Let’s talk about wood, timber, or lumber – in other words, that gorgeous material that comes from the forest!
Pergola plans can be used to design a structure made from any type of wood or synthetic material. Most people choose the natural option because it is readily available and therefore cheaper in addition to being a lot of fun to work with.
After all, depending on how much cutting you ask your lumberyard or home improvement store to do ahead of time, you will get to use your circular saw and jigsaw which is always a treat!
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Treated pine – the chameleon of wood.
You can find treated pine just about anywhere that lumber is sold. It is the most abundant and therefore the least expensive. Notice I didn’t say “cheap”. This wood has the lightest natural tone so it can be painted or stained to just about any shade making it look like the most expensive variety. Left to its natural color it will blend with almost any architectural style.
Sweet smelling cedar.
The heartwood oils that naturally occur in red cedar provide their own embedded insect repellent That fragrance and the rich, deep color make this one of the most sought after types of lumber. Cedar can also be stained; though a unique feature of the wood is that if it is left unstained and unsealed it will weather to a rich silver gray patina.
The rustic charm of redwood.
In some areas of the country, redwood is as readily available as pine which drives the price down. A redwood pergola on a matching deck is a classic combination. It you are lucky enough to live in one of those areas – get it! It is the most moisture and insect resistant wood you will find and will last for years without any maintenance or stain. It is also just naturally downright beautiful.
Learn from our mistakes.
The one thing you need to remember is that if you do use a treated wood for your pergola, after you make any kind of cut you will need to apply more sealant on the raw ends.
Also, we know some folks who paint or stain their pergola after they build it. However, after trying out both methods we think it would be best to get all of that done before you raise the roof. Unless you are really skilled at doing that kind of detailed work 8-10ft in the air of course!
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If you’ve decided that you really want to add a pergola to your property, then your next step is to check out our Guide to Building a Pergola in One Weekend.