Summer is coming, so it’s time to jazz up your outdoor space. One of the best things to incorporate into your yard or garden this year is a pergola!
These are beautiful private relaxation spaces for outside leisure, dating back as far as ancient Egypt. Pergolas can cost a pretty penny, so I’ve put together this guide to help you get the perfect type for your budget.
What’s the Average Price of a Pergola?
The average cost of a pergola varies widely, ranging from as little as $1,300 to a staggering $10,000.
A pergola’s price depends mainly on how you buy it. You can either buy a pre-manufactured pergola or go the DIY route and build it yourself. If you choose to do it yourself, you then have two more options: assemble it from a kit or make it entirely from scratch.
Which of these you choose will determine the exact price you pay for your pergola!
Further, you should know that there are several types of pergolas. The style that matches your preference might be more expensive than an alternative. The primary types you can choose from include those listed below.
These are excellent choices for farmhouses or cabins. These give the home’s exterior a very natural, rustic feel. Keep in mind that wooden pergolas can vary quite widely in price.
Pressure-treated, stained wood tends to fall on the cheaper side. However, if you want special materials like cedar, be prepared for a higher cost. Redwood costs about $40-50 per square foot, and cedar will run you about $25-35 per square foot.
Pergolas made of this material provide a sleeker look than wood. When made from high-quality vinyl, they can offer a sophisticated aesthetic.
One thing that may deter some folks is their maintenance requirements. You’ll need to power wash these more often than you’d repaint and reseal a wooden pergola, for example.
This equipment might be another element to add to the price of $10-30 per square foot.
#3 Metal or Fiberglass
Aluminum, steel, fiberglass, and pergolas of related materials are by far the most durable of all the pergola types.
Plus, they require far less maintenance than the alternatives, making them great for vacation properties or anywhere that may go for extended periods without frequent upkeep.
One of the most common materials in this category is aluminum, which costs $10-30 per square foot.
Examples of Pergola Prices
It’s one thing to know the market price of pergolas and their materials but another to see what a finished piece might cost. Here are some examples of current pergola prices to help shape your budget.
Backyard Discovery Laguna Cabana Pergola: Price not available
Wooden pergolas are spectacular, yet they can also be quite expensive. Still, this model made by Backyard Discovery doesn’t touch the maximum price of $10K.
The 10′ x 7′ x 7.5′ frame is made of two primary materials: alloy steel and exotic meranti wood. This is a tropical hardwood sourced from Malaysia. It’s a challenging material to work with, which may be driving up the price.
When untreated, meranti only lasts for two years. Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult to treat and has a natural vulnerability to drywood termites. With all this said, specialized wood materials like this are a significant investment that you shouldn’t take lightly.
This pergola also includes cedar boards, built-in powder-coated steel seating, and resin feet to prevent decay from moisture drawn from the ground.
- The combination of cedar, meranti wood, and alloy steel offers beautiful aesthetics with excellent durability
- Includes built-in seating
- Open layout still maintains seclusion with privacy boards
- Requires more frequent maintenance than a vinyl or aluminum pergola
Valencia Vinyl Pergola: $1,879.99
This vinyl pergola would be an exquisite addition to your outdoor space. It features a classic latticed roof supported by four pearly white pillars, creating a 12′ x 16′ frame.
New England Arbors’ made the Valencia model with busy homeowners in mind. It’s virtually maintenance-free, so you can set it and forget it.
The premium-quality weather-resistant vinyl material is made to last and will ensure the pergola doesn’t warp, crack, turn yellow, or degrade between maintenance periods.
Although it is pricy at $1,419.99, it’s a great investment. It’s the most economical of all the pergola types since these can last a lifetime.
- Essentially maintenance-free
- Premium weather-resistant vinyl is highly durable and resilient to environmental hazards
- Offers 192 sq ft of space
- Expensive one-time payment
Coolaroo Aluminum Aurora Pergola: $449.98
This is an interesting pergola to consider, given the included canopy piece. Pergolas don’t traditionally have a fabric canopy. Instead, any shade comes from the garden’s plants growing in, through, and around the latticework on the top.
Yet, this pergola’s canopy takes the plants’ place in shielding anything underneath from the sun’s harsh rays.
It can filter 90% of UV, making a huge difference in comfort and physical health when spending time outdoors. It’s also highly breathable, ensuring you feel the gentle breeze on your skin while you relax.
The pillars are powder-coated aluminum, offering a lightweight yet formidable shad cover. The frame is 9’8″ x 9’8″, great for fitting a small group of people inside.
- Breathable canopy blocks 90% of UV rays
- Covers more than 81 sq ft of space
- Very affordable
- You’ll need to take extra steps to anchor down the canopy in inclement weather
DIY Pergola Cost: What to Consider
After looking at the above options, you might decide that a DIY pergola is best for you. If this is the case, you have a few more things to consider before buying your materials.
First, you must understand that pergolas are meant to be installed as design pieces for gardens. Traditionally, they act as trellises for decorative foliage.
With that in mind, your materials need to be treated to withstand various environmental conditions like extended periods of heat and rain. Treated materials, wood and otherwise, cost more than untreated alternatives.
Although you don’t need a garden to install a pergola, you should consider it before you buy. If you want plants growing on the pillars and lattice, metal may not be the best option since it could heat up and burn the foliage.
This means you’ll be paying more for your pergola, as demonstrated by the differences in materials’ prices above.
Secondly, you need to decide how far into DIY you want to go. For instance, you can purchase a kit to assemble at home or do everything entirely from scratch. Ten-foot aluminum pergola kits typically cost anywhere from $400-800.
However, wooden pergola kits will be far more expensive, from $1,200 to $8,000 in some cases, depending on the type of wood.
If you want a wooden pergola, I suggest you build it from scratch to save money. You can get away with building an 8′ x 16″ pergola from the ground up for less than $600.
However, this price does not include any fees for delivery, taxes, or paving the installation area. Your city might also require a building permit, which can raise the price even further.
Does a Pergola Add Value to a Home?
Not only does a pergola look great and tie together the look of a space, but it can also add value to a home. If installed in correct proportions and with scale to the size of the space in mind, you can see an 80% ROI with a high-quality pergola.
There are many options for pergolas. For example, you can have a contractor build a pergola to meet your specifications and match your outdoor area’s style and look.
You can also order a top-quality pergola from a leading company selling them either in-store or online.
For more info about what specific factors can influence a pergolas value add on a home, make sure to take a look at my dedicated article here.
Things to Keep in Mind
However, keep in mind that the type of pergola and sturdiness can play a part in its value and ROI. For example, if you have a lightweight composite structure put together out of a box, it won’t add as much value as a pergola constructed by a professional.
It would be best to add a structure that complements the space to get the most value. Try to invest in a solid, well-crafted pergola that doesn’t stand out too much or overwhelm the area. It should be easy on the eye and not prevent the space from being used effectively.
You also need to ensure you select a style that matches the style or design features already in place. If you have a rustic country design for your space and home, you’ll want to stick with it for the best results.
Likewise, if you have a Greek Revival style space, you should consider avoiding the more rustic styles.
A pergola can be a beautiful addition to your yard or garden. Still, as pretty as they are, remember that they’re a pretty big investment.
The pergola’s material and size are the primary factors that determine the price. However, you can save a lot of money by building it yourself, either from a kit or from scratch.
If you’re able, I recommend wooden pergolas, as these are traditional and the most beautiful of them all.
Even if you go the budget-conscious route and assemble it from a kit, these can truly transform your outdoor space and create a private, tranquil spot to rest.