The one question that always comes up in a call or visit to our showroom is ‘how much does a pergola cost?’ and to be honest it is the normally one of the first.

Rather than trying to be cryptic and overly ‘salesy’ about it, I am going to try and answer as best I can.

Think about buying a new car – most people have had the joy (or pain) of doing this before.  Firstly, you decide that you need a new car, next up is budget, you have a vague idea of what you can afford.  Then you start to look for the best car that money can buy within your broad budget.  Maybe you will have a brand you like, or a fuel type you are set on, you will want to decide on manual or automatic.  Next will be how many seats it’s got, those types of functional questions and lastly will be how many extras can I afford in my budget, and sometimes will I be willing to stretch over budget to get some of the really nice additions – sun roof, electric or leather seats etc.

How much can I afford to spend on a new pergola?

Now consider a pergola.  Ok so first up is how much can I afford?  Well, this is a big structure that needs to be well built and last a long time so unlikely you will get something fitted for less than £1000.  But like a car there is significant variance in base price from 3m x 3m £500 wooden DIY kit to a £35,000 aluminium pergola with retracting and rotating louvre roof. So, let’s delve a little deeper.

How big do I need my pergola to be?

Yes, size matters 😉 Although there will be economies of scale as you go bigger it is much more important to consider what you need your pergola to cover?

If you are looking for something to fit a small corner or 4-person seating set then a 3m x 3m may be sufficient for your needs.

If you are looking for 6 person or multiple pieces of seating options and a BBQ area, then you will be better off looking at 4m x 4m or 6m x 4m or bigger.

If you are looking for the full whizz bang with outdoor kitchen, seating and a bar then go as large as your garden or house end will allow for.

As a rule of thumb, adding one square metre to your pergola size will increase the cost by approximately £500.

After that comes the question around types of pergolas – are you looking for traditional or modern, wood or metal?

What type of material do I want my pergola to be made from?

Generally speaking, there is a maximum size for wooden – they are often the preferred choice if you have a small patio to cover and just want to be able to cover a dining table or seating area. They are relatively easy to build and although you need to treat them regularly to maintain them they should last comfortably for 10 years.  They are also a good option if you aren’t looking for overhead cover or side cover.  They will take sides and roofs but typically these are custom add ons. Prices for a wooden pergola go from £500 to over £5000 and we would recommend these guys – Rutland Country Garden Furniture and Dunster if you are looking for a middle ground wooden pergola fully fitted.

Other than wood, the only other option is a metal pergola. The vast majority available are in powder coated aluminium. Basic, self-assembly aluminium pergolas are available from many outlets online and in garden centres. They are typically in standard sizes, 3m x 3m, 4m x 3m etc, and limited colours. They will be delivered flat packed for self-assembly but can represent a good choice for those on a budget with typical prices from £1500 to £8000. At the higher end of the price bracket are bespoke bioclimatic pergolas. These can be made to fit virtually any space, in a wide variety of colours, will have automated options such as screens, roofs etc. Lighting, heating and sound will also be available. A bioclimatic pergola allows you to control the climate within to create a space you can use all year round.

These are more modern in design and typically suit people who are looking for a space that adds value to their lives and is worth the investment. These can be wall mounted or free standing within the garden. Colour matching and softening of the structure with wood look or outdoor fabrics, mean this type of pergola can look fantastic in most settings. Joining these type of pergolas together allows for large living and entertaining spaces to be made.  Most people who are looking for a roof on this style of pergola know the prices (or extras) come into your buying selection quickly.  A mid-range would be somewhere around £14,000 – £18,000 if you are looking for a retractable fabric roof from the Brustor range.

Ok so you have decided how much you can afford, the size and material choice now come the fun part – the added extras.

If you have got this far then you are generally already in the market to spend £20,000 upwards so now it becomes about optional extra choices:

How much does it cost to add a roof to my pergola?

There are lots of options in adding a roof to your pergola:

An awning is generally a covering that is wall mounted to an existing structure. For small awnings legs may not be required, however, larger awnings would require extra support.

3m x 3m fabric roofed awning £9200 inc VAT and installation.

Retractable fabric roofed pergolas have very similar frames to their aluminium louvered cousins. Where they differ is they have a waterproof fabric which is attached to rails on either side of the roof. This fabric can then be retracted, concertina style, as much or as little as needed to alter the amount of shade provided.

3m x 3m retractable roofed pergola £12,900 inc VAT and installation.

Rotating louvered pergolas have powdered coated aluminium louvres with a unique shape that channels water away to internal gutters. They can be fully closed and waterproof or rotated to any position up to 135 degrees. This allows you to maximise sunlight/shade.

3m x 3m rotating roof pergola £13,200 inc VAT and installation.

Rotating and retracting louvered pergolas offer all the benefits of the above with the additional feature of being able to retract, the louvres basically stack, to approximately 30% of the total roof space. This gives the ultimate in flexible roofing options.

3m x 3m retracting roof pergola £19,600 inc VAT and installation.

A glass roof is fully waterproof and allows maximum light transmission. On the other hand, they have little flexibility with no ability to open, little or no shade provided, and they can add considerable weight. Probably a good choice for areas that are mostly shaded.

3m x 3m glass roofed pergola £15,500 inc VAT and installation.

Can my pergola have sides?

The answer is on most types – yes.

Cost wise your options are as follows:

Wooden baton to wooden pergola – Huge flexibility with wooden screening. Options range from DIY batons or slats which may cost less than £100, prefabricated panels from garden centres at £30 to £60 each through to bespoke joiner produced screens in oak or similar which may cost several hundreds of pounds.

Fixed wall – Fixed aluminium walls can be supplied in a variety of colours and finishes. It can be powder coated to match your pergola or even have a realistic wood grain effect. Low maintenance and highly durable they represent an excellent choice if you need permanent screening. Price dependant on finish but around £200 per sq m.

Sliding wall – Aluminium sliding panels will look very similar to the option above, however, will be a series of smaller panels that run on an upper and lower track. The panels can be stacked behind each other in various combinations to give flexibility. Finishes as above. Price around £500 per sq m.

Glass sliding panels are a great solution that offers lots of flexibility. They can fully enclose a side without impacting on light transmission or views and as above can be opened in a stacked fashion. Price around £800 per linear metre.

Is it possible to have lighting within the pergola?

The cheapest way to get lighting is to string up some solar lights – these work on any pergola type and as long as you have sun on the solar panel then they will light up at dusk. You can buy for as little as £30 but I would suggest looking at specialist lighting companies as some of the better ones average about £175.  Some flash and are even on timers but I will let the experts explain this.

If you want them built into your pergola then here are some of the options:

Spotlights which are flush fitted into the pergola frame are the simplest and most traditional looking lighting option. Depending on the size of the pergola, you may need more than a dozen to provide all round lighting. Price will be around £150 each.

LED louvre lights are a strip which is built into the louvre itself. These can be in a variety of colours to create different effects and dimmable. For a 3m x 3m pergola then 3 louvre lights would be sufficient to give adequate lighting, bigger pergolas would require more. Price dependant on length but around £350 each(LED lighting strips can also be fitted to the internal gutters around the perimeter of the pergola).

Some high end pergola manufacturers even offer LED lights built into louvres to simulate a ‘starry sky’ effect so when in use at night it feels like you are looking up into the open sky with the benefit of being completely enclosed.

What are the options for heating my pergola?

As the evening draw in or if you are looking at entertaining space for use at night then heating might be an additional extra you are looking at.  Again, costs vary massively from basic free-standing heating from about £100 to wall mounted radiant heaters from £70 – £1,500 to designer fire pits and tables from around £1,000- £6,000.

Costs vary massively here but here are some of the broad costs and suggestions based on what you are looking for:

Gas standalone moveable heaters – great if you want to be able to move them around your garden and not too expensive on average about £150-£200 but they are quite bulky and guzzle a fair amount of gas

Wall mounted radiant heaters – These infra-red heaters are the most commonly used and are mounted to the upper beam of the pergola. Available in a variety of colours to compliment the pergola and generally around 2.5kw. Price around £550.

Wood burner – Wood burners can add real warmth to an outdoor space. They burn wood/charcoal to create a real flame so do produce smoke/soot and therefor would need to be flued out of the pergola. Also, they can become very hot to the touch, so not the best option if you have young children or pets. Price from £200 for a small ‘chimenea’ style.

Fire Pit/Fire Table – Fire pits and fire tables (essentially a fire pit set into a table) share a lot of similar benefits/downsides to the wood burners mentioned above. Fire pits tend to sit low to the floor, so essentially you have a small contained open fire. They can be a good choice for the budget conscious though starting from as little as £50. Check out B&Q. Relatively new to the market and an innovative alternative to wood burning heaters are bioethanol fire tables/pits. The benefit for pergola owners are they produce no smoke or soot and do not become hot to the touch like wood burners. This means there is no need to have a flue and they are safer for children. Rather than burning wood, you fill a reservoir with ethanol and simply light it. There are even some manufacturers who have been able to produce bioethanol burners that can used indoors as well as outdoors, have a look at Kittell for these. Prices from around £1000 for a fire pit/bowl and around £2000 for a fire table

Is integrated sound and media and option built into my pergola?

And the final luxury to consider is sound and media.  I’ve seen some great additions of projectors and screens to watch a big footie match with your mates through to full integrated home cinemas. As a general guide the link between price paid for something and its quality is linked. Especially when considering audio and vision equipment is no different. It doesn’t mean you need to spend the earth. Check out this Projector and Screen combo – this one on Amazon gets great ratings for £59.99

This may satisfy that once a year outdoor movie but a pergola full of people gathered for a sporting event may need something of better quality. Consider your intended use for this addition. If you are looking for a quality picture in the day and night you will need to budget between £2,000 and £7,000 for the projector and screen.

So now you are armed with all the options let’s have a look at a few costed options to help you understand costings better and give you an idea of what a total package may cost you:

Basic wood option

Dunster do a great basic wooden pergola without any added extra.  You will need to fit it but at £475.99 with free delivery, this could be a great option if you are on a budget and good at DIY

Dunster Wood Option

Wood option with side walls

If you want it to be a bit more durable, you could also add 2 side walls – this one at £1429 offers more stability and wind protection

Dunster Premium Option

Bioclimatic Aluminium Pergolas:

Basic option

3m x 3m with rotating louvres £13,200 inc VAT, delivery and installation.

Aluminium pergola with extras

4m x 4m with rotating louvres, 2 automated fabric screens, 1 heater and lights £24,000 inc VAT, delivery and installation.

Aluminium with all the bells and whistles…

6m x 4m with rotating louvres, 4 automated fabric screens, lights, Bluetooth sound and bio-ethanol fire table £41,345 inc VAT, delivery and installation.

If you would like to know more then contact us

Good luck in finding the right pergola for your garden!