The average cost to have a pergola professionally built on your property is $4,000, with a range between $2,100 – $6,000. High-end pergolas can cost as much as $11,000 and low-end structures may cost as little as $1,050.
Your outdoor living space should reflect your unique style, and pergolas are a great way to add privacy and boost your curb appeal. If you’re looking for a way to cover your outdoor living area but don’t know how much you should pay for a pergola, we’ve broken down the average price and the factors affecting your final cost.
In this article:
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
- Cost by Location
Average Costs for a Pergola in 2023
|National Average Cost||$4,000|
|Typical Price Range||$2,100 – $6,000|
|Extreme Low End Cost||$1,050|
|Extreme High End Cost||$11,000|
These prices are subject to change based on your pergola’s size, the material you choose, where you place the pergola on your property, and any extra services like adding a roof.
Pergola Cost Estimator by Size
Your pergola cost can increase based on the size of your new outdoor structure. The larger your pergola, the more material you’ll need, and the labor cost will increase as well. Most pergolas cost $20 – $60 per square foot.
|Pergola Size||Typical Price Range|
|8 x 8||$640 – $3,840|
|10 x 10||$2,000 – $6,000|
|12 x 12||$2,880 – $8,640|
Other Factors That Affect Cost
Other factors that impact the cost of installing a pergola include:
- Building material
- Attaching it to a home or deck
- Installation season
- Custom vs. prefab
Your choice of material for your pergola can make the biggest difference in your final price. Please see the table below.
|Materials||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Fiberglass||$50 – $60|
|Specialized Wood||$35 – $55|
|Redwood||$40 – $50|
|Cedar||$25 – $35|
|Pine||$20 – $30|
|Aluminum||$10 – $30|
|Vinyl||$10 – $30|
You can make pergolas out of all types of wood, but cedar pergolas are a classic and long-lasting style great for any home. Cedar pergolas are relatively inexpensive, usually costing between $2,450 – $3,250 or $25 to $35 per square foot.
|✓ Traditional look|
✓ Insect and rot-resistant
|✗ Prone to cracks |
✗ Loses its color over time.
Aluminum is one of the cheapest materials to build your pergola, costing between $10 – $30 per square foot or $1,000 – $2,500 for a 10×10 pergola. This low maintenance and rust-resistant material is a good option for homeowners living near large bodies of water.
✓ Durable in any climate
|✗ May be hard to find a landscaper who specializes in aluminum pergolas |
✗ Loses its color over time
Vinyl and aluminum pergolas are similar in price and durability, with vinyl costing $10 – $30 per square foot or $1,000 – $2,500 per installation. Because vinyl pergolas are UV- resistant, they are a great shady addition for homes across the South.
|✓ Low maintenance |
✓ UV resistant
|✗ Limited colors|
Fiberglass is the most expensive pergola material (costing $6,000 per installation or between $30 – $60 per square foot) and the most sought after. Fiberglass pergolas are adaptable to fluctuating temperatures, and the durability of fiberglass also makes this the best option for large pergolas.
✓ Best material for large pergolas
✓ Lightweight, so it’s best for attaching
✓ Any color
✗ Limited availability
Redwood needs to be ethically sourced, making it more expensive than other woods like pine or cedar. Installing a redwood pergola costs $4,750 on average for a 10×10 redwood pergola and $40 – $50 per square foot.
|✓ Insect and rot-resistant|
✓ Beautiful color without painting or staining
|✗ Should be used only if the redwood has been ethically sourced.|
✗ Limited availability
Specialized wood includes materials like teak and ipe and is more expensive than traditional wood pergolas. For a 10×10 teak pergola, you can expect to pay between $3,500 – $5,5000 or about $35 – $55 and up per square foot.
✓ Insect and rot-resistant
✗ Not great for DIY’s
✗ Limited availability
From thatched to traditional, pergolas come in many different styles and colors, and the right type for your home can affect the price.
Some pergola styles that can affect your costs include:
- Curved roof pergolas (which are made of wire and covered with vines and flowers) are more expensive than smaller round pergolas and are similar to gazebos.
- Remote-controlled roof pergolas require wiring and electrical installations, increasing the price.
- Pergolas attached to your roof or deck can also increase your costs.
Attaching to Home or Deck
Attaching a pergola to your home or deck has its pros and cons depending on your home’s sturdiness, and it’s best practice to consult with your contractor ahead of time to determine the best location for your pergola on your property.
Advantages: Freestanding pergolas need four posts to stay up properly, so you can save money in labor and material costs by removing two posts and attaching the pergola to an existing structure.
Disadvantages: If your home or deck is in bad shape or unable to support a pergola, you may end up paying more in repairs than you would to build the pergola on its own.
Installing a pergola during the off-season (fall and winter) can be a great way to have access to talented landscapers at a more affordable price. Here’s why:
- Most contractors become extremely busy in summer, so in fall and winter you’ll be able to meet with a skilled landscaper who may not be available during peak season.
- Some states require permits before building a structure on your property, and getting those permits way in advance can save you time, money, and a stress headache.
Custom vs. Prefab
A custom design pergola costs more than mass-produced prefabricated structures. Many homeowners still choose a custom pergola design because:
- Custom pergolas often last longer
- You have more control over your pergola’s style and materials
- Custom designs usually add more to your home value
By definition, pergolas are open structures, but with the addition of a roof, you can create a custom area perfect for escaping the heat in the summer months.
There are several different solid roof styles, from painted glass to vines, and the price for each can range drastically. Shade sail roofs made of stretched cloth can cost anywhere from $50 – $200, whereas adjustable roofs can cost anywhere from $20 – $100.
The most expensive rooftop pergola style is a retractable awning, as you can remove the entire roof off the top of the pergola. Retractable awnings can cost between $1,000 – $5,000, depending on the size.
Outdoor curtains can be an excellent way to add even more privacy to your pergola. The type of rod and curtain you choose can affect the price, and including them in your pergola installation can increase labor costs.
Pro Tip: Adding curtains to your pergola doesn’t have to be done professionally, though, and it can be a fun and affordable DIY project for you.
Many homeowners considering installing a pergola also consider the following add-ons and alternatives:
From ceiling fans to outdoor speakers and lighting, there are various ways to customize your pergola. Most homeowners pay between $3.50 – $5.60 per square foot to have new electrical wiring installed on top of the labor costs to customize your new pergola.
Pro Tip: Working with electrical wiring can be complicated and dangerous, so it’s best to have it done by a professional.
Pergolas can be placed virtually anywhere in your outdoor living space, and if you’ve chosen to use your pergola to cover an outdoor kitchen, there are a few additional services needed to make sure everything runs properly.
It can cost anywhere from $252.50 – $1,171 to route plumbing to new fixtures like sinks and $730.50 – $4,555.50 to install a water heater.
Because pergolas and privacy go hand in hand, if you’re a homeowner with a hot tub, it may be a good idea to place these amenities in the same location. Placing a hot tub beneath a pergola also prolongs its lifespan. Most hot tubs cost $4,500 – $10,000.
|National Average Cost||$6,900|
|Typical Price Range||$4,500 – $10,000|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$1,000|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$25,500|
Fire pits add to your outdoor ambiance and have many practical uses, such as cooking and warmth. The typical fire pit costs $240 – $2,400.
|National Average Cost||$850|
|Typical Price Range||$240 – $2,400|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$200|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$5,000|
Gazebos are an alternative to pergolas. They are more expensive and have solid roofs that produce full shade. Gazebos typically cost $5,358 – $9,058.
|National Average Cost||$7,600|
|Typical Price Range||$5,358 – $9,058|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$325|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$27,000|
Cost of Building a Pergola DIY
There are two ways you can choose to build a pergola on your own, either with a DIY kit or by purchasing all the materials yourself. We’ll break down both costs here and compare them to an installation by a professional.
Pergola kits are an affordable and easy way to install these outdoor structures. Pergola kits come in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes and range from $300 – $2,000.
Building From Scratch
If you decide to build your own pergola from scratch, there are a range of tools and materials you’ll need.
|Post hole digger||$50|
|Cordless drill/driver kit||$79|
|Between 14-16 Southern pine pressure-treated boards|
(2 in. x 6 in. x 12 ft. #2)
|Exterior wood stain and sealer (5-gallon)||$160|
|Concrete mix (80 lb)||$6.40|
|Bugle-head construction screw (10 lbs./box)||$30|
|Galvanized carriage bolt (25-pack)||$72|
|0.5 cubic foot bagged marbled chips||$5|
The equipment listed above should be used to create a traditional open-roof wooden pergola.
How to Build a Pergola in 7 Steps
These directions should be used for pergolas going into the ground and would be different if attaching a pergola to a home or deck.
Step 1: First, you need to determine if you need a permit and where you’d like to place your pergola. You should also make sure you know where any utility or power lines are on your property as well.
Step 2: Then you need to prep the area and use your post-hole digger to dig four holes. After the holes are dug, add the gravel to each.
Step 3: Next, place the posts in each hole and add or remove gravel to make sure they’re all even.
Step 4: Now it’s time to mix the cement and pour it into the holes to hold them in place. Remove any braces used after the concrete is dry. There should also be no air holes when the cement is poured.
Step 5: While you wait for the concrete to dry, it’s time to get your cross beams and rafters ready to make your roof and support your design.
Step 6: After your cross beams and rafters are installed, you can paint and stain your pergola to protect it from cracking and make it look aesthetically pleasing.
Step 7: Adding trellises or curtains can be an easy DIY addition to enhance your custom pergola
DIY Cost vs. Professional Cost
The total cost to install a pergola on your own is $720. This price can decrease if you already have the needed tools. This price is significantly less than the average cost of $4,000 to have a pergola installed professionally.
Cost to Install a Pergola by Location
The cost of building a pergola can vary by location for a few reasons, including:
- Labor costs
Different states have different regulations on what you can or cannot add to your property, and the price of any necessary permits can be expensive. Most homeowners can install a pergola without worrying about a permit, but there are a few instances in which one may be required, including:
- If your home is part of an HOA, there often are rules against what you can build on your property, and you may have to apply for a permit to build your pergola.
- If your pergola is taller than 12 feet or if you’re attaching it to your home or deck.
These permits are necessary to ensure that your exterior is safe for construction, and they can cost up to $150.
The price to install a pergola includes the cost of labor, which is usually between $500 – $1000 of the total. If you live in an area with a high cost of living, expect your labor cost to be on the high end.
Some other ways labor can affect the price of your pergola include:
- Customizing your pergola by adding a rooftop or trellis
- Increasing the size of your pergola
- Attaching your pergola to another structure like your deck or a wall
Although it’s cheaper to have your pergola installed in the off-season, that window may be shorter for northern states. This means you might have to have your pergola installed while your landscaper is at their busiest, which can increase the price.
FAQ About Pergolas
Many people use arbor and pergola interchangeably, but there are a few key differences. Arbors are built on 2-4 posts, whereas pergolas can be built on four or more and are generally larger. Arbors are also usually used as gateways to a garden or as the entrance of a pergola and sitting area.
It can take between 12-16 hours or 2-3 days, depending on your landscaper’s experience and the size and intricacy of your pergola.
Because pergolas are most commonly built with an open roof or spaced-out slats, it depends on the customizations you add. For an additional fee, your landscaper could install a roof made of vines, cloth, or glass to block the rain.
The cost of pergola installation depends on its size, intricacy, location, and materials used. You can save money by building your pergola yourself (and even more by using a pergola kit), but novice mistakes can be more costly than professional installation.
If installing and building a pergola on your own is a daunting task, we’ll connect you to a pro near you to do the heavy lifting for you.
Michelle Selzer contributed to this article.
Main Photo by: Luz on Flickr / CC BY 2.0