By Jesse Morado
Sprucing up your back yard, deck, walkway or drive with an arbor, pergola or trellis can add quite a bit of interest and appeal to your home.
If you’re handy and seek a weekend project, building any of these can be fun and typically accomplished over one or two weekends.
Adding an arbor is a great way to accent a gate to a backyard or a walkway that meets a drive. Arched or square designed arbors can be purchased pre-built, or as a kit. If you’re creative you can design your own and build one from scratch with materials purchased from your local lumberyard.
Depending on size, materials, and complexity of design you should anticipate spending anywhere from $600 to $3500 for a quality built decorative arbor.
Pergolas are great for providing shading or cover to an outdoor kitchen, pool deck seating area, deck or terrace. A variety of styles and designs along with a mixture of textures and materials make these structures blend and fit well in most outdoor settings.
Pergolas consist of a series of heavy timbers with unique angles or shapes cut into the ends supported by a series of columns. Designs can range from classic to contemporary depending on your taste.
Weather resistant materials such as cedar, Ipe, stone, and composites should be considered when building an arbor. Adding electrical and outdoor lighting to your pergola are a plus to increase your pergola’s night time use and entertaining. Costs can vary from a few thousand to ten thousand dollars for a well built pergola.
Trellises can be an interesting addition to any landscaping project providing support for a variety of climbing plants such as clematis, jasmine, roses, or ivy. Trellises covered with plant material can serve as screening to provide privacy for a deck or between homes.
A trellis is a great feature for a blank wall that can be designed to emulate architectural details of your home such as a palladium window or arched doorway.  Trellises are usually the least expensive of these outdoor features.
Whether you choose to add an arbor, pergola or trellis to your home any of these outdoor features alone or together will increase a homes curb appeal and marketability. Now is a great time of year to introduce any of these cost effective outdoor features to your home.
Jesse Morado is president of Renovation Coach, Inc., a consulting firm providing remodeling guidance and risk management services for homeowners. He also writes a daily blog for and is the current education committee chair for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and an FHA 203k Rehab Consultant.