What is the Best Wood for Pergola Construction?

Are you researching what wood to use for pergola roofs and posts? Here are the best lumber species for this type of construction.

It’s common to find all kinds of designs incorporated into a structure’s architecture.

One of several is the pergola. This is a long narrow structure with freestanding pillars or columns that support a roof. Pergolas help extend your living space, thus extending the time you spend outdoors.

This outdoor provision for shade can be made from a variety of wood. While true, we’re interested in the best wood for making pergolas.

Are you interested in the best wood for pergola roofs?

The details discussed below provide you with all the information needed to make the right pick.

Best Lumber for Pergola

Because pergolas are outdoor structures, they’re exposed to the elements of moisture, direct sunlight, and high winds. Now you need wood that can withstand these conditions.

Also, specific locations, like coastal areas, may have higher moisture than others.

All of these are considered when choosing the type of wood for pergola construction. Also, some woods are more suitable for use in specific locations than others.

The features used in comparing wood types include cost, weight, visual appeal, and weather resistance.

Are you looking for where to buy wood for pergola? Try Amazon, Lowes, PergolaDepot, Wayfair, PergolaKits USA, and HomeDepot.

Best Wood for Pergola Construction

It isn’t easy to point out one specific wood type best for pergola construction. Also, many wood types don’t do well when continually exposed to the elements.

As such, these wouldn’t be good for pergola. We can identify only a few wood varieties as being among the best for this type of construction.

These include tropical hardwoods, western red cedar, and European green oak. Pressure-treated pine is also among the best woods for pergola. Any of these can conveniently serve this purpose for various reasons.

Having mentioned these woods, let’s find out more details about each.

  • Tropical Hardwoods

Wood types that fall into this category include rosewood, teak, ipe, and mahogany.

These are rugged woods that will easily outperform other wood types, which tend to be more susceptible to harsh weather conditions.

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Not only are these durable and robust, but they also are aesthetically appealing when used for pergola construction.

The strength and durability of these woods make them an easy choice for many. To know the quality of tropical hardwoods, you only need to consider the hardiness rating.

The Janka scale serves as the rating system for wood durability.

The higher the score on the scale, the harder or more durable the material is. Tropical hardwoods have the least score of 1,500 on the Janka scale.

More specifically, a wood like Ipe scores around 3,500 on the Janka scale. This shows its quality for outdoor construction projects like pergolas.

While tropical hardwoods are easily among the best wood for pergola, some people might find the cost prohibitive.

These woods can cost as much as three times the cost of cheaper wood types which may not necessarily be suitable for pergola construction.

  • Western Red Cedar

Another wood you can trust for pergola construction is the western red cedar. This type of wood is also known for its durability, strengths, and ability to withstand adverse weather conditions.

Apart from the western red cedar, other types of redwood and cedar are rot and insect-resistant.

Using this wood for your construction needs also benefits from its natural tone, which blends with your structure. Its reddish-brown color enhances the aesthetic appeal of your pergola.

The structure gradually changes to a silver tone as it gets continually exposed.

All its color changes from years of sun exposure help improve the structure’s look. Rather than worn out, your pergola looks regal due to the silver tone from exposure to the elements.

  • European Green Oak

All woods used for pergola construction must have one thing in common; durability.

This is one feature European great oak wood has. You must carefully choose your freshly sawn European green oak to kick-start your pergola construction.

While this wood will adequately serve your construction needs, it must be sealed to make it last longer. Compared to tropical hardwoods, oaks aren’t as durable.

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In other words, they measure or have a lower rating on the Janka scale. So, aging will result in these woods turning grey or silver.

One key benefit of using the European green oak is its minimal maintenance needs. After it is sealed, you won’t have to do much as the wood will efficiently serve for several years.

You get to enjoy your pergola without worries about pest damage or rot.

  • Pressure-Treated Pine

Some types of wood, like pergola construction, may not be reliable for outdoor use. However, when pressure treated, such woods can serve the purpose easily they’re used for.

Pressure Treated Wood for Pergola

The southern yellow pine is one of such woods. It cannot be used directly (without pressure treatment) for pergola construction.

The reason for pressure-treating pine woods is to make them unsuitable for fungus, termites, and rot-proof or moisture damage.

There are different ways pressure treatments are administered to these woods.

After applying the chemical compounds for pressure treatment, the wood is left to dry completely before staining or painting. This treatment process makes it durable enough for use in pergola construction.

Pressure-treated pines woods will last as long as other top-rated woods.

Periodic Maintenance of Pergola Lumber is Necessary

Based on our discussions above, it’s easy to see that even the best woods will gradually change in color and look due to constant exposure to the elements.

For this, some form of maintenance can serve to make your pergola attractive.

Basic maintenance tasks to consider include painting, staining, and sealing. When painting pergola wood, it boils down to a matter of preference. Some people prefer the natural beauty of wood.

While that is true, such eventually gets replaced by another color.

If you’d rather have your wood painted, trying that is no harm at all. Staining offers protection while helping to retain the natural tone.

We’ve successfully identified some of the best woods for pergola construction. You get to choose by choosing a wood that best serves your needs.

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