There are a wide range of reasons someone may look to a pergola as part of their new backyard living space. From shade, to design appeal, to making a patio or deck space more livable, pergolas are aesthetically pleasing ways to provide excellent cover and design to your yard. But how much does a pergola cost?
Like most outdoor projects, the way you go about obtaining a pergola may come down to the amount you have to spend on the installation. But how much does it cost, really? The answer? Pergolas come with a wide range of price tags. Certain factors will contribute to a higher final pergola cost per square foot, including aspects such as material, design, and method of installation.
Pergola Average Cost Varies
Homeowners looking to install a pergola in their backyard should consider what they are willing to spend per square foot of construction, and choose their next steps accordingly. At the end of the day, pergola installation can cost anywhere from just under a thousand dollars, to tens of thousands of dollars when incorporated as part of a larger design.
Before diving into your pergola installation, consider the following aspects to get an idea of what will drive up your price, and what will keep your project cost low.
How much do pergola materials cost?
Material costs are one of the most important things to consider when considering pergola cost as a whole. As with many aspects of design, both outdoors and in, much of the price of your piece will be determined by the quality of the material it is constructed from. Generally, the easier the material is to source and produce, the lower the materials cost per square foot. In the case of pergolas, this remains true.
Cheap Lumber, Fiberglass, or Metal
Stick built solutions made from cheap, untreated lumber or lower quality metals will be budget friendly solutions to homeowners looking to spend less. Some big box brands may sell fiberglass pergolas, or a vinyl pergola kit that is ready to assemble.
While these designs can look fine, the lower quality material is not always built to last. If your backyard is exposed to the elements, an aluminum pergola or a pergola that is not rot resistant can deteriorate quickly.
High End Material Costs
Prices begin to climb when you start looking to construct your pergola using higher end materials. Locally available selections of hardwood may vary by region, but some of the most popular pergola material includes woods such as:
- treated pine
If you don’t like the look of a wooden pergola, metals such as steel can provide a most industrial look while offering more opportunity for shade and cantilevered roofing designs.
The most expensive options may come in material selections such as high end lumbers or composite materials. Both of these selections will begin to run up initial materials cost per square foot. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you also get what you pay for.
Less Expensive Material Cost
There are many more affordable materials that are used frequently to build pergolas. The average cost of a pergola goes down significantly when considering less expensive materials for construction. However, cheaper pergola material is also less durable, and isn’t as aesthetically pleasing. When comparing a custom built, redwood pergola with a budget vinyl option, the difference is immediately clear.
Higher Pergola Cost Means Longer Life for Your Addition
Though pricey, higher end materials will often require less maintenance, and will do a far better job withstanding elements such as rain, sun, and cold. This means that although you will pay more initially, your investment will be worth the money in the long run.
Affordable options are cost effective in their initial build, but they become less cost effective when they break prematurely, or need constant repairs. Spending a little more on the pergola cost per square foot can actually save you money in the long run.
Average Cost of Pergola Design
The next aspect that affects the average cost of a pergola in your outdoor space is the design of the pergola itself. A custom built pergola will cost more than a standard design, which will cost more than a prefab kit you put together yourself.
At the end of the day, the simpler the design of your pergola, the cheaper it is likely to be. Again, the most affordable options can be found in simple premade designs purchased from online or big box stores such as Wayfair or Costco. As mentioned previously, many homeowners can find what they are looking for on a budget by shopping for premade or easy-to-assemble pergolas.
However, if you’re looking to create a custom built pergola, you should expect to pay more out of pocket.
Custom Pergola Cost
Customized designs that are constructed onsite by carpenters or landscape contractors will cost far more than their easy to assemble counterparts.
If you are looking to have a custom pergola constructed for your backyard space, it’s wise to enter the project with a higher expectation towards your budget. Custom designs are ones that are not mass produced. They fit into your space with intention, and often look like they’ve been there since the beginning.