Garden pergolas are indeed great ornamental additions to any outdoor space. The architectural beauty of the pergola is enough to complete the look of any garden. This is without mentioning yet that besides ornamental features, a pergola also offers several practical uses. The shade offered by pergolas can be a cozy refuge from the sun, opening a great space for a lot of outdoor activities including barbecues, entertaining guests, relaxation, and so much more.
So if you are thinking of building a pergola, you are on the right track. You are not only giving support to vines and creepers in the garden but you are also opening a lot of opportunities for your outdoor living area. This article will discuss the costs involved in building a pergola at home.
The Cost Of Building A Pergola
The cost to build a pergola usually ranges from $20 to $55 per square foot or $2,000 to $5,500 for a 100 square foot pergola.
This estimate refers to building a pergola from composite wood with the help of a professional.
Factors Affecting The Cost Of A Pergola
Size. Of course, the bigger the pergola is, the more expensive the whole project will become. However, as the size of the pergola increases, the price per square foot to build the pergola goes lower.
Material. The quote mentioned above refers to a pergola made of composite wood, which is usually the cheapest option. Going for vinyl can already double the cost of building the pergola. The same is true for using cedar wood. In fact, the price can be more than double if the pergola is made from real wood. Other material options for pergola include fiberglass, urethane, and cellular PVC.
Design. Simple pergolas can be cheap to build. As the design becomes more complex, the more materials and more effort are needed to complete the project. This makes the cost of building the pergola higher.
Use. Pergolas can be used differently. And depending on the function you are eyeing the pergola for, the cost of building one can vary. For instance, pergolas that are used to cover pathways are, more often than not, the cheapest to build. On the other hand, a pergola to cover a small patio or hot tub has a more complex design and so the cost to build it is usually higher.
Approach. Doing the pergola yourself can basically save you a lot of money as you don’t have to pay for labor fees. There are a lot of pergola DIY kits that can be purchased online or in hardware stores. The kits include all materials required to build a specific plan of a pergola. Most kits in the market these days range from $500 to $5,500. Those in the higher end of the spectrum are usually pergolas that are large, have complicated designs, and use more expensive materials. To give you a good comparison between DIY and professional pergolas, the former costs around $10 per square foot only as compared to the $20 to $55 per square foot of the other.
Plants. The kind of plants you wish to plant to climb on the pergola can also affect prices. This is true because not all plants are alike once they mature. For instance, a grapevine can be very heavy and so you need a sturdier structure for the pergola. This is as compared to a climbing rose that is basically lightweight. Instead of using 2x4s and 5x5s support for the pergola, you can use 2x2s for plants like climbing rose.
Flooring. Your choice of flooring can also affect the cost of building a pergola. Usually, you have flooring options such as gazebo wood flooring, cement slab, and mulch. Wood flooring will cost you around $10 per square foot while mulch will just be around $1 per square foot.
Location. The geographical location also affects prices mainly because of the difference in the cost of labor in materials between big and small cities. However, this can also mean the weather conditions in your geographical area. If you live in an area where there are accounts of high winds and heavy snowfalls, you may need to add more support to the pergola. Doing this will basically increase the cost of the project.
Staining or sealing the wood used for the pergola is oftentimes essential to prevent rotting and warping brought by extreme weather conditions.
You may need to purchase pergola building plans in the market. Most of the time, DIY pergola plans are sold from $20 to $30 each.
Building permits may be necessary to ensure you are building the pergola in accordance with the codes of the state or county you are in.
Attaching canopies or screens to the pergola to offer better shade and privacy is an added expense as well. This can cost you cheaply, but motorized canopies are around $200 to $500.
If you are doing the pergola yourself, you may need to invest on tools such as drills, saw, and the like.
Accessories for the pergola are an extra cost as well. This includes lighting, gussets or decorative framing, boots or post coverings, and the like.
Tips Before You Decide To Build A Pergola
Before shopping for pergola building plans, check out the building codes and requirements in your county or state. It is essential that you know local building codes to ensure you’ll buy a plan that will be approved to be built in your property.
Check for different pergola plans and pictures to give you an idea on what type of pergola is best for your needs. Take note that you have to consider the size of your property, the plants you wish to grow, and the architectural view of your property. It is important that the pergola is built not only to add aesthetic value to the space but also to answer all the needs in the property.
Also, know what you want out of the pergola. Is it something simply an aesthetic touch in the property? Or, do you want to make it a living area outdoors? Knowing this beforehand will help you decide which plans will work best for your needs.
When buying DIY kits, make sure you pick a design that you can work on. Even though there are instructions on how to build a pergola following the design, leave complex pergolas to professionals. Pick a DIY pergola kit and design that you know you can surely handle.
When buying DIY kits or pergola plans online, you must make sure that shipping is already included in the package. Also, ensure that a booklet of instructions comes together with the kit or plan to guide you with the building process.
When you plan to hire a professional, you must pick only reputable, licensed, and experienced contractors. Ask quotes from different contractors and compare prices and packages. You may also want to check the portfolios of the contractors to see the pergolas they have built and get an inspiration on their designs as well.