How much does it cost to build a pergola?
Somewhere between a gazebo and a shed is the pergola. It is something that provides a bit of coverage or shade from the sun, but it also allows all of the air flow to reach those comfortably seated beneath it. It is an ideal structure to support vining plants and flowers, and can serve as a wonderful outdoor room.
The great thing about a pergola is that it is relatively easy to build, and requires only a intermediate knowledge of carpentry to succeed. For the purpose of this discussion we will assess the costs and requirements of constructing a DIY pergola*.
Many homeowners decide to install pergolas as a way to shade an overly sunny deck or patio. This means that a very common size for a pergola is roughly ten feet square - or 100 square feet in size. The traditional height is nine feet total, and the classic choice in lumber is cedar because the structure will be unprotected from the damages of heat, sun, ice, and water.
According to the DIYOrNot.com website the average costs of a DIY pergola total at $3100, which translates to $31 per square foot.
These costs will cover:
- Materials - the standard pergola built in the size described is going to use 4"x4" cedar posts, 2"x6" cedar boards, as well as 2"x8" boards too. The average project demands around 15 pounds of galvanized screws, and a variety of fairly common household tools. These will include a level, tape measure, jig saw, drill, hammer, nails, circular saw, hammer, ladder, and a ratchet and socket set;
- Concrete footings - the four beams used as the primary structure can be set into concrete footings for additional stability. With concrete priced at an average of $75 per cubic yard, this would mean that only a nominal amount of money and effort could really improve the strength of the pergola; and
- Carpentry - it is always recommended that the homeowner double check with local planning and building groups to ensure that their structure will not have to be built to any specific codes. If that is the case it might pay off to consult with a professional carpenter about the project. Most will demand from $40 to $60 per hour, and you may find it beneficial to hire them to assist or manage the entire project
Additional considerations and costs
- Stain or seal - if the pergola is built from anything other than cedar it is going to be vitally important to consider staining or seal the entire structure once complete. This is because the boards may easily begin to warp or even rot if not made a bit more impervious to the weather conditions; and
- Plans - pergolas are among the most popular of the DIY projects and this means that there is an abundance of building plans available. This might be a very wise investment for the DIY homeowner as many of the finer plans come with building instructions and suggestions too.