Homedit is supported by our readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Amazing Ideas for Having a Pergola on Your Deck

If you’re looking to spruce up your backyard, look no further than a pergola on your deck. Not only does a stunning and modern pergola add some value to your home’s exterior, but it’s also a wonderful addition for backyard living. When it comes to adding a pergola to your home however, you might be at a loss of where to start. 

Pergola on deck

In this article, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about pergolas. We’ll talk about the benefits of having one, tips on building a pergola, decor ideas, and provide you with a curated list of some of the best pergolas to get you started. 

What is a Pergola? 

It’s a structure that’s usually supported by columns on the side. While pergolas were traditionally built to support climbing plants, it has evolved over time into a structure that’s especially made for outdoor relaxation. It can be freestanding, attached to your home, open or sheltered. It’s a truly versatile outdoor structure that comes in a plethora of materials, shapes and sizes to cater to your home. 

While pergolas are certainly a great spot to socialize and unwind in, it’s also a great way to feel closer to nature. In fact, most individuals incorporate the plants that are currently in the backyard to their pergola design. For example, you can use the support columns in your pergola to grow climbing plants, or even use your current plants as a natural source of shade – rather than having a roof.

Can a Pergola Be Built on a Deck?

Pergolas come in a variety of styles. Additionally, you may install lattice work on the sides of your pergola to make a do-it-yourself privacy screen that gives your pergola the appearance of walls. 

Can a Pergola Be Built on a Deck?View in gallery

However, before settling on a style, you must first master the fundamentals. This entails selecting the appropriate hardware to ensure that the structure remains stable regardless of the circumstances.

Pergola construction on top of a deck is slightly more complicated compared to building one directly on the ground. When building on the ground, you can bury your posts and reinforce them with concrete, dirt, or gravel. On a deck, you’ll need to attach wood to wood, which may reduce the stability of the pergola.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pergola on a Deck?

Pergola construction costs typically range from $2,200 to $5,900, or about $4,000 on average. A basic structure can cost as little as $1,300, while a personalized design might cost up to $10,000.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pergola on a Deck?View in gallery

If you’re ready to construct your own pergola, you can save a lot of money. A beautiful cedar pergola with simple do-it-yourself instructions may be purchased for roughly $1,300 from big-box retailers. 

However, if you want a properly installed pergola constructed of premium materials such as tigerwood or ipe, the cost can easily exceed $10,000.

Can a Pergola Sit on a Deck?

Can a Pergola Sit on a Deck?View in gallery

Yes, but you will have to take some extra measures to make sure the construction is sturdy. 

Invest in pressure-treated wood

Your posts will bear the entire structure’s weight, which means you’ll need wood that can withstand a great deal of pressure. The last thing you want are vulnerable major support beams to wood rot or termites–this is harmful, and these are also the most difficult element of the pergola to replace. ACQ-treated wood is resistant to continued damage from the environment and insects, making it an excellent choice for a long-lasting building.

Keep the roof light

To keep your pergola as solid as possible, it’s better to avoid adding an excessively heavy roof. To add additional shade, go for a fabric panel or wood lattice rather than a heavy wood or canvas cover. Additionally, check out our pergola ideas for shade for other covering possibilities.

Attach the supports properly

The pergola’s four posts should be joined to the joist structure beneath the deck, not to the deck’s floors. This is quite similar to locating studs in your walls when hanging something heavy. If the support supports are not secured to the deck structure, the deck planks may break away, bringing the pergola crashing to the ground.

How Tall Should a Pergola Be on a Deck?

Pergolas typically range in height from 8 to 12 feet. However, this is not always the case. For instance, for those of you that are aiming for an 8-food head clearance, the beams will increase it to at least 9 feet, and the rafters will easily total 10-feet.

How Tall Should a Pergola Be on a Deck?View in gallery

Overall, it is critical to get the pergola height correct, as a pergola that is too high would be unable to provide adequate protection from the elements. However, if it is set too low, you risk impairing air circulation and illumination within the structure.

Ascertain that the height of your pergola complements your current landscape and architecture. For instance, imagine you want to link your pergola to your house. In that instance, the roofline and window proportions would dictate the size of your pergola, as you do not want the pergola’s beams to obstruct your view through the window.

Difference Between Pergola and Gazebo

Difference Between Pergola and GazeboView in gallery

Pergolas are designed to provide the pleasure of dappled sunlight with the comfort of shade. Typically, roofs consist of rafters that hold crossed over beams for latticed woodwork. Colonnade-style supports, columns, or pillars support the partially open roof.

Gazebos are typically more ornate in design, frequently octagonal, hexagonal, or spherical. Since the nineteenth century, a conventional gazebo roof has included a dome-style roof, creating an environment reminiscent of a church. Gazebos, like modern pergolas, are supported by columns, pillars, or posts.

In the end, the choice is pretty subjective. Both provide shelter and shade, allowing you to spend more time in your backyard, and both may suit your practical needs. Consider the aesthetics and vitality you want to infuse into your backyard with this home improvement project.

Sit in your yard and imagine how it will appear after this job is finished. Consider the sun’s glare or the rain’s heaviness. What will be your setting’s practical priorities?

Consider if you want to be able to admire the intricate elements and levels of your backyard retreat or a structure that blends in. Where do you see yourself relaxing and unwinding?

Building a Pergola 

Build a Modern PergolaView in gallery

If you’re looking to build your own pergola at home, here’s a quick guide on some steps that you can follow: 

  1. Start by installing pergola post brackets – for this step, it’s recommended that you install steel brackets for pergola posts.
  2. Go ahead and stain all of your lumber before building the pergola.
  3. Then, install your pergola posts before wall-mounting a pergola frame.
  4. Once that’s done, you’ll go ahead and build a pergola frame.
  5. After you’ve got the posts and frame setup, it’s time to focus on installing the pergola rafters. There are some pretty good straightforward and cost-effective methods out there that’ll allow you to have a pergola that’s both sleek and seamless to build. 
  6. Then, go ahead and install pergola post caps. While some individuals skip this step, weather and harsh sunlight can damage your pergola posts after sometime.

There are many different ways to build a pergola along with plenty of designs to choose from, but we hope that the tutorial above gives you some brief insight into what’s required if you choose to build your own pergola. 

Related: How to Build a Redwood Deck: A Step-by-Step Guide from Start to Finish

Popular pergola design ideas

If you’ve got a pergola, a common question you might ask yourself is – how do I decorate my pergola? Below, we’ve got some decor ideas to get you started.

Pergola Decor couchView in gallery
Image from Sardone Construction

Make the pergola your outdoor sanctuary by decorating the columns with some hanging lights. You can also add a fan for those hot summer days where there isn’t much wind. Then, add a comfortable couch area that you can relax in, along with a small table near it just in case you’ve got any drinks or food. The proper dining table area can be right beside the couch along with a couple of comfortable yet stylish outdoor dining chairs. 

Don’t forget to also pepper the area with plants to make it feel like your own private sanctuary. For an extra touch of indulgence, you can also place a hot tub near the pergola along with a BBQ area that’s ideal for entertaining.

Pergola Decor IdeasView in gallery
Image from Southwest Fence & Deck

If you’re looking to have a more resort-like ambiance, you can have your pergola built next to a swimming pool. There, you can place a couple of couches, beach chairs to lie back on, and even a little fire area to provide some warmth during those colder days. In this instance, your pergola area doesn’t have to be overly large as it’s meant to provide a resort-like feel for only a certain section of your backyard. 

In terms of decor, you can really have fun with it. Opt for a cream white chair and striped cushions, or you can always go for a darker decor and lighter-coloured cushions – it’s completely up to you. 

Pergola Decor wooden benchView in gallery
Image from Amber Freda Garden Design

For a pergola that has a contemporary feel to it, you can go ahead and decorate it with ipe benches. Some of these benches even come with storage that you can use. You’d also want to go for ipe wood as there’s not many woods that can match its natural beauty. In addition, it can also last for about 30 years or so. Then, go ahead and add some planters around the area. Some suggestions of plantings you can place include pink cherry trees, feather grasses and hornbeams. 

For an extra stunning atmosphere during the evening, go ahead and add some LED up-lighting on your planters. You can also add automated drip irrigation lines to ensure that your plants have enough to drink. 

Pergola Decor tableView in gallery
Image from neilendicott.

Finally, we’ve got this airy outdoor space that’s perfect for entertaining. In this particular setup, there aren’t as many plants as the pergola is used mostly for an outdoor entertaining space. Place a comfortable couch on the side, and add a fireplace for those colder winter evenings. 

Off to the side, you can have a dining table complete with dining chairs that’s perfect for outdoor dining. This setup is great if you’ve got a living room or dining area that opens up into the pergola area. That way, you’ve got a transitional backyard deck that’s fantastic for outdoor entertaining.  

Best Pergolas for Your Deck

Metal Pergola with Canopy by Sol 72 Outdoor – Suitable for Deck

Metal Pergola with CanopyView in gallery

If you’re looking for an outdoor oasis, this pergola has you covered. It comes in a dark grey color and is crafted with aluminum material. This unique pergola also comes with a canopy that you can choose to expand or fold up– depending on how much light you’d like to let in. It’s also weather, water and UV-resistant, and can even withstand strong winds. It’s designed to be anchored to a patio, but you can also choose to attach it to pavement or concrete. It’s a classic pergola that’s sure to add a touch of elegance to your overall outdoor living area. 

Purple leaf 13′ W x 10′ D Aluminum Pergola

Aluminum PergolaView in gallery

This pergola is crafted with aluminum and comes with plenty of shade. Not only is the aluminum alloy frame and galvanized steel roof incredibly strong and sturdy, but it’s also long-lasting. Additionally, it also comes with curtains that’ll provide you with plenty of privacy. As it’s fade-resistant and waterproof, it’s also not difficult to clean and will last for a good period of time. During the summer, the netting will also protect you from bugs, while the curtain is ideal for both hot and rainy days. 

Napoli Steel Pergola with Canopy

Steel Pergola with CanopyView in gallery

If you love entertaining outdoors during the warmer days, this pergola is a great purchase. Not only does it come in a classic design that’ll fit into any home aesthetic, but it’s also easy to assemble. It comes with a rust-resistant and powder-coated steel frame that’s incredibly strong and sturdy. The canopy can also be adjusted according to the weather conditions, and you’ll also have an anchor/mounting kit with your purchase. It’s the perfect spot to retreat to during the warm summer days with a cocktail or drink in hand. 

Solid Wood Pergola

Solid Wood PergolaView in gallery

This gorgeous pergola is perfect if you’re looking to feel like you’ve been whisked away to the Mediterranean. It has an elegant aesthetic, and comes with plenty of space for crawling vines and other plants. The sculptured beams not only provide a sturdy cover, but it also provides stability and shade. As it comes with plenty of headroom and interior space, you can place a good amount of furniture and still have plenty of space to relax. The posts are crafted with cedar, and it also comes with durable resin foot with concrete anchors. Assembly isn’t difficult and you’ll get step-by-step instructions from the interactive app. 

Cedar Solid Wood Pergola

Cedar Solid Wood PergolaView in gallery

This particular pergola is sure to transform your outdoor space. Not only does it come with a sizable upper shade structure to accommodate crawling vines and roses, but it also provides a good amount of shade. Additionally, there’s plenty of space underneath the pergola for all your furniture needs. If you’d like, you can even hang a chandelier within the pergola for a romantic evening dinner. This particular pergola is also incredibly strong and sturdy, and it’s crafted from cedar wood that is resistant to mold and decay. It’s also ready to assemble, and you’ll get all of the instructions you need on the interactive app. 

Sunjoy Meadow Metal Pergola with Canopy

Meadow Metal Pergola with CanopyView in gallery

Looking to entertain friends and family outdoors? This classic pergola comes ready to assemble, and it’s a great purchase to accommodate your needs. It comes with a rust-resistant and powder-coated steel frame that’s incredibly durable and long-lasting. You’ve also got a weather-resistant canopy that you can adjust according to your needs – great for this sweltering summer days. Instructions are straightforward and easy to follow, and you’ll be able to get your pergola setup in no time at all. It’s a great purchase if you’re not looking to spend a whole lot, and looks real nice after being assembled. 

9.8′ W x 9.8′ D Metal Pergola with Canopy

D Metal Pergola with CanopyView in gallery

This pergola comes in two different colours that you can pick from, and you’ll get both a shade kit and a canopy with your purchase. It’s not only elegant but is also a relaxing outdoor space that’s perfect for entertaining. As it comes with a retractable canopy top, you can choose to fold or unfold it to adjust the shaded area. The canopy is also made of material that’s durable, weather, UV and fade-resistant. The aluminium frame on the other hand is powder-coated so it’s incredibly strong and durable. It’s a great all-round pergola to purchase to spruce up your outdoor space. 

Madison Solid Wood Pergola

Madison Solid Wood PergolaView in gallery

This pergola is crafted from solid wood and comes with a canopy in case you’d like some shade. You’ll also get both an anchor/mounting kit, and the pergola is incredibly sturdy, durable and long-lasting. It’s easy to assemble and looks great with bar stools. If you’d like, you can also add some flowers onto the pergola as an extra touch. In terms of space, you can easily fit a 6ft table under the pergola along with eight chairs around it. With the proper care, this pergola should last you for a considerable amount of time. 

118″ x 118″ Aluminum Pergola

118 x 118 Aluminum PergolaView in gallery

This industrial-looking pergola has an aesthetic that’s different from the rest. Thanks to its heavy-duty design, you can be assured that it’ll last for many years to come. You’ll also get a bracket and anchor/mounting kit with your purchase, and you can rotate the louver at any time to protect against sunlight and rain. There’s also drainage within the frame, and it’s both rust and weather-resistant. While this is a relatively pricey pergola, it can withstand winds of up to 80 miles per hour, and is a great pergola if you’re looking for something sturdy and long-lasting. 

Oasis Solid Wood Pergola

Oasis Solid Wood PergolaView in gallery

Lastly, we’ve got this contemporary designed pergola that’s great for entertaining. Not only does it come with plenty of space, but it even has a built-in bar and bench that’s great for dinners or get togethers. If you’d like, you can also place plants around the bench area to turn into your very own oasis. Material-wise it’s crafted from solid wood, and it’s also weather-resistant. This is a beautiful and well-made pergola that’s made of high-quality material and will definitely transform your outdoor space. 

Benefits of a Pergola 

There are many benefits of having a pergola and we’ll discuss each of them in greater detail below. 

Adds greenery to your overall garden 

As mentioned above, pergolas have a way of interacting with nature that you can’t get on a patio or a veranda. You can allow climbing plants to intertwine on the pergola’s columns, or choosing your own plants to go with the pergola. 

Protects you from the weather 

If you tend to avoid your backyard because of a lack of shade, a pergola will do the trick. Once you’ve got all of the climbing plants on the pergola, you’ll realize that it’ll provide you with the perfect shade. What’s great about a pergola is that it’s also not completely closed off like some outdoor structures so you’ll still get that outdoorsy feel without succumbing to the elements – a win-win situation! Depending on the density of the plants on your pergola, it might even be able to protect you from the rain.

Block out anything unsightly 

If you’re looking to block out something that you don’t want to see, a pergola can help with that. With that view gone, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the beauty of your backyard with no issues at all. 

Versatility 

What’s great about pergolas is how versatile it is. If you’d like, you can easily use your pergola to lead into other structures such as a veranda. Imagine entering your backyard and you see a leafy path that leads to a pergola followed by a spacious, inviting and airy veranda. If you’d like, your pergola can also lead to a gazebo – the choice is yours. Due to the versatility of the structure, you can really have some fun with it. 

Adds value to your home 

Finally, a pergola can add some extra value to your home – especially if you’ve otherwise got a relatively boring backyard. Not only does a pergola look great, especially if you’ve got some plants around the area, but it can also add shade, block out any unsightly values, and provide a stunning outdoor living space. 

FAQ

What Is the Purpose of a Deck Pergola?

If you’ve previously erected a patio or deck, you probably did so to expand your living space beyond your home’s walls. If you enjoy your outdoor living space but find it less usable on a hot summer day or wish you had cover from inclement weather, you might want to opt for a pergola. 

A pergola expands your living space and allows you to spend more time outside. When properly designed and positioned on your property, a pergola may provide enough light shade to make even a hot afternoon comfortable. 

If further protection is required, you can install a retractable shade cover. Certain shade covers will also shelter you from light rain, which is ideal for those erratic summer storms.

Does a Pergola Add Value to Property?

Pergolas increase the market value of any home. Due to the increased popularity of outdoor living, property value for homes that have a pergola on the premises (or some other comfortable outside space) has increased.

A safe bet for a backyard or deck improvement is a return on investment of between 50% and 80%. However, for the appropriate buyer, your pergola might generate an even greater return and serve as the deciding factor in a future buyer’s decision to purchase your home.

What Is a Good Size for a Pergola?

A standard size for large decks is 16 by 24 feet.  Around 12 by 16 works nicely for backyard or freestanding pergolas. And a typical size for a modest backyard patio is roughly 12 by 12.

However, there are a few other things that you should keep in mind when opting for a particular pergola size:

  • You will need to plan your outdoor furniture. You can either have or acquire it before even considering the pergola. This will let you know much area your patio furniture will occupy.
  • After determining the potential pergola dimensions, mark the ground to create an outline. If your pergola is on a deck, you can use cones to mark the pergola’s corners. This can help you visualize your pergola’s location.
  • After placing your markers, you should move your furniture into the space to see how it looks. So, you know if your furniture fits perfectly or if you need to acquire a bigger size.
  • Once you’re happy with the layout of your pergola furniture, mark it down. Afterwards, you’ll know where to place everything.

Bottom Line 

We hope that you’ve found your perfect pergola deck or learned more about pergolas from this review. Whether you choose to build your own pergola or buy one, there’s so many ways that you can decorate it.

From placing some comfortable lounge chairs to decorating it with a variety of plants, and turning it into an entertainment area, you’re spoilt for choice. What’s most important is that it suits your needs, and will provide you with a space that you can enjoy.