The Backyard Deck-Kitchen-Fireplace-Theater- project is DONE!

ScreenShot008We started the backyard renovation November of 2013 because the existing deck was ready to collapse from rot. After several estimates ranging from 30-75k, I picked a contractor that gave me reasonable quote for deck construction and demolition and who was willing to work on anything else I wanted at a rate of $50 an hour. As soon as the decking was removed, I saw the project budget double. The previous deck structure joist and headers were not only beyond repair, they were not placed over the footings. Also there was a 5 foot cinder block retaining wall that needed to be placed. The entire project was nearly as big as building a small house. I had a vision of a backyard living space with kitchen, fireplace, theater, commercial sink made of redwood, ceder and rock. I needed electrical, plumbing, sewer, and gas . Finally, last week the granite counter tops were installed by Venice Tile and Marble and I barbecued my first meal on the new Profire Grill. Many thanks go out to my contractor. My friend works hard and has very good engineering sense and is a pretty handy commercial electrician and plumber. Although I knew he was good at what he does, it is better to hire a paid professional electrician for assistance to make sure everything ends up just how you wanted it to. We are hoping to get the bulk of the electric done in the kitchen, our electrical contractor will come in and hopefully finish the job as soon as possible. We’ve already pulled a good bit of the wire. We just used the old wire to pull the new. Since we don’t have any more breaker slots in the electric panel, we’re going to have to get creative. We do have a couple circuits that we can replace but we are going to have to get a new panel at some point

ScreenShot009The deck and stairs are made out of heart construction grade redwood and cover about 800 sq feet of space. The 30 x 20 foot arched Pergola was made by Selkirk Construction and Design in Idaho. The railings are made of redwood, black metal balusters, and stone veneer, lighted under the rail by low voltage LED strips mounted in aluminum rails with a plastic lens. The fireplace and kitchen were built from custom kits from DIY BBQ, the only thin missing from this kit were these new kitchen cabinets that I want to add to my project. This was a real money saver. I assembled the cabinets and attached cement backerboard to the frame which we rocked with stone veneers. We installed a Professional Series ProFire Grill with side burners in an L shaped counter against the house. We built the professional size Stainless Steel Sink in a separate counter space with room to clean a 40lb salmon. The Pergola is ten feet high in the center and 8 feet tall on the sides which gives the space more light in the daytime. It is built above the roof line of the house and overlaps the roof slightly. Because of the pitch of the Pergola, we decided on composite roofing material which makes the entire deck waterproof as well as the under deck storage area, we had to get commercial roofing services but it was totally worth it.

ScreenShot010The upper deck was left alone and is holding up well with its age. We moved the Hot Tub to the upper deck and it is in a location where you can view the outside TV that is mounted on the fireplace with a swivel mount, consider getting water coolers for your home so you can always have purified water.

The outside media center is built around the arched pergola consisting of three monitors–the Sony VPL Projector, a 110 inch diag pulldown screen, a 32 inch Samsung LCD TV on the fireplace, A Denon Reciever, Sony Blue Ray and a HTPC all mirrored to the Flat Panel and Projector.

The Sound System is built around the Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System considered by many to be the best bang for the buck in small home theater speakers. I was looking for high efficiency speakers that would sound clear at low volumes as to not disturb the neighbors. These speaker serve that purpose well especially when attached to a Niles Audio SSVC-4 Speaker Selector with Volume Controls to match the impedance of the 10 speaker array. I also rigged up an elegant way to send bluetooth audio from the TV to several small waterproof wireless Bluetooth speakers. Late at night, we can sit in the hot tub and watch tv while listening to the audio from a speaker that is suctioned cupped to the hot tub with in two feet . We can hear the tv without cranking it louder than the spa pumps. I tried to build the sound system to be clear but not annoying to the neighbors. No complaints so far.


The countertops are granite and we decided on a ProFire Professional BBQ with Side Burners and Rotisserie in a single unit vs multiple units. In the Sink area we went with a large Stainless Steel Sink with a commercial faucet. All that’s left is to catch a fish that fills that sink.


There are many small things I have to finish. Like the Backsplash tiling and stone finishing. Also I am slowly treating all the wood with sealer and finish. For the decking around the sink and banisters I decided on a marine epoxy finish that’s placed in two steps-Jamestown CPES Clear Penetrating Epoxy Seale with Epiphanes clear gloss varnish. Its the kind of finish found on boat hulls. Since I couldn’t afford the best heart redwood, I have splits and knots that I have to deal with. I figured that keeping most of the deck dry and out of the sun, plus finishing with high end preservative type finishes would compensate.

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Here is an archive of my Nightmare with SCD Custom Pergola

My Nightmare Experience with SCD Custom Pergolas



SCD Custom Pergolas is and has never been associated with Selkirk Construction in  Coeur d’ Alene.   Selkirk Custom Pergola is no longer in business thanks largely to the BBB and those who have posted on this board.


It all started early November 2013 when I found a manufacturer that could build and ship me a 19′ by 30 Post and Beamed Arched Pergola.  I called the company  SCD Custom Pergolas owned by Justin an Charlotte Gibbons in Bonners Ferry Idaho, for a quote and immediately got feedback and some emails describing their company and encouraging me to purchase.   What they tell you on the phone is that they take half payment at the time of the contract and then they take pictures of the assembled Pergola to you specifications after which they ship it and take the second half of the payment.   The entire process they assured me would take no more than two months.   Five months later,  I received the Pergola and it was built incorrectly.  The arches and beams are well constructed but the company lied to me in emails  weekly about the completion and shipping date.  Also they did not follow the drawings I had supplied.  In addition,  they broke the contract by taking all the money–the second installment–in December when they clearly had not even started building my project.  Its been 4 days since I informed them that they shorted me on materials as well as made mistakes in the design that my contractors managed to fix by buying more lumber and modifying the delivered structure.   Now that they have shipped,  I haven’t heard a word back from them about shorting me on the tongue an groove.  This company is bad news and  have numerous complaints in the BBB.  Maybe my over ten thousand dollar order wasn’t big enough for them and they just used my money to fund a bigger project but they will not return your calls once they get you money.  When they promise to update you in emails,  they are ambiguous and untruthful.  These are but a sample of the 50 emails that I sent and received from this company.

I suppose it wouldn’t have been so bad if it had not been for the contractors that had the deck ready for the Pergola in late December.  Im just happy that my contractors didn’t charge me too much for the delay but it did cost me.  I think they were entertained by the fact that SCD had taken over 10K from me without any proof that they were building it to begin with.   The photos they did send only showed me outside dimensions with no detail in the insets that I was concerned about.   As feared they did it wrong but it was something we could modify and fix.

I highly discourage people from dealing with this company.  There are other companies that make arched Pergola Kits .   Don’t be deceived by their website and testimonials.

 Nov 20, 2013 at 7:47 AM, SCD Custom Pergolas <> wrote:

Meng,  Thank you for your order! I processed the deposit and have attached a copy of the invoice for the order. Please look it over and let me know if you have any further questions. If satisfied, please sign and email back. When you decide on a stain color and end cut please let me know. I will send over a schematic showing post placement tomorrow morning. Thank you again for your order!

Charlotte Gibbins   SCD Custom Pergolas


Jan 17, 2014, at 11:09 AM, SCD Custom Pergolas <> wrote:

Meng, I am out of the office with the flu today and tomorrow. Your package will be picked up Monday instead of today, the trucking company had to reschedule. I will get you schematics and pictures when I get back in the office Monday. I will check with my book keeper, she must have charged your card, I apologize for that. I will call you Monday.

Charlotte Gibbins
SCD Custom Pergolas


Feb 3, 2014, at 8:50 AM, SCD Custom Pergolas <> wrote:

Meng,  I come to you humbly asking forgiveness. Your pergola has not been shipped yet. These past few weeks I have been scrambling trying to right this but in doing so have sinned against you. I can not express how sorry I am for doing this and also in misrepresenting our company. I know that my actions are inexcusable but, I would please ask for you to forgive me and to trust that we are going to make this right. We will take an additions 10% off of the final price and keep you apprised of when your pergola will be shipped out. I will send you an email update 1-2 times a week until it ships and is in your hands. I know that once you receive the pergola you will be extremely happy with it. Again, I apologize for my actions.

God Bless,  Charlotte Gibbins


On Feb 28, 2014, at 9:00 AM, SCD Custom Pergolas <> wrote:

Here is the BOL for the shipment. We have to do a designated load as your package is 31′ long. It will be picked up Tuesday.


On Feb 28, 2014 3:07 PM, “Meng Syn” <> wrote:

Great., Now all I need is pictures of my assembled pergola to see if it was built to the specs and design for the inset as contracted.   I don’t want to receive this pergola and find out you built it wrong.



On Feb 28, 2014 7:54 PM, “SCD Custom Pergolas” <> wrote:

They are built exactly to those specs. I will take a picture on Monday for you.


Monday, March 3, 2014 6:35 AM
To: Meng Syn
Subject: RE: Designated shipment

Meng, I just wanted to let you know that the truck may leave Wednesday instead of Tuesday. We just got hit with a major snowstorm and if the roads don’t get cleared fast enough it will delay pickup. I will let you know as soon as I know more.

Charlotte Gibbins

We received the Pergola on  March 12th.

Charlotte and Justin

We have almost finished assembling the pergola.  The workmanship on the gluelam arches and beams is great.  I do like looking at them.  They are impressive.

A few problems however…

The left offset was built shorter than the right.   My drawing shows  both sides of the offsets within 2 inches of each other.  The pictures show that you  designed it with 5 purlins on the right side and only 4 on the left.     The position of the post in relationship to the wall was also too close.   We were forced to modified the installation by building it higher over the roof line.  Also, because the left offset was built short we had to change one short purlin to a long one.  We ended up having to buy another  20 foot 4×4 cedar purlin  to extend the offset.  Also we had to buy six 8 foot battens since all the battens on the left offset were too short once we added another Purlin.

  1. Several  bolts were missing on the main beam.
  2. We were short 120 linear feet of tongue and groove  (more than the offset was short)

These errors in design cost me an extra day of construction and design plus material cost\acquisition.  Also,  all the new materials had to be stained before assembly.   We could have identified these discrepancies if you would have sent me some pictures of the offsets with measurements  which you promised but I never received.   This has been a difficult project because of the delays and inaccuracies in the design.   I would expect that you at the very least credit me for the material that we did not receive.

Sincerely Meng Syn


To date, they haven’t responded…



22 thoughts on “My Nightmare Experience with SCD Custom Pergolas”

  1. What a mess. That is not the way to run a business and their untimeliness in getting back to you, reveals their true character. Thank you for sharing this testimonial.

  2. I am going thru this same nightmare with these people right now. Accept I ordered my pergola in September and still have not received it. Charlotte gave me a bs story that it was lost by shipping company and they no longer respond to emails nor do the answer phone or return voice messages. I’d love to speak with you about this via email or phone.

  3. Its too bad they are so screwed up. They make nice arches and beams. You sure wouldn’t know how poorly they run their business by looking at all the testimonials but I should have been warned by the BBB complaints. I even mentioned one when I ordered. A local contractor warmed me about this company before I ordered. The complaint was that it was late and that it arrived damaged. They never responded to my email about shorting me on the tongue and groove and not building the pergola to spec. My contractor and I ended up buying more beams and purlins and cedar planking, staining them to match and building what I ordered. In all fairness, I love the gluelam arches and beams but was it worth it? Im still not sure I would ever do business with them again especially after them not responding to my last email now that they have all the money. I wish I could find another company that could build custom gluelam beams and arches. They hire independents to do the shipping. A guy in a pickup pulling a 30 foot trailer delivered the pergola. It came in a giant crate which we had to dispose of after I hired a couple students to help with the unloading. The shipping guy was cool. Gave me lots of updates on his ETA. I am really surprised that you haven’t received yours and you ordered in September. I ordered in November but I called and emailed weekly.

  4. My boss contracted with this company back in August and there has been one delay after another. They were supposed to come out next week to finally start the installation, but again I don’t think it is going to happen. Do you have contact info for the new owners? Any help would be appreciated in this.

    Thank you,

  5. Selkirk Construction is technically out of business. In its place is a new business. Even though it is now owned by a relative. It appears to be legit and there have been no complaints to the BBB. Most of the complaints in the post are with the old company and have been resolved, except mine and there appears to be no way to get restitution from the old owners–Justin and Charlotte. The new owner will not address any complaints or refund request from the old company.

  6. We paid $12,500 for a pergola that has never been delivered. We have tried everything and haven’t received any replies. To say we are disgusted is an understatement.

    -Eric and Jennifer

  7. It took them twice as long as promised to send mine, but now that they are under new management, I would assume that things would get better. If you eventually get the Pergola. (try calling and emailing them weekly and threatening them with law suits) You will hopefully get what is a unique product that makes it worth the “hassle” of dealing with them. I am interested to see if the new management is any better.

  8. My parents’ pergola instillation was contracted to start on 9/1/14 and numerous delays later, no pergola and no refund on our deposit.

    Meng – thank you for putting this website together. It is very insightful and I will take your advise and contact Colton. Hopefully, I will get somewhere with Colton because Justin’s last response to me called out my father’s “lack of fortitude to talk to me man to man.”

  9. I am so sorry to hear about the ongoing problems with this company. This would be a great business to buy and turn around. It’s sad that they can’t seem to understand what customer service is all about. Must find s different source for gluelam arches.

  10. SCD Customer Arched Pergolas – the renamed company – is no better. They have taken $4400 of my money with no shipment in sight, and are not answering their phones or answering emails. About every three weeks I will get a teaser – my phone is out of order, I was planning a wedding, my email is down. I believe these folks have simply taken my money and I will never get a product. Do NOT buy. I am going to try to figure out how to complain with yahoo and with google to see if I can get them de-listed. I have called the sheriff and they say it’s a civil matter and I have to go to small claims court. I think it’s outright theft and I’m going to call them again.

  11. I am presently experiencing the same issues with SCD…. I ordered back in June and have not heard anything in (4) weeks. They are not accepting my phone calls / emails.

    DO NOT BUY from these crooks.

    Funny thing – if you look up Colton Gibbons on Facebook you see that he has plenty of time to post photos from his other business (outdoor guide in Idaho). In addition, he tends to post many articles about his “faith” and his “christianity”….. Not where I come from!

  12. Hi all, well to say I’m dissatisfied with this company is an understatement , I believe this company is still being ran by the previous owners given the way this young man Colton has been treating our business transaction. Yes, they reel you in with a nice website and very optimistic phone conversation , then the game begins. My order was very basic , only ordering the arched beams, baton’s and carrying beams. The Colton fella has had since The middle of July of this year to manufacture and deliver. My last conversation with him was that he was waiting on payment from another customer so he could cover shipping cost, really? I have finally moved on to file suit against this company for fraud through the Boundry County Courts to get some resolution. Any feed back on anyone’s statements would be appreciated, maybe him or any of the Gibbins can read this and shame the youngster into being a bit more honest about buisness in general.

  13. I’m so glad to hear SCD is now out of business. I had an experience like everyone else’s in 2013. Luckily, I go into these things as a skeptic, so I made certain I made both payments with my American Express credit card, which gives protection to the customer against vendors when products aren’t delivered complete. So I was able to put both payments in dispute. I put the first payment in dispute as soon as they were late with delivery and started feeding me a bunch of lines about the shipping company damaging the pergola by hitting with a fork lift (when I called the shipping company directly, they said that was a complete lie). Since I put the first payment in dispute, SCD was finally motivated to deliver the pergola material, then when my contractor went to put it together, we found we were missing several pieces that my contractor had to fabricate to match the pergola. So I then put the 2nd payment in dispute until SCD refunded me the amount for all the missing parts I had to pay my contractor to make. It wasn’t until this refund was issued that I release both payments. So if you ever find yourself in any situation with a vendor either not delivering a product or missing or broken parts, you may put the payments in dispute and your credit card company will pull all the money back from the vendor, which highly motivates the vendor to resolve the issue. We do now have two beautiful pergolas after much pain and aggravation.

  14. Hey guys, I am young entrepreneur. I in past worked at one of the suppliers for SCD Custom Pergolas. I had heard they went out of business and i never understood the reason why they went out of business as I really was intrigued by their unique custom design. So after quitting my normal day job I started looking into several different opportunities and i kept coming back to this Pergola business. So after some research I was able to contact the previous owner and asked him if i could copy his design, he agreed and even offered his plans and contacts. As i was of course researching this business opportunity I could not believe what i saw! Anyway, I am Starting a new business and i am finally all setup to start producing these Pergolas again with a little different business plan. I will soon have a website up. Please, feel free to contact me if interested in a pergola or a product. Andrew Brubaker. 208-610-1313

  15. Andrew, I will be your biggest fan if you can make those pergolas and deliver them in an ethical and reasonable way. I love my Pergolla, I am just disgusted at how it was handled.

  16. That is the plan, I plan on getting the website up and running this week, also we are planning on featuring our product at the Home and Garden show in Fort Worth Texas on May 19-21. If there is anything I can do for anyone me and my team our ready to assist and create unique projects.

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