DIY Pergola Plans for Your Backyard and Garden (White, Modern, and Rustic)


First of all, a pergola is not a gazebo and definitely, it is not a garden arbor. Although it functions similarly with the gazebo which is to give shade and privacy to the homeowners who are chilling in the garden or in the backyard, it is an open space, typically box-type with four beams made of either wood, steel and concrete.

Pergolas are easy to make if you have the materials, the time and the tools. If you are considering a DIY pergola project anytime soon, we will show you some ideas to begin your final design with.

52 DIY pergola ideas

Of course there is no limit to what you can build your pergola with so today, we will focus on the five major types of pergola depending on the build material and shall show some ideas within these types.

You might ask the differences amongst the five since they are following the same build pattern but let us reserve that for another talk. For now, let us focus on what pergola ideas we could toy on from these major pergola designs.

Open-Top Pergola

This is the traditional box-type pergola with open top, trellises on the sides and even support vines if you want to. This classic design is seen typically in Mediterranean or Spanish houses. They sometimes have lace canopies falling in the sides.

You can make this open-top pergola with side palleted trellises, add some wood benches and make a shady spot in your urban garden like this one.

Arbor and pergola from houzz, instructables

Or make a patterned wood pergola like this one from Net Luxury to resemble Moroccan shade and California summer vibe.

And what about some detachable canopies cascading in the sides or even up top like this one from The Wonder Forest.

Image credit: hgtv,

Vinyl Pergola

This pergola type is the go-to design at the moment because it is lightweight and just an overnight job because all you have to do is to assemble it as they come in kits. They still follow the traditional box-type, four beam pergola but they are made of either aluminum or hard plastic. Vinyl pergolas also come in various colors.

Check out this white Mediterranean deck vinyl pergola from Dutch Crafters and this classic white Colonial style from Modern Pergola Kits


You can also add wood embellishments to make it your own like this Santa Fe home from Dutch Crafters.

Or what about a black, sleek and modern vinyl pergola for modern, minimalist homes like this one from Quality Woods.

Image credit: newenglandarbors, gazebo,

Steel Pergola

If you are not sure about the durability of vinyl and do not want a wood pergola for whatever reason, you always have the steel pergola design to turn to. You can add other steel accents like fine wires and others to make it more modern looking.

Archi Expo gives us a sleek design with this steel and glass pergola design.

You could also opt for unorthodox designs that will give your steel pergola a futuristic feel like this one.

Or what about some greenhouse chill with this steel arched pergola.

Image credits: hayekindustries, americaneaglewelding, 806design,

Sail Pergola

This pergola design is also called sail shades because it makes use of cloth that is stretched and attached to the four beams of the pergola structure. They are often seen in beachfront houses, pool sides and in Greek and Mediterranean style houses. If you are considering this type of design, here are some ideas that you could consider.

Cozy up your patios and balconies with one-stretch cloth sail on wood beams like this one from Patio Covered.

Or make a charming car shade or garage with this modern design sail pergola from Milestone Dubai.

Or what about a pergola with retractable sails resembling a Moroccan nook in the middle of the garden like this one from adelaideoutdoorkitchens.

Image credits: archiexpo,

Gable/Pitched Pergola

Gable or pitched pergolas are the most sturdy and more permanent pergola types. They are often used as garage shades extending from the patio to the walkway. Materials such as wood and iron sheets are the common build materials used for this type of pergolas.

It can be as neat and chic as this white colonial type gabled roof pergola from Mr. Verandah.

Or this courtyard gable pergola using wood and retractable transparent cloth from Great Aussie Patios.

And if you are eyeing for a permanent gable pergola with a rustic, wood vibe, you can always refer to this one from Patio Roof Covers.


Pergolas are beautiful backyard fixtures and garden extensions. They provide a sweet spot in the backyard and garden where shade and seclusion can be enjoyed.

Coffee, chill, food and conversations are just some of the things that you could do here. And at night, when the backyard lanterns are lit up, it will become a dreamy spot. With these, you can start making DIY pergolas for your home now.


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Sophia Rivera is a passionate gardener and home improvement expert based in California. With a deep-rooted love for nature and design, she pursued her Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the prestigious University of California, Berkeley. Sophia is not only academically qualified but also a hands-on practitioner in the field. Her certification as a Master Gardener from the California Master Gardener Program is a testament to her extensive knowledge and commitment to gardening and sustainable living. Sophia's expertise is further solidified by her status as a LEED Accredited Professional, highlighting her dedication to green building and eco-friendly home improvement practices. With over a decade of experience in transforming homes and gardens, Sophia has become a trusted name in California's home improvement scene. Her work focuses on creating beautiful, sustainable, and functional spaces that cater to the unique lifestyle and environmental conditions of California.


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