51 Free DIY Pergola Plans & Ideas That You Can Build in Your Garden (2023)

If you haveagarden in your backyard, you know you’ve imaginedsitting around in your garden under the shade while chatting with your family andBBQ-ing. It’s every gardener’s dream.

To make this dream into reality, you need a pergola.

Pergolas are a great solution for areas in your garden that need shade. They are also great for dividing up an outdoor space.So if you are in need of some shade and also a few ideas on how to build a pergola, I’ve got them for you right here. No need to look any further.

Here are 51 pergola plans and ideas foryour future pergola.

1. The Shady Pergola

51 Free DIY Pergola Plans & Ideas That You Can Build in Your Garden (1)

I think we have established by now that not many of these pergola plans are going to be a difficult build. This is another simple one. It is meant to follow the classic design of a regular, old pergola.

This pergola was built with the intention of creating shade. The picture depicts it with beautiful flowers and vines covering it to create that perfect sitting area to relax and enjoy your property after a long day of hard work.

Build This Pergola ›

2. The Plant Hanger Pergola

51 Free DIY Pergola Plans & Ideas That You Can Build in Your Garden (2)

This pergola is not for beginners. However, if you are an experienced builder then you will be right at home with this one.

It is a gorgeous pergola that is meant to be attached to your deck. With the way it is designed you can actually hang plants from it. It is a beautiful design that would be a great addition to any piece of property.

Build This Pergola ›

3. The Garden Arbor

51 Free DIY Pergola Plans & Ideas That You Can Build in Your Garden (3)

This is another plan that is probably not the best for beginners. However, if you have a garden area that you would like to enjoy but can’t because of the sun then this might be the option you’ve been looking for.

The pergola is meant to go over a sitting area that is surrounded by a garden, but you could also use it to go over a rose garden. So if you are an experienced builder this pergola should be right up your alley.

Build This Pergola ›

4. Outdoor Kitchen Island With Pergola

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This is a snazzy little set-up. If you are quite the entertainer and have an outdoor kitchen then this would work great for you.

The plans show you how to construct a kitchen island and then a pergola attachment that will help shield you from the sun while you are cooking. This would be an awesome addition to any outdoor back patio or deck.

Build This Pergola ›

5. The Louvered Pergola

51 Free DIY Pergola Plans & Ideas That You Can Build in Your Garden (5)

(Video) How to Build a Pergola

If you are like me and could live outside this would be a great option.

Basically, you create a rounded seating area to your deck and then place a pergola over it. You could do as the picture shows and add an eating area too.

Build This Pergola ›

6. The Pergola Swing

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This pergola is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It is built as a stand-alone structure. There is shelving on the inside of it.

The shelving can be used a planting station or a place to hold other items. You then attach a swing to the top and have a nice shaded area to sit and enjoy the day.

Build This Pergola ›

7. The Deck + Pergola

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These are actually deck plans. The cool addition to these deck plans is the fact that it comes with a pergola.

This pergola will be attached to your home. If you don’t want a covered deck but still want the shade, this is a great plan. That way you can still have lightly filtered sunlight with the enjoyment of an uncovered deck.

Build This Pergola ›

8. The Giant Pergola

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This pergola is large and gorgeous. If you have an uncovered back patio but the sun is right on it, this pergola would do the trick.

It stands on large legs that hold it in place. You then build the actual pergola design over your patio area. This would be a great way to have a nice outdoor eating area protected from extreme sunlight.

Build This Pergola ›

9. The Boring To Brilliant Pergola

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I love how this pergola absolutely transformed their sitting area from a boring little backyard area to an amazing, party-worthy area.

If you have a backyard spot quite like this, how could you not invite people over to enjoy it? They were able to extend their sitting area and throw a pergola over half of it. It is a great divider and adds a lot of charm.

Build This Pergola ›

10. The Patio Pergola

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These plans are meant to show you how to build a pergola over a patio. If you are fortunate enough to have such a great little sitting area, a pergola will make it to where it is that much more enjoyable.

(Video) I Built A Pergola

A pergola can add a lot of charm but also helps to make it cooler. It is hard to enjoy a patio when it is too hot.

Build This Pergola ›

11. The 15-Minute Pergola

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Okay, maybe you can’t build this beautiful pergola in just 15 minutes. However, the video will show you how to build it in that amount of time.

Another upside is that this pergola was originally quoted at $17,000. He shows you how to save $14,000 by doing it yourself. Did I mention it is gorgeous? If you aren’t sold on it, you should be.

Build This Pergola ›

12. The Backyard Pergola

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This is a stand-alone pergola. If you would like to create an intimate sitting area in the middle of your backyard, a pergola is a great way to accomplish the look.

The author of this post actually offered a great idea. You could plant grape vines near the pergola and eventually, it will completely cover it. That will offer an added touch of character and extra shade too.

Build This Pergola ›

13. The Pergola + Sitting Area

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This pergola offers a gorgeous setting. It is actually added over a rounded sitting area on a deck. It is so gorgeous because it has built in benches that create a cozy seating area.

The pergola then goes over the already gorgeous sitting space. Not only is the space inviting but it should also be very comfortable thanks to the shade the pergola can offer.

Build This Pergola ›

14. The Patio Pergola #2

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These plans are meant for someone that is familiar with construction. If you are a visual person (like myself) this might make your build a little more difficult.

However, if that challenge isn’t an issue for you then build away, and you’ll have a beautiful pergola that can be added in the middle of the backyard or over an already existing seating area.

Build This Pergola ›

15. The Fancy Seated Pergola

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This pergola is extra special. It has quite a few fancy touches. However, if you are looking for something a little different then this could very well be what you need.

It is not just a pergola. It has a seating area beneath it for you to enjoy that is actually attached to the pergola itself.

(Video) +100 Top Pergola Design for Backyard 2022

Build This Pergola ›

16. The Patio Pergola #3

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Although the details are very thorough and many pointers are given, once again, these are strict plans. There are no actual pictures of the actual completed job. But if you are good at reading plans and following detailed pictures then this should be no problem for you.

Build This Pergola ›

17. The Ultimate Pergola

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This pergola has everything you could ever want. It is a rounded shape where swings can actually hang from the structure.

Then there are chairs and a fire pit in the center. So whether you want a place to swing, sit, or just hang out in this pergola will offer whatever is you are in search of for a relaxing spot.

Build This Pergola ›

18. The Freestanding Pergola

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This is a traditional pergola. It is meant to be built over a deck. The purpose of this shelter is to provide protection from extreme sunlight and to offer a more enjoyable space.

The plans to build this creation are very detailed and should be easy enough to understand for those that are familiar with carpentry skills.

Build This Pergola ›

19. The Backyard Pergola

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However, after working all day long to raise your food, you need a beautiful and relaxing space to unwind. This pergola might be able to help you have a nice space that makes resting and enjoying your land a little easier at the end of a long day.

Build This Pergola ›

20. The Large Pergola Plans

51 Free DIY Pergola Plans & Ideas That You Can Build in Your Garden (20)

These plans are meant for building a large pergola. This is going to cover more than your average size deck.

If you have a place for a large picnic area or even a really large sitting area then this might be the size pergola you’ve been looking for. The plans are detailed so that should help make this project a little easier.

Build This Pergola ›

21. The Vine Covered Pergola

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This pergola is what I really think of when I think of the word pergola. It is big, beautiful and shown in white.

(Video) +150 Backyard Patio Design Ideas 2022 | Pergola Design Ideas | Rooftop Garden Landscaping ideas

However, this is built as an attachment to a house covering a patio area. It is said that it was intended for vines to grow all over it. This will offer the maximum amount of shade and is very traditional for a pergola.

Build This Pergola ›

22. The 4-Step Pergola

51 Free DIY Pergola Plans & Ideas That You Can Build in Your Garden (22)

I love these pergola plans. The first is because it is gorgeous, which most pergolas are.

However, what I love so much about these plans is that they are simple. They break it down into bite-size pieces so that even the greenestcarpenter can understand and have a successful build.

Build This Pergola ›

23. The ‘Awesome From The Ground Up’ Pergola

51 Free DIY Pergola Plans & Ideas That You Can Build in Your Garden (23)

This pergola is awesome. I’ll give it that. They actually built this one in the middle of the yard.

However, beyond just making it a pergola with a cute little table set in the middle of it, they added built-in benches. This is extremely welcoming and a great idea for those that are looking for a place to entertain.

Build This Pergola ›

24. Pergola Attached To A House Plans

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These are plans for a pergola that will actually be attached to the backside of your house. It is meant to cover a patio space so it can be better enjoyed.

I love these pergolas because they are a classic touch to any home and add a lot of style. Not to mention, pergolas make a space that is often too hot to enjoy a most enjoyable space.

Build This Pergola ›

25. The A-Frame Pergola

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I’ll be honest, I’ve never seen a pergola quite like this one. It has the traditional style with a touch of A-frame added to the top of it.

It is a beautiful addition to any backyard oasis. If you don’t have a backyard oasis, you will after you build this masterpiece.

Build This Pergola ›

FAQs

What is the cheapest way to build a pergola? ›

Make use of existing garden structures to cut down on timber. Another option for your cheap pergola ideas is to make use of an existing fence or wall as part of your design. This means you end up buying less timber for your pergola project, which can make it much more affordable.

How much does it cost to build a pergola DIY? ›

The cost to build a pergola usually ranges between $2,200 and $5,900, or $4,000 on average. You could spend as little as $1,300 on a basic build while you may pay as much as $10,000 for a custom design.
...
Cost to Build a Pergola.
Average Cost of a Pergola
Average Cost$4,000
Highest Cost$10,000
Lowest Cost$1,300
25 Jul 2022

Can you build a free standing pergola? ›

You'll find a wide variety of shapes and styles for pergolas here as well as plans for both free-standing and deck pergolas. Building a pergola can be a simple to challenging building project depending on what plan you pick so make sure you know your skill level before starting.

What is the best base for a pergola? ›

Concrete slab foundation

Most pergolas and pavilions can be successfully anchored to a reinforced concrete slab at least 4″ in thickness with additional depth of 12” total on the outside edge.

What is the best material to make a pergola out of? ›

PVC or 'polyvinyl chloride' is plastic material that is used for varies products. Its properties make it a good option for pergolas as it is weather resistant and very low maintenance. It comes in a variety of colours including timber-like versions. It is insect and termite free as well as being fire resistant.

What's the difference between a pergola and a pergola? ›

The main difference is that pergodas feature a solid roof made up of slats, whereas pergolas feature a sliding or louvred roof for greater versatility.

How tall should a pergola be? ›

How Tall Is A Standard Pergola? The standard pergola height is 8 to 12 feet. But that doesn't always have to be the case. For example, if you want an 8-foot head clearance, the beams will take it up to 9 feet at least, and then the rafters will total 10-feet easy.

What is the point of a pergola without roof? ›

As we previously mentioned, most pergolas are designed with an open-roof design that allows for sufficient sunlight and air circulation. Open-top pergolas are most often placed in the garden to create an appealing focal point and can add even more beauty to the space with the help of trailing vines.

Is it cheaper to build or buy a pergola? ›

Building a pergola yourself will be more cost-effective than buying one because you only have to pay for materials and not labor. The national average cost to build a 10 ft. traditional wooden pergola yourself is about $3,500; however, it varies depending on the project and the location.

How long will a wooden pergola last? ›

With somewhat limited maintenance, a wooden pergola typically lasts about five years, although you can improve its lifespan to 10 to 12 years through annual cleaning, staining and sealing.

How much does it cost to build a 10X12 pergola? ›

10X12 cedar wood pergola: around $2,000. 10X16 cedar wood pergola: around $2,400.

Can I put a pergola on grass? ›

While you might not expect it, building a pergola on grass tends to be more difficult than the other two pergola placements — however, it is still a great DIY option. When building a pergola on grass, you need to install concrete tubes in the ground and attach the pergola posts to them.

What is a pergola with a solid roof called? ›

Pergolas with a roof are often referred to as pavilions. Although they are quite similar in design, a pavilion is a freestanding pergola with a fixed roof that generally completely covers the pergola.

How deep should a pergola post be in the ground? ›

Dig holes for all posts; these should be 30cm x 30cm (1ft x 1ft) wide and 60cm (2ft) deep.

Which direction should a pergola face? ›

For optimal morning and afternoon shade coverage, it's best to ensure a traditional pergola's beams orient north and south, with an angle toward the east.

Should a pergola be painted or stained? ›

Paint can peel, but penetrating oil stains, which don't form a surface layer, cannot. Staining your pergola isn't an option, though, since stains work only on bare wood. Plus, most of the stains on the market — especially ones that give a white look — are water-based finishes that form a film, albeit a thin one.

What pergola material lasts longest? ›

For both style, practicality, and pergola lifespan, vinyl is the best option on the market — that's why we ONLY build vinyl pergolas. While metal can rust and wood can rot, vinyl is completely impervious to the elements. In addition, your vinyl pergola won't require any yearly maintenance to protect the lifespan.

What is the best roof for a pergola? ›

Aluminum and steel are suitable roof options. If you want a lightweight roof that is resistant to rusting, an aluminum pergola is a better option. However, if you don't mind a heavier cover, a steel roof is ideal for resisting strong winds, heavy rain, and locations that have harsher weather.

What kind of pergola lasts the longest? ›

In many ways, vinyl is the best pergola material as it will last a lifetime with only minimal maintenance on your part. However, all of these advantages come at a price — vinyl pergolas are the most expensive choice on the market.

What is better than a pergola? ›

A gazebo can provide more shade and shelter from the elements than a pergola. Given that a gazebo's roof covers the whole structure, it is easy to assume it provides more shelter than a pergola. It may, but the amount of shelter can vary considerably. Overall design makes a huge difference.

Is metal or wood better for pergola? ›

The main advantage metal pergolas have over wood is that they are maintenance-free. Aluminum pergolas are lightweight and will never rust, which makes them ideal for those living near seaside locals. Metal never splinters, sags, or twists like wood.

Do you still get sun under a pergola? ›

Yes, sunlight filters through the roof beams of a pergola, which is designed to provide varying amounts of shade, depending on the structure's style and design. A popular addition to outdoor living spaces, pergolas shade your deck or patio without impeding views or breezes.

How high can a pergola be without planning permission? ›

Must be single storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5mtrs and a total height of less than or equal to 4mtrs for a pitched roof or 3mtrs for any other type of roof. Within 2mtrs of a boundary the maximum height cannot exceed 2.5mtrs. Garden structures must have no verandas, balconies or raised platforms.

Do you have to anchor down a pergola? ›

Even though a pergola is heavy and difficult to move once assembled, it has to be anchored securely to the ground for a number of reasons. Primary among them is safety.

Does a pergola need to be sloped? ›

We mentioned earlier that flat roofs are almost level. But flat pergolas should slope a little bit to one side so that water slides off instead of collecting on the roof. We call this angle the “pitch” and we recommend at least a 5-degree pitch.

What is the difference between an arbor and a pergola? ›

You can think of a Pergola as an outdoor room, whereas an Arbor is more of an outside doorway. Arbors are generally freestanding, although you may see them attached to fences now and then. Some Arbors come with gates which makes them even that much more quaint as an entryway to your garden.

How does a pergola stay in place? ›

They are anchored to a wall of your home or another structure, such as a pool house. Since the wall provides support for the pergola, this type of structure will have two posts or columns to anchor it to your deck, patio, or porch.

Can a pergola sit on pavers? ›

You can anchor a pergola to pavers by adding post footings into the ground, drilling gently into the pavers and adding brackets, using concrete to secure your post bases, and, as a last resort, you can use weighted bags to keep your pergola in place.

How much does a 12 by 12 pergola cost? ›

A typical pergola cost ranges between $2,124 and $5,968 or between $30 and $60 per square foot. This means a 12-foot-by-12-foot pergola would cost between $4,320 and $8,640. This makes it a more expensive size for homeowners to consider, though choosing a less expensive material can help lower the overall cost.

How much does it cost to build a 15x15 pergola? ›

You can expect to pay around $30 to $60 per square foot on average to build a pergola, including the cost of materials and installation. Prices may vary based on materials, size, and labor rates in your area.

What to know before building a pergola? ›

Five Things You Must Do Before Building A Pergola
  1. Get to Know the Frost Depth in Your Area. Frost depth is the level to which the ground in your area freezes each year. ...
  2. Check Your Permits. ...
  3. Contact Your Local Utilities. ...
  4. Consider Pergola Materials. ...
  5. Consider Sun and Rain Protection.
28 Jun 2013

What do you do with a pergola in the winter? ›

Get creative and winterize a pergola by adding roof panels or a pitched tin roof to allow rain and snow to runoff. A pergola outfitted with a metal or plastic roof, treated canvas, or waterproof cover is excellent at keeping cold, rain, and snow outside.

How do you stop pergola rotting? ›

Using post shoes elevates the posts above ground and clear of any water. This is a surefire way of avoiding deterioration. Setting the post into concrete also seems to help with its longevity.

How far can a 4x4 span for a pergola? ›

A: The max single span of wood we recommend for both our 4x4 and 6x6 bracket is 12ft. Once you go past 12ft we recommend building a double pergola.

Do I need pressure treated wood for a pergola? ›

Pressure-Treated Wood

Through the treatment process it undergoes, the wood becomes more resistant to rot, decay, and insects, making it a durable choice for exterior applications like a pergola or a gazebo.

What is cheaper a pergola or a gazebo? ›

Pergolas tend to be easier and less expensive to build, thanks to their simple, four-post design. They are also more versatile as far as materials go, with some designs using aluminum or vinyl in place of wood. Pergolas no doubt add value to your home, plus they are more easily customizable compared to gazebos.

Are pergola kits worth it? ›

Kits are cheaper than a professional install.

Materials are often the largest portion of the cost. That said, DIYers can save big bucks on labor costs for a pergola project by buying a kit for less than $1,000 and building it themselves.

Where is the best place to put a pergola? ›

The best place to put a pergola is where you need shade. On those particularly hot and sunny days, a little shade is always welcome. Many folks want flowering vines planted to grow up and over their pergolas to bring a soft element to the landscape structure, adding color, as well as additional shade.

How do you anchor a pergola into the ground? ›

  1. Dig Your Holes. Dig holes in the locations for the pergola's posts. ...
  2. Install Concrete Tubes. Slide a concrete tube form to the bottom of one hole. ...
  3. Prepare the Concrete. ...
  4. Fill the Concrete Tubes. ...
  5. Wait for the Concrete to Dry. ...
  6. Install and Tighten the Bolts.

Can you attach a pergola to wooden deck? ›

Adding a Pergola to Your Existing Deck

When building a pergola atop your deck you will need high-quality hardware, including post bases that are designed to be seen, timber bolts to connect wood to wood for your top frame, and post-to-beam support, preferably that's been hot-dipped galvanized.

How do you build a beginner pergola? ›

How to build a pergola
  1. Lay the three upright posts for one side of your pergola on the ground. ...
  2. Lay a rafter in position, jutting 200mm from the edges of the outer posts. ...
  3. Cut out the housing with a saw, wood chisel and mallet. ...
  4. Profile the ends of the rafters and crossbeams.

Do I need joist hangers for pergola? ›

Joist hangers are the ideal choice for building a pergola, pavilion, arbor, or patio cover.

What is a pergola with walls called? ›

The pergola and pergoda are very similar concepts. Both are structures designed to provide shading in outdoor areas. The main difference is that pergodas feature a solid roof made up of slats, whereas pergolas feature a sliding or louvred roof for greater versatility.

What is the best material to cover a pergola? ›

If you are needing a pergola® awning the best fabric to use is Ferrari 602 or 502 vinyl. These fabrics are made with precontraint technology so stretch is minimal. These fabrics are opaque and also water proof. Ferrari 602 is available in two (2) colors White and Ivory and will be standard cost.

What is a closed pergola called? ›

Pavilions feature a completely closed roof while a pergola's roof is constructed of open slats.

How much does it cost to build a 12x12 pergola? ›

A typical 12x12 pergola will cost between $4,320 and $8,640 depending on your choice of materials and style.

What is the point of a pergola with no roof? ›

As we previously mentioned, most pergolas are designed with an open-roof design that allows for sufficient sunlight and air circulation. Open-top pergolas are most often placed in the garden to create an appealing focal point and can add even more beauty to the space with the help of trailing vines.

Do I need planning permission to build a pergola? ›

Most pergolas are allowed under the 'permitted development' rules, so you typically won't need planning permission for constructing one. For peace of mind, we recommend checking with your local planning department if you are unsure.

Should I paint or stain my pergola? ›

Paint can peel, but penetrating oil stains, which don't form a surface layer, cannot. Staining your pergola isn't an option, though, since stains work only on bare wood. Plus, most of the stains on the market — especially ones that give a white look — are water-based finishes that form a film, albeit a thin one.

What is a good pergola size? ›

Popular sizes include 16×16, 16×20, and 20×20 pergolas. With these larger sizes, you can cover your entire backyard patio or create a comfortable spot next to a pool or lake.

How do you cover a pergola for cheap? ›

Inexpensive Ways to Cover Your Pergola
  1. Add Plants. You can give your pergola a natural look by adding plants. ...
  2. Add Bamboo or Straw. ...
  3. Install Drop Cloths. ...
  4. Erect a Portable Canopy. ...
  5. Attach Roller Shades. ...
  6. Use Fabric Sails. ...
  7. Add Mesh. ...
  8. Add Rope Netting and Hanging Plants.
27 Mar 2017

How much does a pergola kit cost? ›

If you don't hire a pro, all you need to pay for is the pergola kit, which includes materials and instructions for building the pergola. These kits generally cost around $1,000 to $5,000, but they can cost several thousand dollars more depending on the pergola's size, type, and materials.

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