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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Driveways, Pools & Outdoor Living > Pergola

Pergola Cost

How Much Does a Pergola Cost?

low costLow: :$300-$500average costMedium: $800-$2,000 high costHigh: $2,500-$4,000+
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Designed to support climbing plants, a pergola is an open-air columned and framed structure, with a flat rooftop of open trelliswork. Usually made of wood or vinyl, a pergola is either situated at a home's entrance or in the backyard to provide shade or visual interest. (Although pergolas and arbors are similar, generally arbors tend to be smaller with an arched top, while flat-topped pergolas range from just large enough to cover a walkway to large enough to span a patio or deck.)

Typical costs:

  • For an inexpensive, average-sized (10'x10') pergola that can be erected in a matter of hours, building supply, warehouse and some retail stores sell ready-to-order pergola kits (which can weigh hundreds of pounds). A steel pergola[1] can be purchased for around $300-$500, but a vinyl[2] or aluminum pergola[3] kit that requires little maintenance costs about $800-$2,000; the downside is that they may prove to be less sturdy than costlier woods and composite varieties.
  • Hardwood pergolas[4] , and those made with composites, will cost at least $2,500 in most cases (although you can find cheaper ones during seasonal sales) but can easily escalate to the $4,000-range, depending on materials (cedar and redwood tend to be more costly) and size. Store kits may include warranties (ranging from 1-20 years) on the frame, finish and workmanship and can include an attached shade screen. But these models don't allow for customization; what you see is all that you can get.
  • Not surprisingly, custom pergolas are the costliest. Often available in vinyl and wood, custom pergolas can usually be purchased online and installed as a do-it-yourself project or by a professional. The greatest benefit is having a unit built to specification. Such a luxury, however, comes at a cost of about $25-$50 a square foot (or more), depending on material and labor costs.
  • In addition to the cost of materials, do-it-yourself construction requires a little building know-how; at least one or two helpers for assembly; 3 to 48 hours to complete; and basic tools, like a screw gun, a tape measure, ladders, a hammer/rubber mallet and wrenches. Readers' Digest explains how to build your own pergola for about $2,400 worth of materials, while[5] provides DIY pergola plans for $19-$26 each.
Related articles: Handyman, Landscape Design, Deck, Patio

What should be included:
  • Pergola kits contain an instructional booklet with step-by-step diagrams and will include pre-marked construction pieces like rafters, beams, girders, support posts and joists, as well as corresponding hardware, glue and in some cases, tools.
  • Note that the addition of a pergola may require a building code inspection and pre-ordered pergolas may not be returnable even if the unit is not up to code. And before pounding beams into the ground, find out where underground wiring lies and how much the surface slopes as this may alter final measurements, which is extremely important for custom, non-refundable pergolas.
Additional costs:
  • Some companies, like Backyard America[6] , provide computer-aided designs of a custom pergola to give a precise idea of how it will look in a given space for $50-$85.
  • Bolt-down mounting kits[7] (costs $79.54 and comes with four brackets and hardware at Sam's Club stores) may be necessary to secure a pergola to a wood deck or concrete patio or driveway.
  • Pressure-treated wood inserts, post mounts as well as concrete mix may also be a necessary purchase to anchor the unit in place for an in-ground installation.
  • While pergolas offer a bit of shade, they don't offer much. Some are sold with attached screens, but higher-end ones, including motorized canopies, can cost $200-$500 and upward of $4,000.
  • Lighting and decorative details like boots (that cover the bottoms of the posts) and gussets (decorative framing) can add flair and a few hundred (or thousands) to your final bill.
  • Pergolas purchased online usually include shipping/freight costs as part of the estimate but not always, so check ahead.
  • Some companies, like Baldwin Pergolas[8] , offer a one-percent discount when you pay for your total order with a personal check.
  • Some stores offer limited discounts when you make your purchase online.
Shopping for a pergola:
  • Ordered pergolas may take one day, one week or up to one month for delivery. Backyard America[9] and Baldwin Pergolas[10] specialize in high-end pergola kits.
  • Pergolas come in a wide range of materials, such as fiberglass, vinyl or cedar. Backyard America provides a material comparison chart[11] .
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