Trellises are versatile structures that provide support for climbing plants, make the most of limited garden space, and act as attractive features in your garden. With many different types and styles of trellises available, many homeowners and gardening enthusiasts are left wondering whether they should buy a premade trellis, or if it's cheaper to construct their own. In this article, we'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches to help you determine the best option for your garden.

Background and significance

The use of trellises can be traced back many centuries. They've long been utilised to create decorative displays, support heavy fruit crops, and provide privacy. Common types of trellises include ladder, archway, fan, folding screen, and obelisk.

While wooden and metal trellises are available for purchase, constructing your own is also a popular option. Not only can building a trellis yourself be a more economical choice, but it also allows you to tailor the structure to your specific needs and tastes.

Cost comparison

First and foremost, let's consider the cost: is it cheaper to build your own trellis? The materials you choose and the complexity of your design will affect the overall cost of your trellis – however, generally speaking, constructing your own trellis can be more cost-effective than purchasing a ready-made alternative.

Premade wooden trellises can range in price from £20 to £100 or more, depending on size and quality. Metal counterparts can be even more expensive. In contrast, building your own trellis from wooden stakes, battens, or bamboo can be much less expensive, particularly if you're able to source your materials at a low cost or repurpose existing items.

Customisation and flexibility

One major benefit of making your own trellis is the ability to fully customise it. You can create a trellis sized to fit your garden perfectly, adapt the design to match your garden’s aesthetic, or incorporate unique materials. This level of personalisation is impossible to achieve with a commercially produced option.

Construction skill level

While constructing your own trellis often proves cheaper, it's important to consider your skill level and experience. DIY projects like building a trellis requires basic woodworking or metalworking skills, along with an understanding of how to use the relevant tools and equipment. If you're not confident in your abilities, building a trellis yourself could potentially prove more expensive, as errors in construction can lead to a need for additional materials or professional help.


In summary, building your own trellis can be a more cost-effective and personalised option when compared to purchasing a premade alternative. However, the savings made hinge on your ability to source affordable materials and your skill level in construction. If you're confident in your abilities and able to find economically priced supplies, creating your own trellis can provide a rewarding and cost-effective addition to your garden. On the other hand, if you're less experienced or prefer the convenience of a ready-made option, purchasing a trellis may be the better choice. In either case, the decision ultimately comes down to your personal preference, budget, and desired aesthetic for your garden.