What Makes The Best Pergolas

The recipe for designing and building a pergola is one part art, one part science. It’s art because a pergola can transform a patio into an extension of your indoor living space, built and designed to reflect your home’s personality. It’s also science because a pergola can provide shade–respite from the scorching sun–if it’s built and placed properly.

Deciding to transform your patio into a comfortable outdoor sanctuary of relaxation is easy. Choosing the right design and material—cedar or aluminum—is more difficult. Here’s a look at how the two types of pergolas compare:

The Look

Cedar pergolas are perfect for homes with a classic, rustic look. The natural beauty of cedar affords you the flexibility to make your pergola the centerpiece of the yard or have it blend in to its environment, the perfect complement to your landscaping, outdoor kitchen or fireplace.

Cedar pergolas can be stained to match a specific color of the other natural wood on your home—and it’s possible to change their color or shade by applying different stain or even painting them. Cedar pergolas can also be left unfinished, which will eventually result in a distinguished, truly rustic silver-gray appearance.

A pergola built from aluminum provides options as well. Left unpainted, their original metallic finish creates a sleek, contemporary look that’s perfect for more modern homes. White aluminum pergolas evoke images of tropical paradises and can be ideal companions for pools. They’re also available in nearly every color imaginable. However, once you choose the color the only way to change it is to replace the pergola.


The Design

Both cedar and aluminum can be used to build a pergola that meets any design specification. Cedar pergolas, however, are better suited for large areas. Cedar can span further distances than aluminum without compromising the structure’s strength.

Both types can be customized to meet your vision.

The Maintenance

There is no question that it is far easier to maintain an aluminum pergola than a cedar Houston pergola.

Aluminum is, for all intents and purposes, maintenance free, which is why many aluminum pergolas come with a lifetime guarantee. Cedar, on the other hand, could deteriorate over time if it’s not properly cared for. Cedar pergolas need to be re-stained on a regular basis to protect them from the sun, rain and heat as well as to ensure that they maintain their color.

The Intangibles

Maintenance, design and look are only part of the pergola equation. There are other factors to consider, including how well a material reflects the sun’s heat, which type will hold its value better and which one best matches your personality and the personality of your home.

Cedar actually does a better job of reflecting the sun’s rays, keeping it cooler to the touch. Cedar, if well-cared for, generally ages a little better than aluminum, which can start to show its age after years of weathering heat and rain. And personal preference also plays a role.

If you need help determining which type of pergola is right for you, contact us today and we’ll walk you through the decision-making process. You’ll even be able to see and touch sample cedar and aluminum building materials so you can better envision the perfect pergola that will turn your patio into a luxury sanctuary of relaxation.