Pergola Cost Breakdown: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

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Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

Imagine stepping out into your backyard and being greeted by a stunning pergola, a sanctuary where you can relax, entertain, and enjoy the outdoors. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?

But before you can bring this vision to life, there’s one crucial question you need to answer: How much does a pergola cost?

This question might seem simple, but the answer is more complex than you might think. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about pergola costs, from materials and size to installation and maintenance.

So, let’s dive in and start planning your dream pergola!

Key Takeaways

  1. Pergola Costs: The cost of a pergola can range from $1,700 to $3,000, depending on various factors such as materials, size, design, and installation method.
  2. Material Costs: Wood, vinyl, and metal are the most common materials used for pergolas. Each has its pros and cons, and the choice significantly impacts the overall cost.
  3. Size and Design: The size and complexity of the design directly influence the cost. Larger and more intricate designs will naturally cost more.
  4. DIY vs. Professional Installation: Installing a pergola yourself can save on labor costs, but professional installation ensures a sturdy and safe structure.
  5. Additional Features: Features like retractable canopies, lighting, and heaters can enhance the functionality of a pergola but will add to the overall cost.
  6. Maintenance Costs: Regular maintenance is crucial to prolong the life of your pergola. The cost of maintenance depends on the material and the features of the pergola.
  7. Value Addition: A well-designed pergola can increase the value of your property and serve as a selling point.
  8. Local Building Codes and Permits: Before starting the project, it’s essential to understand local building codes and obtain necessary permits.

Pergola Cost Breakdown

ComponentCost RangeNotes
Materials$500 – $1,500Depends on the type of material (wood, vinyl, metal)
Size & Design$200 – $500Larger and complex designs cost more
Installation$500 – $1,000DIY can save costs, but professional installation ensures safety
Additional Features$200 – $1,000Canopies, lighting, heaters, etc. add to the cost
Maintenance$50 – $200 per yearRegular maintenance prolongs pergola life
Permits$50 – $500Depends on local regulations

Factors Influencing Pergola Costs

When it comes to pergola costs, several factors come into play. The material you choose, the size and design of the pergola, whether you opt for DIY or professional installation, and any additional features you want to include all contribute to the overall cost. It’s also important to consider ongoing maintenance costs and potential costs related to local building codes and permits.

cost breakdown of a pergola
This pie chart provides a visual breakdown of the different components that contribute to the total cost of a pergola. It shows that materials and installation are typically the most significant costs, followed by the size & design and additional features. Regular maintenance, while necessary, usually makes up a smaller portion of the total cost.

Average Cost of Pergolas

On average, a professionally installed pergola can cost anywhere from $2,100 to $6,000. However, this is just an average. The cost can be as low as $1,050 for a simple, small pergola, or as high as $11,000 for a large, custom design with high-end materials and features. Remember, the total cost will depend on your specific choices and requirements.

In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into each of these cost factors, so you can make an informed decision about your pergola project. Whether you’re dreaming of a cozy wooden pergola draped in climbing roses or a sleek, modern metal structure with a retractable canopy, we’ve got you covered!

Material Costs

One of the biggest factors that will influence the cost of your pergola is the material you choose. Let’s take a look at the most common materials used for pergolas: wood, vinyl, and metal.

pergola material cost comparison
This bar chart compares the average costs of pergolas made from wood, vinyl, and metal. It shows that while wood pergolas are generally cheaper, vinyl and metal pergolas can be more cost-effective in the long run due to their durability and lower maintenance costs.

Wood Pergolas: Pros, Cons, and Costs

Wood is a classic choice for pergolas and can give your outdoor space a warm, natural look. There are several types of wood you can choose from, including cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated pine.

Pros: Wood pergolas are sturdy and can be painted or stained to match your outdoor decor. They’re also great for supporting climbing plants.

Cons: Wood pergolas require regular maintenance to prevent rot, decay, and insect damage. This includes staining or painting every few years.

Costs: Depending on the type of wood, the cost can range from $2,000 to $5,000 for a professionally installed, medium-sized pergola.

Vinyl Pergolas: Pros, Cons, and Costs

Vinyl pergolas are a popular choice for those who want a low-maintenance option. They come in a variety of styles and colors to match any outdoor decor.

Pros: Vinyl pergolas are resistant to rot, decay, and insects. They don’t require painting or staining and can be cleaned with soap and water.

Cons: Vinyl pergolas may not be as sturdy as wood or metal pergolas. They can also become discolored over time due to exposure to the sun.

Costs: Vinyl pergolas are generally more affordable than wood, with costs ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 for a medium-sized, professionally installed pergola.

Metal Pergolas: Pros, Cons, and Costs

Metal pergolas, often made of aluminum or steel, offer a modern look and are incredibly durable.

Pros: Metal pergolas are strong, weather-resistant, and require little maintenance. They’re also available in a variety of styles and finishes.

Cons: Metal pergolas can be more expensive than wood or vinyl. They can also become hot to the touch in direct sunlight.

Costs: Depending on the type of metal and the design, a professionally installed metal pergola can cost between $3,000 and $6,000.

Material Comparison: Which One is Right for You?

Choosing the right material for your pergola depends on your budget, the amount of maintenance you’re willing to do, and the look you’re going for. Wood offers a classic, natural look but requires more maintenance. Vinyl is low-maintenance and affordable, but may not be as sturdy or long-lasting. Metal is durable and modern, but can be more expensive.

Consider these factors and decide which material aligns best with your needs and preferences. Remember, a pergola is an investment in your outdoor living space, so choose wisely!

Size and Design Considerations

When planning your pergola, the size and design are two key factors that will significantly influence the cost. Let’s delve into how these aspects can affect your budget.

pergola size cost comparison
This bar chart compares the average costs of small (10×10), medium (12×12), and large (14×14) pergolas. It shows that the cost of a pergola increases with its size, which is an important factor to consider when planning your budget.

How Size Affects Pergola Cost

The size of your pergola directly impacts the cost. Larger pergolas require more materials and labor, which increases the overall price. For instance, a small, basic pergola might cost as little as $1,000, while a large, custom pergola could run upwards of $10,000.

It’s important to choose a size that not only fits your budget but also your space and needs. Consider the purpose of your pergola. Is it for intimate gatherings or large parties? Do you want it to cover a small patio set or an entire outdoor kitchen? Answering these questions will help you determine the right size for your pergola.

The Impact of Design Complexity on Cost

The complexity of your pergola’s design also plays a significant role in the cost. A simple, rectangular pergola with an open-top is going to be much less expensive than a pergola with intricate designs, custom shapes, or a roof.

Custom features like a gabled roof, latticework sides, or built-in seating can add character and functionality to your pergola, but they also add to the cost. If you’re working with a tight budget, consider starting with a basic design and adding custom features over time.

Cost of Popular Pergola Designs

To give you an idea of what you might expect to pay, here are some cost estimates for popular pergola designs:

  • Open-Top Pergola: This is the most basic and affordable design, typically costing between $1,000 and $2,000.
  • Gabled Pergola: A pergola with a peaked roof, this design offers more protection from the elements but can cost between $3,000 and $6,000.
  • Pergola with Canopy: Adding a retractable canopy for shade can increase the cost by $500 to $2,000.
  • Pergola with Sides: Adding latticework or solid sides for privacy can increase the cost by $1,000 to $3,000.

Remember, these are just estimates. The actual cost will depend on the size, materials, and your specific design choices.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

Once you’ve chosen your pergola’s size, design, and materials, it’s time to decide who’s going to build it. You can either roll up your sleeves and do it yourself or hire a professional. Let’s discuss the costs and considerations for both options.

diy vs professional pergola
This bar chart compares the cost of DIY installation versus professional installation of a pergola. It shows that professional installation is significantly more expensive than DIY installation.

Cost of DIY Pergola Installation

If you’re handy and enjoy a good DIY project, building your own pergola can save you a significant amount of money. The cost here would primarily be the materials, which can range from $500 to $4,000 depending on your choices. You’ll also need to consider the cost of tools if you don’t already have them.

However, keep in mind that a DIY project will require a considerable amount of time and effort. Depending on the complexity of the design, it could take several days or even weeks to complete.

Cost of Professional Pergola Installation

Hiring a professional to install your pergola takes the stress and labor off your shoulders, but it does come at a higher cost. Professional installation can range from $1,000 to $5,000 on top of the cost of materials. This cost includes labor and often comes with a warranty for peace of mind.

Pros and Cons: DIY vs. Professional Installation

DIY Installation


  • Lower cost
  • Personal satisfaction of building something with your own hands


  • Time-consuming
  • Requires a certain level of skill and physical effort
  • No warranty

Professional Installation


  • Saves time and effort
  • Professional quality and durability
  • Often includes a warranty


  • Higher cost
  • Less personal involvement in the project

In the end, the choice between DIY and professional installation depends on your budget, skills, and how much time you’re willing to invest in the project. Whichever route you choose, the result will be a beautiful pergola that enhances your outdoor living space.

Additional Features and Their Costs

Adding features to your pergola can enhance its functionality and aesthetic appeal. However, these additions come with additional costs. Let’s explore some popular pergola features and their associated costs.

pergola additional features and their costs

Cost of Retractable Canopies

A retractable canopy can add versatility to your pergola, allowing you to enjoy the sun when you want and get shade when you need it. The cost of a retractable canopy depends on the size and material, but you can expect to pay between $500 and $2,000. Installation can be a DIY project if you’re handy, or you can hire a professional, which would add to the cost.

Cost of Pergola Lighting

Lighting can turn your pergola into a magical nighttime retreat. You can choose from string lights, lanterns, or built-in LED lights. The cost of lighting varies greatly depending on the type and number of lights, but you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 for simple string lights to $500 or more for a professional lighting system.

Cost of Pergola Heaters

To use your pergola year-round, you might consider adding a heater. Portable outdoor heaters start around $100, while a built-in outdoor heating system can cost $1,000 or more. Remember to consider the ongoing cost of fuel or electricity when budgeting for a heater.

Other Optional Features and Their Costs

There are many other features you can add to customize your pergola. Here are a few examples and their estimated costs:

  • Curtains or privacy screens: These can add privacy and protect against wind and bugs. Expect to pay between $100 and $500, depending on the material and size.
  • Ceiling fan: A fan can provide a breeze on hot days. Outdoor ceiling fans start around $100.
  • Built-in seating: This can make your pergola a cozy spot to relax. The cost depends on the design and materials but expect to pay at least $500 for built-in seating.
  • Planters or trellises: These are perfect for adding greenery or climbing plants. They can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 each.

Remember, while these features can enhance your pergola, they also add to the cost. Choose the ones that will provide the most value and enjoyment for you.

Maintenance Costs

Owning a pergola also means taking on the responsibility of maintenance. Regular upkeep not only keeps your pergola looking great but also extends its lifespan. Let’s discuss the tasks, costs, and tips to reduce these expenses.

pergola cost over time
This line chart illustrates the total cost of owning a pergola over a span of 10 years, taking into account the initial cost of the pergola (including installation), as well as ongoing maintenance costs. It shows that while the initial cost is significant, the ongoing maintenance costs also add up over time.

Regular Maintenance Tasks and Their Costs

Cleaning: Regardless of the material, your pergola will need regular cleaning. This can usually be done with a garden hose and a soft brush. If your pergola is stained or painted, you may need to use a mild detergent. The cost is minimal, mostly your time, and possibly a few dollars for cleaning supplies.

Painting or Staining: If your pergola is made of wood, it will need to be repainted or restained every few years to protect it from the elements. The cost of paint or stain can range from $30 to $50 per gallon, and you might need several gallons depending on the size of your pergola.

Sealing: Wood pergolas also need to be sealed to prevent water damage. A good sealant can cost between $20 and $40 per gallon.

Long-Term Maintenance Costs

Over time, your pergola may need more significant maintenance or repairs. Wood can rot or become damaged by insects, while metal can rust, and vinyl can crack or fade. These repairs can range from a few dollars for minor fixes to several hundred dollars for more significant repairs.

Tips to Reduce Maintenance Costs

  1. Choose Low-Maintenance Materials: If you want to minimize maintenance, consider materials like vinyl or metal, which require less upkeep than wood.
  2. Invest in Quality: Higher-quality materials may cost more upfront, but they can save you money in the long run by lasting longer and requiring less maintenance.
  3. Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect your pergola for signs of damage or wear. Catching and addressing issues early can prevent more costly repairs down the line.
  4. Proper Installation: Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a professional, make sure your pergola is properly installed. This can prevent issues like premature wear or damage.

Remember, a well-maintained pergola can provide a beautiful and enjoyable outdoor space for many years. So, while there are costs involved, the benefits can make it well worth the investment.

Cost Comparison: Pergolas vs. Other Outdoor Structures

When planning your outdoor space, it’s helpful to compare the costs of different structures. Let’s take a look at how the cost of a pergola compares to other popular outdoor structures like gazebos and patios.

cost comparison pergolas vs other outdoor structures

Cost of Pergolas vs. Gazebos

Gazebos are similar to pergolas in that they provide shade and a place to gather. However, gazebos are typically round or octagonal, have a closed roof, and often have built-in seating.

The cost of a gazebo can vary widely depending on the size, materials, and features. A simple, wooden gazebo can cost as little as $1,500, while a large, elaborate gazebo can cost $10,000 or more. This makes gazebos generally more expensive than pergolas, especially when you consider the cost of additional features like screens or built-in seating.

Cost of Pergolas vs. Patios

A patio is a flat, outdoor area typically made of concrete, pavers, or natural stone. Patios can be a cost-effective way to create an outdoor living space, with costs ranging from $1,000 for a simple concrete patio to $4,000 or more for a large patio made of high-end pavers.

While a patio doesn’t provide shade or structure like a pergola, it can be a good foundation for your outdoor space. You can even add a pergola to your patio for the best of both worlds!

Choosing the Right Structure for Your Budget

When deciding between a pergola, gazebo, or patio, consider your budget, but also think about how you plan to use the space. If you want a shaded area for dining or relaxing, a pergola or gazebo might be the best choice. If you prefer an open space for kids to play or for hosting large gatherings, a patio might be a better fit.

Remember, any of these structures can add value to your home and enhance your enjoyment of your outdoor space. So, consider your needs, preferences, and budget, and choose the one that’s right for you.

How a Pergola Adds Value to Your Property

A pergola isn’t just a beautiful addition to your outdoor space; it can also add value to your property. Let’s explore how a pergola can impact your property value, serve as a selling point, and provide a return on investment.

how a pergola adds value to your property

Impact on Property Value

Outdoor living spaces have become increasingly desirable in recent years. A pergola can enhance your outdoor space by providing shade, defining different areas, and adding a touch of elegance. This can make your property more appealing to potential buyers, which can increase its value.

While it’s hard to quantify exactly how much value a pergola can add, real estate professionals estimate that well-designed outdoor spaces can increase a property’s value by up to 20%.

Pergolas as a Selling Point

A pergola can be a significant selling point when it’s time to sell your home. It can make your property stand out from others on the market, especially if outdoor living spaces are popular in your area.

Potential buyers can envision themselves relaxing or entertaining under the pergola, which can create an emotional connection and motivate them to make an offer. In this way, a pergola can not only increase your property’s value but also help it sell faster.

ROI of Installing a Pergola

The return on investment (ROI) of a pergola can vary depending on several factors, including the cost of the pergola, the value it adds to your property, and the popularity of outdoor living spaces in your area.

In general, you can expect a ROI of 50-80% for well-built outdoor structures like pergolas. This means that if you spend $5,000 on a pergola, you can expect to add about $2,500 to $4,000 to your property’s value.

However, the real ROI of a pergola can be the enjoyment you get from using it. Whether you’re hosting a family barbecue, relaxing with a book, or gazing at the stars, a pergola can enhance your outdoor living experience in ways that are priceless.

Local Building Codes and Permits

Before you start building your pergola, it’s essential to understand the local building codes and permit requirements. These regulations are designed to ensure safety and compliance with local standards.

Understanding Building Codes

Building codes vary by location and can affect various aspects of your pergola, including its size, height, design, and location on your property. For example, some areas may require that pergolas be a certain distance from property lines or other structures.

Before you start planning your pergola, check with your local building department or homeowners association to understand the relevant codes and restrictions.

Cost of Permits for Pergola Installation

If a permit is required for your pergola, there will be a cost associated with it. The cost of a building permit can vary widely depending on your location and the size and complexity of your pergola. It can range from $50 to $500 or more.

Keep in mind that failing to obtain a necessary permit can result in fines and may require you to modify or remove your pergola, so it’s worth the investment to do it right.

Navigating Local Regulations

Navigating local regulations can be complex, but your local building department is there to help. They can provide you with the necessary information and guide you through the permit process.

If you’re hiring a professional to install your pergola, they can often handle the permit process for you. Just make sure to discuss this with them before work begins.


What is the average cost of a pergola?

The cost of a pergola can vary greatly depending on factors such as materials, size, design, and whether it’s a DIY project or professionally installed. On average, you can expect to spend between $1,700 to $3,000.

How does the material of a pergola affect its cost?

The material of a pergola significantly impacts its cost. Wood pergolas are generally cheaper but require more maintenance, while vinyl and metal pergolas are more durable but also more expensive.

Can I install a pergola myself to save on costs?

Yes, you can choose to install a pergola yourself to save on labor costs. However, keep in mind that it requires a certain level of skill and time. If you’re not confident in your abilities, it might be more cost-effective to hire a professional.

What additional features can I add to my pergola and how will they affect the cost?

You can add various features to your pergola, such as retractable canopies, lighting, heaters, and more. Each of these will add to the overall cost of your pergola, so it’s important to factor them into your budget.

Does a pergola add value to my property?

Yes, a well-designed and well-maintained pergola can increase the value of your property. It can serve as a selling point by enhancing the outdoor living space.


While a pergola can be a significant investment, it can also add substantial value to your home and enhance your enjoyment of your outdoor space. Whether you’re looking for a shady spot to relax, a beautiful feature to add elegance to your garden, or a way to increase your property value, a pergola can be a worthwhile investment.

Remember, the key to a successful pergola project is planning. By understanding the costs involved and making informed decisions, you can create a pergola that you’ll enjoy for many years to come.

smith brad omni

Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.