Pergolas are a great addition to the outdoor, entertainment area of your home which provides the perfect amount of shade to relieve you from the hot summer sun. However, despite being designed with hearty, weather-resistant wood to withstand the elements, over time an old garden pergola can deteriorate, rot and become unsteady or dangerous.

When this happens, it is not only important to remove the garden pergola for safety reasons, but for the value of your property. If the outdoor pergola was there when you moved in, you may not know what to do to get rid of it, or perhaps you just need a refresher.

Either way, removing a pergola is simple as long as you know the important tips and tricks to avoid safety hazards and restore your patio area to its former glory.

Pergola Removal Tips And Tricks

What Is A Pergola? 

Pergolas are exterior structures that provide shade and sun protection for outdoor areas.

A pergola can range from an expensive piece of outdoor architecture with outdoor features, climbing vines, and vertical supports or just be made up of simple construction materials and vertical posts.

These outdoor entertaining areas are usually used for backyards or carports for a barbecue or party but can definitely be used leisurely and act as an aesthetically pleasing design choice for a home.

What Is The Difference Between A Pergola And A Gazebo? 

Although a pergola and a gazebo are similar, their main point of difference is that pergolas are not raised off the ground or rounded, and generally do not have an enclosed roof.

Why Would You Need To Take Down A Garden Pergola?

While covered outdoor areas are a great addition to the house, there are several reasons why you might have to tear down and remove a pergola. These reasons include:


As outdoor functioning structures, pergolas require consistent maintenance and repairs, and if this isn’t attended to, they can deteriorate fairly rapidly. This can result in the structure becoming less stable, to the point the pergola will substantially sag and can be extremely dangerous if left unchecked.

Warning signs include the wood timber becoming rotten or discoloured, as well as a possible increase of rust or decay on the metal joints.


Termites can bury into wood anywhere, but a pergola that sits outside in all kinds of weather is a breeding ground for termites. With proper maintenance and application of termite-repellant and treating, this should not be a problem but if termites get into the wood of your pergola, it will need to be knocked down and removed.

Taste And Property Value

Fashion is a fickle mistress and the style of houses change over time. While pergolas are functionally as useful as they have ever been, retractable awnings are becoming more popular and preferred by home buyers. As such, if you are looking to sell your house in a certain area with younger demographics, it might be an advantage to upgrade by pulling down the old pergola and installing some more modern shade.

How to Remove a Pergola

Pergolas are generally similar, however, they can be built differently and have different characteristics which will make their demolition and removal unique.

If you have ample room around your pergola, it might be ok to push or pull it over (with ropes), as long as you do so safely and with the correct know-how.

1. Clear The Area

When pulling down and removing a pergola, it is essential that everyone in the house knows what is happening and that you keep children and pets away from the area.

This is a dangerous task, which can end disastrously if someone or something is running under the pergola when it is being brought down. Ensure you remove any items or decor that you expect to get damaged during the removal in case of damage, otherwise, the pergola won’t be the only thing you’re replacing.

It could also be a good idea to lay down a tarp if you have exposed tiles, brick or concrete to avoid any damage to your flooring when bringing down the pergola.

2. Use The Buddy System

Do not attempt to take down a pergola or gazebo alone, as they are made of heavy material and accidents can happen. It also makes it much easier to organise the rubble into manageable stacks to be taken away if you have a team helping out.

Having someone to help you will also ease up the hard work and make the removal more efficient and less of an overly exhausting chore than it needs to be.

3. Uninstall And Remove Any Electricity 

This is no doubt obvious to most of you, but it is important to remind you before you go tearing down your pergola. Frayed or damaged wires can be deadly and must be removed safely and efficiently before the pergola can be destroyed and removed.

4. Remove The Roof

This is easier said than done. Firstly, you do not want to pull down a roof in a gung-ho fashion.

First, inspect the roof carefully to determine exactly how it is attached to the beams so there is no possibility of an accident. Remember, you only want to take the roof materials off first, which are usually panels or sometimes light sheets. Leave all supporting beams (cross and vertical) until the roof is removed.

5. Prop Up The Vertical Support Beams 

This is a great tip because something people forget is that as you take down the cross beams (next step), the vertical support beams can come crashing down, causing physical injury or damage to your house, deck or other property.

With the vertical support beams propped up, you minimise the risk of outside elements or mistakes causing you or your home harm. It always pays to be prepared in the long run!

6. Remove The Cross Beams

A crossbeam is a vertical wooden frame designed to support the floor or roof. This is a dangerous activity and you should ensure you are carefully taking down the beams one by one. If they are heavy, which they usually are, enlist the help of some buddies to take the brunt of the weight off you.

7. Take Down Vertical Support Posts

Finally, once the horizontal beams and roofing are all gone, you can push over, cut down or pull down the vertical support beams. Remember that treated timber is harmful to the environment, and must therefore be safely disposed of by sending it to a licensed facility.

If there are materials undamaged during your removal process, remember to dispose of them in the correct way.

8. Remove The Rubbish

The remnants of the destroyed pergola will be quite an eyesore, not to mention a safety hazard. It is in your best interest to get all of the rubbish removed as soon as possible before it rots or becomes home to creatures you don’t want in your yard.

If you are not sure exactly how to remove the pile of wood and other bits, you can hire an expert team of rubbish removalists or service who can get rid of your waste cheaply, efficiently and in an environmentally sustainable and ethical manner.

Tools You Will Need For A Demolition 

Controlled demolitions and rubble removal are much easier when you have the right tools for the job. Most of the important tools are standard things you will find in your average toolbox, but just to be sure, these are the most commonly used tools you will need to remove your pergola.

  • Safety Equipment – This is probably the most important tool to consider in any demolition work. You can start with work gloves, safety goggles, a helmet, a good respirator and cotton masks for any harmful materials or junk that you will be working with.
  • Screwdrivers – Screwdrivers are designed to tighten and loosen screws, which will be important when taking down the cross beams and support beams.
  • San Angelo Bar and Pry Bars – This is a steel demolition bar that’s been designed to aid in digging, lifting and prying. Pry bars come in all sizes. You can purchase a medium S-shaped pry bar (between 18 inches and 2 feet or 46 to 61 centimetres). You can also buy a smaller and flat pry bar.
  • Hammers – The best-known tool in the toolbox. The claw hammer is great not only for hammering, but for prying stuck objects, taking out buried nails, and knocking small holes in drywall. Another useful type is the heavy hammer or a mini-sledgehammer which is great for interior framing and knocking wood support beams.
  • Saws or Powers Saws – Saws are great for cutting the long beams into more manageable, transportable bits so that you can sell them, recycle them or dispose of them. More importantly, sometimes tough, rambling vines on the beams of a pergola can be quite tough and a saw is definitely handy in removing them!

It is essential that you know what you are doing, have the right tools for the job, and approach the job safely. It is always best to work slower and more cautiously than faster, and more dangerously.

Let Us Help You Remove Your Pergola

Enquire about our fast and efficient pergola removal services by calling our office at 1300 Rubbish or by dialling 1300 78 22 47. Our friendly staff and customer service team will be more than glad to answer all your queries. Call today and get a free quote.