flush and equal along the supporting uprights a roof can be attached.

You could decide to alter the height of 2 of the uprights to provide a lean-to or slope feature should you decide to add a solid roof so the rainwater would run off naturally.

Sliding pergola roofs can also be bought separately HERE to provide shade more than rain protection as they are often very narrow and multiple shade sails may be required.

Freestanding pergola

The pergola comes with posts measuring 2.7m as standard.

This gives you two options – sinking the pergola in 0.4m of concrete (leaving the total height at 2.3m) or cutting the height down to 2.3m for a freestanding structure.

This is great because it means that you don’t have to worry about the extra expense that concreting the pergola into position would bring.

If you prefer a freestanding structure that can be moved to suit you, then you have the option here too.

Construction grade timber

The rafters are made of the highest quality construction-grade timber available, making them rot-resistant for up to 15 years, just like the redwood corner posts.

Construction-grade timber is built to last, and the quality of the materials along with the thick wood (four 4×4″ legs, and six 2×6″ main beams) make it a long-lasting and hardy frame.

Arbor Garden Lean-To Pergola Kit Review

Want to connect your outdoor space and living area together? Then do it with a lean-to pergola by Arbor, as it adds a lot of ‘curb appeal to the outside of your property.


Arbor includes two types of foot attachments. The spike pergola feet is perfect for supporting the legs on grass, and the bolt-down pergola feet is perfect for concrete.

Wooden Garden Lean-to Pergola Kit

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The sturdy base is perfect for turning the already beautiful timber into a climbing trellis for roses and other climbing plants, creating a really natural-looking outdoor ‘room’.

Because of the lean-to design, you will need to attach it to the wall of your property.  This provides the sturdy frame with extra support, helping it stay put during poor weather.

Things I Like...

  • Heavy-duty timber
  • Different feet options
  • Range of sizes available
  • Construction grade pinewood
  • Natural green impregnated timber
  • Lean-to design is stylish
  • Instructions clear to follow
  • Environmentally conscious brand

Things I Don't Like...

  • Wall fixings not included
  • Electric screwdriver required


Sturdy frame

Whenever you see a lean-to pergola like this, there’s a tendency to think that they compromise the frame in some way, because there aren’t your typical 4 points of contact with the ground.

By attaching it to your solid wall, however, you actually get increased stability in the frame, so the two 4 by 4-inch legs have less work to do to keep the pergola upright in harsh weather.


Pressure-treated construction grade pinewood is the material they use here, and it means that the wood is protected against rot and weather for up to 15 years.

This is excellent news for you because when you attach a lean-to pergola to the side of your home, it almost becomes an extension of your home, so rotting, unhealthy wood would be damaging to the look of your home.

Impacts garden design

More than any other style of a pergola, a lean-to pergola such as this one can have a real impact on the design of your garden, giving you more space to work with and fresh ideas to try out.

Whether you choose to use it as an outdoor dining space with a cover, or simply choose to have a stylish entryway with climbing plants for a natural feel, it doesn’t matter. The point is, you have a choice.

Outsunny Metal Pergola Kit Review

This metal pergola provides you with a space that can be used for alfresco dining in all weather, or simply be a place to provide shelter from the sun when you eventually see it again.

The retractable roof canopy is weather-resistant and UV-treated to protect you.  The drainage holes in the design keep you dry whilst preventing water build-up on the roof.

Outsunny 3 x 3(m) Metal Pergola Gazebo

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It’s a decent 3x3x2.3m square pergola, providing you with a comfortable 2.48×2.48m of usable space on the inside once it’s up – easily large enough for a dining space or chill-out zone.

The steel frame has also been treated to prevent rust because of its powder coating, so it’ll be standing strong for years after you invest in this particular pergola.

Things I Like...

  • Retractable canopy
  • Powder-coated steel frame
  • Simple design
  • All assembly materials included
  • UV resistant polyester
  • 3 hour build
  • Labelled parts
  • Straightforward instructions

Things I Don't Like...

  • Needs retracting when windy


Retractable canopy

The best thing about this pergola is the canopy, because not only does it provide shade, it’s UV and weather-resistant, and easy to use, no matter your height.

It also solves the main issue with the pergola too. By retracting the canopy in windy conditions, you actually prevent it from being placed under too much stress from the wind.

Easy build

Every part is labeled clearly, so the instructions are so easy to follow.  It takes around 3 hours to build – and the most time-consuming part is screwing the metal frame together.

You will need two people, especially considering the box arrives at a hefty 40kg, but really, this shouldn’t be a problem if the two of you have a little patience and a free afternoon.

Designed to blend right in

Finding a pergola (especially a metal one) that fits into your garden space can be difficult because it will always stand out more because of the metal frame being so different from other materials in your garden.

The design has been thought through to provide a simple, yet stunning pergola that fits into any garden. The black metal and beige canopy look great no matter your available space.

Sorara Milano Pergola with Canopy Review

This stylish, modern pergola with canopy by Sorara Milano is the perfect cover to provide outdoor dry space for whatever you need – it can be attached to the wall or left freestanding.

The 250g/m2 polyester canopy is weather-resistant, and it’s easy to remove or attach as needed, so you don’t need to leave it attached to the frame year-round if you prefer.

SORARA MILANO Pergola Shelter with Canopy 

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At 2.85m high by 3m wide, you also get a lot of space, and even when the slanted bars are used, the lowest point only sits at 2.14m, so it’s still perfectly functional.

The standard model is 3m wide, but there are also 4m, and 5m wide models available, so you really can pick a pergola from Sorara Milano that suits the space you have.

Things I Like...

  • Great to use over an exterior door
  • Modern, sleek design
  • Thick water-resistant polyester
  • Powder-coated steel frame
  • 2 year warranty
  • Spacious interior even with slant
  • Easy to assemble
  • Steel poles lock firmly in place

Things I Don't Like...

  • No water drainage system


Water resistant canopy

It’s important to note that the polyester canopy is water-resistant, not waterproof, so it isn’t 100% guaranteed that you’ll stay dry if you sit out in it during heavier rain.

However, most customers report only a light misting of rain penetrating the canopy even during heavy rain. Most of the time, the rain will slide off the canopy at the sides instead.

Well-designed frame

More than it just being powder-coated steel that’s sturdy and rust-resistant, it’s actually just a really well-thought-through frame design from the manufacturers.

The steel poles fit together easily when you’re setting up the frame, so it should only take you around 2 hours to build, and it locks into place securely, so there’s little movement even in high winds afterward!

Easy to secure

First off, this works perfectly freestanding if you prefer, but if you want some added security and peace of mind, then think about securing it to the wall or floor depending on where it is situated.

They have designed it well to allow you to bolt the feet of the pergola to a patio if required, but it’s also possible to use pipe clamps on the legs to attach it to the wall, providing even more long-lasting support!


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