If you look up white vinyl pergola on the Internet, you’re going to find a lot of products out there, but how many of those are actually high quality? Pergolas have become more affordable as of late, but which ones actually provide value for your money? One pergola that does is the New England Rochester Free Standing 12′ x 12′ Vinyl Pergola. At a  first glance the cost seems a bit high especially when compared with others, but as you will see, this is a quality long term investment.



The Rochester is not lacking in features, and it’s actually one of the best in its class. The first thing you will notice is the look, as the Rochester incorporates the classic appearance of wood, but it doesn’t come with the maintenance required for the real thing. It looks like real wood but the composition is different so you don’t have to be concerned with maintenance costs down the line.

Like most other 12×12 vinyl pergolas in the market today, the unit requires some assembly, and given the dimensions it’s going to take a little longer than others. However this should not be a problem as clear, detailed instructions are supplied, and all the hardware you need are included here.

The Rochester has an elegant design and does an excellent job when it comes to providing shade. The generous dimensions means it can serve as an outdoor room without making you feel locked in, and whether it’s for relaxing or entertaining, the Rochester should do just fine. One of the most obvious features on the pergola is that it draws inspiration from New England architecture, meaning it is as functional as it is stylish.


  • Weight: 233 lb.
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Outside dimensions: 141” W x 105¾” H x 141” D
  • Inside dimensions: 134” W x 94” H x 134” D
  • Color: White
  • Collection Name: Rochester
  • Brand: New England Arbors
  • Post Size: 5” x 5”


The Rochester is built from high quality vinyl, and the process used for its construction is top of the line. Like other New England pergolas and arbors, the Rochester was manufactured using high quality molding polymers. This process is what allows the pergola to simulate the appearance of wood without the inherent problems that come with caring for wood materials.


Warranty and Maintenance

The Rochester comes with a 20 year warranty, and that alone should give you an idea of how durable the structure is. If you’ve ever had to deal with cheap pergolas before, you know how quickly they deteriorate after just a few months or years when exposed to changing weather: With the Rochester it’s not going to be a problem as it’s been designed to withstand heat and rain.

As mentioned earlier, the manufacturing process means you don’t have to worry about maintenance. The Rochester doesn’t crack, peel or discolor: All you need to do is water it with a hose to get rid of the dirt and you’ll be fine. When it comes to warranty and maintenance, the Rochester Deluxe Pergola combo is hard to beat and well worth the purchase alone.

Function and Style

Once you have the Rochester set up, you can use it in different ways, and that is really one of its strengths. This pergola can be used to provide shade: place a few chairs and a table underneath and it’s the ideal place to hang around with friends and relax. You can also set it up for ornamental purposes as a lot of people do.

One of the most popular functions of pergolas and arbors is to grow plants and climbers around it, and you can do that with the Rochester. Grapevines and pergolas go well together as well as other types of climbers regardless of color or fragrance.

The pergola’s shape and structure lends itself nicely to any type of garden motif, and the fact that it doesn’t have a solid roof is a good thing as it doesn’t end up looking too heavy. If the roof were solid, you won’t receive any sunlight at all, plus there won’t be any shadow or light patterns. More importantly, the beams on the roof allow air to circulate and keep you cool.

A Focal Point

Because of its size, you can use the Rochester in other ways that would be difficult with other arbors. Aside from the ones already mentioned, you can use a pergola to frame your garden and have it function as the focal point. Or you can position in such a way that it serves as the entry point to other areas of your garden.

However, the freestanding nature of the Rochester and its dimensions are what make it ideal for use as shade. The roof beams do a nice job balancing shade protection without making you feel constricted. Adding plants and flowers makes the Rochester more pleasing to the eye and also keeps the heat away during those hot summer days.

The Rochester doesn’t just serve as a focal point however, as it also plays a role in making your garden seem bigger than it really is. A lot has been said about pergolas being livable spaces and that’s true, but a pergola also has the effect of enhancing the outdoors.

Reliability and Durability

The Rochester is not like your typical 12×12 free standing pergola as a lot of thought has been put in the design and structure. Its use of high quality vinyl is a good one as it is not just attractive but durable. Glass roofs may be enticing, but it has a tendency to get hot and leads to glare, requiring you to install screening, which in turn produces too much shade.

The versatility of this pergola can be seen in the number of ways you can use it. Its framework makes it the ideal choice for climbing plants, and it is more attractive than plastic roofing. The open nature of the structure also makes it ideal as a shade house for plants that need protection from extreme heat.

While the Rochester pergola kit is often used for siting and relaxing, it’s versatile enough to be used as a shaded walkway. Shaded walkways are common in large gardens, but even if you’ve got a small garden the Rochester can serve that function nicely.


Why Buy the Rochester Pergola?

There are a lot of reasons to buy this pergola, and we will cite the most important ones here. Let us summarize some of the biggest selling points of this pergola.

  • Versatile: if you have made it this far in this review, you know that the  Rochester is one of the most versatile pergolas money can buy. Once the unit has been assembled, you can use it as a shade and a place to relax at while you’re outdoors. Or you can use it for design purposes and allow plants to grow around it.
  • Add Vitality to Your Garden: what makes the Rochester a good choice is you really don’t need to do a lot to make it stand out. The size and the look of the Rochester is more than enough to serve as a stable outdoor living space. Not only can you use it as shade, but you can use its structural design to hang plants, vines and flowers and enhance your garden.
  • Freestanding: since the Rochester is a freestanding structure, you can put it anywhere  you want and not have to be concerned about hooking it up to one of the walls on your house. This versatility allows you to position the pergola where it provides maximum shade (or little shade if that is your preference).
  • Add Style Points to Your Garden: it is not enough to just add plants and flowers as it comes down to the way they’re put together. The Rochester has been designed from the ground up so you can use it for entertainment or growing plants around it. When properly managed, the climbing plants will intertwine and hang nicely.
  • Shelter from the Weather: this is another area where the Rochester shines. If you haven’t been spending a lot of time in your yard because of the sun, this pergola is the answer as it is going to keep you cool and shaded. The roof beams do a good job of shading, but if you want more, just let your plants grow around the structure and together with the roof, will provide more than enough shade when it’s hot.
  • Hide Unpleasant Views: maybe there’s a structure nearby you find unsightly but cannot get rid of, i.e. neighbor’s home or a dead tree. In any case, you can strategically position the pergola and a few climbing plants so it’s hidden.


This New England vinyl pergola is a good buy any way you look at it. The quality is top notch and the design is one of the most versatile in the market. If you’ve been reading reviews of cheap pergolas and worried about confusing instructions or defective parts, that’s not going to happen here as Rochester has few equals when it comes to quality. We highly recommend this with no reservations.


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