How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pergola? The Complete 2024 Guide

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pergola? The Complete 2024 Guide

Thinking of adding a pergola to your garden? We don’t blame you — it’s a great way of boosting your outdoor aesthetic and functionality. Pergolas expand your living space, are great for al fresco dining and outdoor entertaining and even add value to your home, all while providing respite from the sun or protection from the famously unpredictable British weather.

But how much does a pergola cost to build in 2024? 

Well, how long is a piece of string? While it’s definitely not as hard a question to answer, one thing’s for sure — there’s no one-size-fits-all, and costs vary. But don’t worry; our guide will break it all down, from materials to size to design, allowing you to make an informed decision that fits your style and budget. Let’s dive in and find out just how much it might cost to build a pergola in your garden.


How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pergola in the UK?

Our team have scanned the web, leaving no stone unturn and come to the conclusion that In 2024, the average cost to build a pergola in the UK could set you back around £2,300 - £2,500. 

However, this number could go down to as little as £600 for a basic DIY pergola or up to £10,000 for a luxury pergola that’s more complicated to install. It all depends on the pergola style, size and materials you choose, as well as any prep work you’ll need to do before building. 


Pergola size

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The size of your pergola directly impacts how much you spend. A standard pergola, including 3m x 4m or 6m x 3m, costs an average of £2,500, including both labour and materials. 

On the other hand, a smaller pergola with a simpler design can cost as low as £400-£600. Meanwhile, the cost to build a 10 x 10, 10 x 12 or 12 x 12 pergola is around £5000-£10,000 as it will be larger and more complex. 


Pergola style

PergoSTET 3m x 3m Square Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting with Wood Effect - £3,699


Freestanding or attached, closed roof or retractable roof —  the style of your pergola all affects the overall price. Custom designs tailored to your garden with modern features can significantly increase the cost, sometimes reaching around £10,000 for high-end custom builds. 

Pergola material 

PergoSTET 3m x 3m Square Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in White - £3,499


The material you choose for your outdoor structure will likely be the definitive factor when it comes to the cost of building a pergola. Common materials include wood, aluminium, and steel, although you can also find cheaper vinyl options. 

Wood pergolas are popular and can cost anywhere between £500 to over £1000. They can be made from either softwood, which is cheaper but less durable, or hardwood, like oak, which is typically more expensive but longer-lasting. 

Steel and aluminium pergolas are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their low maintenance and durability, but they can be more expensive. At Harbour Lifestyle, you can find steel pergolas for £1,429 and £1,749, while aluminium options can start as low as £299 up to the £4,000 range.


Luxury pergolas

 PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in Grey - £3,999.00

Luna 6 Seat Teak Firepit Bar Set in Grey - £3,849


Luxury pergolas are often custom-designed with unique features and made with high-quality materials, making them a significant investment and a big commitment. Bespoke designs can cost upwards of £10,000, reflecting their premium materials, size and design. 

Pergola kit sets 

PergoSTET 3m x 3m Square Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in White - £3,499

If you're confident in your DIY ability, a pergola kit could be a great option. They're usually the cheapest, most effective option and a simpler alternative to custom builds. 

Pergola kits typically come with everything you need to create your structure, including pre-cut materials and instructions for assembly. An excellent option for DIY enthusiasts, you can purchase one for as low as £200 all the way up to £1000+ for more high-quality materials and designs. 

Labour costs vs assembling it yourself

PergoSTET 3m x 3m Square Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in White - £3,349.00

If you'd rather a professional build you a long-lasting structure, you'll have to factor in labour costs. These can vary depending on the rates of the tradespeople you hire plus the project's complexity. 

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from £250 to £500 per day. Most pergola projects are quick timewise, taking roughly 1-2 days to complete, but this will depend on individual factors. It will take longer if any significant prep work needs to be done before the installation.

Planning permission fees 

PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Wall Mounted Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in Grey - £3,799.00

Building a pergola in the UK doesn't usually require planning permission as long as it adheres to certain rules like height restrictions. We always recommend double-checking with your local council just in case, especially if you live in a conservation area or are planning on building a pergola that's larger or taller than average.


Hidden costs of building a pergola

When building your pergola, there are several potential hidden costs that you should look out for. Here’s what you should be aware of so that you’re not caught off guard: 

Does a pergola increase property taxes?

While a pergola does add value to your home, generally, it shouldn't increase your property tax as it tends to be viewed as a non-permanent structure. However, this can vary based on local regulations and how much value the pergola adds to your home's overall value. 


Furnishing your pergola

So you’ve got your structure up. Great! But if you want to make the most of it, you’ll most likely need to add furniture, lighting and decorations, which all result in extra costs. The good news is that these expenses will depend on you and vary based on the amount, quality and style of furniture you choose to incorporate. For example, high-end outdoor furniture made from premium materials or good-quality outdoor lighting will be more expensive compared to second-hand or lower-quality furniture. 


Pergola maintenance

Maintenance costs depend on the materials you use to build your pergola. Wood pergolas are durable but typically demand more upkeep and require regular staining or sealing, especially if they're made from softwood. On the other hand, aluminium or steel pergolas need less maintenance but generally have higher upfront costs. 


How to save money on building a pergola


Minimise costs by reducing size 

The size of your pergola will directly impact the overall cost. Choosing a smaller pergola reduces the amount of materials and labour, lowering the overall price. 


Choose less expensive building materials

The material you choose will account for the bulk cost of your pergola project. Hardwoods like oak tend to be longer-lasting and, therefore, more expensive than softwoods like pine, which will require more maintenance later. 

Steel and aluminium are generally more costly upfront but require less upkeep and are incredibly long-lasting, meaning that you might save money in the long run. 

Use a pergola kit

Pergola kits can be a great way to save money, as the cost to DIY build a pergola is much cheaper. Pergola kits come with all the materials you’ll need to build your pergola and instructions, making them a good option for anyone who loves a bit of DIY. They also come in various styles and prices to suit every budget.


Do your research

Understanding how different styles, materials and features impact your overall costs is essential if you’re trying to stay within a budget. The more time you spend researching your options, the better you’ll be able to create a detailed, realistic and cost-effective plan for your pergola. 

The same goes for hiring professionals to build your pergola for you. Look up reviews and get a couple of quotes first to compare to ensure you get a competitive price and the best deal.


Can a pergola add value to your home?

A pergola is a beautiful addition to any garden or outdoor space. But aside from aesthetics, is it worth the cost? 

While the exact return on investments (ROI) varies, it’s estimated that a pergola can offer a return anywhere from 50% to 80%, highlighting that it can be a great, worthwhile investment in the long run. And, if you’re selling your home to a buyer who enjoys spending time outside, a pergola can be the deciding factor that cinches the deal.

A pergola can add value to your home in many ways, including:

  • Increased living space: Pergolas create an additional outdoor living space that can be used year-round. This can be an appealing and sought-after feature, perfect for dining, relaxing, hosting and socialising with family and friends outside throughout the seasons.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Pergolas are beautiful structures that can improve the overall look and feel of your garden as well as your property, making your home even more attractive to potential buyers. 
  • Flexibility and functionality: Pergolas are multi-functional and can be customised with additional features like LED lights, heating or drop sides to create a shaded and protected area no matter what the British weather throws at it.


Alternatives to building a pergola 

If you’re looking for different options and more ways to save money, here are some alternatives to building a pergola.


Buy a pre-made pergola

Pre-made pergolas are simply pergolas that have already been built — they just need to be installed. A pre-made pergola allows you to bypass the time-consuming process of building it from scratch and requires less overall effort and skill, making it a good choice for those who prefer a ready-made solution. 

They come in various styles, sizes and materials and are designed for easy installation. Costs vary depending on the type of pergola you purchase, with prices starting around £600 for basic models, £2300-£2500 for average pergolas and £10,000 for larger and more premium designs. 

Interested in a high-quality, luxurious and pre-made pergola? Harbour Lifestyle offers a range of state-of-the-art pergolas that will instantly elevate your garden. 

Made from premium materials, our award-winning designs come in classic colours that suit any space and come with modern features like built-in LED lights, drop sides for extra privacy and protection, and louvred roofs that can be opened or closed whenever you want.

Look at our guide on pergola ideas to learn more about what you can do with a pergola in your garden.



An awning is a covering that's usually made from fabric and attached to the exterior wall of a building or home. They're often retractable and extend over an outdoor area, providing a shaded space for homeowners to spend in their gardens. 

A more temporary and flexible solution compared to pergolas, awnings are a convenient way for people to spend more time in the garden without being exposed to the elements and without the commitment of a full pergola structure. 

Prices depend on size, material and whether or not they retract; however, they typically range from £100 to £500, while custom designs can start at around £1000.



A gazebo is a freestanding, roofed and pavilion-like structure that’s often octagonal in shape. They provide full coverage from the sun thanks to their solid roofs and have partially enclosed sides with built-in seating, offering more shelter and privacy compared to a pergola.

Gazebos can be pricier than pergolas, with an average cost of £7000 for a standard model. 



A parasol is like a giant umbrella that provides temporary shade from the sun and can be moved as needed. A great portable option for smaller gardens that might not have the space for a pergola, they can be freestanding or mounted onto a central pole and are less expensive. 

Not quite ready to commit to a pergola but still need a quick and flexible shade solution? Check out Harbour Lifestyle’s range of parasols that quite literally have you covered. 

Opt for cantilever parasols that offer maximum sun coverage with 360-degree rotation, UV-resistant materials and solar-powered LED lights. Alternatively, explore more traditional options crafted from classic wood and aluminium, available in a variety of colours and stylish designs. These choices not only cater to your outdoor needs but also make a practical and sophisticated décor statement.

Prices once again vary depending on size and materials. Basic models can start from as low as £30 to £1800 for more premium cantilever designs. 


Next steps for building a pergola

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Now that you know the cost of building a pergola in 2024, it’s time to turn your pergola dream into a reality. Here’s your go-to checklist to guide you through the process and ensure that building your pergola goes as smoothly as possible:


  1. Identify your requirements: Decide on the size, style and location of your pergola. Consider factors like your garden layout, how you plan on using the space and the position of the sun.
  2. Decide on your materials: Choose what kind of pergola you want. Wooden? Aluminium? Or maybe steel? Make sure you think about maintenance, not just the upfront cost.
  3. DIY vs. professional installation: If you’re a DIY pro, building a pergola using a kit could be more cost-effective, as the cost to build a pergola by DIY is much cheaper. On the other hand, hiring a professional ensures safety and longevity and saves you the time and hassle of doing it yourself. 
  4. Check if you require planning permission: While it’s rarely needed in the UK, it’s wise to double-check with your local council if you need planning permission before starting. 
  5. Plan the installation: If you’re flying solo, gather all the necessary tools and materials you’ll need. If you’re hiring a professional, take your time to research before choosing a reputable contractor with good reviews.
  6. Start building! It’s time to get to work. Follow the instructions in your pergola kit if you're DIY-ing or oversee your contractors to ensure all goes according to plan and aligns with your vision. 
  7. Add the finishing touches: Congratulations — you finally have your very own pergola! Now you can customise it and add personal touches with lighting, furniture, art or climbing plants to really make it feel like your own.

Ready to transform your garden in time for spring? Browse Harbour Lifestyle's luxury pergola range and find the perfect ready-made addition to your outdoor space. Known for our beautiful, award-winning designs, our pergolas are high-quality, long-lasting and easy to install — meaning you can start enjoying your garden and your pergola sooner. 


Is it cheaper to build your own pergola or buy a kit?

The cost to build a pergola by DIY can be cheaper in terms of upfront costs, especially if you choose more affordable materials and already have all the necessary tools. However, you’ll need to seriously take your DIY abilities into consideration as building a pergola requires specialised skills to ensure safety and longevity, and any errors could lead to higher costs. 

Pre-made pergolas, like those from Harbour Lifestyle, are easy to install and offer the convenience of a professional design. While the initial cost may be higher, they are also more long-lasting, meaning they may be cheaper in the long run.