Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about our products, permits, costs, installation tips, and more.

Outdoor Structure Questions

What is the difference between a pavilion and a gazebo?

Gazebos and pavilions are outdoor shade structures with solid roofs. Our gazebos are enclosed by railings and have one entryway. Gazebos have flooring options and can be screened-in to keep bugs and pests outside. Unlike gazebos, a pavilion is open on all four sides and does not have a floor. Pavilions are usually installed on a poured concrete base.

What is a pergola?

A pergola is a backyard shade structure with an open-lattice roof supported by columns or posts. Pergolas are not designed to block the sun entirely but to provide relief from direct sunlight, while allowing air to circulate freely.

Can I cover my pergola with a solid roof?

Pergolas are great for many reasons, but open airflow is the reason many choose them over other patio structures. Many people choose to cover their pergola roof with fabric to keep out the rain and sun. YardCraft offers a retractable EZshade Canopy made of durable Sunbrella fabric.

Permits

Is a permit required to put up a gazebo, pergola, or shed?

Contact your local township for help with permits. You can find engineered drawings on our product pages under the Manuals & Drawings tab. Some municipalities might require that you submit a schematic as part of the permitting process.

Costs

How much does a pergola kit cost?

For a basic 10 x 10 pergola, using cost-effective cedar, you can expect to pay $3,000 for materials and $500 for labor, which isn’t much more than a DIY job. High-end pergola installations using more expensive materials, such as Ipe or Teak, can run the price up to $5,000 for materials and $750 to $1,000 in labor costs. Pergola kits from YardCraft start at $1,899 with add on accessories and upgrade options available.

How much does it cost to install an outdoor structure?

Price can depend on if you already have a foundation, if you choose to use gravel, or if you want to have a full concrete foundation poured. A contractor may cost somewhere in the $1,000-$2,000 range depending on the size of the job and the site prep that is needed. YardCraft has created kits that are easier to put together with pre-notched boards and pre-drilled holes, making for a weekend family project to save the cost of a contractor.

Garden Beds

How deep should a raised bed garden be?

Most garden plants need at least 6 to 12 inches for their roots, so 12 inches is ideal. The depth of the bed can vary, but 6 inches of soil should be the minimum. You can make the garden bed as long as you like or build multiple raised beds for growing different crops.

Should I stain or seal my raised garden bed or planter?

YardCraft garden products are not treated or stained because most home gardeners prefer their beds and planters to be free of any chemicals for organic gardening. Cedar and pine both perform well in the elements. If you want to extend the life of your planter, you can stain or seal it with a water-based product of your choice.

Do YardCraft raised garden beds have a bottom?

Our raised beds do not have a bottom and can be assembled directly on grass. A classic gardening trick it to lay cardboard down to prevent weeds from growing into your crops. The cardboard will eventually break down and turn into food for your plants!

How do you fill the Vertical Garden Planter with soil?

The Vertical Garden Planter gets filled from the top. Make sure to even out each shelf as it fills. Watch our instructional video:

Swingsets

Are swings on your playsets interchangeable?

Yes. All YardCraft swings and playset toys are designed to be universal.

How long does playground equipment last?

The standard lifespan of a playset is around 8-10 years. If you keep up with maintenance over the years, a YardCraft playset could last a lifetime!

Poly Furniture

What is poly furniture?

Our poly outdoor furniture is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, which is made from recycled milk jugs. It has the texture and feel of real wood but will last much longer because it won’t crack, rot, or split.

How do you clean poly patio furniture?

Wash poly using a soft rag, soap, and warm water. Mix ⅓ bleach and ⅔ water solution to clean any tough areas. Use a soft bristle brush to get into creases.

Accessories

How do you size a cupola?

For every foot of building width, you should have at least 1.25 inches of cupola width. Measure the width of your building (in feet) and multiply that by 1.25. Following this guideline will keep the cupola proportional to your structure’s roof size. Structures two stories and higher may require one size up, or 1.5″ per foot of roof.

How do you install a cupola?

Our friends over at Royal Crowne put together this excellent installation video to help you install your cupola.

What tools and materials are needed to install a mailbox and lantern post?

You will need a pressure treated 4×4 that is 84” long for the core of the post. To install it in the ground, you will need pre-mix concrete, a wheelbarrow for mixing, a level, and a shovel (or auger).

Installation

What is the best material for ground cover under a playset?

We recommend rubber mulch, wood mulch, or sand for under your playset. Rubber mulch is highly recommended because it doesn’t wear down like wood.

How much ground cover material is needed for a playset?

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends at least 6 feet of space in all directions, as well as more space in front and behind each swing. The distance in front and behind each swing should be equal to the total height of the swing. For example, if the swing is 8’ high, there should be 8’ of clearance in front of the swing and 8’ if clearance behind the swing. It is recommended to have at least 9-12 inches of mulch under your playset to provide sufficient cushion to help protect your children from falls.

How long does it take to build a gazebo, pergola, pavilion, or shed?

All YardCraft structures range in assembly time between 6-12 hours when assembled by two people with the proper tools (listed in the product’s assembly manual).