Pergola on Decking: A Match Made in Heaven

Pergola on Decking: A Match Made in Heaven

You’ve finally finished your decking project. It looks beautiful, but you can’t help but feel that something is missing — a cover!

There’s no denying that decking is an attractive addition to any garden, elevating its aesthetic and great for enjoying the outdoors. After all, soaking up the sun is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But without a cover, it leaves you and your new decking vulnerable to the elements. That’s why pergolas over decking make the perfect pairing.

As a versatile free-standing or wall-mounted structure, pergolas are experiencing a resurgence in popularity, drawing people in thanks to their beauty, shade and protection from direct sunlight (as well as from the infamous UK rain). Elevating just about any outdoor space, they provide the perfect spot for you to eat, socialise, entertain family and friends or simply relax and unwind after a long day. Plus, as a pergola deck cover, they’ll protect your set-up from unpredictable weather and prevent your decking from sun-fading — it’s a win-win. 

Still not convinced? Read on to explore everything you need to know about putting your pergola on a deck area, how to style it, and why no decking is ever complete without one.


Can you put a pergola on decking?

Let’s get straight into it, shall we? Yes, you absolutely can put a pergola on decking.

However, these aesthetic outdoor structures come with a lot of weight, and safety is paramount. That’s why it’s essential to properly secure your pergola posts when installing them onto decking using high-quality tools and hardware. You’ll also need to check whether your decking is strong enough to hold the weight of your pergola in the first place. After all, take into account a pergola along with its accompanying garden furniture,  BBQ, and climbing plants, PLUS your family and friends? Now, that’s one heavy load. The good news is that just about every type of decking can support this weight, but it’s always better to be safe (and check) than sorry. 

Classic wooden decking that either stands alone or is raised to be level with your back doors is the traditional choice for most homes, creating the perfect canvas for a free-standing or wall-mounted pergola. However, you’ll need to make sure that it’s low to the ground and structurally sound to support its weight. If you’re in the process of building your decking, just talk to your contractor, and they’ll be able to give you the best professional advice and create a suitable decking area. 

Do you have an existing wooden deck and worry that it’s too high or not strong enough to support the weight of a pergola? Don’t worry — it’s usually just a simple case of cutting out holes so that you can anchor it into the ground below. 

Remember, wooden pergolas on decking must be maintained with regular painting and treatment to retain their integrity and strength. We recommend using pressure-treated wood and painting it regularly to ensure it doesn’t rot and remains safe for your pergola. 


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


Can you fix a pergola to composite decking?

As the name suggests, composite decking is made up of more than one material, typically plastic and wood, which can include anything from wood chips, wooden fibre pieces and even sawdust. 

Because of this combination of materials, composite decking is generally stronger and more durable than wood and needs less maintenance, lasting for years to come. While a more expensive option than traditional wood decking, composite decks make the perfect foundation to add a pergola. As with wooden pergolas on decking, to install your pergola, you’ll first need to ensure the composite decking is level and stable before drilling holes to secure your pergola posts safely into place.


Why have a pergola on a deck?

Pergolas are versatile in nature and are a popular choice for many homeowners thanks to their functional benefits and aesthetic appeal. Here are some reasons people might choose to install a pergola on a deck:


Shade and comfort

On those lush British summer days when the sun is finally out, a pergola provides much-needed shade without completely blocking out the rays and allows you to make the most out of your decking throughout the entire day — even during peak sun hours.


Enhanced outdoor space

While decking already amps up your garden's aesthetic appeal, the addition of a pergola will elevate it tenfold, transforming it into an even more comfortable and inviting outdoor living area that's perfect for dinner parties, family gatherings or enjoying a quiet evening outdoors.


Aesthetic appeal

Pergolas transform outdoor spaces by adding interest and definition. Elevating the overall look of a home, they can be designed to complement or contrast the style of your house and can be customised and used to support climbing plants, lights or decorations to create a natural, green ambience that reflects your personal style. 



Thanks to their open-lattice or louvre roofs and posts, a pergola provides a sense of privacy on a deck, shielding you away from any nosey neighbours, and is perfect for houses in cities and other urban areas where homes are close together. Some even come with drop sides for ultimate privacy and a more secluded and intimate outdoor space.


Protection for your decking and outdoor furniture

A pergola offers protection from all of the elements — rain, wind or sun — protecting your decking from sun-fading while extending the life of your outdoor furniturePlacing your pergola on decking rather than grass also provides extra stability and a level and flat surface that will avoid flooding — particularly important when living in the UK. This flat surface is also better for adding furniture, as well as for walking and general comfort. 

Plus, decking typically requires less maintenance than a lawn area and is more easily accessible from the house, creating a seamless transition between the indoors and outside. 


Different types of pergola decking

PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in White - £3,999

This is where we really get to the good stuff — imagining and planning how your decking and pergola will look. The good news is that there are a few pergolas for deck options that you can choose between, meaning that there’s something for everybody. Wall-mounted pergolas are a popular option for creating an extension from the home into the garden. Its proximity to the house makes it an excellent choice for alfresco dining and summer BBQs.

Alternatively, free-standing pergolas on decking are great for large gardens with more space. They help to create shade anywhere in your garden and are perfect for adding comfortable seating, like a lounge set or a daybed, for the ultimate chill-out zone. 


Pergola on a Raised Deck

Raise the stakes (and your deck) with a pergola on raised decking. Unlike low-to-the-ground options, these elevated beauties will give you a better view, airflow, and sense of grandeur. Think tree-house but minus the tree. And okay, half the height. A raised deck is perfect for sloped or uneven terrain, helping you to make the most of unused tricky and difficult-to-work-with parts of your garden. 


Pergola on a Floating Deck

Floating decks are the trendy, cool kids of the decking world. And adding a pergola to them? Even cooler. 

A floating deck is freestanding decking that’s usually low to the ground and isn’t attached to the home or fence, giving the illusion that it’s floating. Because they are so low, they often don’t even require stairs, meaning you have the freedom to place your pergola on a floating deck anywhere you want to create a little island of relaxation right in your garden.


Pergola on a Wood Deck

Classic. Timeless. We could go on, but we won’t, other than to say that a pergola on a wood deck is a match made in heaven. 

Wooden decking has a natural, warm look that effortlessly complements your garden and offers all the charm of a pergola. It’s the quintessential choice if you’re after a more cosy, rustic vibe. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy that intoxicating wooden aroma on those sunny days. 


Pergola on Composite Deck

Are you more into innovative materials and contemporary designs? Or maybe you don’t have much time on your hands and are after something that’s low maintenance? A pergola on composite decking might just be for you. 

Made from a combination of materials, including plastic and wood fragments, composite decking is durable, hassle-free and doesn’t fade. At least not as quickly, anyway. When you pair it with a pergola, you have an innovative outdoor space that looks and stays sleek with minimal fuss.


Roofed Pergolas on Decking

Come rain or shine, a roofed pergola on decking has got you covered — literally. It's like having an outdoor living room that's ready for anything. 

These pergolas come with a solid or semi-solid roof, offering flexibility and extra protection from the elements. They're great for those unpredictable weather days when you still want to lounge outdoors, extending your garden's use when the temperatures drop and the seasons start to shift. 


Louvred Pergolas on Decking

Louvred pergolas on decking are the absolute bosses of sunlight and shade. And thanks to their adjustable slats, you can control exactly how much sun you want depending on the weather, heat or simply your mood. These modern pergolas are super flexible, practical and are every indecisive homeowner's best friend.


Small Pergolas on Decking

A smaller pergola on decking proves the theory that the best things in life come in small packages. They help those with more limited outdoor spaces.

Best for cosy spaces or intimate gatherings, they are charming and functional without overwhelming your garden or your deck. It's your personal little nook to unwind, read or enjoy a quiet cup of tea.


Medium Pergolas on Decking

Not too big, not too small, but JUST right. We're confident that a versatile medium pergola would be Goldilocks' choice. They strike the perfect balance, leaving you with enough space for a stylish outdoor sofa set, coffee table and entertaining without dominating your deck. They're also great for family dinners, BBQs or chilling with friends. 


Large Pergolas on Decking

Sometimes, you just have to go big or go home. And when it comes to decking pergolas, you want to go large if you have the space. 

The life and soul of the party, a large pergola, adds definition to an expansive garden and provides more than enough space for large gatherings, outdoor kitchens or even a hot tub. If you love throwing big events or simply crave lots of room to spread out, this is your go-to.


Aluminium Pergolas on Decking

Sleek and modern with a twist. That's how we'd describe aluminium pergolas. Durable and rust-resistant, they are also low-maintenance, which makes them the perfect option for anyone who loves a contemporary look without any of the extra work. They can also handle whatever the weather throws at them. 


Corner Pergolas on Decking

Corner pergolas are a clever solution for making the most of the space you have while simultaneously adding a focal point. Tucked into a corner, they create a cosy space without hogging your entire deck. It’s like having a secret garden or private hideaway, perfect for reading, yoga, meditating or enjoying some alone time. 

3m x 6m Rectangular Pergola with 4 Drop Sides in Grey - £8,639


How do you attach a pergola to a deck?

First things first — if you’re directly attaching your pergola to the deck, it is paramount to ensure that it’s securely attached. 

If you’re buying a pergola and decking kit, pergola support posts should be securely attached to the structure below the decking (or directly into the ground) and not to the actual floor of the deck itself, as the planks can break away. You’ll also need to use robust hardware and secure bolts for your pergola for safety and longevity. If you have any doubts about installing your pergola and decking kit, hire the services of a local contractor for a safe pergola that’s professionally attached.


Do you need planning permission for a pergola on a deck?

It’s incredibly rare that you’d need planning permission to install a pergola in your garden here in the UK. However, we’d always recommend you double-check just to be on the safe side, as we’d really hate for you to be fined by your local council.

Check out the following questions to see whether or not you’ll need to apply for planning permission:

  • Does the pergola cover more than half the area of your land?
  • Is the pergola on the front or the side of your house?
  • Do you live in a conservation area?
  • Do you live in a listed area? 
  • Is the pergola built on a raised platform like a balcony or veranda?

That last question is the one we’re most concerned with when it comes to decking. It’s not that you aren’t allowed to build a pergola on a deck, but that there are some height restrictions regarding planning permission.  


How tall should a pergola be on a deck?

A pergola that’s within 2 metres of the property boundary can be a maximum of 2.5 metres high and 3 metres high if it’s further than 2 metres from the boundary. Pergolas with a pitched roof (A-shaped) can be a maximum of 4 metres high. All of these outlined heights include decking, so if you have high-raised decking in particular, you’ll need to ensure that your pergola doesn’t exceed these requirements. 


What material should you use for a pergola on a deck?

What material your pergola is made from is really up to you. From aluminium to steel to wood, the choice is yours! Wooden pergolas on decking are a classic and go-to choice if you’re after that more traditional and natural look. Common types of wood pergolas include cedar, oak and pine, but they do require regular maintenance, like staining or sealing, to keep them looking great so that they last longer.

Sleek and sophisticated, high-quality aluminium and steel pergolas are long-lasting, fuss-free and the smart choice for the modern homeowner. Our premium range of pergolas comes in classic colours to suit any space and are elegant but always functional. 


How to plan a deck, pergola and furniture together

When designing, planning and decorating your pergola over decking, it’s important to have fun with it. Get creative and consider the overall style you want to achieve — is it a rustic retreat? A modern lounge? Or maybe a cosy gathering spot for family and friends? Whatever look you decide, the key is creating an attractive and functional dream outdoor living space.

For a uniform look, consider building a pergola of decking with seating directly on the deck. Or, add a mix of stylish but durable outdoor furniture like a corner sofa, dining table or even a bar set to create a unique area that suits your décor taste and needs. Elevate your outdoor space by adding sleek accessories such as an outdoor heater or an impressive fire pit. These create a magical ambience and provide extra warmth during cooler days and nights. Additionally, enhance comfort and personalisation with colourful scatter cushions, blankets, unique art pieces or an outdoor rug that complements your overall theme — endless possibilities await!

PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in Grey - £3,999


How much does a pergola over a deck cost?

The average cost for garden decking installation in the UK ranges from £1,200 to £1,800, but prices can fluctuate depending on the size of your pergola over decking and the materials used. The average cost of a pergola in the UK is £2,500, but once again, prices can range from a few hundred pounds for basic models all the way up to £10,000 for luxury designs with premium features. At Harbour Lifestyle, we offer a variety of pergolas at varying price points, like our smaller 3m x 3m aluminium square pergola with three drop sides for £3,349.00 and our rectangular 3m x 4m steel pergola for £1,749.00. Like decking, pergola prices depend on size, materials and extra features. 

Now, let's talk about labour costs. The average price to build garden decking ranges from £20-£50 per square metre and can be a significant part of your total expenditure. Professional installation of both your decking and pergola ensure longevity and safety compared to a DIY job that might be cheaper. If you go down the DIY route, it's vital to be confident in your skills, especially for a project of this scale.


Ready to get your own pergola?

If you're looking to take your decking to the next level, a pergola could be the solution. Great for creating the ultimate go-to spot for relaxing and good times, think of a pergola as your deck's next best friend. Install them onto existing decking or one you're currently building — just make sure it's properly installed for safety and longevity. 

Curious to see what could work for your deck? Take a peek at Harbour Lifestyle's collection of premium pergolas. From smaller 3m x 3m to extra large 3m x 6m sizes, we've got a pergola for every taste and outdoor space. Built to last and carefully designed, they'll make a stunning addition to any garden.