How Much Does It Cost to Install an Arbor?

Average range: $2,500 - $4,500
Low
$600
Average Cost
$3,500
High
$8,500
(Installation of a wooden arbor, custom-built with a classic arch)

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How Much Does It Cost to Install an Arbor?

Average range: $2,500 - $4,500
Low
$600
Average Cost
$3,500
High
$8,500
(Installation of a wooden arbor, custom-built with a classic arch)

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Reviewed by Irene Pomares. Written by Fixr.com.

An arbor is an archway or vertical structure usually placed on walkways, paths, gardens, or entrances. Most homeowners opt for purchasing an arbor to enhance the beauty of their yard. While these structures make a great accent piece, they come with many advantages for your home and yard. Arbors provide a shaded space great for outdoor gatherings, act as a shield from harsh weather, support climbing plants, create an entranceway, and increase your home's value.

The national average cost for installing an arbor is between $2,500 and $4,500, with most people paying around $3,500 for a custom-built wood arbor with a classic arch. However, at the low end of the spectrum, you can opt for a professionally installed wooden arbor kit for $600. At the high end, you pay up to $8,500 to have a custom-built wooden arbor with a gable, exotic wood, and decoration.

Arbor Installation Cost

Arbor Cost
National average cost$3,500
Average range$2,500 - $4,500
Minimum cost$600
Maximum cost$8,500


Arbor Installation Cost by Project Range

Low
$600
Wooden arbor kit, professionally installed
Average Cost
$3,500
Installation of a wooden arbor, custom-built with a classic arch
High
$8,500
Wooden arbor, custom-built with a gable, exotic wood, and decoration

Arbor Cost by Height

Arbors should be tall enough for people to fit through comfortably and a good height to maintain vines or plants climbing or growing. The smallest arbors average 6 feet while the average height is between eight and ten feet. Some styles, including arched, gabled, or half-moon, maybe taller than others, such as grape. You can expect to pay more for a ten-foot arbor compared to a six-foot. The chart below illustrates the three most common arbor sizes and their respective costs.


Arbor Cost Chart


HeightCost (Material Only)
6 feet$250-$500
8 feet$300-$800
10 feet$500-$1,250


Arbor Price by Material

The cost of an arbor is influenced by the material selected. There are four common materials for arbors, including vinyl, composite, wood, or metal. These materials differ in their pros, cons, lifespan, and cost and are known for their appearance, structural integrity, and ability to withstand harsh weather. You can expect to pay more for a wood or metal arbor than a vinyl or composite arbor. The table below lists the most popular types of arbor materials available and their cost.


Arbor Price by Material

Arbor Price by Material


MaterialCost (Material Only)
Vinyl$100-$1,000
Composite$300-$1,000
Wood$500-$3,000
Metal$500-$3,000


Vinyl Arbor

For both style and practicality, a vinyl arbor can be the best arbor material on the market. Vinyl arbors are great for spaces prone to extreme weather as they are not impacted by scorching heat or freezing temperatures. They will not decay easily and do not need painting, making them versatile to accommodate any space. Also, your vinyl arbor will not require yearly maintenance to protect its lifespan. Every once in a while, they can use a good cleaning with a hose spray and can last you a lifetime. Vinyl pieces are designed to resemble natural materials such as wood and metal; however, they hold a much cheaper price tag.

While vinyl arbors come with a wide variety of pros, a few cons can be noted. Vinyl arbors come in a limited number of colors and styles and cannot be customized. This makes it difficult when you look for a specific kind of arbor. They also are much less eco-friendly than other types on the market. You can expect to pay between $100 and $1,000 for a vinyl (plastic) arbor, not including installation costs.

Composite Arbor

Composite arbors are extremely versatile structures that combine the appearance of wood with the durability of composite. They are suitable for extreme climates and retain their visual appearance and finish for decades. The composite material is less likely to rot over time and does not need to be painted or stained. Unlike wood and some metal types, you do not need to spend extra on maintenance. You can expect your arbor to last for at least 25 years.

If you are looking for a customizable arbor option, then a composite arbor may not be the best choice for you. Composite arbors come in limited styles and colors and can be very difficult to customize. Expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 for a composite arbor, not including installation costs.

Wood Arbor

Wood arbors offer a beautiful, rustic appearance that adds charm and elegance to your outdoor space. They are endlessly customizable and can be painted or stained to whatever color or tone you desire. Compared to some styles of metal, wood is relatively inexpensive.

Lifespan and maintenance are two factors about wood arbors that can influence your purchasing decision. The lifespan of these types of arbors is around five to twelve years. Since they are made of wood, they are vulnerable to rotting and molding over time. They require a high amount of regular maintenance, including frequent cleaning, restaining, sealing, repairing, and repainting, to extend their lifespan by a few years. If you keep up with the maintenance, you can expect your wood pergola to last 10 to 12 years. You can expect to pay between $500 and $3,000 for a wood arbor, not including installation costs.

Metal Arbor

If you are searching for an extremely durable arbor with several unique styles, then a metal arbor is the best option. Unlike wood and other materials on the market, you never have to worry about rotting, cracking, or infestations with metal. Their strength is unmatched. Metal arbors stand up to strong storms and winds. They are a great option for growing plants. You can add extra eye-appeal by painting your metal arbor to match your outdoor decor.

Metal arbors may last up to five years due to their susceptibility to rust. One of the keys to longevity includes the type of metal. Avoid coated steel or iron arbors and opt for a maximum strength aluminum material. A few more cons of metal arbors include their expensive price tag and limited options. You can expect to pay between $500 and $3,000 for a metal arbor, not including installation costs.


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Arbor Installation Price by Style

Arbors are available in several different styles and shapes. They can be incorporated into a fence or hedge, be a standalone shelter with a bench, or contain a gate. Each of the styles varies in appearance and cost. You can expect to pay less for a simpler style, such as the classic arch, compared to a benched arbor. Below is a chart comparing the cost of arbor installation by style.


Arbor Installation Price by Style

Arbor Installation Price by Style


StyleCost (Materials and Labor)
Arch$600-$1,800
Moon gate$600-$1,800
Grape$700-$2,000
Gabled$750-$,2000
Garden arbor with bench$850-$3,500


Arch Arbor

The arch arbor is one of the most popular types of arbors on the market. This style of the classic arch has straight walls and a rounded, arched top. This arbor may be made of any material, comes in several widths, and can be decorative or plain. This style is commonly used for weddings and is covered in vines, shells, branches, twigs, flowers, or fabric. The average cost for an arched arbor is $600 to $1,800, including materials.

Moon Gate Arbor

The moon gate is a very wide arbor that looks like a half or three-quarter moon. All sides are curved. This type of arbor is usually made of metal but can come in other materials. The moon shape adds a decorative appeal and is commonly used for wedding ceremonies. The average cost for a moon gate arbor is $600 to $1,800, including materials.

Grape Arbor

A grape style arbor is very similar to the look of a small-sized pergola. It has a flat top, suited to holding heavy vines with fruit, such as grapes. Whether you grow grapes for consumption or appearance, a grape arbor enhances any garden space. The average cost for a grape arbor is $700 to $2,000, including materials.

Gabled Arbor

A gabled arbor is defined by its pitched style roof that extends past the sides into gables, hence the name. This arbor style is more decorative than the classic arch. This type of arbor is commonly made of wood but can come in other materials. You often see them at the beginning of a garden as they add some charm to the space. The average cost for a gabled arbor is $750 to $2,000, including materials.

Garden Arbor with Bench

A benched arbor does not work like a passthrough, so it will usually have three sides and a top. The bench will be installed along the back. This type of arbor adds a classic style to any garden or outdoor space and provides an extra seating area or more space for your plants to grow. The average cost for a garden arbor with a bench is $850 to $3,500, including materials.

Arbor Cost by Feature

Arbors can be customized to take on a variety of different styles and shapes. They can be built into a fence, feature a gate, or both. These extra features help secure the arbor to its surroundings and increase its aesthetic appeal. Any of these additional features increase the final cost of the project. The chart below illustrates these features with their respective costs.

Arbor Cost by Feature


FeatureCost (Materials)
Arbor with Fence$750-$1,500
Arbor with Gate$750-$1,500
Arbor with Gate and Fence$850-$2,500


Arbor with Fence

A fence can act as a wall helping to tie the arbor to its surroundings. It serves to direct foot traffic to an opening, the arbor itself. A fence provides you with privacy and acts as an invitation for someone to proceed. Also, a fence is a great complementary pairing to the arbor to serve as more support for vines or plants. You can expect to pay between $750 and $1,500 for an arbor with a fence, not including the installation fees.

Arbor with Gate

Adding a gate to your arbor can be the perfect finishing touch to your entryway. A gate adds an aesthetic appeal to your structure and is a good privacy piece. It separates the garden or a specific spot in your yard from the remainder and beckons visitors. The structure can be finished to match the style and color of your house. For an added twist, blend styles for a unique look. Ensure that your gate is installed high enough to avoid any obstructions. You can expect to pay between $750 and $1,500 for an arbor with a gate, not including the installation fees.

Arbor with Gate and Fence

Adding an arbor with a gate and a fence is an excellent combination. A gate adds privacy to your space, while a fence directs people to the gate’s entryway. Many different styles of this combination bring attention to and define a spot in the yard. You can expect to pay between $850 and $2,500 for an arbor with a gate, not including the installation fees.

Arbor Installation Price by Type

Many different arbors are available; however, there are only two fundamental arbor types: attached and freestanding. While both types are similar in the materials used, installation process, and purpose, they differ in their design. The type of arbor you select should depend on the location and its surroundings. Freestanding and attached arbors are compared below and illustrated in the chart with their respective costs.


Arbor Installation Price by Type


TypeCost (Labor and Materials)
Attached$1,800-$4,000
Freestanding$2,500-$4,500


Attached Arbor

An attached arbor is defined as having one side “attached” to a wall or structure. The wall or structure supports the arbor and is mounted using a beam or anchor. Attached arbors require fewer legs than freestanding and are less expensive. Depending on your municipality, you may be required to obtain a special permit for an attached style as it impacts your taxes. This style of arbor should be installed by a professional to protect the structural integrity of your home. The average cost for an attached arbor is $1,800 to $4,000, including labor and materials.

Freestanding Arbor

Just as the name states, a freestanding arbor stands on its own without being attached to any other structure. They are independent of any anchored surface and are secured using stakes or posts mounted to concrete footings. Freestanding styles have no limitations on height, size, or orientation. A detriment of this style is the challenge of obtaining a permit for a freestanding structure as it can block your neighbors’ views. You can expect to pay a little bit more for freestanding styles because they have higher material costs. They require four posts to stand compared to those attached to a house. The average cost for a freestanding arbor is $2,500 to $4,500, including labor and materials.


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Arbor Installation Cost

The arbor installation process varies depending on several factors, including the type of material, the location of installation, and whether the arbor is custom or one from a kit. Once you have selected your arbor and are ready for installation, the area must be cleared of rocks, stumps, or other obstacles. The arbor is constructed, either through a kit or a custom build. Holes are dug in the ground, and the arbor posts are set with concrete. Alternatively, you can secure the arbor to the ground using stakes attached to the legs. Once the concrete is cured, you can plant your vegetation and train the plants to climb and grow up the arbor. Arbor installation is quick and can take anywhere from a few hours to a week, depending on the project’s complexity and location. If you purchase a DIY kit, it may take a bit longer than a professional installation.

The labor cost varies depending on whether the build is custom or a kit and the material you have selected. The average kit costs between $150 and $300, with an average of $150 to $300 for the cost of labor. For a custom build, you can expect to pay around $800 to $1,200 for labor and $2,300 to $2,700 for materials. That is a total of $3,500 for a custom-built wood arbor with a classic arch.


White wood moon grape arbor installed as an access to a back yard


Pergola vs Arbor vs Gazebo

You have many options to choose from when selecting an outdoor structure to add to your yard or garden. Some great choices include arbors, pergolas, and gazebos, all of which are common structures but typically serve different purposes, offer varying styles, and associated costs. Homeowners often confuse these three similar structures, but their purpose acts as the main difference. The chart and paragraphs below illustrate the differences in the cost of the three structures and explain each.


Pergola vs Arbor vs Gazebo


TypeCost (Materials and Labor)
Arbor$3,500
Pergola$3,500
Gazebo$8,750


Arbor Installation Cost

An arbor is the simplest of the three structures. They are a freestanding or attached structure that is often placed on walkways or paths or serve as an entranceway or passage to a part of a yard or garden. It provides shelter for a bench or seating area for one or two people. Arbors are usually covered with attractive climbing plants or vines for a more decorative, eye-appealing structure. Arbors are made of two to four posts with a simple arched or slatted roof. The sides can be open or covered with lattice or trellis for an enclosed effect. They are much smaller than pergolas and gazebos and do not provide as much shade. An arbor is the cheapest of the three types of structures, averaging approximately $800 to $1,200for materials and $2,300 to $2,700 for installation.

Pergola Installation Cost

A pergola is a larger wooden structure built with columns for walls and a solid or open roof. They are traditionally placed as a standalone structure at the end of a pathway or garden. They are increasing in popularity as a connected structure to a home, usually as a vertical addition to a patio. The difference between an arbor and a pergola is that an arbor’s main use is an entryway for guiding people down a specific path. In contrast, a pergola provides a larger shaded area where people can gather. Both structures offer protection from direct sunlight. Pergolas are much larger and have a space for plants or grapevines to grow. Some advantages of owning a pergola include their durability, ability to offer an outdoor living area, shade, and their ability to provide a privacy screen from neighbors. Some cons associated with pergolas include their high maintenance, wear over time, and their inability to increase your home’s value. Materials make up at least 50% of the pergolas’ cost, with approximately $2,500 to $3,000 for materials, with a total cost of $3,500, including labor.

Gazebo Installation Cost

A gazebo is a standalone structure and is the most defined of the three. Gazebos come in many different shapes, commonly an octagon or round shape, with a solid pitched roof and may or may not have walls. Supported by columns, gazebos feature low railings, including a built-in bench for seating, and feature a floor, making them different from arbors and pergolas. Compared to an arbor, a gazebo is a much larger structure built on a bigger scale and can be used as a centerpiece to accommodate bands or outdoor performances. Gazebos offer a great deal of shade in a backyard and can house many people. Conversely, an arbor provides shade for only a few. A commonality between the two is that they both add some charm and elegance to your landscape or yard.

Many advantages may be noted for investing in a gazebo, including protection from the elements during any kind of weather and the ability to offer a spot for dining and relaxation or house a hot tub. To make the gazebo even more useful, you can install a bug screen and add instant value to your home. While there are many advantages, a few cons of owning a gazebo include their expensive cost and their need for regular maintenance. Even though a gazebo uses up more yard space, they aren’t as open as a pergola or arbor. Wooden gazebos are the most common, but they can also be constructed out of vinyl, aluminum, or wicker. Gazebos are easily customizable, similar to pergolas, and can be constructed to whatever dimensions you wish. Of the three, gazebos are the most expensive and average $8,750 with $1,750 for materials and the labor making up the difference.


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Arbor Plants

Arbors are designed in a certain way to allow them to have plants grown over them. The plants you choose for your arbor are directly influenced by your structure’s size, shape, and material of your structure. Metal arbors can handle more aggressive plants such as wisteria ($12), while a grape arbor can handle hefty plants, including grapes ($40), passionflower ($15), or trump vines ($10). Some more common arbor plants include honeysuckle ($15), jasmine ($20), roses ($25), and grapevines ($40).

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Metal and vinyl arbors can be a better choice in climates that experience high winds. They can be secure structures if you can sink them into concrete for the footings.
  • Trellises and arbors make it possible to plant in small spaces by having the plants grow upward.
  • Arbors used at entryways help frame the entrance while providing some privacy and a glimpse of the garden.
  • If you plan on painting your arbor, you may decide to use less expensive wood. If you plan on staining the wood, you may decide to use a wood with a clear grain like cedar. If you have a PVC arbor, it is important to keep in mind that it does not require painting, while metal arbors may be powder coated.
  • Installing an arbor in your yard can be a DIY project. There are arbor kits available for purchase, which provide you with step-by-step instructions on assembling the structure yourself. An arbor can be easy to build using one of these kits and can be far less expensive than one purchased from a commercial source or custom-built to your specifications.

FAQs

  • How much does an arbor cost?

The average cost for installing an arbor is between $2,500 and $4,500, with most people paying around $3,500 for a custom-built wood arbor with a classic arch.

  • What can I plant on an arbor?

The best types of plants to grow on an arbor are those that can weave their way around. Rambling roses, jasmine, clematis, and honeysuckles are some of the best choices for what to plant on arbors, as they require just a little coaxing on where you want them to go.

  • How tall should a garden arbor be?

A garden arbor should be tall and wide enough for you to walk through it. It should be at least 6 feet high and 3 feet wide.

  • Where should a garden arch be placed?

A garden arch can be placed in any location where the ground is level and clear of any rocks or weeds. Placing it up against a wall or fence provides extra support, but wherever you choose, soft or medium grassland provides for the best anchoring.

  • How do I secure my arbor in the ground?

An arbor can be secured to a hard ground surface using brackets, and for soft surfaces, secured using stakes attached to each leg. For a more secure hold, holes are dug, and concrete is poured to hold the arbor into the ground.

Cost to install an arbor varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
Outdoor wood arbor with flowers
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Cost to install an arbor varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources