Frequently Asked Questions About Pergolas
Frequently Asked Questions about Turnkey Millwork Pergolas

This section of questions deals primarily with pergolas. For questions on pergola canopies, please click here for the Canopies FAQs.

  1. What sets Turnkey Millwork apart from all other companies selling cellular PVC pergolas?
  2. Why choose vinyl or cellular PVC vs wood?
  3. What is the difference between vinyl and cellular PVC?
  4. What are some of the other features of cellular PVC?
  5. Do I need to paint cellular PVC?
  6. Can vinyl and cellular PVC be used in structural applications?
  7. What other materials of construction are you pergolas made from?
  8. How do I order a Pergola?
  9. How is the pergola delivered?
  10. How is the size of a pergola determined?
  11. Can I customize my pergola design?
  12. What if I'm not sure which size I need or what the pergola will look like on my deck or patio?
  13. Does the pergola come with installation instructions?
  14. How long does it take to assemble a pergola kit?
  15. What tools will I need to assemble my pergola kit?
  16. Does the kit include everything I need to assemble it?
  17. How long after assembly do I have to wait before I can use my pergola?
  18. Can I hang a swing from my pergola?
  19. Will I have to get a building permit for a pergola?
  20. Are there special requirements for mounting the pergola to my deck or patio?
  21. How long does it take to receive my pergola?
  22. Do I have to order columns from you?
  23. What is the warranty on your pergolas?

  1. What sets Turnkey Millwork apart from all other companies selling cellular PVC pergolas?

    Turnkey Millwork is run by hands-on craftsmen with extensive real world building experience. With over 15 years of PVC fabrication experience, Turnkey Millwork is the leading fabricator of a wide range of exterior millwork products with a proven track record of outstanding quality and service. Turnkey Millwork's in-house expertise and design capabilities have created beautiful, elegant, eye catching custom Pergolas with multi-levels and curved beams as shown in our project portfolio. We have established ourselves as the premier Pergola manufacturer in the US.

    Turnkey Millwork has maintained its position as the preeminent PVC Pergola company through its commitment to customer service and zero callbacks. Unlike many other companies selling Pergolas, Turnkey has complete control of the manufacturing process starting with the highest quality PVC raw materials and utilizing a wide range of fabrication capabilities including state of the art CNC routers, CNC beam saws, automated V-Groove equipment and special molding ovens to shape and curve the PVC for special applications.

    Superior laminating, moulding and finishing techniques are applied to every Turnkey Millwork Pergola. Turnkey Millwork's skills, materials, and fabrication techniques result in Pergolas that are unmatched anywhere for quality and appearance. A Turnkey Millwork engineered Pergola system is as strong as it is beautiful, and designed for a secure, easy installation — so you can enjoy your new outdoor oasis in as little as a weekend.

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  2. Why choose vinyl or cellular PVC vs wood?

    Many people choose vinyl or cellular PVC over wood because both materials are more durable, easy to care for, and last a lifetime. The initial costs of both materials is more than wood but over the life of your house, their low maintenance cost and long life make them the more economical material to use for your Pergola.

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  3. What is the difference between vinyl and cellular PVC?

    Both vinyl and cellular PVC are made of polyvinyl chloride, commonly abbreviated as PVC. PVC is a widely produced plastic that is used in applications varying from construction to clothing. Plasticizers make PVC soft and flexible, while un-plasticized PVC can be used for building materials. This type is called rigid PVC, or vinyl. The terms vinyl and PVC are used interchangeably.

    Vinyl and cellular PVC profiles are manufactured by melting raw PVC and forming it into various sized profiles using a process called plastic extrusion. Cellular PVC uses a foamed extrusion process that introduces tiny air bubbles within the profile to create a consistent cell structure resulting in a density reduction of up to 50% or more and finished extrusion properties very similar to wood.

    Vinyl extrusions cost less than cellular PVC extrusions. The profiles are hollow and glossy in appearance. They are not intended to be painted and over time, exposure to the elements will cause vinyl extrusions to fade slightly.

    Cellular PVC extrusions are solid throughout, look and feel like real wood and can be machined in much the same way as wood including routing, moulding and shaping.

    Vinyl and cellular PVC will not rot, cup, split, twist, or warp and they are impervious to insects and salt spray. They are ideal materials for use in high humidity and high moisture areas, including coastal regions affected by salt. They're also suitable for ground or masonry contact. Vinyl and cellular PVC are sustainable materials. Product life span expectations are well over 25 years and the product is recyclable at the end of its useful life.

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  4. What are some other features of cellular PVC?

    Design versatility coupled with incredible durability and low maintenance make cellular PVC the world's most durable and attractive wood alternative. It looks and feels like real wood but it is more cost-effective. It's about the same density as white pine without requiring the on-going maintenance of sanding, painting or eventual replacement from the rot associated with wood. Items fabricated from cellular PVC have the same crisp corners as wooden millwork.

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  5. Do I need to paint cellular PVC?

    Cellular PVC does not require paint for protection, but we recommend painting for aesthetic reasons since the product will get dirty over time. It may be painted to achieve a custom color or to cover nail holes that have been filled. If you choose to paint, use 100% acrylic latex paint with an LRV of 55 or higher. Using paint with an LRV below 55 units will void our product warranty.

    Definition of LRV (Light Reflective Value): LRV is the amount of light reflected from a painted surface. Black has a reflectance value of Zero (0) and absorbs all light and heat. White has a reflectance value of nearly 100 and keeps a building light and cool. All colors fit between these two extremes. Light Reflective Values are given as a percentage. For example, a color with a LRV of 55 means it will reflect 55% of the light that falls on it.

    For darker colors (LRV of 54 or lower), use paints specifically formulated for use on cellular PVC products such as, but not limited to, Sherwin-Williams VinylSafe™ coatings. These paints are designed to reduce excessive heat gain and they are available in over one-hundred Sherwin-Williams VinylSafe™ colors, with a 25-year guarantee.

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  6. Can unreinforced cellular PVC be used in structural applications?

    No

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  7. What other materials of construction are your pergolas made from?

    Turnkey Millwork uses aluminum reinforcements that minimize deflection, will not rust or pit when wet, and match the longevity of cellular PVC. A Turnkey millwork engineered pergola system is as strong as it is beautiful, and designed for a secure, easy installation — so you can enjoy your new outdoor oasis in as little as a weekend.

    Turnkey Millwork is a vertically integrated company. Columns are one of the key components of a structurally sound pergola system and Turnkey Millwork uses fiberglass columns provided through its parent company HB&G Building Products, www.hbgcolumns.com, the column market leader.

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  8. How do I order a Pergola?

    You may order a Turnkey Millwork Pergola from a participating dealer, or directly from Turnkey Millwork. If you have trouble finding a dealer call toll free: 888-782-3908.

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  9. How is the pergola delivered?

    The product is palletized as a partially assembled kit, crated for safe arrival and shipped nationwide. The freight charge for any standard pergola is $474. Most Turnkey Millwork pergolas are delivered directly from the factory by common carrier. The driver will not unload so you should have some help available to unload the kit. Unloading piece-by-piece will only take a short time, as there are generally not too many pieces and standard pergola pieces are not extremely heavy. Note that you are responsible for removing and disposing of the empty pallets from the truck. If you live in a remote area, please call to see if additional delivery charges apply.

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  10. How is the size of the pergola determined?

    Pergola kits are ordered by the column footprint dimensions. For ordering and pricing purposes, the pergola width is the distance between the centers of the columns in the direction of the rafters (freestanding pergolas) or the distance from the building wall to the centers of the columns (attached pergolas). The pergola length is the distance between the centers of the end columns in the direction of the beams.

    On freestanding pergolas, the overall length of the beams is 4' longer than the length of the column footprint. This allows for a 2' projection beyond the center of the column on each end. The overall length of the rafters on a freestanding pergola is 4' longer than the width of the column footprint. This allows for a 2' rafter projection beyond the center-line of the beam-direction columns.

    On attached pergolas, the overall length of the beams is 4' longer than the length of the column footprint. This allows for a 2' projection beyond the center of the column on each end. The overall length of the rafters on an attached pergola is 2' longer than the distance from the side of the building to the center-line of the columns. This allows for a 2' rafter projection beyond the center-line of the beam-direction columns.

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  11. Can I customize my pergola design?

    Yes. Turnkey Millwork has a reputation as the premier manufacturer of custom pergolas in the US. We are the company clients seek out when a challenging pergola design seems impossible to build. Turnkey can provide you with fully custom pergolas that are designed by an architect or Turnkey Millwork. If you need a pergola that is either smaller or larger than one of our standard sizes, we can make one that will fit perfectly into your area. This is best done by sending us a drawing that shows the sizes and required space.

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  12. What if I'm not sure which size I need or what the pergola will look like on my deck or patio?

    Our pergola experts are available to help ensure that you get the right pergola kit. We will also provide a drawing of your design.

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  13. Does the pergola come with installation instructions?

    Yes.

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  14. How long does it take to assemble a pergola kit?

    That depends on the size of the pergola and the experience of the installers. Typically our pergola kits are a weekend project for two people, although installers with a little experience in assembling outdoor structures can install an average kit in less than a day.

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  15. What tools will I need to assemble my pergola kit?

    Tools needed to install a kit include a cordless drill, a couple of step ladders, a measuring tape, an electric drill, and a few other hand tools. The step-by-step instructions will provide you with a complete list of tools.

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  16. Does the kit include everything I need to assemble it?

    All of the assembly hardware, including screws, is included in the kit. If you are using our columns, the epoxy anchoring adhesive needed to set the threaded rods used for the column mounting brackets is also included. We provide stainless steel screws and powder coated aluminum hardware to ensure that you will not have issues with rust spots and "bleeding" as you enjoy your Pergola over the years. If your pergola is to be attached to your home, you will need to provide the screws or bolts needed to mount the wall ledger board based on local building code requirements.

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  17. How long after assembly do I have to wait before I can use my pergola?

    As soon as you clean up and put away your tools your pergola is ready to use and enjoy.

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  18. Can I hang a swing from my pergola?

    No. Pergolas are not designed to support swings, hanging chairs, or other heavy objects.

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  19. Will I have to get a building permit for a pergola?

    Most customers live in areas where there is no building permit required to install a pergola. However there are city and county governments which do require a building permit before constructing this type of structure. With thousands of different jurisdictions in the US we have no way of knowing if you need a permit to install a pergola kit. The only sure way of knowing is to call your building department and ask them if there are any requirements that you must meet prior to construction.

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  20. Are there special requirements for mounting the pergola to my deck or patio?

    The Turnkey Millwork Column Mounting System is recommended for all situations where a structural metal post or pressure treated lumber post has not previously been set in concrete that extends below the local frost line. For added safety, discuss the minimum requirements of a column mounting system with a Turnkey Millwork technical sales representative. Please call 888-782-3908 for any questions regarding how to mount columns properly.

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  21. How long does it take to receive my pergola?

    In most cases a standard size pergola can be shipped in less than 30 days but custom pergolas can take a bit longer.

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  22. Do I have to order columns from you?

    You can use structural supports supplied by others. If you choose this option, we will need to know what you are planning on using so that we can ensure they will support the pergola you choose. The column most commonly used with our pergolas is our tapered round fiberglass column, with Tuscan cap and base. This column is 10 inches in diameter and 8' tall. This is the minimum diameter that we recommend to ensure your pergola has proper proportions. Round columns that are smaller than 10" in diameter tend to look too small on a pergola. If you choose square columns, we recommend a minimum shaft width of 8" to achieve proper proportions. For the ultimate in custom design, you may also have a pergola with decorative elements of the columns integrated with the decorative elements of beam structure. In this case, the columns and pergola structure are designed as a unique and fully integrated unit and sold as a complete package.

    Turnkey Millwork is a vertically integrated company. Columns are one of the key components of a structurally sound pergola system and Turnkey Millwork uses fiberglass columns provided through its parent company HB&G Building Products, the column market leader.

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  23. What is the warranty on your pergolas?

    Turnkey Millwork's pergolas carry a 25 year warranty. This warranty does not cover painted finish or coating applied by the original purchaser or any third party. Any changes, attachments, modifications or improvements to the products are specifically excluded from this warranty.

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