Pergolas 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Pergola

March 22, 2021 7:42 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In recent years, pergolas have surged in popularity as a home improvement trend for outdoor living. Not only does this garden feature add style to your backyard, but it can also serve a much-needed purpose. Read on for everything you need to know about buying a pergola in Syracuse, IN.

What is a pergola?

Pergolas are fairly simple outdoor structures, consisting of four vertical posts that support an open or lattice roof. They can provide shade without sacrificing the openness of outdoor living, offering the best of both worlds. The roof is also perfect for growing vines or hanging plants. Alternatively, you could use the roof to hang string lights so you can enjoy your pergola after dark.

Options for pergola materials

Wood pergolas can range widely in price, with pressure treated wood being one of the most affordable options and cedar or redwood being on the more expensive end. Pressure treated wood is ideal for more humid climates, but it must be chemically treated to become rot and insect resistant. Cedar is ideal for drier climates and offers natural resistance to pests and rot. In most cases, wood requires sealant to preserve its stained or natural color, which also means this must be repeated every two to four years.

Vinyl pergolas require virtually no maintenance, as long as they’re made of high-quality vinyl. It’s worth paying a little extra for vinyl that won’t eventually become brittle and get cracks, because vinyl can easily last a lifetime. You’ll still want to power wash a vinyl pergola every one to three years to remove any dirt and grime, but there’s not much upkeep required beyond that.

Fiberglass pergolas are long lasting, low maintenance, weather resistant and paintable. They can support longer beams than wood or vinyl without sagging, so larger pergolas can be built out of fiberglass. However, this material is significantly more expensive than wood or vinyl, which also means there are limited options for manufacturers and possibly longer production times.

Aluminum and steel are commonly used for metal pergolas. Aluminum is lightweight and rust resistant, which is ideal for locations near saltwater. However, aluminum pergolas must be properly secured so that they won’t be damaged or twisted by strong winds. Steel pergolas are sturdy enough to withstand adverse weather conditions, but the tradeoff is that they’re extremely heavy.

Pre-cut vs. custom pergolas

With pergolas being so popular, you can pick one up from a hardware store and assemble it yourself. However, these premade pergolas are limited in size and style, and they tend to be less durable than custom builds. You might be saving money in the short term, but it could be worthwhile to pay more upfront for a high-quality custom pergola that’s built to last.

Interested in installing a pergola in Syracuse, IN? In addition to our work on luxury home building and renovations, Buhrt Builders Inc.’s residential construction expertise extends to specialty craftsmanship projects for backyards, including pergolas. Contact us today for a free consultation—we look forward to working with you!

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