How Tall Should A Pergola Be? (Handyman Advice)

Building a pergola is one of the best things you can do for your yard. They provide shade, privacy, and beauty. But how tall should a pergola be? 

That’s the question we’re going to answer in this article. We’ll give you all the details on determining how high your pergola should be so that it provides enough shade and looks good in your yard.

Handyman Business / Pergola ROTS in 15 years. – YouTube
Understanding the purpose of a pergola is essential when determining its height.
Pergolas can provide shade and enhance the aesthetics of outdoor spaces.
The cost of a pergola should be considered when planning its height.
Anchoring a pergola properly is crucial for stability and longevity.
Different methods exist for anchoring a pergola to various surfaces.

How Tall Should A Pergola Be?

You may have noticed that most pergolas are 6-8 feet tall. This is because the recommended height of a pergola depends on the size of your house and how much shade it provides. 

Generally, you’ll want to make sure that your new pergola will provide enough shade so that you can sit in it comfortably without having to wear sunscreen or long sleeves.

On the other hand, if you want a lot of protection from sunburns (or even skin cancer), then building a larger pergola will be beneficial for you.

When considering the height of a pergola, it’s essential to understand its purpose and how it fits into your outdoor space. Learn more about the purpose of a pergola and discover why it’s an integral part of creating a functional and beautiful outdoor living area.

What Is The Correct Height For A Pergola?

The recommended height of a pergola is 8-10 feet. The height of your pergola depends on the size and style of your house, but here are some general guidelines:

If you have a small house, there’s no need to build something so large that it extends beyond the roofline. In this case, consider keeping it at about 7 feet tall instead.

If you have a large home or one with an old-fashioned farmhouse style, go ahead and build a taller structure (up to 10 feet). This will help make it blend in better with the rest of the house’s architecture

How High Is Too High For A Pergola?

While it’s true that pergolas have been around since ancient times and they’ve always been used as a place to sit outside, there are many ways to use them today. 

Whether you’re looking for shade in the hot summer months or just want to add architectural interest to your backyard, a pergola may be the perfect addition to any home.

Pergolas can be used for so much more than just sitting outside! Pergolados were originally built as sun shelters that provided protection from both heat and rain, but today they provide an extra layer of insulation from cold winds. 

Pergolas can also serve as beautiful focal points in gardens; whether you’re planting annuals or perennials underneath them is up to you!

Can I Make My Pergola Taller Than The Recommended Height?

You can make the pergola taller than recommended. However, if you do so, you will need to pay attention to the roof pitch. 

A steeper roof pitch means that there are more inches between each course of shingles and therefore more weight for your structure to hold up. If your pergola was built as recommended and does not seem stable enough to support extra height, it may be time for a redesign rather than an addition.

One of the key advantages of pergolas is their ability to provide shade while enhancing the aesthetics of your outdoor space. Explore our article on how pergolas provide shade to understand the design principles and features that contribute to their shading capabilities.

What’s The Best Way To Measure For A Pergola?

If you want to get an idea of how tall your pergola should be, use a measuring tape to measure from the ground to the top of your head. Then, compare that measurement to other people in similar situations. 

If they are all taller than you and have been able to comfortably stand under the overhang at their local hardware store, then it’s probably safe to assume that 8’6″ is too short for you but if they’re shorter than you and still seem happy with their pergolas’ size and height, go ahead and use 6’0″.

It’s also helpful to measure yourself while standing on a ladder or stepladder. This way, you can see which heights might feel right when used as reference points for future projects!

Tape MeasureTraditional tool for precise linear measurements.
Laser Distance MeasurerUses laser technology for quick and accurate measurements.
String and StakesUtilizes a string and stakes to outline the desired pergola area.
Digital Measuring AppsMobile applications that use smartphone camera for measurements.
Measuring WheelIdeal for measuring larger outdoor spaces or uneven terrain.

Should I Build A Taller Pergola Than Recommended?

If you’re building a tall pergola, it’s important to think about the height of your house. For example, if your house has a flat roof, it may be difficult to build a taller pergola without making the structure look awkward. 

This is because there would be no support beams underneath the structure and it could fall over easily in high winds. If this is not something that worries you then go ahead and build as tall as possible!

However, if falling over isn’t an option for you then we recommend simply making the structure wider instead of taller. This way there will still be plenty of space underneath for people to sit down without fear of being crushed by heavy timber beams above them (or falling over from dizziness).

Is It Okay To Build A Pergola Over My Front Door?

Yes, but we don’t recommend it. You can do it if you want to, but because of the way pergolas are designed and installed, there are some risks involved with having a pergola over your front door. 

The main problem is that most homes have an eave height that’s at least 8 feet from the ground. This means that when you build a pergola over the top of a typical home door (which is 7-8 feet off the ground), it will look like an awkward extension over your doorway instead of something more subtle. 

And if you have any kind of decorative trim around your doorway, then this would just look strange even more so than usual!

If your house has low eaves then this isn’t as much of an issue – but generally speaking we recommend against putting up a pergola above any doorway unless there’s no other choice or option available (eagle eye readers may notice that we’ve done this ourselves in one case). 

There are certainly ways around designing something like this without needing to place it right on top of where people walk through them all day long – but none were within our current budget constraints anyway so they weren’t really options either way 🙂

Before embarking on a pergola project, it’s important to consider the cost factors involved. Our expert advice on the cost of a pergola provides valuable insights into the materials, size, and customization options that influence the overall cost of your pergola.

What Are Some Alternatives To Building A Pergola?

If you are unable to build a pergola, or if you would like to try something different, there are several options that you may want to consider. 

You could build a pergola with a gable roof. This type of roof is one of the most common designs for American homes and is also quite popular in Europe as well as other areas around the world.

Another option would be to use gambrel-style architecture, which refers to any structure that has a double pitched roof with two slopes: one at 45 degrees and another at approximately 70 degrees. 

This style was often used on barns during Colonial times but has since become more popular with homeowners looking for new ways of expressing their creativity through home design ideas like this one!

There are many different ways to create interesting features on top of your pergolae so think about what might work best for your needs before making final decisions about how high it should be built from there!

Retractable AwningAdjustable fabric canopy that provides shade.
Shade SailTensioned fabric sail that creates a shaded area.
GazeboOutdoor structure with a roof and open sides.
ArborArch-shaped structure that supports climbing plants.
Patio UmbrellaPortable umbrella that offers shade for outdoor spaces.

Where Can I Find Plans For Building A Pergola?

You can find plans for building a pergola at  , Pinterest, or your local lumberyard. If you know how to measure and cut wood, you might be able to figure out how to build your own pergola on your own. 

(Or if you’re not handy with tools but still want a DIY project, consider checking out our post on making reclaimed wood planters.)

If you don’t have time or energy to put into building this project yourself though, consider hiring a contractor instead! 

You’ll pay more than what it costs if you do it yourself but will save time and energy as well as ensure that everything gets done right. And if one project is too much for what’s left of summer after all those cookouts you’ve got plenty of time till next year’s spring sports season!

Home DepotOffers a wide range of pergola plans with detailed instructions.
Lowe’sProvides various pergola plans suitable for different skill levels.
Ana WhiteFeatures free and customizable pergola plans with step-by-step guidance.
Better Homes and GardensOffers a collection of pergola plans and design ideas for inspiration.
PinterestProvides a platform for users to discover and save numerous pergola building plans shared by DIY enthusiasts and professionals.

What Is The Ideal Height Of A Pergola?

The height of the pergola should be proportional to the size of the house. If you are building a small pergola, make sure it is not so tall that it will look like you are trying to build an entire second story on your home. 

Conversely, if your home has large eaves or a tall roofline, you may want to make sure that your pergola adequately covers this aesthetic feature.

The ideal height for a pergola is one that matches the width of your roofline and/or exterior walls. This will ensure that it blends in well with other architectural elements while still giving off an airy feel inside and out.

To ensure the stability and longevity of your pergola, anchoring it properly is crucial. Our detailed guide on how to anchor a pergola to a concrete patio offers step-by-step instructions and expert tips to help you securely attach your pergola to a concrete surface.

How Tall Should A Pergola Be In Relation To The Size Of A House?

The ideal height for a pergola varies depending on many factors, such as the size of your house and how much shade you want. Here are some guidelines:

If you want to create shade under a pergola, it should be at least twice as tall as the tallest tree on your property.

If you want to build an outdoor dining area, the suggested height is 4 feet above eye level (about 4 feet high), which equals about 12 feet off the ground.

If you’re looking for more privacy in your yard, consider raising it by 6 inches so that it’s at least 18 inches off ground level; this way people can’t see through from below!

When installing a pergola, anchoring it to the ground is a reliable option for stability. Check out our informative article on how to anchor a pergola to the ground to discover different methods and techniques that will ensure your pergola remains secure even in challenging weather conditions.


We hope this article has helped you to understand how tall your pergola should be. It is important to remember that the height of your pergola will depend on several factors, including the size of your house and what type of plants or flowers you want to grow underneath it.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful to learn more about the height considerations for pergolas:

What Is the Best Height for a Pergola?: Discover expert insights and recommendations on determining the optimal height for your pergola, taking into account various factors such as the intended purpose and surrounding environment.

How Tall Should a Pergola Be?: Learn about the different height options for pergolas and how to select the right height that complements your outdoor space while maintaining harmony with existing structures.

Everything You Need to Know Before Installing a Pergola: This comprehensive guide provides essential information about pergola installation, including height considerations, building permits, material options, and design tips.


Here are some frequently asked questions about pergola height:

How does the height of a pergola affect its functionality?

The height of a pergola can impact its functionality in terms of providing shade, creating an open or enclosed space, and accommodating furniture or other accessories. Consider your specific needs and preferences when determining the ideal height for your pergola.

Are there any standard height recommendations for pergolas?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer as the ideal height for a pergola depends on various factors, such as the intended use, the size of the space, and the architectural style. It’s recommended to consult with professionals or refer to design guidelines to ensure you make an informed decision.

Can I adjust the height of a pre-built pergola?

Pre-built pergolas may have limited height options, but it’s possible to make certain adjustments. However, it’s crucial to follow manufacturer instructions and consult with professionals to ensure structural integrity and safety.

How does the height of a pergola affect its structural stability?

The height of a pergola can influence its structural stability, especially in areas with strong winds or heavy snowfall. It’s important to consider the local climate conditions and consult with experts to ensure proper anchoring and reinforcement to prevent damage or collapse.

Are there any height restrictions or regulations for pergolas?

Local building codes and regulations may have specific requirements or restrictions regarding the height of structures like pergolas. It’s essential to check with your local authorities and obtain necessary permits to ensure compliance with the regulations in your area.