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Best Lumber For Outdoor Pergola

What Is The Best Wood For A Pergola Or Wood Gazebo

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  • Pete Ortiz

Building a pergola or a wood gazebo is no small task, and doing the job right starts with using the right materials.

Whether youre contracting out the job or doing it yourself, the last thing that you want is to have a finished product that youre less than 100% satisfied with. Thats why we came up with this comprehensive guide, to walk you through the most popular wood choices for pergolas and wood gazebos.

Were confident that by the time you finish reading, youll know exactly what you want and have the confidence to get started on your project.

A Quick Guide To Building Pergola Using Wood

Pergolas and arbors add a distinctive touch to the exterior of the home. Whether you want to economize or simply do it yourself, one way to save money is to build your own pergola.

Using wood is an economical choice however, there are issues with using this material.

Keep in mind that if you plan to leave your pergola outside year-round, make sure you select species of wood that can stand up well against sunlight and weather.

1). Cost The cost savings potential for building a pergola using wood is considerable however, before beginning construction, consider all costs involved.

Generally speaking, these structures require fewer materials than most other types of abodes being built today. Keep in mind that you will still need nails and various other materials.

2). Consult with professionals If using wood, be sure to consult with professionals to ensure that your structure is built properly.

This is because improperly assembled pergolas and arbors can collapse under the weight of snow or due to weather damage.

Even if youre not planning on putting a lot of money into the project, its still important to take this precaution so your pergola will meet current building codes and hold up for years.

3). Use treated wood Make sure the wood you use for building has been treated against insects and rot.

Otherwise, it can get damaged quickly after being placed outside in different weather conditions.

Treated Woods Are Common Choices

Early in 2004, the old CCA treatment that contained arsenic was replaced by various treatments, but the most common is ACQ . In spite of its shortcomings, ACQ-treated wood holds up well. It might crack, warp, or shrink, but it won’t rot or prove tasty to insects.

ACQ is a water-based preservative forced deep into the lumber, usually Southern yellow pine. Consequently, the lumber is saturated when banded and shipped. This practice makes treated wood heavy and prone to the troubles listed previously. To avoid these tendencies, you can air-dry treated lumber for two warm months, or purchase KDAT lumber. The downside: cost and the need to special-order it from lumberyards or home centers beforehand.

Because the preservatives are accepted only by the sapwood, heartwood of pressure-treated lumber is not decay resistant, typically appearing tan or pink instead of green.

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How To Protect Your Wood Choice

A little maintenance can help your pergola beams last longer and maintain a vibrant look. Most wood species turn gray or silver as they age. This can offer a regal look, or it can diminish the vibrance of the structure.

Consider staining, sealing, or painting your pergola to maintain a beautiful appearance. Explore each option and consider your design goals before selecting a species.

Disadvantages Of Aluminum Pergola

Outback Wood Pergola

Of course, like any other material, aluminum still has its disadvantages. If youre considering installing an aluminum pergola, be aware of these few minor issues:

  • Aluminum is lightweight, so its susceptible to wind damage without the proper anchor system. Avoid aluminum pergolas if you live at higher elevations or in an area where gusty wind conditions are common.
  • Material costs for aluminum are slightly higher than wood and PVC alternatives.
  • Aluminum can get hot in the summer, especially after sitting in the sun all day, so its crucial for both adults and children to be careful when touching the pergola surface.

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Woodworks Pergola Pergola Brackets 3

  • Premiun 3-Way Bracket-The pergola kit steel brackets is made of durable steel structural ,black powder-coat ,for rust-resistant and sturdy enough,it applies to standard 4″x 4″lumber.
  • Wide Application-Extension pergola bracket is commonly used in many places, such as the balcony, courtyard, park, restaurant, and commercial venues. With a stable structure, for building pergolagazebo,playhouse,tree houses,log cabin and so on.
  • STRONG AND STURDY-The pergola brackets 3-Way bracket Size: 7.87*7.87*6.3inch,Quantity: 4 PCS,the pergola brackets post is weatherproof and stable, so even in the rain and storm weather, the pergola still can stand outdoors stably.
  • EASY INSTALLATION-The 3-Way Bracket and all the necessary hardware,Simply cut the wood to your desired length and assemble.for quick and easy installation. You need to fix and install the lumber with such accessories and some essential tools, Simply cut the wood to your desired length and assemble. Accommodates 4″ x 4″ lumber.
  • Complete Accessories-Adequate Accessories,80 x Self-tapping Screws are supplied, So you do not need to buy other accessories, Heavy Duty thickening plate makes the pergola brackets breakage-proof and deformation-proof, so it will not easily break off and be out of shape when using.

Advantages Of Aluminum Pergolas

  • Aluminum pergolas have higher material costs than wood alternatives but still allow for low installation costs, especially when installing a prefabricated aluminum pergola kit from your local landscaping partner.
  • Aluminum materials are smooth and non-porous, meaning they wont be infiltrated and negatively impacted by water like wood.
  • Aluminums smooth surface makes it easy to clean and maintain throughout the seasons. You can simply use soap and water to wash away dirt and algae stains or a low-velocity power washer to remove more stubborn debris.
  • Aluminum is resistant to pest damage, including issues like termite and wood fly infestations.
  • Aluminum is highly resistant to weathering and water damage.
  • Aluminum pergolas are lightweight, so they are great for installing on patios and without worrying about warping or damaging the base structure.
  • Many homeowners opt for affordable, easy-to-install, prefabricated pergola kits in aluminum materials, then purchase additional pergola accessories to include after installation.
  • Aluminum will never bend, warp, or sag, so its great for cold, wet climates like the Midwest.
  • Aluminum pergolas cast the same amount of shade as any other pergola material.
  • Aluminum pergola materials will never rust, making them virtually maintenance-free.

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Rough Sawn Western Red Cedar Pergola Wood

Western red cedar is a beautiful light amber color. For our DIY pergolas, we use high quality western red rough sawn tight knot cedar, which is also highly resistant to decay making it great for outdoor use.

It has a wonderfully appealing fragrance that adds another dimension to its qualities, and is lightweight with close, even grain. This popular wood type is easily worked and can be finished smooth with little effort.

Western red cedar pergola kits take paints and stains very well, and can be applied as soon as you receive the pergola kit. Western red cedar is used in situations where exposure to the elements is continually severe.

A naturally stable wood, the warmth and natural beauty of real cedar makes it a very popular wood choice. If exposed for prolonged periods to conditions where decay could be a factor, such as where the wood is in contact with the ground, cedar should be treated with suitable wood preservatives.

When properly finished and maintained, you can count on cedar to maintain its beauty for decades. Western red cedar is sustainably harvested in North America.

Wilkblck Pergola Brackets 4pcs Woodworks Pergola Kit 3

Wooden Pergola | Top 5 Best Free Standing Wooden Pergolas

Features :

  • BEAUTIFUL AND TOUGH : The powder-coated pergola brackets are made of durable carbon structural steel, providing good performance to withstand abrasion, corrosion, and rust.3-Way right angle corner brackets features weather-proof performance and a stable frame,, even in inclement weather.
  • EASY AND READY TO BUILD — This set Includes Pergola Bracket Shoulders and all the necessary lag bolts, simply cut the wood to your desired length and assemble. Accommodates 4″ x 4″ lumber
  • Thickened Plate & Box Design: The 0.1″ thickening plate makes the pergola brackets boot breakage-proof and deformation-proof, so it will not easily break off and be out of shape when using. In addition, our plate has been designed as a steel box structure, which has provided additional structural stability and support for pergolas.
  • DIY PERGOLA KIT — Assemble your own pergola in less than 1 day and at a fraction of the cost of competing products. This product is recommended for the DIYer who wants a modern looking pergola!The heavy steel braces are strong and stabilizing.
  • Wide Application: Extension pergola bracket is commonly used in many places, such as the balcony, courtyard, park, restaurant, and commercial venues. With a stable structure, framework, and black powder-coated plate, the high-quality pergola brackets have been used to build pergolas for outdoor gatherings or entertainment.

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Redwood And Western Red Cedar

PT wood aside, Redwood and Western Red Cedar are the most popularly used woods for outdoor projects, including gazebos and pergolas.

WRC and Redwood are naturally attractive limber, and most of the time, they’re lumped together. Then again, they are pretty different. For instance, regardless of being called “red,” Redwood features a dark red-brown shade while Western Red Cedar has a yellow color.

Additionally, Redwood is available in a larger grade option, and it has a subtle grain than the more bucolic and noticeable grain of the Western Red Cedar. Both these woods are insect and rot-resistant therefore, there is no need to stress about having harmful chemicals. What’s more, they are both impressively durable, though Redwood is more robust than Western Red Cedar.

Nonetheless, depending on where you reside, you might find these options costly as their availability is limited and can, at times, be frustrating.

These woods are the ideal choice if you’re looking to have a bucolic pergola with a more natural look. However, make sure you check the availability and price before deciding to use the Redwood and Western Red Cedarwoods.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Using Douglas Fir For Pergolas

One of the most popular choices for wood pergolas is Douglas fir. However, there are a few drawbacks to using this type of wood.

  • One of the biggest drawbacks is that Douglas fir is not a very strong wood. This means that it is more likely to warp or crack over time, especially if it is not properly maintained.
  • Another drawback is that Douglas fir is not a very good insulator. This means that it will not be very effective at keeping your pergola cool in the summer or warm in the winter.
  • Finally, Douglas fir is not a very good choice for pergolas that will be exposed to the elements. This is because the wood is not very resistant to rot or insect damage.

Overall, Douglas fir is a decent choice for a pergola. However, there are better choices out there if you are looking for a pergola that will last for many years.

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Wood Patio Cover Kits

If you are looking for a quick patio cover option that doesn’t require hiring someone to draw up a plan, then a wood patio cover kit is the answer. A wooden patio cover kit comes with all the lumber cut to size, the required hardware and detailed assembly instructions for your contractor to follow. Expect to pay between $3,000 and $6,500 for a wood patio cover kit you’ll have to pay for installation separately.

Wooden pergola kits are available in a variety of sizes and styles. You can choose between attached and detached models, as well as solid and lattice roofs. Make sure to measure the area in which you plan to install the patio cover before ordering.

Two companies that offer wooden patio cover kits are Baldwin Pergolas and Backyard America.

Steel Vs Wooden Pergolas

Cedar Pergola

If you are looking to add a pergola to your home, you might be wondering if steel or a wooden one is better. While both offer their own benefits and disadvantages, it all comes down to the look that you want for your home. If you’re on the fence about which option would work best for your property, here are some points to consider when making this decision.

A wooden pergola can be more aesthetically pleasing, but it can also be more time-consuming to maintain. A wooden pergola has an advantage over steel because it allows you to create your own design. You can use different types of wood, stain them and even paint them with whatever color you want. A steel pergola will never give you this same freedom or flexibility.

The next thing you’ll need to consider is how much shade you want from your pergola. This will have a big impact on your choice between a wooden and steel one because they each offer their own benefits in terms of shading. If you want as much sun protection as possible, the best option would likely be a wooden pergola with very large slats for maximum shade coverage. However, if you do not get too hot in the sun or simply want something decorative on your property, opting for a simple steel pergola might be easier and less money.

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Best Wood For Outdoor Pergola

There is something undeniably beautiful about a pavilion or pergola constructed from stylish hardwood. Nevertheless, unlike vinyl designs, there is a broad scope of wood options to pick from. Typically, Western Red Cedar is the most suitable option for your outdoor pergola and other structures. This is because it looks magnificent, ages decently, and has numerous practical benefits.

While this is the best choice, there is a wide array of options to choose from, with their unique appearances and upsides and some budget-friendly options.

Here they are:

Type Of Wood For A Pergola

Hi, I am having a pergola built in my yard. I have spoken to 2 builders about it. One recommended I use Ipe, as it is harder than just about everything else.. and the other told me the supplier said it shouldn’t be used in that application as it’s extremely heavy and hard to work with.Who do I believe and does anyone have any suggestions as to what type of wood is best to use? I really don’t want vinyl, nor do I want to HAVE to repaint/stain it annually. It will receive the south sun most of the day. Any advice? Thanks alotDorothy.

  • handymac

    15 years ago

    Ipe is a bit more difficult to work, but not enough to matter. Some folks don’t like working with it and advise against using it. It would be just fine for the pergola.

    However cedar and cypress are also good choices. All three weather to a grey color without treatment. There are a couple varieties of mahogany that can be used with minimal care.

    The stains to use that will be the most maintenance free are those designed for decks/etc. that are opaque and have added UV protection.

    Now, there is one other treatment. Depending on the manufacturer, a deep tint base for paint—#3 or #4—can be used. The reason is that this type of finish is actually a paint that dries clear. A little research will turn up the correct number for each manufacturer.

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    What Is The Best Timber For Your Pergola Or Pavilion

    Douglas Fir is universally recognized byarchitects, engineers, and timber framers as the preferred choice for use instructural timber applications such as pergolas or pavilions. The benefits ofDouglas Fir include:

    • In strength, DouglasFir rates the highest of any western softwood. The greater density found in firis easily recognized in its weight which can be up to 40% greater than cedar byexample. This added strength allows us to free span greater distances betweenthe posts of your garden structure.
    • The greater density ofDouglas Fir also means its less likely to warp or crack when compared to othersoftwoods commonly used in pergola or pavilion construction.
    • If a timber includesthe heart or the bullseye of the tree it becomes more subject to cracking. Avoidingthat bullseye when using large timbers becomes more difficult and costly.However, the size of a Douglas Fir tree makes it possible to more easily sourcehigher quality huge timbers, up to 60 long while avoiding the bullseye. AtCover Timberworks we use only #1 Appearance Grade FOHC Coastal Douglas Fir in the construction of all of our timber frame gardenstructures.
    • The beautiful grainpattern and its superior ability to hold paint and stain finishes make DouglasFir the preferred choice for all outdoor living projects.
    • Douglas fir is one ofthe most abundant wood species in North America, making it the environmentallyfriendly choice and among the reasons why its the most popular choice of woodin Timber Framing.

    Reasons You Should Consider A Pergola

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    Homeowners who have discovered the merits of relaxing and entertaining in their backyards are often considering the next enhancement they can add to their outdoor space. Backyard enthusiasts crave continued improvements, as each adds beauty, visual appeal, and an opportunity for enjoyment. Landscape enhancements help create a mood or personality for your home and they extend your familys warmth and hospitality. If you are considering the next addition to your landscape, consider installing a pergola. Heres why:

    Pergolas Extend Your Living Space

    If you have already installed a deck or patio, you likely added it to extend your living space beyond the walls of your home. If you have found that you love your outdoor living area but that its not quite so useful on a summer afternoon when the sun is beating down or if you wish you had protection from inclimate weather, a pergola may be for you. A pergola extends your living space and increases the amount of time you can spend outside. Designed and oriented correctly on your lot, a pergola can cast enough light shade to make even a warm afternoon enjoyable or if you still need additional protection, you can install a retractable shade cover for more shade. Some shade covers will even protect you from a light rain, perfect for those unpredictable summer storms.

    Design Options Abound with Pergolas

    Your next decision will be materials. There are a variety of materials to consider and all come with advantages and disadvantages:

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