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A DIY Dream

Building a better backyard with Toja Grid

There are many possibilities when designing an outdoor living space. Luckily, greater freedom of choice and customization exists through Toja Grid, which offers modular pergolas and accessories for consumers to DIY their dream backyard.

Toja Grid offers dozens of pergola kit options as well as nearly every conceivable bracket style for customization. Planters, hammocks, tables, shades, rafters and more round out its accessory lineup.

Shane Chapman, president and CEO of The Ultimate Deck Shop in Regina, Saskatchewan, has been selling Toja Grid for about four years, and displays the pergola products in both of his locations and at trade shows.

Chapman says his company was first drawn to Toja Grid via its simplicity, modern aesthetic and DIY-friendly approach to what is typically a complex backyard structure. “From the first time I saw it on Instagram,” he adds, “I knew it could do well. [I] began the process of becoming a dealer right away.”

Toja Grid can accommodate any budget or level of experience, and assembly is straightforward: Insert lumber purchased separately by the customer into the brackets in as little as 60 minutes per section, says Mike Rodine, national sales director of Toja Grid. “The modularity of the system allows for adding on or for further customizing over the years,” he adds. “It lets customers tap into new brackets that offer new design opportunities as our product line evolves.”

Rodine says Toja Grid can be set up over a hot tub, and offers dealers merchandising and display ideas to create a vision for customers, such as installing a Shade Sail — another popular Toja Grid product — on the top of the pergola for UVA/UVB protection and another on the side for privacy. Additional accessories include towel hooks or a square table that attaches to the pergola’s vertical posts.

Toja Grid uses quality and innovation as guiding principles. “We continually evaluate to understand what makes a strong product to add to the lineup,” Rodine says, “but that also makes sense and helps to provide solutions to customers and dealers alike.”

Its newest designs are the GRID 30 and the Modern Muskoka DIY Furniture line. GRID 30 allows customers to create a bold statement by building peaked roof structures, Rodine says. The Modern Muskoka line applies the same approach, and “with just two brackets, you can build a chair to an oversize sofa,” he says.

Chapman notes that the Toja Grid lineup has made a positive impression on The Ultimate Deck Shop’s customers. “Customers love Toja Grid for all the reasons we knew they would,” he says. “It’s easy to install, modern and aesthetically pleasing, and the cost of a completed structure is attractive as compared against a traditionally built pergola.”

A Toja Grid pergola on display at Time Machine Hot Tubs complete with a red Shade Sail

Customers are not the only ones drawn in by a Toja Grid display. Chris Ogden, general manager of Time Machine Hot Tubs in Longview, Texas, first saw the products at the 2019 Pool | Spa | Patio Expo in New Orleans. His plans to bring in the product in 2020 derailed, as did many such ventures worldwide.

At the 2021 PSP Expo in Dallas, just a few hours from Time Machine Hot Tubs, the story was different for Ogden. Toja Grid didn’t pack up its displays and ship them back to Canada after the expo. Instead, the two companies brokered a deal and Ogden purchased every display in the booth.

Ogden notes the ingenuity and simplicity of the designs as selling points. “We have had several customers over the years ask if we could build them a pergola,” he says. “Being a small, local retailer, we just did not have the manpower to commit resources to offer that type of service. When we visited with the Toja Grid reps at [the 2021 PSP] expo, we saw the value-added potential we would be able to offer our customers.”

A number of Toja Grid products are on display in Time Machine Hot Tubs showrooms, including the pergola, Adirondack-style chairs with a table and picnic table. “As time allows, we plan to display more products including the planters, couches and our personal favorite, the hammock,” Ogden says.

 After assembling some of those products themselves, the delivery crew determined that they could put together a standard 8-foot by 8-foot pergola and canopy in approximately one hour or less.

“[One hour] is roughly the amount of time it takes to fill most of our hot tubs with water,” Ogden says. “Therefore, why not offer a package deal that includes delivery and installation of a Toja Grid pergola that could be erected while we wait for the tub to be ready?”

Being limited on retail space, Ogden says Toja Grid kits occupy minimal square footage on the company’s warehouse racks. He is pleased to be presenting numerous new options to his customers to keep them happy while saving them money and helping his bottom line.

Rodine agrees that seeing the structures in person really makes the concept click with customers. “It invites them not only to see it but to also experience it,” he says. “It allows them to see a hot tub under our pergola system and imagine it in their space with their style, or to walk under a Shade Sail setup outdoors and realize the protection it provides.” Providing customization and comfort options is what Toja Grid is all about. “We make products that make sense in supporting the ultimate outdoor living experience,” Rodine says. “We will continue to be guided by the what-ifs to be the choice welcomed into homes.”