Wood Pergolas vs. Aluminum Pergolas

Homeowners are finding “Pergolas” to be a great new way to add beauty and shade to their homes. Naturally, the first thing they may think of is a wood pergola, it’s inexpensive to start, accessible from lumber yards, and a good DIY material.

Taking the pergola concept a step further, there’s a lot of planning that needs to be done. Will it be a treated wood pergola, a cedar pergola, or some exotic hardwood? Those options have a big impact on the cost of a wood pergola, along with the spacing of the rafters, beams, and lattice. Homeowners need to think about how much shade they want, how they will seal or paint the wood in the initial installation, and more importantly how they will paint all those intersecting pieces in a couple years when it needs to be repainted. Wood pergolas can be simple or complex, and there are as many designs as there are builders.

Another pergola option most people really don’t know much about is an aluminum pergola. The main advantages aluminum pergolas have over wood is that they are maintenance free. Extruded aluminum pergolas are made of heavy aluminum, coated with an electrostatic finish that carries a significant warranty from the manufacturer against ever needing paint. Aluminum never splinters, sags, or twists like wood. So long term, an aluminum pergola is no maintenance versus a wood pergola that requires constant monitoring.

Another factor in determining the layout, size, and design of any pergola is column placement. Wood post spacing would depend on the size of beams and rafters used and typically requires several posts for support. Aluminum pergola beams and rafters can span as much as 16’ between columns, allowing a much more open view and better use of the space under the pergola.

At W. A. Zimmer Company you’ll find aluminum pergolas in all types, shapes and sizes. You can pick from an operable model that opens and closes so you control the shade, to 70% shade, to a “solid pergola” to stop the rain, sun, and even keep the snow off your patio but still give the beauty and style of a pergola.

So in conclusion, what kind of pergola do you see is the best fit for you? If you’re interested in a low maintenance extruded aluminum pergola we can help, if not that’s okay. Everyone has a different preference, and at W.A. Zimmer Company we want to provide our customers with the best quality products and service to make sure that even 20+ years down the road you are still loving your pergola. After all, they are called “lifetime pergolas” for a reason.