How Much Does It Cost To Build A Pergola

A pergola is something many people dream about for their gardens. This beautiful archway can greatly impact the look of your yard, with plants climbing up the sides and trailing the top. It is a gorgeous addition to any home, but you may have skipped it fearing it will be too expensive to manage.

If you have ever asked yourself, how much does it cost to build a pergola? You may want to continue reading to discover the answer.

1. Consider the Size

The size you want your pergola to be has a huge impact on the price. The larger you make it, the more money you will spend putting it together. You should consider this when determining how much money it will be to make this addition to your yard.

Many pergolas span only 8 to 12 feet. They reach about 5 or 6 feet tall. You can choose to make this shorter and less wide if you want to purchase smaller wood boards for less money.

2. Type of Wood

The type of wood you use also plays a major role in determining the cost. Sandalwood, purpleheart, and bubinga are some of the most expensive options. If you want these types, you need to expect a higher payment.

Commonly found woods are much cheaper to purchase. Using these more basic kinds will save you a ton in the long-run. Oak, pine, cedar, and maple are some commonly found trees that are used to make wood for projects of this nature.

You should choose your wood based on the color you want your pergola to be, and whether or not you will be applying a finish. Unfinished woods will change color overtime and can develop moss.

3. Tools at Home

Tools you already have at home may come in handy for a pergola building project. Using tools and materials you already have laying around will help save on costs since you do not have to go out and purchase them new.

If there are tools you do not have, it is best to ask around. Your friends and family members may have a saw or clamps available for you to borrow. The last resort is to buy the tools yourself.

4. Building Vs. Buying

Are you going to build the pergola yourself, or buy it already made? Perhaps you want a builder to make you your own unique design. The method you choose has a great impact on the price you will be paying.


It is often far cheaper to purchase the materials and build the pergola yourself. Buying a pergola can cost you thousands of dollars. This is especially true if you want a customized design with more expensive wood used.

Building the pergola is not that difficult to manage. You just need the proper materials, including the wood you will use, a drill, a table saw, clamps, and screws.

You need to start with four support beams. Put them all into the ground and make sure they are secure. You will then use clamps to secure an additional board between each side.

This board will add support and help hold the main beams in place. Two clamps are needed on each side until you can get them screwed in.

You must use long screws that will make their way through both boards. At least 3 inch screws should be used. You can use a leveler to make sure all boards are level on all sides.

A drill is best to use because it allows all the screws to go in quickly. You do not want to use nails that you have to spend a ton of time nailing down by hand. A heavy duty drill works best.

A table saw is required to cut the crossbeams that will go across the top. This is so all beams will fit together properly. It is best to have a set of beams going one direction, and another set going the other.

It is ideal to add diagonal trim pieces that will hold the crossbeams to the four supporting boards. You may be able to find pieces cut at an angle if you ask, otherwise you will have to spend some time cutting them this way yourself.

You will again have to use the saw to cut the diagonal pieces as needed. This tool will come in handy throughout much of the pergola building process.

You should cap the ends of the posts by shaping square wood pieces into bevels. A 15 degree setting is needed on your saw blade. Finishing nails and a hammer should be used for this portion, since there is already screws in the underneath pieces.

5. Decorative Additions

Deciding which decorative additions to add is often the trickier part of the process. The pergola may be built, but it is not complete without any decorations and plants added. Every plant you choose adds to the cost of the overall pergola project.

Trailing pants and climbing pants are typically what is added to a pergola. Just because this is often the case, does not mean you have to follow it though. You can hang brackets and add any plants of your choosing if you desire.

You can start by adding just a few plants to keep the costs down for the time being, and continue making additions as you have the funds. A cheaper option to get you started is adding a nylon trellis net. It adds some color and helps the plants grow upward once you get them. Hanging baskets can be placed on the ends.

Final Thoughts?

A pergola is an ideal addition to your yard. The price can be cheaper than you think, as long as you choose a smaller option with less materials. Even a small pergola in your yard will greatly enhance the overall look and meet your needs.

Were you surprised at how much pergola building costs? Leave us any questions in the comments so we can discuss with your further.

Steps for Building a Pergola:

  1. Choose your materials.
  2. Start with your four support beams.
  3. Use a saw to cut out the crossbeams.
  4. Screw in all crossbeams to the support beams.
  5. Decorate as desired.


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