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51 Free DIY Pergola Plans & Ideas That You Can Build in Your Garden

If you have a garden in your backyard, you know you've imagined sitting around in your garden under the shade while chatting with your family and BBQ-ing. It's every gardener's dream.

To make this dream into reality, you need a pergola.​

Pergolas are a great solution for areas in your garden that need shade. They are also great for dividing up an outdoor space. So if you are in need of some shade and also a few ideas on how to build a pergola, I’ve got them for you right here. No need to look any further.

Here are 51 pergola plans and ideas for your future pergola.

1. Pergola Plans from 'A Beautiful Mess'

Pergola Plans 1

The plans from A Beautiful Mess are the basic rendition of a pergola. The encouraging thing about this plan is that it is being built by an amateur.

They give you step by step guides on what to do (even for those that might have no idea.) It is easy to build and the look of the finished product is picturesque.

2. The Plant Hanger Pergola

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This pergola is not for beginners. However, if you are an experienced builder then you will be right at home with this one.

It is a gorgeous pergola that is meant to be attached to your deck. With the way it is designed you can actually hang plants from it. It is a beautiful design that would be a great addition to any piece of property.

Want to buy a pergola kit instead? Here's our top recommendation from Amazon.com:

3. The Garden Arbor

The Garden Arbor

This is another plan that is probably not the best for beginners. However, if you have a garden area that you would like to enjoy but can’t because of the sun then this might be the option you’ve been looking for.

The pergola is meant to go over a sitting area that is surrounded by a garden, but you could also use it to go over a rose garden. So if you are an experienced builder this pergola should be right up your alley.

4. Outdoor Kitchen Island With Pergola

Kitchen Island Pergola

This is a snazzy little set-up. If you are quite the entertainer and have an outdoor kitchen then this would work great for you.

The plans show you how to construct a kitchen island and then a pergola attachment that will help shield you from the sun while you are cooking. This would be an awesome addition to any outdoor back patio or deck.

5. The Louvered Pergola

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If you are like me and could live outside this would be a great option.

Basically, you create a rounded seating area to your deck and then place a pergola over it. You could do as the picture shows and add an eating area too.

6. The Pergola Swing

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This pergola is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It is built as a stand-alone structure. There is shelving on the inside of it.

The shelving can be used a planting station or a place to hold other items. You then attach a swing to the top and have a nice shaded area to sit and enjoy the day.

7. The Deck + Pergola

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These are actually deck plans. The cool addition to these deck plans is the fact that it comes with a pergola.

This pergola will be attached to your home. If you don’t want a covered deck but still want the shade, this is a great plan. That way you can still have lightly filtered sunlight with the enjoyment of an uncovered deck.

8. The Giant Pergola

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This pergola is large and gorgeous. If you have an uncovered back patio but the sun is right on it, this pergola would do the trick.

It stands on large legs that holds it in place. You then build the actual pergola design over your patio area. This would be a great way to have a nice outdoor eating area protected from extreme sunlight.

9. The Boring To Brilliant Pergola

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I love how this pergola absolutely transformed their sitting area from a boring little backyard area to an amazing, party-worthy area.

If you have a backyard spot quite like this, how could you not invite people over to enjoy it? They were able to extend their sitting area and throw a pergola over half of it. It is a great divider and adds a lot of charm.

10. The Patio Pergola

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These plans are meant to show you how to build a pergola over a patio. If you are fortunate enough to have such a great little sitting area, a pergola will make it to where it is that much more enjoyable.

A pergola can add a lot of charm but also helps to make it cooler. It is hard to enjoy a patio when it is too hot.

11. The 15-Minute Pergola

15 minute pergola

Okay, maybe you can’t build this beautiful pergola in just 15 minutes. However, the video will show you how to build it in that amount of time.

Another upside is that this pergola was originally quoted at $17,000. He shows you how to save $14,000 by doing it yourself. Did I mention it is gorgeous? If you aren’t sold on it, you should be.

12. The Backyard Pergola

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This is a stand-alone pergola. If you would like to create an intimate sitting area in the middle of your backyard, a pergola is a great way to accomplish the look.

The author of this post actually offered a great idea. You could plant grape vines near the pergola and eventually it will completely cover it. That will offer an added touch of character and extra shade too.

13. The Pergola + Sitting Area

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This pergola offers a gorgeous setting. It is actually added over a rounded sitting area on a deck. It is so gorgeous because it has built in benches that create a cozy seating area.

The pergola then goes over the already gorgeous sitting space. Not only is the space inviting but it should also be very comfortable thanks to the shade the pergola can offer.

14. The Patio Pergola #2

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These plans are meant for someone that is familiar with building. If you are a visual person (like myself) this might make your build a little more difficult.

However, if that challenge isn’t an issue for you then build away, and you’ll have a beautiful pergola that can be added in the middle of the backyard or over an already existing seating area.

15. The Fancy Seated Pergola

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This pergola is extra special. It has quite a few fancy touches. However, if you are looking for something a little different then this could very well be what you need.

It is not just a pergola. It has a seating area beneath it for you to enjoy that is actually attached to the pergola itself.

16. The Patio Pergola #3

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Although the details are very thorough and many pointers are given, once again, these are strict plans. There are no actual pictures of the actual completed job. But if you are good at reading plans and following detailed pictures then this should be no problem for you.

17. The Ultimate Pergola

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This pergola has everything you could ever want. It is a rounded shape where swings can actually hang from the structure.

Then there are chairs and a fire pit in the center. So whether you want a place to swing, sit, or just hang out in this pergola will offer whatever is you are in search of for a relaxing spot.

18. The Freestanding Pergola

Freestanding Pergola

This is a traditional pergola. It is meant to be built over a deck. The purpose of this shelter is to provide protection from extreme sunlight and to offer a more enjoyable space.

The plans to build this creation are very detailed and should be easy enough to understand for those that are familiar with carpentry skills.

19. The Backyard Pergola

Backyard Pergola

However, after working all day long to raise your food, you need a beautiful and relaxing space to unwind. This pergola might be able to help you have a nice space that makes resting and enjoying your land a little easier at the end of a long day.

20. The Large Pergola Plans

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These plans are meant for building a large pergola. This is going to cover more than your average size deck.

If you have a place for a large picnic area or even a really large sitting area then this might be the size pergola you’ve been looking for. The plans are detailed so that should help make this project a little easier.

21. The Vine Covered Pergola

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This pergola is what I really think of when I think of the word pergola. It is big, beautiful and shown in white.

However, this is built as an attachment to a house covering a patio area. It is said that it was intended for vines to grow all over it. This will offer the maximum amount of shade and is very traditional for a pergola.

22. The 4-Step Pergola

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I love these pergola plans. The first is because it is gorgeous, which most pergolas are.

However, what I love so much about these plans is that they are simple. They break it down into bite-size pieces so that even the greenest of carpenter can understand and have a successful build.

23. The ‘Awesome From The Ground Up’ Pergola

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This pergola is awesome. I’ll give it that. They actually built this one in the middle of the yard.

However, beyond just making it a pergola with a cute little table set in the middle of it, they added built in benches. This is extremely welcoming and a great idea for those that are looking for a place to entertain.

24. Pergola Attached To A House Plans

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These are plans for a pergola that will actually be attached to the backside of your house. It is meant to cover a patio space so it can be better enjoyed.

I love these pergolas because they are a classic touch to any home and add a lot of style. Not to mention, pergolas make a space that is often too hot to enjoy a most enjoyable space.

25. The A-Frame Pergola

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I’ll be honest, I’ve never seen a pergola quite like this one. It has the traditional style with a touch of A-frame added to the top of it.

It is a beautiful addition to any backyard oasis. If you don’t have a backyard oasis, you will after you build this masterpiece.

26. Walk Through Garden Pergola

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The plans for this pergola are very detailed. If you have a green thumb and want to show it off this would be a great way.

With plans that are easy to read and a great space to place this pergola, it should be something simple enough to build and be able to add a classic touch to your backyard.

27. The Shady Pergola

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This pergola is shown over an outdoor sitting area. It is obviously meant to provide lots of shade over a patio and serve as an attached pergola.

An attached pergola is a great way of creating a covered space without placing a full blown covered roof over an area. A pergola will still offer a little sunlight in the area without making it too hot.

28. The Free Standing Pergola #2

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This pergola is absolutely gorgeous. It can be placed anywhere you wish because of its freestanding design.

The free standing pergola allows you to place seating under it and also include lots of flowers in its design in order to create a relaxing getaway in your own backyard.

29. The Classic Pergola

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This pergola is the classic pergola design. It has four posts that give it its base. However, it is right up against the house so it helps provide shade to your patio and block sunlight from your windows.

I love the classic pergola look because though it is not permanently attached to your home, it still offers a lot of the benefits of having one that is.

30. The ‘Manly’ Pergola

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Let’s face it. Pergolas can be a little on the feminine side. Not all men are huge fans of them because of this fact.

However, this one is not in the same category. It has more of a square shape with a gazebo like feel. It looks less dainty but still offers a relaxing place to rest.

31. The Cedar Vineyard Pergola

Cedar Vineyard Pergola

This pergola is one that is meant to grow a vineyard on as well as provide shade. This is great news for homesteaders.

If you are like a lot of homesteaders, if something doesn’t serve a purpose you don’t have it. Well, this pergola can be a place to grow grapes and also happen to be a place for you to find shade and rest.

32. 12x24 Pergola

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This is a large pergola. The plans for it are super simple and help you to realize that it can be built with very little headache.

Having a large pergola is a great benefit for those that need a shaded area for relaxation or for hosting family events. With this structure in your yard, you’ll be the first one to sign up for hosting barbecues.

33. The Basic Square Pergola

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If you are fortunate enough to have a beautiful walk through garden then you just might need a pergola. Why you might ask? Because if you have a place that beautiful you need to enjoy it.

So if you build this simple square pergola then you’ll have a great place with a good amount of shade for a few chairs. This will allow you to take in the fruits of your labor.

34. The 7-Minute Pergola

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This informational video will explain to you in 7 minutes how to build a stylish wooden pergola. The purpose of this is to help add a little pizzazz to your deck or patio.

I’m a homesteader and it matters to me that my home is welcoming. It is important to me that my house has a touch of character. If I can do that with a few pieces of wood and a little effort then I’m sold. A pergola is something that will fall in that category.

35. Building A Pergola Over A Patio

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Another video. This time it tells you how to build a pergola over a patio. In such a short video it is great that you can get all of the information needed to accomplish this project.

A lot of people love having a pergola over their patio because it provides a nice breeze and small amount of sun all while being protected from a blazing summer sun.

36. The Garage Pergola

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Some people just enjoy the look of a pergola. If you are one of those people but don’t have an uncovered deck or patio to add a pergola to, don’t fret.

If you have a garage, you can add a pergola over that too. It is a great way to add personality to your home and also give you additional space to grow flowers.

37. Pergola For A 10x10 Base

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These plans give you great details on how to build a pergola for a 10x10 base. They also include details if you need to change the size of the pergola to fit a different sized base.

The materials list is very detailed as well. The plans also offer a picture to show you the basic style pergola you will have at the end of this build.

38. The Miniature Pergola

Mini Pergola

This little pergola is a great addition for many reasons. First of all, if you just love the idea of the look that a pergola can add to your home then you will love the effect that this one can offer.

Second, if you just need a doorway shaded this is a viable option for that. I love how you can build something small to accomplish what you need and save on the expense as well.

39. The Freestanding Pergola #3

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This is another option for freestanding pergola plans. It will help you to have a successful build without a lot of fuss.

The plans offer great picture details and also a great materials list. If you are a great carpenter or maybe one just starting out, this could be a good option for successfully building the perfect pergola.

40. The Box Pergola

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This is called a box pergola because the rafters are designed in a way that they form a perfect box between the rafters.

I believe this is mainly a design preference but if you desire the perfect box shape then these plans are for you. They are very easy to read and should be a great help in successfully completing this project.

41. The Pergola Planter

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This is a really neat pergola. It is a freestanding option with the poles going into planters. The planters are then intended to be planted in and disguise parts of the poles.

You can make your pergola as shady as you wish. You can do this by adding plants, vines, or even adding fabric over the top to get that desired amount of shade.

42. The Steel Pergola

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This little pergola is a steel version of a regular pergola. It is smaller than your average size pergola too.

However, its purpose is to help grow kiwis and grapes. It will help keep your fruit fresh and off the ground. As well as it will provide a nice center piece for your yard if you desire.

43. The L-Shaped Pergola

L Shaped Pergola

This pergola is another inviting one to share. It has built in benches meant for your relaxation.

The video is very thorough in helping you to build this inviting little masterpiece. If you are someone that desires a relaxing spot in your yard (or anywhere on your property for that matter) this pergola will definitely do the job.

44. The Rounded Pergola

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This is a gorgeous pergola. It is a little fancier than what a lot of people might imagine for their yards.

However, if you are someone that wants a fancier design for their yard, this is certainly it. Plant some nice vines or place some nice fabric over the roof and you will have a perfectly shaded space in your yard.

45. The Pergola With A Swing #2

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This is another set of pergola plans that come with a swing as a part of them. It is a great design.

The pergola design allows you to have a shaded spot and a place to swing simultaneously. What more could you want? If you are looking for a relaxing spot, this is it.

46. The Rustic Pergola

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This is a unique pergola as it is really homemade. They found a grape vine and put it to use for what they desired.

It goes to show that if you have the desire to have a nice, relaxing, shaded spot in your yard and aren’t quite sure you have the funds to back your plans, you shouldn’t give up. Look around you because you might have the materials to fulfill your dreams right in your own backyard.

47. The Classic Stand Alone Pergola

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These plans are very detailed. They show you how to build an arbor, pergola, or trellis.

However, the pergola is your classic stand-alone style. The plans are very simple and should be easy to use for someone with minimal carpentry skills. The materials list is very detailed, and they also offer quite a few pictures to help you along the way.

48. The Modern Classic Pergola

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This pergola has a classic design with a modern touch. It is a free-standing pergola, but it also has a different shape to it which makes it more modern.

The legs are squared at the bottom which adds its modern flare. The plans are very detailed, and the site claims that the plans are very budget friendly which is a huge bonus. If you are in the market for something just a little different then this could be your pergola.

49. The Garden Pergola

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The way this pergola is displayed it is used more as a divider in spaces rather than a place for shade. It is a beautiful set-up, and the pergola looks like it is an easier one to construct too.

Because the plans are very detailed, I believe most could take on this project and have a lot of success with it. The pictures show beautiful flowers covering this design. It is a truly picturesque setting.

50. The Shady Pergola

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I think we have established by now that not many of these pergola plans are going to be a difficult build. This is another simple one. It is meant to follow the classic design of a regular, old pergola.

This pergola was built with the intension of shade. So the picture depicts it with beautiful flowers and vines covering it to create that perfect sitting area to relax and enjoy your property after a long day of hard work.

51. The Classic Pergola #2

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This is our final pergola plans and it is another classic design. All it requires is for four posts to be put in the ground and then lumber to be used as rafters.

I love the classic pergola designs because they can add a cost-effective way to bring shade or division to an area. This allows you to utilize and enjoy more of your property more comfortably. If you are simply in need of a basic design this could be what you’ve been looking for.

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