Build a Pergola in Your Backyard with One of These 16 Free Plans (2024)

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Print DIY Pergola Plans for Free


Stacy Fisher

Build a Pergola in Your Backyard with One of These 16 Free Plans (1)

Stacy Fisher

Stacy is an expert writer for The Spruce covering home DIY projects and crafts. She has over 18 years of journalistic experience, appearing as a DIY expert on the Dr. Oz Show and several radio shows. She has published hundreds of articles and co-authored a book.

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Updated on 05/24/23

These free pergola plans will help you build that much-needed structure in your backyard to give you shade, cover your hot tub, or simply define an outdoor space into something special. It's a great landscaping feature that will have all your neighbors eyeing your new space.

Build a Pergola in Your Backyard with One of These 16 Free Plans (2)

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. All the free pergola plans include building instructions, lists of tools and materials that you'll need, diagrams, and photos. If you like these pergola plans, you can find many free plans for arbors, gazebos, sheds, and so much more.

How Much Does a Pergola Cost?

There are plenty of options when it comes to building your own pergola, but if it all proves too much of a challenge, there are lots of handy kits available to buy if you want to simplify things!

Build a Pergola in Your Backyard with One of These 16 Free Plans (2024)


Is it cheaper to build a pergola or buy one? ›

It's cheaper to buy a DIY pergola kit. These kits cost between $1,000 and $2,500 on average, and you won't have to pay for labor. However, you're limited to specific designs and sizes; a more customized pergola designed for your home's unique landscape may look and function better (and have a higher ROI).

How do you build a pergola for beginners? ›

How to build a pergola
  1. Building a pergola steps: Dig post holes. ...
  2. Fit posts. Once you've dug all 4 post holes to the correct depth, you can concrete them in. ...
  3. Secure posts. ...
  4. Mark up rafters. ...
  5. Fit rafters. ...
  6. Now you've finished your pergola, you may want to use paint or a wood stain to protect it from the elements.
Jan 15, 2024

Is a 10x10 pergola too small? ›

10×10 Pergola

This pergola is the right size if you are looking to cover a small sitting area with 2 outdoor chairs. A 10×10 pergola also works well as a grill canopy or as the centerpiece of a backyard garden.

What size pergola for a 10x12 patio? ›

Small Decks and Patios

If you have a small deck or patio that you want to add a pergola to, you can choose a 10 x 10, 10 x 12, or a 10 x 14 pergola. The largest pergola you should choose for a small patio or deck is a 12 x 12.

How much does a 12X12 pergola cost? ›

It costs $3,780 to build a 12×12 wooden pergola and about $5,270 for a vinyl one. So for a high-end 12×12 pergola, you are looking at around $3,500 to $5,500.

How much does a 10x10 pergola cost? ›

How much does a 10x10 pergola cost? The cost of a 10x10 pergola can vary widely depending on factors such as the materials used, design complexity, and labor costs. However, on average, a basic 10x10 pergola made from pressure-treated wood or vinyl can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000.

Do you need a concrete slab for a pergola? ›

Other types of footing can be used depending on the pergola material. You need no concrete if the pergola is made from light materials, like aluminium or wood, and on a levelled surface. However, a pergola made from heavy materials or installed on an unlevelled surface needs a concrete footing.

Do I need permission to build a pergola? ›

In the eyes of the council planning team a pergola is seen as a temporary structure. Therefore, it does not require planning permission, provided it is less than 2.5m in height and doesn't occupy more than 50% of the outdoor space available.

What is the best wood for a pergola? ›

Pergolas are a great backyard addition, and we field a lot of questions about the best lumber to use when building this type of outdoor structure. Our top two recommendations are always the same: western red cedar or Douglas fir.

What is the golden ratio for a pergola? ›

The golden ratio for a pergola can be different depending on what you like and how you want your pergola to look. But, like, a good rule of thumb is to make the length-to-width ratio of your pergola 1:1.618. This ratio can make things look good and fit in well with the environment around it.

How tall is too tall for a pergola? ›

There is no hard-and-fast rule for the correct pergola height, but there are some guidelines that we tend to follow. Most pergolas tend to stand at 8 to 12 feet tall, though this doesn't have to be the case for every project.

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

Take a look at these average costs of pergolas made with pressure-treated lumber and shop now: 10X12 pressure-treated wood pergola: around $1,700. 10X16 pressure-treated wood pergola: around $2,000. 16X32 pressure-treated wood pergola: around $5,000.

What size wood is best for a pergola? ›

A Pergola Main Beam is produced from 47 x 125mm or 47 x 150mm timber depending on the span. 47 x 100 timber also available for smaller pergola spans. These are generally 'S' shaped at both ends in our workshops (included in price) or can be left square for you to shape during assembly.

Is pergola good for small backyard? ›

Even if your yard is small, a pergola custom-designed for your space can add a luxurious feel to an otherwise dull area. Pergolas come in different shapes and sizes; therefore, no yard is too small to have a pergola.

How far apart should a joist be for a pergola roof? ›

Spacing for the rafters could be anything from 450 mm to 1000 mm, depending on the calibre of timber you choose to span the gap of the pergola. The smaller the timber, the smaller the gap between the rafters needs to be.

How much does it cost to build a 20x20 pergola? ›

A prefabricated pergola costs $1,450 to $5,750 installed on average or $10 to $40 per square foot. The cost to build a custom pergola is $30 to $65 per square foot installed. DIY pergola kit prices are $700 to $4,000. Pergola installation labor costs $50 to $120 per hour.

Does a pergola add value to a home? ›

While there are many caveats, in short, the answer is yes. A pergola has the potential to add value to your home, with many estimates putting the return on investment at somewhere around 50% to 80%. That makes pergolas one of the more valuable additions homeowners can put on their homes.

How much would it cost to build a pergola? ›

Do you want a cozy outdoor living space? Expect to pay $2,100 to $6,000 for a professionally installed pergola. The average cost of a pergola is $4,000, but they can cost as little as $1,050 and as much as $11,000. The total cost depends on several factors, including size, material, and features.

What are the cons of a pergola? ›

Outdoor furniture under a pergola is susceptible to sun damage, and the pergola structure itself can fade over time and take a beating during storms and harsh winters. Bad weather will most likely limit the amount of time you're able to use a pergola.

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