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What Wood to Use for Building Your Pergola

What Wood to Use for Building Your Pergola

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Are you planning to build a pergola soon? It’s good to take a step back and learn about the process before you get started.

If you’re still in the planning phase, you might be considering which wood to utilize. There are many options to consider and you might have a few different types of wood that you like.

Which type of wood is the best for pergolas? There are so many factors to consider when you’re trying to figure out the answer to this question.

Can You Build a Pergola With Untreated Wood?

Yes, you can build a pergola with untreated wood if you’d like to do so. It’s not unusual for pergolas to be built using various types of untreated wood.

However, you should know that you’re going to need to treat the wood yourself. Pergolas are outdoor structures that will be exposed to the elements.

If you don’t treat the wood, it’s not going to last for very long. When you want to avoid issues with mold and rotting, it’s important to treat the wood.

This doesn’t mean that using untreated wood is a bad choice. You can easily treat the wood and stain it so that it will have the proper protection.

Many choose to go with untreated wood because it has a rustic look that’s easy to enjoy. If you have some that you’d like to use for this project it should work out fine.

Can You Use Pressure Treated Wood for a Pergola?

It’s also normal to use pressure treated wood for a pergola. People often use pressure treated pine to build pergolas.

This is one of the best options you can choose for the job. It’s an easy type of wood to work with that will also be rather durable.

One of the best reasons to go with this wood is that it will be resistant to rot. You won’t need to worry so much about rot and insects won’t be a problem either.

For some, this will be a better choice than going with untreated wood. There’s no need to worry about treating the wood yourself when you purchase pressure treated pine from a hardware store or lumber yard.

There are some notable downsides when you choose this type of wood, though. When you buy pressure treated wood, it’ll be necessary to wait several months before painting it or staining it.

So if you wish to paint or stain the wood for aesthetic purposes, it’ll be necessary to exercise patience. This is because the pressure treatment will still be on the wood for the first few months and you’ll need to wait for a safe time to paint.

Can You Use Douglas Fir for a Pergola?

Douglas fir is one of the most recommended types of wood for pergolas. Many professionals choose to go with this type of wood when tackling projects.

One reason why this wood is so popular is that it’s durable. It’s also known to be resistant to rot, and this makes it easy to use the wood for outdoor projects.

You’ll love that Douglas fir is a versatile type of wood for construction projects. You can use it both indoors and outdoors, and the wood is going to look gorgeous when you’re done.

This is a type of softwood that is fairly lightweight, but it’s still incredibly strong. It’ll make a good building material when you want to place a pergola on your property.

There are other options that can work out just as well, but many wind up falling in love with Douglas fir. Simply compare all of the choices and go with the option that makes the most sense for you.

Can You Use Fence Posts?

Some people have used fence posts for pergolas. It’s not too unusual for people to use fence posts as the support beams for pergolas.

However, you should note that this won’t be good for all pergola designs. It really depends on the size of the pergola that you’re going for.

The fence posts must be sturdy enough to support the lumber that you’re using to build the pergola. Otherwise, it’d be better to buy larger beams and use those.

If you have leftover fence posts, you might be able to re-purpose them and use them when building a pergola. It’s more common for this to be done when people are making small pergolas.

Can You Use Pine?

As mentioned earlier, it’s very common for people to use pressure treated pine to build pergolas. So pine is a recommended building material that you should consider.

It’s a lightweight yet durable type of wood that will work out well. For many, this will be an ideal choice.

Some might prefer the look of untreated wood while others will like pressure treated options. Either way, you should know that pine is a great building material to use outdoors.

So long as you treat the wood at some point, it’ll be easy to utilize it outdoors. The look of pine will appeal to many people and you’ll love how the pergola turns out.

Can You Use Cedar?

Cedar is always a popular choice for building projects. Many people adore the look of cedar, and it’s easy to see why it’s so appealing.

This is a beautiful type of wood that will look great in your yard if you choose to go with it. However, cedar isn’t always the best choice when you live near the coast.

Living close to the ocean can have a negative impact on the wood, but you can mitigate these problems by treating the wood. When the wood is treated, pergolas made from cedar can last for decades.

Maintaining the pergola will be the name of the game when using cedar. Look after the pergola and do your best to protect it from the elements.

In normal conditions, this wood type will hold up nicely. It’s resistant to decay, but it’s still good to treat the wood to be on the safe side.

You might want to go with cedar simply because it smells really nice. The fragrance of cedar is often a motivating factor when people choose it for construction projects.

Do Things Legally

Remember to do things legally when building a pergola on your property. There might be local laws that you’ll need to follow.

Some places will require you to apply for a permit when building a pergola. You might be able to avoid needing a permit if the pergola is small, but it’s best to look up local laws to be sure.

Also, it should be noted that some areas have laws about where you can place a pergola. You might need to keep the pergola a certain distance from your fences or recognized property lines.

There could be concerns with homeowner’s associations, too. Sometime homeowner’s associations will need to give you approval before you can move forward with building a pergola.

Look into these matters and then proceed when you know that all is well. You always want to do things properly to avoid getting into trouble.

Final Thoughts

Knowing more about pergolas and the types of wood that people use will help you. You have many great options to consider.

Most people like to use pressure treated wood, but you can use untreated wood if you’d like to. Pine, Douglas fir, and cedar are all popular choices for building pergolas.

Which wood will be the best will depend on your sensibilities. Take the time to look into all of your options and then decide on your favorite.

Whether you’re building a pergola yourself, buying a kit, or hiring someone to build one for you, it pays to consider the building material. You want things to be perfect, and it shouldn’t be hard to find the right option that will suit your property.

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