Installing an arbor, pergola, or trellis can add a dramatic design element to your landscaping and outdoor living space. Ranging from simple, decorative accessories to elaborate garden features, these structures combine form and function to enhance the exterior of your home.
Arbors typically feature a free standing archway fitted with lattice work that supports climbing vines. Varying in size and shape, arbors are often used to provide shade for a small seating area or as a transitional passageway from one outdoor area to another. Size, design, and building materials contribute to installation costs which range from $568 to $2780 across the U.S.
Installing a Pergola
While often referenced interchangeably with arbors, pergolas are typically more substantial and consist of an open, wooden roof structure built upon vertical posts. Pergolas serve to support climbing plants and provide shade in large areas, and generally cost between $499 and $2442 to install.
Trellises, like arbors and pergolas, are used to support climbing plants but are generally flat and do not provide shade or horizontal structure to garden areas. Often attached to the wall of a building, trellises add interest to outdoor spaces without substantial structure. Installation prices range from $302 to $1478, varying with the materials and features of the structure.
Designs and Plans for Garden Structures
Substantial garden features require careful design and planning to achieve their desired appearance as well as structural integrity. Standard plans are available to you and your contractor, or you can contract an architect or designer to provide drawings for a structure that is customized to suit your garden and landscaping or integrate with your house. The average price in the nation for building an arbor, pergola or trellis from structural drawings is $928, compared to $979 for projects built without drawings.
Building a New or Replacement Structure
A new arbor, pergola or trellis can be designed for a number or uses and plants, and can be built in virtually any location to enhance your garden or yard. Costs for new garden structures average $939, and are influenced by the size, type and location of the installation as well as your choice of materials. Prices for a building a replacement for an existing structure average $967, and while the same pricing factors that apply to new construction are relevant, replacement projects come with a few other considerations that may affect your installation. The removal of established plant growth and accommodating existing foundations may add to overall costs, as well as correcting any damage to walls or siding where structures were attached to your home.
Your choice of material for a trellis, arbor or pergola will contribute to the structure’s strength, durability and beauty, and is an important factor in the cost of your project. Wood species that are naturally weather and rot resistant such as redwood, teak, cypress and cedar are typically more expensive than more common species such as spruce and pine, but their durability provides for lower maintenance costs. The average U.S. installation price for a redwood garden structure is $1158 and $745 for cedar, compared $1026 for treated pine. Synthetic and composite materials also offer low maintenance options, with an average price of $1618 for installations with synthetic materials.
Planning for a New Arbor, Pergola or Trellis
Whether a purely decorative element, a support for climbing plants, or a shade structure for your yard, an arbor, pergola or trellis can add beauty and function to outdoor spaces. Consider the weight of climbing plants when designing your structure and choosing materials, and assess the size and style for your project to determine if you will need design services as well as construction. The scale, design, materials and location of your project contribute to construction costs, and understanding the many aspects of the installation will help you plan and budget for your project.