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Build a Pergola Cost

Build a Pergola Cost

National average
$3,500
(10-foot cedar pergola professionally built)
Low: $2,000

(10-foot Alumawood pergola built DIY from a kit)

High: $10,000

(custom teak pergola with additional material for shade on the roof)

Cost to build a pergola varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from deck, patio and porch contractors in your city.

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Build a Pergola Cost

National average
$3,500
(10-foot cedar pergola professionally built)
Low: $2,000

(10-foot Alumawood pergola built DIY from a kit)

High: $10,000

(custom teak pergola with additional material for shade on the roof)

Cost to build a pergola varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from deck, patio and porch contractors in your city.

The average cost of building a pergola is $3,500​.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pergola?

If you are looking for a way to add definition, structure, or shade to a deck, patio, or yard, a pergola 1 is a great way to do so. Pergolas have become increasingly popular over the last several years. New designs and materials make them more affordable and adaptable to a greater variety of homes and architectural styles.

Pergolas can be built from several different materials, ranging from wood and fiberglass 2 to vinyl 3 with an aluminum core. They vary in size, design, and placement, impacting the overall cost of the project. The average cost for building a pergola in the U.S. is $2,500 to $6,000. Most homeowners spend around $3,500 for a 10-foot square pergola with a traditional design made of solid wood.

Pergola Installation Costs

Costs to build a pergola
National average cost$3,500
Average range$2,500-$6,000​
Minimum cost$2,000
Maximum cost$10,000


Pergola Costs by Material

Much of the cost for a pergola is based on materials. Some materials are more costly than others, with specialty woods costing the most and kits costing the least:


Cost to Build a Pergola

Cost to Build a Pergola


MaterialCost per FootAverage Cost for 10-foot Structure
Alumawood$10 - $20$1,500
Aluminum and Vinyl$10 - $30$2,000
Pine$20 - $30$2,500
Cedar$25 - $35$3,000
Redwood$40 - $50$4,500
Teak, Ipe, and Specialized Woods$55+$5,500
Fiberglass$60+$6,000


Alumawood

Alumawood is aluminum that has been processed, painted, and embossed to look like wood. It is more resistant to the elements than wood and is generally inexpensive at $10 - $20 a foot. It is fairly thin, however, and easily dented. The color of Alumawood may also fade and become chalky over time, so it requires periodic repainting.

Aluminum and Vinyl

These two materials usually go together because most vinyl pergolas require an aluminum core for strength and stability. This gives you the low-maintenance care of vinyl with the strength and stability of metal. Pergolas made with these materials are built in contemporary or traditional styles, and they require less maintenance than wood pergolas. They cost between $10 and $30 a foot depending on style.

Pine

Pine is a fairly common softwood used for pergolas. It is relatively inexpensive for wood but requires a lot of maintenance. It must be stained or painted to protect it from the elements, and it is often susceptible to insect activity. It costs around $20 - $30 a foot.

Cedar

Cedar is the most commonly used wood for pergolas. It can be painted or stained, but it does not need to be since it naturally resists rot and insect activity. It can crack, however, which does not affect the structure’s stability but can impact its looks. Cedar runs about $25 - $35 a foot.

Redwood

Redwood is similar to cedar in many ways. It does not require as much care as other woods and resists insect activity and rot. But it can also crack like cedar, and if it is painted, it must be primed to prevent bleed-through. Redwood is harder and more durable than cedar, so it lasts longer. It costs approximately $40 - $50 a foot.

Teak, Ipe, and Specialized Woods

If you want a hard and durable wood that will last, invest in materials like teak, ipe, and other exotic or specialized woods. These woods resist rot and cracking and last significantly longer than softwoods like cedar. Costs start at $55 a square foot but can go much higher, depending on the type of wood and availability.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is fairly popular for contemporary pergolas, especially for homeowners who want a low-maintenance, long-lasting material. There is less customization available, and colors are limited, but fiberglass pergolas last for years. Costs start at around $60 a foot.

Pros and Cons of a Pergola

Pergolas are just one type of structure that can add definition and shade to your landscaping. Like all projects, pergolas have positive and negative attributes to consider before building.

Pergolas are versatile. They come in many shapes and configurations and can attach to your building or stand alone. They can have built-in shade or removable shade so that you get the function you desire. They add definition and boundaries to outdoor areas, and they are significantly less expensive than gazebos and other structures.

Pergolas are more open than gazebos and other structures, so they generally provide less privacy and shade. Adding shade, electricity, and other amenities can dramatically increase costs because they require significantly more materials and labor.

Pergola Design Ideas

Pergolas come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. You can create a custom design to meet specific landscaping needs or use one of several readymade kits:

Traditional

A traditional pergola 5 is freestanding and supported by four columns or posts. Across the top are evenly spaced beams, usually with a curved or decorative end. These beams may remain open, be draped with cloth, or have vines trained across them for shade.


Outdoor deck patio space with traditional white pergola


Curved Roof

A curved roof pergola 5 is built similarly to a traditional pergola 5 but with an arched top. The top may be built from materials like mesh or wire so that vines and plants can be trained across it. Curved roof pergolas 5 are usually freestanding, and smaller models may be used as gates.


Curved Roof Pergola


Freeform

Freeform pergolas 5& are always custom, usually designed to meet specific landscaping needs. They can be sculptural and artistic in design and sometimes include cloth shade or vines.


Freeform Pergola


Modern

Modern pergolas 5 may be attached or freestanding. They have lean posts rather than columns, and the beams across the top do not extend past the frame. This gives these pergolas 5 a cleaner and more contained look. Modern pergolas 5 can be open or shaded with closely spaced sections. Many have an ultraviolet (UV) roof screen and include amenities like fans or benches.


Modern Pergola


Round

Less common are the round pergolas. These differ from gazebos in that they are completely open on the sides and support a less complete, typically flat, roof. Round pergolas are usually smaller than square pergolas.

Eyebrow

Eyebrow pergolas are very small and attached to a building, usually above doors, garages, or windows. They extend only one to two feet out and typically add detail rather than shade.

Adjustable and Retractable

Adjustable and retractable pergolas 5 come in many forms. They can have a shade that extends automatically from below the frame, or the roof itself may be positionable. These tend to be custom-made and considerably more expensive than traditional pergolas 5. They are also usually attached to homes rather than freestanding.


Retractable Pergola


Thatched

Thatched pergolas are less common but can be found in some tropical areas. They consist of a frame and a thatched roof made of traditional materials, including straw. These are custom-built and can be costly since it is difficult to find contractors who know how to thatch properly.

Cantilevered/attached

Pergolas built over patios may be cantilevered or attached to the home. These only require two columns or legs and are usually less expensive to build than a freestanding model. They provide shade for people entering and exiting the home.

Installation Process

The installation process for a pergola varies considerably, depending on the materials, design, and whether it is a custom model or kit. For kits and most basic designs, the first step is digging the holes for the posts, which are then sunk into place and allowed to set. The frame is then constructed by attaching the four posts together to form a basic open square or rectangle at the top. The open slats or roofing material is installed last. They may be notched to fit onto the frame or directly nailed or screwed to the frame, depending on the style.

Labor Costs to Install a Pergola

There is a large cost range for installing a pergola. Materials, design, and whether you choose a custom build or kit all affect the labor cost. Generally, for the installation of a basic 10 x 10-foot pergola with no customization, expect to pay around $500. Adding additional slats to the roof for shade, a back wall for privacy, or other customizations increases the cost. With customization or specialty materials, expect to pay up to $1,000 in labor costs.

Adding a Roof to a Pergola

The basic pergola design is considered an open-roof structure, meaning it does not offer much shade or protection from the elements on its own. It Is common to add shade by using cloth or by growing plants over the top of the structure.

Some companies offer kits with slats that are spaced closer together, providing up to 90% shade. Others offer the option of a UV-material roof, which filters out UV rays and also helps block rain.

It is possible to add a complete, solid roof to a pergola as well. Doing so dramatically increases the project cost because of the additional materials and labor required. Depending on the design, size, and material, adding a complete roof to your structure may double the cost of the project.

Attaching a Pergola to an Existing Structure

Attached pergolas are very common, frequently found on decks, patios, and other areas near an entrance to a home or building. They offer definition and shade for the area and are less expensive to build than freestanding structures.

You may need a permit to build one, however, since it can be seen as an extension of an existing building. Some homeowners’ associations (HOA) and regulators may even prohibit their use, so double-check with them before proceeding.

Pergola vs Gazebo

Both pergolas and gazebos are often built for similar reasons - to add definition and interest to a yard or landscape. They have several important differences, though.

Pergolas are generally open, and without cloth or vines, they provide minimal shade. Gazebos, on the other hand, have fully enclosed roofs and floors. This makes a gazebo more of a building or enclosed structure, which also makes it more expensive. Expect to pay $5,000 - $10,000 on average for a small gazebo. They are harder to build, take longer, and require more materials.

Both gazebos and pergolas can add a lot to your landscaping, but it is important to consider what you want from the project when deciding between the two.

Cost to Build a Diy Pergola

By building the pergola yourself, you can save on labor costs. Kits are available starting at around $2,000 and can be assembled by homeowners who are comfortable with projects of this size. You can also build a wooden pergola for approximately $3,000, saving about $500 to $1,000 on labor costs. You just need to be comfortable using the saws necessary to cut the wood prior to assembly.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Custom Design

Many people opt for a custom design for their pergola, which may include more shade, a custom shape, or even a back wall for privacy or a windbreak. These designs increase the cost of the project. Costs for a custom design start at around $5,000 - $6,000 and increase depending on the materials and level of customization.

Shade Sails Roofs

It is fairly common to add cloth to the roof of a pergola for shade. There are many options for this. You can stretch shade cloth over the existing slats, loosening and tightening as desired, or you can have a shade sail roof. In general, expect to add anywhere from $50 - $200 on cloth for the roof.

Curving Edges

Most pergolas are square or rectangular, but it is possible to have curves or rounded edges as well. This falls into the custom design category and increases the project cost. Most start at around $5,000.

Gables

It is also possible to add gables or a gabled roof to an open-sided pergola, which creates a kind of pergola/gazebo hybrid. This is a custom design that increases the starting costs of labor and materials to around $6,000 - $7,000.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • If you are using a wood that is not cedar or redwood, you need to stain or seal the pergola once built. While cedar and redwood are resistant to rot and insects, other woods are not and must be protected from the elements.
  • If you are installing your pergola on an old deck or uneven ground, you will have additional labor costs and potentially more structural costs as well.
  • In some areas, you may be able to get a discount on labor costs by building your pergola off-season. As long as the weather is conducive to the project, some contractors may offer a lower rate when they have fewer clients.
  • If you are pouring a foundation for your pergola, such as a patio or deck, you will have much higher project costs. Using an existing space can save money.
  • Make sure that your pergola matches the design and style of your property. It is also important to consider the size because some oversized structures may restrict the use of the surrounding area.
  • While many places do not require permits for this project, some do. To be sure, always check with your town or city hall before proceeding.

FAQs

  • How much does a 12x12-foot pergola cost?

The average cost of a 12 x 12-foot pergola made of cedar is $4,100.

  • Does a pergola add value to a home?

Pergolas do not add value, but they do enhance your landscaping and curb appeal. This can make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

  • Do pergolas really block the sun?

A standard pergola does not offer much shade, but some can block as much as 90% of sunlight with closely spaced slats. Others have cloth or vines added for shade.

  • Can a pergola be freestanding?

Most pergolas are freestanding.

  • ​What direction should a pergola face?

There is no set direction for a pergola to face because they are open-sided structures.

  • Do pergolas block rain?

No, pergolas do not block rain unless a roof is added.

  • What should I hang on my pergola?

Any type of climbing vine that is native to your area makes a great addition to a pergola. Shade sails are also a good option.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Pergola 1 Pergola: An arched structure with an open roof and cross rafters, supported by posts or columns, typically installed in a garden, park, or backyard and usually covered with climbing plants or vines.
glossary term picture Fiberglass 2 Fiberglass: Plastic that is reinforced with glass fibers. The fibers may be mixed randomly throughout the plastic, or come in the form of a flat sheet, or be woven into a fabric
glossary term picture Vinyl 3 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others

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

Garden with Modern Pergola Decorated with Plants and Furniture

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Anchorage, AK
+35%
Arvada, CO
-3%
Ashland, NH
+22%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Baton Rouge, LA
+19%
Boca Raton, FL
0%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Cary, NC
-5%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Chula Vista, CA
+8%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Colchester, VT
0%
Coldwater, MI
-21%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Concord, NC
-15%
Corpus Christi, TX
+4%
Cumming, GA
+2%
Cypress, TX
+8%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Elgin, IL
+28%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Frisco, TX
+23%
Glen Mills, PA
+26%
Glendale, AZ
-2%
Greensboro, NC
-9%
Greenville, SC
-12%
Hagerstown, MD
-14%
Hartford, CT
+23%
Houston, TX
+24%
Huntsville, AL
-17%
Irvine, CA
+23%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Lakeland, FL
-13%
Laurel, MT
-12%
Mckinney, TX
+23%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Midland, TX
-15%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Modesto, CA
-12%
Newport News, VA
-12%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   See change history
Methodology and sources