By Gene and Katie Hamilton

A pergola can become a focal point in an ordinary yard because it creates an attractive outdoor living space for seating and dining, either as a standalone structure or used to cover a deck. It is a trellis-like room made of supports and rafters where vines and plants grow around and through them. Years ago, a pergola was a custom-built structure but today, you can buy a kit and have it assembled or do it yourself. This is a complex project that involves several phases. The components of the unit are made of wood and should be primed and painted or stained before construction. The structure requires concrete footings for the supports; for flooring a base of quarry stone or brick are good choices.

A landscape contractor will charge $4,800 to assemble a 10-foot-by-12-foot pergola kit on a brick base, which includes the labor and material. You can buy the kit and foundation and floor material for $2,800 and do it yourself, and save 62 percent. But the job is complicated, involving pouring cement footings, laying a floor and assembling all the components. If there’s any doubt, hire a pro, and you supply the creative touch with lush plantings like clematis and wisteria that climb and grow to enclose the new outdoor living space.

DIY Hassle AlertDIY Hassle Alert

Don't forget to check with your local building department to see if there are code requirements you should know about.

Now you know the average cost to build a pergola, which includes the labor and material, and what’s involved, so you can decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor. Don’t forget to adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.

Cost updated 2016

Would you do this project?

Poll Results

  • DIY61%
  • PRO39%