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Custom Pergola Cost | How Much to Build a Pergola in 2021

Custom Pergola Cost

Pergolas have a lot to offer for any property. Theyíre beautiful and functional, adding definition and detail to an area, while also providing some much-needed shade on sunny days. When the time comes to purchase a pergola for your home, you have two basic options: Either you purchase a ready-made kit to be assembled at your home by yourself or a contractor, or you can have a custom pergola built from scratch.†

Custom pergolas can be constructed from many different materials. They can also be built in a range of different sizes and styles, which can all impact the total cost.†

Custom Pergola Cost

The average cost range to build a custom pergola is between $2,100 and $5,900, with most homeowners spending around $3,500 on a 10í x 10í pergola made of cedar in a traditional design.†

Itís possible to build a much less expensive pergola using pine, free internet plans and doing it yourself for around $2,000, and itís also possible to build a luxury pergola in a contemporary style using exotic hardwoods for as much as $10,000.†


As expected, adjusting the size of a pergola will have a direct impact on costs. A 10í x 4í pergola will typically range from $1,200 to $2,400. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a 10í x 20í pergola will put a $6,000 to $12,000 dent in your wallet.†

For any additional sizes, you should expect to pay around $30 to $60 per square foot, with an average of $45 per square foot.


Material Considerations

One of the biggest driving factors behind your custom pergola is going to be the materials you use. Some materials are easier to work with than others, while some materials can be prohibitively expensive. In addition, each material will have other pros and cons, such as longevity, looks and maintenance.†

When it comes to a custom pergola, you have two choices. You can have a company custom build you one, ship you the pieces and have it assembled on-site, or you can get or design plans and have it built right on your property using wood. In the former case, you will have a lot more material choices, depending on the company you contract with. If you have it done by a carpenter or contractor on-site, youíre likely choosing a wood species.†

There are seven different materials that are typically used in building a pergola. Below are the average costs per square foot for each material:

Material Average Cost Per Square Foot
Alumawood $10 – $20/sq.ft.
Aluminum and vinyl $10 – $30/sq.ft.
Pine $20 – $30/sq.ft.
Cedar $25 – $35/sq.ft.
Redwood $40 – $50/sq.ft.
Exotic hardwoods (Ipe, teak, etc) $55 – $100/sq.ft.
Fiberglass $60 – $70/sq.ft.


Itís important to keep in mind that when choosing your material that itís not just the cost that you need to consider. Some materials can be difficult to work with, which will increase your labor costs. Others are easy to work with but may be high maintenance in the long-term.†

Finally, if you are choosing to have a custom pergola built and shipped to you for installation, not every company will have every material, so your choices may be restricted. You may also be restricted in terms of size or style, depending on the material you ultimately choose.†


Labor Considerations

Included in the cost of your custom pergola is the labor. When you contract with a large pergola manufacturer for a custom pergola, the labor is included in the total cost of your pergola. You may also have additional costs for assembly, depending on whether the company you work with is local and whether they do the assembly themselves or not. Many will contract that out, or specify that you need to find your own assembly labor.

If you have your pergola built on-site, you will have different labor costs and rates. Youíll be working with a carpenter, most likely. The average cost per hour for carpenters is around $70/hour. Itís not uncommon for a pergola to cost up to $1,600 in labor fees in addition to any material fees.†


If you work with a pergola company for a custom design, they will likely have some guidelines for you to work with. They may also have some plans or designs that you can use and tweak to get the right design, size and features for your home.

If you are having the pergola built on-site, then you will need to have plans. Some carpenters that specialize in pergolas may work with you to draw up custom plans. If that is the case, you will probably have additional fees for their time.†

Itís also possible to find free plans or to purchase plans online. You and your builder can then make any modifications necessary to adjust and complete the pergola to your specifications.

Keep in mind that there are several variations available, from modern to traditional. Your pergola can also be freestanding or attached to your home. All of these small decisions can impact the total cost that youíll pay for your finished pergola.†

Get the Right Pergola for You

Whether you choose to purchase a kit, work with a company to design something just for you, or build your own pergola in your yard yourself, having a pergola can offer you a lot of benefits. Make sure that you find the pergola that fits your aesthetic, your budget and your long-term maintenance needs. Regardless of how itís designed or built, the most important thing is being able to enjoy your pergola for many years to come.†

Contact the pergola design experts at Heartland Pergolas today to learn more about DIY pergola kits that are fully customizable.

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