How much does it cost to build a pergola? – Councilor Forbes


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Cost of building a pergola

The cost of building a pergola is usually between $ 2,200 and $ 5,900, or $ 4,000 on average. You could spend as little as $ 1,300 on a basic version while you can pay as much as $ 10,000 for a personalized design.

It is important to understand the distinction between a pergola, arbor and trellis as the terms are often used interchangeably and the difference is reflected not only in the structure, but also in its price.

An arbor, which is essentially a smaller version of a pergola, can be found for as little as $ 125 on major vendor websites. Adding a trellis, which is simply a vertical structure intended for trailing plants, typically costs between $ 30 and $ 200.

A pergola is the largest of the three free-standing structures for your yard. And if you are willing to build a pergola yourself, you can save a lot of money. A pretty cedar pergola with simple DIY instructions can be purchased at big box stores for around $ 1,300. But if you want a professionally installed pergola made of premium materials like ipe or tiger wood, it can easily cost over $ 10,000.

Average cost of a pergola

Material costs of the pergola

Despite the skyrocketing use of alternative materials like PVC, vinyl, and even aluminum, the majority of pergolas seen today are still made of wood. Cedar is the most commonly used type of wood, possibly due to its beautiful color and natural resistance to rot and insect infestations.

If you are considering the cost of the materials for the pergola, start by thinking about what type of aesthetic you want. The design you have chosen will help you determine which material is best for you. Here’s a guide to choosing the best pergola material for you, along with a breakdown of the cost of the custom pergola using each one.


Strong and rot-proof, cedar is the ideal building material for a pergola. It resists stains well, but does require some maintenance each year in the form of sanding and staining. The rafters and stringers of wooden pergolas, such as those made of cedar, can be carved in intricate patterns at the ends to create a unique look that matches the aesthetic you desire.


Pressure-treated pine is one of the most common materials for woodworking, and a pine pergola will be a bit cheaper than a cedar pergola. Pine is naturally resistant to rot and insects, but it is a soft wood, which means that it is susceptible to splitting, cracking and denting over the years. Regular sanding and staining is essential for extending the life of a pine pergola.


When it comes to the cost of building a pergola, choosing a premium material like teak, ipe, or tiger wood will definitely increase the price. But these woods can last up to four times longer than pine.


Aluminum is an excellent support for a square and modern pergola. It requires much less maintenance than wood and can be painted to match any decor. According to Fixr, an aluminum pergola is cheaper than a wooden pergola.


Easy to maintain and exceptionally strong, fiberglass pergolas are among the most coveted today. The lightweight material allows for more coverage without adding more support beams.

This material easily lends itself to the addition of practical accessories such as light fixtures, fans and even heating components. Fiberglass pergolas tend to be more expensive than any other type of pergola.

Cost of pergola per square foot

You can build or install a pergola in virtually any size you want, and it can be free-standing or attached to your home. Most pergolas are square or rectangular simply because of their design, which consists of rafters and support beams.

Of course, for custom pergola designs you will pay more. For the purposes of a pergola cost estimator, it is easier to project the prices of a square pergola. For this reason, we have put together a table of pergola installation costs for four different square pergola sizes.

Estimates are based on cedar wood, one of the most popular materials used to build pergolas today, at an average cost of $ 30 per square foot.

Pergola roof options

A roof or cover over your pergola adds an element of protection to your structure and allows you to extend your use and enjoyment since you will be largely protected from the elements.

If you’re considering the cost of adding some sort of roofing or protective covering to your pergola installation, we’ve listed a few popular options below, along with the average cost of a pergola for each type of roof. .

Cost of retractable roof

If you already have a pergola, you can add a mechanized retractable roof to it, allowing you to cover or uncover your pergola with just the push of a button. This is an incredibly handy feature when trying to relax in your outdoor space.

Most of the retractable pergola roofs we have found are fabric. Here’s what you can expect to pay if you want to add a retractable roof to your pergola. Cost estimates are based on a 100 square foot pergola.

Average cost of a retractable roof for pergola


A louvered roof for a pergola consists of a series of horizontal slats that can be adjusted at a 180 degree angle to keep rain and sun out. Shutters are usually made of metal and add a premium touch to your outdoor space.

Many of today’s hippest restaurants are opting for a louvered roof over their outdoor dining spaces to provide diners with the best possible outdoor ambiance. A fully installed louvered pergola roof costs approximately $ 85 per square foot.


The cheapest option for covering a pergola from the elements is a simple fabric pergola cover. A fabric pergola usually falls under the cost of the DIY pergola, and you can find a basic one that fits a 10 foot pergola for around. $ 180 online at big box stores.

Pergola Design Ideas


Sleek and boxy, today’s modern pergola is the pinnacle of outdoor living. A black aluminum frame reflected by a black louvered roof creates the perfect modern aesthetic. Or for a more industrial look, the stone columns of a concrete pergola are reminiscent of the first outdoor living spaces found in ancient Greece and Egypt.


A spacious, white pergola with flowing curtains is the perfect accompaniment to an upscale environment by the pool. You can paint a wooden pergola white or opt for a more durable material like vinyl.


Get back to nature by opting for a pergola made from reclaimed wooden beams. Then follow the vines through the summit for a lovely rustic vibe. This pergola setup is perfect for alfresco dining or relaxing under the stars while enjoying the wonderful floral aromas of the vines.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between a pergola and a gazebo?

Many people use the terms “pergola” and “gazebo” interchangeably because they are both outdoor structures. However, it is not the same. Most of the time, gazebos are round while most pergolas are square or rectangular. And gazebos are built with a solid roof, which you won’t find on a pergola.

Instead, pergolas are designed to be open and airy, topped with cross beams to allow sun and breeze to filter through. Finally, while a pergola can be attached to your home (although it can also be free-standing), a gazebo is still a freestanding structure.

Is it cheaper to buy or build a pergola?

Most DIY jobs tend to be cheaper than hiring a professional, but it’s important to consider the value versus spending cash. A professional can make sure that your pergola is built on a solid foundation. Usually the cost to assemble a 10 × 10 pergola kit yourself is around $ 700 while a professional can invoice on average $ 3,500 for the same project.

Do pergolas increase the value of the house?

The return on investment of a pergola will depend on the size, design, type of material and, most importantly, the location of the house it is installed for, says Keren Jayne, real estate agent at Pearson Smith Realty at [TK location].

“A pergola isn’t the type of thing I would add right before I sell your home, but if it’s something you’ll enjoy for a few years, it’ll definitely be a great marketing and sales feature when the time comes.” . sell, ”Jayne says. But if you’re not around to enjoy the pergola before you sell it, you might not get much out of your investment.


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