The Different Types of Pergola Materials, Explained

The Different Types of Pergola Materials

The Different Types of Pergola Materials, Explained | Do you want to add a bit of extra flair and sophistication to your backyard? If so, building a pergola to compliment your patio or deck may be a smart option.

A pergola is an appealing garden feature that serves as a breathable cover for almost any backyard walkway or space. It doesn’t matter if you want to add fashionable shade to your patio or provide some shelter for your garden; pergolas are a great option.

When thinking about building a pergola, it’s important to learn about the available material types. Keep reading to learn more about the types of pergola materials that are commonly used.

Pressure Treated Wood

If you want the most color options, along with affordable prices, then pressure-treated wood is a smart option. You can stain or paint this material, creating a simple, elegant, and rustic design.

When the right color and design are used, you can create a bold accent piece for your backyard, too.

It’s important to note that while wood pergolas are treated to help resist bugs, mold, and rot, they are much more susceptible to these than some of the other commonly used materials.

Some of the benefits of choosing treated wood for your pergolas include:

  • Budget-friendly price
  • Able to be painted or stained
  • Complements modern and rustic décor

While the benefits are appealing, it’s important to note there are some potential drawbacks, too. These include:

  • Shortest lifespan
  • Must re-paint or re-stain

If you have a limited budget for pergolas or pergola patios, this material may be your best bet.


Another popular material used for pergolas today is vinyl. Many people prefer this material option because it is customizable, durable, and affordable.

The sturdiness it offers doesn’t compromise the style or appearance. You can choose the design based on your personal preferences or needs, but you will usually find basic color options.

The most common are beige, ivory, and white. These colors provide a much more formal and cleaner look. If you are developing a rustic theme in your backyard, this may not be the best option.

Vinyl isn’t as expensive as the plastic materials you can purchase for pergolas. It is also lightweight, which means you don’t need more posts to cover bigger areas.

However, it is not the strongest material. It can soften and sag if it is installed in an area that is exposed to inconsistent temperatures.

A benefit of vinyl is that it won’t require much ongoing maintenance. No ongoing staining or painting is needed.

In most cases, using a power washer to clean it each year will be enough to keep it brand new. Vinyl is a completely weather-proof material and resistant to insects and rot.

If you compare this to metal and wood, pergolas built with thicker vinyl can withstand much more extreme weather conditions. Vinyl won’t degrade, rust, or decay. If you want a pergola that doesn’t require much upkeep, choose this material.


Do you want to build a pergola with a sleek and modern look? If so, choosing a metal structure offers a lot of flexibility and style options.

You will also find several color options and design variations. These range from free standing to attached, which makes this a versatile material option.

Metal is extremely durable and weather-resistant, which makes it a popular pergola material. Along with the superior longevity, metal pergolas are some of the easiest options to install because you can purchase panelized kits that don’t require much cutting.

Some of the metal pergola options you can choose from include:


For sturdy pergola options, choose steel. If shade in your backyard is your goal, this is a great option.

It’s simple to attach curtains and sheets to a steel-framed pergola. Also, the resilient structure they offer helps ensure the linen you use remains in place.

Steel pergolas also provide a great option to shelter your garden. You can use the beams to encourage vines to wrap around, creating a natural, earthy look and appeal.


Are you concerned about a cost-effective pergola option? If so, choose aluminum is a financially friendly option.

Aluminum pergolas don’t require much maintenance, they won’t rot, and their nonporous surface can withstand cases of weathering. An aluminum pergola is also designed to make installation quick and easy. This is great for anyone who wants to build this as a DIY project.

Cedar Wood

Even though treated wood is more popular than cedar wood, cedar is a smart option for those who want a distinct and unique look. Western red cedar pergolas can stand up to bugs and rot that may cause damage to normal lumber.

Also, the natural smell is something most homeowners love. Even though you can’t paint these structures, you can stain them, protecting that natural red color.

Choosing the Right Types of Pergola Materials

The right types of pergola materials are not the same for everyone. You need to carefully consider your needs, budget, and climate, which will help you choose the right option.

With this information, you can decide what to buy and what material to use. While each one has specific benefits, you will likely find a perfect material for the construction of your pergola.

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