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How Much Does a Pergola Cost?
These open-roofed, lattice-type structures get placed almost anywhere to accent landscaped designs and constructions. Commonly, Pergolas are used as shade for seating areas next to the pool or hot tub.
Pergolas don’t have walls like a gazebo or a solid roof like a pavilion. This can make them more affordable to build in some cases.
Pergolas can also be installed over an alley passageway into your backyard or as an impressive entrance to your garden, as well as in more traditional settings. You can increase the charm of these structures with the use of climbing vines.
On average, adding a pergola will cost around $4,000 for a professional installation, and most spend between $2,300 and $6,000 for the project.
How much you will ultimately pay for your backyard pergola will depend on if you use a prefab pergola, a DIY design, or hire a professional landscaper to design and build yours. Other factors include the complexity of the design, materials used, and size.
The advantage of using a prefabricated pergola kit is, of course, that they are pre-built for you and are much easier than building from scratch. Pricing for labor is also much more straightforward since a contractor can look at the plans and give you a more exact price because they know what they have to do.
Prefab pergolas are often less costly than fully custom pergolas because all of the pieces are ready for assembly. A custom pergola requires plans, additional material to account for waste, as well as additional labor, making prefab and readymade options attractive even for builders.
You can buy prefab Pergola kits in a variety of styles, sizes, and prices from your local building supplies store. Prefabricated pergola kits range in price from $500 to over $10,000, depending on the size and quality of the kit.
Also, many homeowners are looking for alternatives to wood pergolas that offer lower maintenance. Materials such as aluminum, vinyl, and PVC require far less maintenance than wood. Vinyl or aluminum prefab kits typically cost between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the size and features.
Steel kits and aluminum clad with vinyl kits can cost more – up to $7,000 in some cases.
Material Costs and Upgrades
Add-ons such as high-grade lumber or a misting system will also increase the price. Misting systems keep your family and guests cool, but can increase the costs by around $2,500.
You can add prefabricated trellises and arbors to create stunning additions to your pergola. Figure another $100 – $500 each for these additions.
Some pergola companies also offer louvered beams and rafters on the pergola that you can open and close to get more or less shade. Other companies offer UV-protective roofs that go over the pergola top, so you can get additional protection from the sun.
It’s also possible to wire a pergola with electricity to install a ceiling fan or lights to increase the amount of time you use the structure.
Higher grade lumber such as redwood or teak will dramatically increase the price of materials compared to pressure-treated lumber or fir. Aluminum or vinyl kits will also cost more than pressure-treated lumber, though they look much nicer in many cases.
Labor Costs vs. DIY Install
A significant cost in any pergola installation is the cost of labor in your area. Labor pricing varies throughout the nation, but on average most contractors will charge $500 to $1,000 in labor for a typical project.
As the size and complexity of the project increases, so will the cost of labor for the installation. Some attached pergolas may be less costly to purchase because they don’t have as many posts, but can be considerably more costly to install because they require modifications to your home, shed, or garage to attach the pergola itself.
Likewise, small “eyebrow” pergolas may be fast and easy to install, giving you much lower costs. Get several free estimates for a pergola installation for a much more accurate assessment of how much your pergola will cost.
Keep in mind that many prefab pergola manufacturers offer installation as well as add-on options. This can be a convenient way to have the pergola installed, as the company will deliver and install the same day.
However, it can also be more expensive than purchasing the kit and having a handyman erect it for you.
You can buy a prefab pergola and install it yourself with the right tools, time, and talent. Prefab kits come with detailed instructions, so with a little skill and the right tools, it will go up without many complications.
It’s a bit more complicated to design and build your custom pergola. However, if you have the woodworking skills, tools, and time, DIY is an excellent cost-saving option.
Whether you use a prefab kit or custom design or go DIY or professional, always consult the local building inspector’s office for permits. Also, check with the utility company if you plan to run gas lines or dig supports for the columns before you dig.
You might also be interested in our other deck and patio installation resources.
All pricing information on this page is based on average industry costs, and is subject to variance for project-specific materials, labor rates, and requirements.
- David Stephan, Transform your backyard into a paradise with a pergola, Offerpad, https://blog.offerpad.com/transform-your-backyard-into-a-paradise-with-a-pergola/
- Backyard Discovery, Modern Pergolas: Everything you Should Know, September 28, 2020, https://www.backyarddiscovery.com/blogs/swingsets-and-playsets/modern-pergolas-everything-you-should-know
- Genevieve Schmidt, Wood Pergolas, Landscaping Network, https://www.landscapingnetwork.com/pergolas/wood.html