Wood or Metal Pergola: Which One is Right for You?

Looking to give your backyard that extra flare? Building a pergola to accompany your deck or patio is sure to add some charm to your home. Pergolas serve as a focal point in any backyard, instantly defining an outdoor space. In addition, the right pergola shade solution can provide protection from the elements adding comfort to all your outdoor events.

There are plenty of styles and materials that pergolas come in to compliment your vision. One burning question you may have is whether to choose metal or wood for your pergola. Their appearance, cost and required maintenance differ, but either option will be an instant upgrade to your backyard.


Wood pergolas give a more rustic, natural style and feel to your outdoor space. You can choose different types of wood, hues and finishes like cedar, mahogany, and maple, as well as change the color scheme with paint. Pressure-treated wood tends to come with a slightly green appearance but dry to a golden-brown color. If not water sealed or stained, they will eventually turn a grayish color.

It’s advised to stay away from the less expensive pressure-treated woods. They are not suited for pergolas but for more utilitarian purposes like walkways, deck framing, and foundation posts.

Metal options provide different finishes and metallic shades, giving your pergola a more modern, sleek and polished finish that will mesh with the urban design of your home. They can also be powder-coated to any colour of your choice.


Wood pergolas are commonly less expensive in terms of materials when compared to metal pergolas. Pressure-treated wood that is stained or painted tends to be one of the least expensive options to build your pergola. Material costs start increasing significantly if you are considering cedar or redwood.

One of the benefits of a metal pergola is that it will hold its dimensions and stay straight and true. They are built to last and more durable than wood. Wood will warp, crack, bow, twist over time. However, the strength and durability come with a higher price tag.


The main advantage metal pergolas have over wood is that they are maintenance-free. Aluminum pergolas are lightweight and will never rust, which makes them ideal for those living near seaside locals. Metal never splinters, sags, or twists like wood. Steel frame pergolas can be prone to rust and corrosion if not treated with a 100% zinc coating upon installation.

Wood naturally weathers with age by warping or cracking. It will require sanding, staining, sealing and other types of treatments every few years to keep it in good condition. While cedar and other naturally rot-resistant woods are less prone to warping or cracking, they may eventually become weathered or develop cracks that will require eventual replacement.

Some types of wood are susceptible to termites and other wood-damaging insects. To keep them at bay, your wood pergola may require the use of several chemical treatments that could be harmful to you and your family.


What is the best pergola material to use for your home? Before purchasing or building your outdoor pergola, consider the look, price and maintenance to ensure you get the one that is best suited for your needs.

No matter which option you go for, you can rest assured they are a great long-term investment for your home and your lifestyle. Not only will they extend the lifespan of your outdoor living space, with the right retractable shade, they will also protect you from unfavorable weather conditions and enhance the overall look of your patio.

Not sure where to start? We can help.

Retractable Solutions for Outdoor Spaces

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