How Much Does It Cost to Build an Arbor?

Typical Range:

$100 - $15,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Published December 28, 2021

Written by HomeAdvisor.

On average, it costs around $3,500 to build an arbor. The cost to build an arbor can run as low as $100 and as high as $15,000.

An arbor is a structure that can provide outdoor spaces with decorative appeal or additional plant space. Arbors may also add outdoor seating space to your property. The cost to build an arbor depends on factors such as material, style and size. Below is a guide that details the specific costs involved in building an arbor.

Average Cost to Build an Arbor

On average, arbors cost between $100 and $5,000 but can cost as much as $15,000 for custom wood arbors or other high-end options. A prefabricated metal arbor kit is around $100 to $500 on average.

Arbor Cost by Material

Your arbor’s material will affect the project’s total cost.


The average cost for vinyl arbors is between $100 and $1,000, not including installation costs. Vinyl arbors are great for spaces that experience extreme weather, since the elements don’t easily impact these types or arbors. Additionally, vinyl doesn’t easily decay and won’t need repainting. Unlike materials such as wood, vinyl arbors won't require yearly maintenance.

One downside to vinyl, though, is the narrow range of available colors and styles. You cannot customize vinyl arbors, and they’re less eco-friendly than other styles.


Composite arbors cost roughly $300 to $1,000, not including installation costs. They’re suitable for extreme climates and will retain their look for a long time. Composite tends not to rot and won’t need painting or staining. Like vinyl, you won’t need to spend extra money on maintenance with composite arbors.

However, composite arbors have limited styles and colors and can be quite difficult to customize.


On average, it costs $500 to $3,000 to build a wood arbor, not including installation costs.

Wood arbors often bring a rustic look into the area, and you can paint or stain them to match your outdoor aesthetic.

Wooden arbors are susceptible to rot and mold growth over time and thus require more maintenance than vinyl and composite. Necessary maintenance includes frequent cleaning and any necessary restaining, repainting or repairs.


On average, prices to build a metal arbor fall between $500 and $3,000, not including installation costs. Metal arbors come in lots of unique styles and are extremely durable. You won’t have to worry much about rotting, cracking or infestations with metal arbors.

These arbors can support heavy plants’ growth and can add a decorative appeal to your outdoor area. However, metal arbors are susceptible to rot, so you’ll have to clean them from time to time.

Arbor Cost by Type

Another cost factor is arbor type, and the most common arbor types are attached and freestanding.


The average cost for an attached arbor is $1,800 to $4,000, including labor and materials. An attached arbor secures directly to a wall or structure which provides support, thus requiring fewer legs than freestanding arbors and are less expensive than freestanding arbors.


The average cost for a freestanding arbor, including labor and materials, is $2,500 to $4,500—typically more than attached arbors since the material costs are higher than for attached arbors.

A freestanding arbor is not attached to any structure or wall. This structure doesn’t have limits on its height, size or orientation. One potential roadblock is that your arbor may block your neighbor’s views.

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Arbor Cost by Style

Arbors are available in several styles, and your choice may depend on your outdoor look or specific use.


An arch arbor costs $600 to $1,800 on average, including materials. An arch arbor has straight walls and a rounded, arched top and is available in practically all materials and several widths. You’ll find both decorative and plan arched arbors. It's common—particularly at weddings—to cover arch arbors with vines, shells, branches or other decorative items.

Moon Gate

Moon gate arbors cost roughly $600 to $1,800, including materials. Moon gate arbors are very wide and resemble a half- or three-quarter moon, with all sides curved. A moon gate arbor is frequently made of metal but is available in other materials.


On average, grape arbors cost $700 to $2,000, including materials. Grape arbors feature flat tops and often hold vines with fruits. These arbors can enhance your garden space and provide you with additional space to grow fruits and plants.


On average, it costs $750 to $2,000 to build a gabled arbor, including materials. Gabled arbors have pitched-style roofs which extend past the arbor sides into the gables. These are often made of wood but are available in other materials.

Arbor With a Bench

Building an arbor with a bench costs $850 to $3,500 on average, including materials. These types of arbors offer additional seating for friends and family and more space to grow plants. This type of arbor usually has sides, a top and a bench installed along the back wall.

Arbor Cost by Height

Your arbor height will affect the project’s final cost since larger arbors will require more time and materials.

Height Cost (Materials only)
6 Feet$250 – $500
8 Feet$300 – $800
10 Feet$500 – $1,250

Arbor Cost Factors

In addition to your location and the arbor size, there are other cost factors when building an arbor.


The material you choose will affect the total cost. Vinyl arbors are typically the cheapest options, while metal and wood are more expensive.

Custom vs. Kit

The average arbor kit costs roughly between $100 and $500. Labor costs, on average, run from $150 to $300. You can have a custom-made arbor or use a kit with easy-to-follow instructions and information. The DIY kit route may make for a longer installation process, but it will be cheaper than the cost to hire a professional arborist.

If you’re building a custom arbor, you can expect to pay somewhere from roughly $800 to $1,200 for labor, and between $2,300 and $2,700 for materials.

Cost to Build an Arbor Yourself

On average, it costs roughly between $300 and $600 to install an arbor from a kit, including materials and labor. The average kit costs between $150 and $300, with an average of $150 to $300 for the cost of labor.

Since arbor kits provide instructions, and this route is less expensive than paying a professional to customize and install an arbor, many homeowners install arbors themselves.


What are the best plants for arbors?

The plants often placed on arbors can weave, curl or twist around the sides and roof. Some great options include roses, jasmine, and honeysuckles.

What is the difference between an arbor and a pergola?

Pergolas are generally larger than arbors and act as outdoor rooms, while arbors are more like doorways. Additionally, a pergola typically has four or more posts, while arbors often have just two.

A pergola is also more expensive than an arbor. The cost to build a pergola is $2,100 to $6,000 on average, while the average cost to build an arbor is $100 to $5,000.

How long does it take to build an arbor?

This depends on the project’s complexity, your location, and whether you use a DIY kit or hire a professional for their expert services. Installing an arbor can take as short as a few hours, up to as long as a week.

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