Alfresco vs Pergola Cost Comparison: Which One is More Affordable?

When it comes to outdoor living spaces, alfresco and pergola are two of the most popular choices. Both provide an excellent way to extend your living area, while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. In this post, we’ll compare the cost of building an alfresco and pergola, and help you decide which one is more affordable and suitable for your needs.

A Pro Tip

Before deciding on building an alfresco or pergola, consider your local council's regulations and requirements for building permits. In some areas, building an alfresco may require more permits and approvals due to its fully enclosed nature. Knowing these regulations beforehand can help you plan and budget accordingly, and avoid any costly surprises down the line.

Templeton built

A Construction Company in Adelaide

Differences between Alfresco and Pergola

Before we get into the cost comparison, it’s essential to understand the difference between an alfresco and a pergola. An alfresco is a fully enclosed outdoor space, typically attached to the house, with a roof, walls, and flooring. On the other hand, a pergola is an open outdoor structure with a roof, but no walls. A pergola often has an open lattice or slatted roof that allows some light to pass through.

Cost Comparison between Alfresco and Pergola 

The cost of building an alfresco or pergola can vary significantly depending on several factors. However, in general, an alfresco is more expensive than a pergola due to its additional features such as walls, flooring, and roofing. On average, the cost of building an alfresco can range from $10,000 to $50,000 or more, while a pergola can cost between $3,000 to $8,000.

Factors that affect the cost of Alfresco and Pergola 

Several factors can influence the cost of building an alfresco or pergola, including:

  1. Size: The larger the alfresco or pergola, the more expensive it will be to build.
  2. Material: The type of material you choose for your alfresco or pergola can significantly impact the overall cost. For example, hardwood or composite materials are more expensive than softwood or aluminum.
  3. Roofing: The roofing material you select can also affect the cost. For instance, Colorbond roofing is typically more expensive than polycarbonate roofing.
  4. Labor: The cost of labor can vary depending on the complexity of the project and the experience of the builder.


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Pros and Cons of Alfresco and Pergola 

Each outdoor living space has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of building an alfresco and pergola:

Alfresco Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Fully enclosed, provides protection from the elements, versatile, can be used for multiple purposes, can add value to your property.
  • Cons: More expensive than a pergola, can take longer to build, may require building permits, can be more difficult to maintain.

Pergola Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Less expensive than an alfresco, provides shade and shelter, enhances outdoor living space, can be easier to maintain, allows for more natural light.
  • Cons: Offers less protection from the elements, may not be as versatile as an alfresco, may require additional shade or privacy solutions.


Choosing between an alfresco and pergola depends on your budget, the intended use, and the level of protection from the elements you need. While alfresco is typically more expensive than a pergola, it provides full protection from the elements and can be used for various purposes. On the other hand, a pergola is more affordable and can enhance your outdoor living space with its open design. With this comparison, we hope to have helped you determine which one is more suitable for your needs and budget.

Alfresco vs Pergola: Which Outdoor Living Space is Best?

Creating an outdoor living and entertainment space is a popular choice for many homeowners when it comes to home improvement. Two of the most common options for such spaces are Alfresco and Pergola. In this article, we will compare and contrast these two options to help you make the best decision for your backyard.

A Pro Tip

If you're considering building an outdoor living space, such as an Alfresco or Pergola, it's essential to think about how you'll use the space. This will help you determine which option is best for you. For example, if you plan to use the space all year round, Alfresco may be the better option as it provides a fully enclosed area that can be used in any weather. However, if you want to create a space that connects you with nature, Pergola may be the better choice. Additionally, consider the maintenance requirements and cost of each option to ensure that you choose one that fits your budget and lifestyle. At Templeton Built, we can help you decide which outdoor living option is best for you and guide you through the construction process.

Templeton built

A Construction Company in Adelaide

Alfresco vs Pergola: Definition and differences

Alfresco and Pergola are both popular choices for outdoor living and entertainment spaces. Alfresco is a fully enclosed outdoor living area, similar to an indoor living space, while Pergola is an open structure that provides partial shade. The key difference between the two is that Alfresco is fully enclosed, while Pergola is open.

Design and functionality 

The design and functionality of Alfresco and Pergola differ significantly. Alfresco provides a fully enclosed outdoor living space that can be used all year round. It is often equipped with heating and cooling systems, lighting, and entertainment features such as televisions. On the other hand, Pergola provides partial shade and is ideal for creating an outdoor area that connects you with nature. It is perfect for entertaining guests or relaxing with family, as it provides an open space with fresh air and natural light.

Materials and maintenance 

The materials used in the construction of Alfresco and Pergola also differ. Alfresco is usually made from brick, stone, or concrete, while Pergola is made from timber, aluminum, or steel. The materials used for each option affect the maintenance required to keep them in good condition. Alfresco requires regular cleaning, sealing, and repairs, while Pergola requires regular staining and sealing to maintain its appearance.

Cost comparison 

The cost of constructing Alfresco and Pergola varies significantly depending on factors such as the materials used, size, and design. Alfresco tends to be more expensive to construct than Pergola due to the materials used, enclosed design, and additional features such as heating and cooling systems. Pergola, on the other hand, is more affordable due to its open design and less expensive materials.

Installation and permits 

The installation process for Alfresco and Pergola differs as well. Alfresco requires a more complex installation process, as it involves constructing a fully enclosed outdoor living area. This can take several weeks or months and requires the help of experienced builders. Pergola, on the other hand, is less complicated to install and can be completed in a shorter time frame. Additionally, some local councils may require permits for the construction of Alfresco or Pergola, so it's essential to check with your local council before beginning the installation process.


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Choosing between Alfresco and Pergola depends on various factors, such as your budget, the design you prefer, and the amount of maintenance you're willing to do. Alfresco provides a fully enclosed outdoor living area that can be used all year round and offers additional features such as heating and cooling systems. Pergola, on the other hand, provides an open space that connects you with nature and is more affordable to construct. In the end, the best choice will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

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