The Ultimate Guide To Wooden Pergolas

When you begin to notice the first signs of warm weather outside, the mass exodus to spend time in backyards increases dramatically. It can feel like there is pressure to be outdoors in nice weather. But what if you don’t have a yard where you want to spend that much time? Maybe, you haven’t had a ton of time to make it look nice yet. What we want to do is help you to have a backyard where you want to spend time. One of the best and easiest ways to do that is with a backyard wooden pergola. 

Let’s take a look at what makes these pergolas suited for your property!

What Kind Of Wood Do You Use For A Pergola?

The best kind of wood to use for a pergola is either pine or cedar. The reasons range from look to durability. Let’s take a closer look at each type of wood and what it can offer your wooden pergola. 

  • Pine – This wood is more affordable than cedar but less durable. While it stands firm, the wood is softer than other pergola woods. Pressure-treated pine is, however, rot and insect-resistant naturally, which benefits using this type of wood. 
  • Cedar – These pergolas are generally more resistant to weather and time. Cedar generally takes paints and stains very well. This wood is also insect and rot-resistant and adds a level of rustic aesthetics to your backyard. 

What Are Wooden Pergolas For?

Wooden pergolas are designed to create a unique space in your backyard. Whether on a patio, near a pool, or out in your yard…these pergolas offer an enjoyable place to relax and unwind. 

Wooden Pergolas also have a vast number of options that you can choose from to add on. Wooden pergolas can be used as a space for dining with the electricity option. You can get a shade addition to your pergola to use the space as a restful location from the sun. 

How Long Will Wooden Pergolas Last?

An unfinished, unstained, and untreated wooden pergola will last 5-7 years without maintenance. A finished, stained, or treated wooden pergola will last over ten years with minimal maintenance. Pergolas will last longer the more you take care of them.

How Much Do 12×12 Wooden Pergolas Cost?

A typical 12×12 pergola costs anywhere from $4,000 – $8700. Pergolas will cost more as you add items like;

  • Post Upgrades
  • Privacy Walls
  • Lattice Roofs
  • Shades
  • Curtains
  • Electricity
  • Vinyl Additions

Wooden Pergola Ideas

  • Hot Tubs – Having a pergola over your hot tub can limit the amount of sun you receive when relaxing in hot water. It can also add electricity around your hot tub to keep the party going even when it gets dark. 
  • Gardens – A pergola over your garden can help prevent creatures from stealing your plants without taking away from the sun they need to survive. It also adds an element to your garden that is aesthetically pleasing. 
  • Seating – If you want to create a “living room experience” outdoors, a pergola can help bring together a seating area. When accompanied by shade, electricity, and privacy walls, you can truly create an outdoor living space. 
  • Patios – A pergola on a patio can be great for dining and enjoying the evenings. It can also be used to cover an outdoor kitchen or bar space on your back patio. 

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Wooden Pergola?

If you are thinking about building your own pergola, you can expect to spend around $2000 for a basic build and $3800 for an upgraded build. This is assuming you have the necessary tools to do the job currently. If you only need to purchase the materials and use your time, it can be less expensive to build your pergola. 

Do Wooden Pergolas Need To Be Anchored?

Most of the time, the answer is yes! Even though wooden pergolas are heavy, they still need to be anchored to the ground. Each of our pergolas comes with mounting brackets that will ensure your pergola stays safe and sound right where it is placed. 

How Much Shade Do Wooden Pergolas Provide?

Wooden pergolas provide three levels of shade. 

  • A standard wooden pergola will limit the sun to about 75%. While that is still a decent amount of sun, the angle and number of wooden beams can still give you just the right amount of shade.
  • A wooden pergola with a lattice roof will limit the sun to around 40%. This gives more surface area to your pergola roof and lets you continue to enjoy a cooler space.
  • A shade will take away the sun completely. Shades are an excellent option for sweltering days and people who easily burn. With the retractable shade, you don’t have to do much work in order to get or take away the shade. 

Wooden Pergola Wind Resistance

Pergolas are naturally wind-resistant because they are not solid-walled structures. With the lack of an entire roof, and no sides, wind cannot hit these structures are hard as others. As mentioned above, pergolas are also anchored to the ground. Generally, pergolas can withstand winds up to 70mph if they are adequately secured. If you are consistently experiencing hurricane-force winds, you may want to consider moving :). 

Wooden Pergolas vs Metal Pergolas

Wooden pergolas are mostly preferred over metal for their structure, look, and cost. While some types of wooden pergolas can cost more than cheap aluminum, metal pergolas will generally be higher priced. The upside to metal pergolas is maintenance. Besides cleaning (which is easy), there isn’t much you need to worry about. While maintained wood pergolas do not warp or crack, there is also no need to worry about that with metal which will stay true to its form.

Wooden Pergolas vs Vinyl Pergolas

Wooden pergolas are generally valued over vinyl pergolas because of their look and durability. The upside for vinyl pergolas is the maintenance. There really isn’t anything you need to do besides keep it clean. Simply taking a powerwasher to the vinyl will get any grime or dirt off. 

Wooden Pergolas vs Arbors

Arbors and wooden pergolas may be confused at times, but they have very different purposes. Arbors are generally decorative and add an extra element to the space you want to spruce up. Pergolas are used to improve a space and are a functional place to spend time. 

Wooden Pergolas With Roofs

A wooden pergola with a solid roof is a pavilion. There are ways you can change a roof and still have it be a pergola (lattice, shade). If you are more interested in a pavilion, make sure to check out our custom wooden pavilions!

Common Wooden Pergola Sizes

The most popular pergola sizes are;

  • 10×10
  • 10×12
  • 10×14
  • 12×16
  • 16×16
  • 16×20
  • 20×20

The sizes chosen are based on the use and the size of the property you have. A 10×10 pergola may be suitable for a few chairs, a grilling area, or in a garden. A 20×20 pergola can house an entire living room space and dining space all in one. 

Modern Wooden Pergolas

Pergolas have evolved over the last number of years, and now everyone seems to want to “modernize” their backyard. Here are a few examples of some of our modern wooden pergolas that you can help to customize!

Wooden Pergolas In MA

We have been providing quality backyard structures for over 22 years. In that time, we have matched many families with quality pergolas. We would absolutely love to do the same for you. Check out the pergolas we have currently in stock, or request a free quote to customize your pergola. We would be happy to talk with you about the features and give our insight into the best pergola for you! Happy Hunting!