Pergolas - Designs, Ideas, Materials, Builders, Costs & More!

Everything you needed to know about pergolas and more.

On this page you will find the following pergola sections including information, articles & advice.

  • Pergola Ideas
  • Pergola Design
  • Pergola Design Resources
  • Pergola Materials
  • Pergola Plans
  • Pergola Building Tutorials (how to build a pergola)
  • Pergola – DIY or hire a professional
  • Choosing a Draftsman & Surveyor
  • Choosing a Pergola Builder
  • Pergola Builder Directory
  • Featured Australian Pergola Builders
  • DIY – Pergola Builder Checklist
  • Pergola FAQ

Our goal here at Affordable Pergolas is to help you build your new pergola with as much ease as possible.

Freestanding Pergola


pergola Ideas

Pergolas come in a vast array of sizes, shapes and the materials placed above them to offer cover and shade.

Types of pergolas can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Simple pergolas.
  • Pergolas with slats.
  • Featured end pergolas.
  • Pergolas with shade cloth.
  • Vine covered pergolas.
  • Pergolas with columns.
  • Solid timber pergolas.

For these and many more great ideas visit pergola ideas page or visit pergolas Australia for additional inspiring ideas.

pergola Designs

In addition to the pergola ideas above, although we have finished building now, we have a whole gallery on pergolas that we built over the last 15 years.

These include mainly timber slatted pergolas, raw pergolas and one with a wire design for traing plants and vines on.

To view these structures visit our pergola design gallery.



More Pergola Designs

Apart from our pergola ideas & designs there is also some excellent resources online offer additional inspiration.

Here are a few of them you may like to visit.



pergola materials

For any construction of a pergola there are many choices of a variety of materials to choose from.

Below is a list of materials of which we are expanding and adding too as time permits.

In addition to the above articles, here is additional information on the pros and cons of each pergola material.



pergola pLANS

Whether you are building a pergola yourself or getting an experienced tradesman to do the work, pergola plans are a must.

Apart from having pergola plans designed by a draftsman or architect, plans already drawn based on set dimensions can be purchased and may be applicable to your needs.

These include plans for an attached pergola or a freestanding pergola. For more information visit pergola plans.

pergola building tutorials

Thinking about building your own pergola but have little or no experiences with construction?

Building your own pergola can be an excellent and rewarding experience for even those with little knowledge of how to do so.

Visit our how to build a pergola page for videos, pdf tutorials and books to get you started.


Building Surveyor

Choosing The right Draftsman, surveyor

Finding a good draftsman or surveyor at the right price and who provide quality work can be a time consuming task.

Draftsman alone can cost anywhere from $800 to $2,500 just for simple outdoor living structure plans such as verandah & carports and surveyors can charge similar similar.

To help you walk this path at minimal cost, I have written a concise free guide that provides:

  • Details of how to find the best surveyors & draftsman in each Australian capital city.
  • How to save money on your council permit and planning costs.
  • How to choose the best tradesman at competitive prices.
  • If doing DIY, how to save money on your build in regards to:
    • Timber
    • Roofing
    • Fixes
    • Decking
    • Pool fencing

Grab your free Pergola – Outdoor Living saving guide today.


  • How do I know if I am getting an experienced tradesman?
  • How do I know if the builder has all necessary licences & registrations?
  • How do I pick a builder who will do a great job at a decent price?

These questions & more are answer in out Outdoor Living Savings Guide, grab it today.


pergola Builders Directory

Where to find a great pergola tradesman in your area? On deciding on a pergola and having obtained all the necessary paperwork, please visit our outdoor living builders directory to find a great pergola builder to suit your needs.

Some of the builders and professional services you will also find in our directory include:

  • Pool Builders
  • Pavers
  • Landscapers
  • Draftsman
  • Surveyors


Here you will some great pergola builders we have hand picked from each state. Have a look at their work and see if it may suit your needs.

  • Pergolas Brisbane – Specializing in excellent modern timber pergolas as well as patios & carports. Based in Brisbane.
  • Totally Outdoors – Offering a complete range of timber, steel & aluminium pergolas including kits and complete installation. In addition to these services they also have affiliate partners who can supply plans and permit. Based in Melbourne.

DIY Pergola Build - Checklist

Here is a quick and simple checklist to keep you out of trouble when building your own pergola – DIY.

1. Determine the location: Choose a suitable spot in your yard for the pergola, taking into consideration factors like sunlight exposure, proximity to the house, and landscaping features.

2. Check local regulations: Before starting construction, check with your local authorities to ensure that you comply with any building codes or permit requirements for building a pergola.

3. Design the pergola: Decide on the size, shape, and style of your pergola. Consider factors like the materials you want to use, the level of shade you desire, and any additional features like built-in seating or lighting.

4. Gather materials and tools: Make a list of all the materials and tools you will need for the project, including lumber, fasteners, concrete, and any decorative elements. Ensure you have everything on hand before starting.

5. Prepare the site: Clear the area where the pergola will be built, removing any existing structures, trees, or debris. Level the ground if necessary and mark out the dimensions of the pergola.

6. Install footings or posts: Depending on the design of your pergola, you will need to install footings or posts to support the structure. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult with a professional if needed.

7. Build the frame: Construct the frame of the pergola using the lumber and fasteners according to your design plan. Make sure the frame is square and level as you work.

8. Add cross beams and rafters: Install the cross beams and rafters on top of the frame, spacing them evenly to provide support and shade. Secure them in place with the appropriate hardware.

9. Finish the pergola: Apply any desired finishes to the wood, such as stain or paint, to protect it from the elements and enhance its appearance. Consider adding decorative elements like climbing plants or hanging lights.

10. Enjoy your pergola: Once the construction is complete, take a moment to relax and appreciate your new outdoor living space. Add furniture, plants, and other decorations to make the pergola a comfortable and inviting retreat in your yard.

pergolas... faq's


  • What is a pergola?

    A pergola is a structure typically built in outdoor spaces to provide shade, support for climbing plants, and a defined space for entertaining or relaxing.

  • Do I need a permit to build a pergola?

    Yes, you may need a permit to build a pergola. Regulations vary depending on the size, location, and materials used for the pergola. It’s best to check with your local council for specific guidelines.

  • What materials are commonly used to build pergolas?

    Common materials used for pergolas include timber, steel, and aluminium. Each material has its own advantages in terms of durability, cost, and aesthetics.

  • How much does it cost to build a pergola?

    The cost of building a pergola can vary widely depending on factors such as size, materials, design complexity, and labor costs. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 or more

  • Can I build a pergola myself or do I need to hire a professional?

    While it is possible to build a pergola yourself, hiring a professional builder is recommended, especially if you lack the necessary skills or experience. A professional can ensure the structure is safe, complies with regulations, and is built to last.

  • How long does it take to build a pergola?

    The time it takes to build a pergola can vary depending on factors such as size, complexity, weather conditions, and the availability of materials. On average, it may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete the project.

  • Can I attach a pergola to my house?

    Yes, you can attach a pergola to your house, but it is important to ensure that the attachment is done correctly to prevent any structural issues or water damage. It’s advisable to consult with a professional to assess the feasibility and safety of attaching a pergola to your house.

  • Do pergolas require maintenance?

    Yes, like any outdoor structure, pergolas require regular maintenance to ensure they remain in good condition. This may include cleaning, staining or painting, checking for rot or damage, and ensuring that any climbing plants are well-maintained.

  • Are there any design considerations specific to climate when building a pergola?

    Yes, when building a pergola it is important to consider the local climate, which can include hot summers, cold winters, and occasional strong winds. Choosing appropriate materials, ensuring proper drainage, and providing adequate shade are important design considerations.

  • Can I add features like lighting, fans, or curtains to my pergola?

    Yes, you can customize your pergola with various features such as lighting, fans, curtains, or even heating elements to make it more comfortable and functional for year-round use. It’s best to consult with a professional to ensure these additions are installed safely and effectively.

Affordable Pergolas

About Affordable Pergolas

Yes, more than an information resource on outdoor building projects! We have built many outdoor projects and been in the construction game for over 20 years.

For further information on who we are and what we aim to accomplish with this building resource, please visit our about us page.