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What Material Should Your Pergola’s Structure Be Made Of?

Pergola Buyers Guide Series 1

This comprehensive pergola buyers guide is meant to help you explore all kinds of patio covers, making it easy for you to choose the one that’s right for you.

A patio cover should be a beautiful addition to your outdoor space. But it must also be sturdy, functional, and resistant to weather elements that would destroy weaker structures. We’re breaking down the pros and cons of using the pergola materials that most manufacturers utilize.

Pergola Buyers Guide

Pergola Buyers Guide

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Steel


Many pergola manufacturers utilize steel frames that provide the structure with durability and strength. Steel pergolas are easy to construct and require less maintenance than those made of wood since they don’t decay or rot.


Since steel doesn’t deteriorate the way wood does, it will also last longer. However, you’ll often have to pay a steeper price. Pergolas made of steel are not as popular as those made of aluminum or wood due to their avant-garde look that clashes with the beauty of natural gardens and backyards.


While steel frames don’t require much maintenance, you will need to keep an eye out for corrosion and rust. This isn’t a problem if the steel is galvanized, which means that it’s entirely coated with zinc. You can also use zinc-aluminum paint to cover the steel frame for corrosion resistance.


Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Wood


Wood is a prevalent choice among pergola manufacturers since this material adds a classic touch of natural beauty to backyards. It’s also a more cost-effective material than steel or aluminum.


However, wood deteriorates quickly due to rot. If you live in a humid climate, the water vapor will seep into the timber and soften it, thereby compromising the pergola’s structural integrity. Therefore, a pergola made of wood is often not the safest choice.


Timber pergolas require the most maintenance. You’ll need to use bleach to wipe the pergola’s frame regularly to prevent mould growth. A wood pergola will need to be repainted at least twice every decade to keep it in good condition.


Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Plastic Or Vinyl


Plastic and vinyl are newly popular as materials for pergola manufacture. They’re an excellent choice for modular, lightweight, movable pergolas that you can customize and easily transport.


Vinyl pergolas are also inexpensive, easy to install, virtually maintenance-free, and available in a range of colors. However, they’re not as strong as aluminum or steel, so they can sag if they undergo a heavy load, such as a thick layer of snow. You also can’t attach a vinyl or plastic pergola to your house.


Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Aluminum


While aluminum pergolas do come with a higher price tag than other materials, they also have the best characteristics for the outdoors. Aluminum is a lightweight, corrosion-free metal that’s perfect for any climate—no matter whether it’s humid or arid where you live.


High-quality aluminum pergola manufacturers powder-coat their frames to ensure they last as long as possible. The durability of an aluminum pergola is second to none. It’s the ideal material for any outdoor overhead structure.


What Material Should Your Pergola’s Roof Be Made Of?


Traditional pergolas had trellised roofs made of wood that allowed most sunlight in. Contemporary pergola roofs are made of various materials, including fabrics, fiberglass, aluminum louvers, and glass. This Pergola Buyers Guide Series are the pros and cons of the most commonly-used pergola roof materials.


Fabrics pergola roof


Modern pergola fabrics are made of acrylic and designed to be:







However, pergola roof fabrics also have their share of disadvantages:


Difficult to clean since dirt adheres to the fabric

Water-resistant but not water-tight, which means leaks may occur when it rains heavily

Fade or fray over time, so they need regular replacements.


Fibreglass pergola roof


Fibreglass offers users advantages such as:


Little to no maintenance

Strength, so it can withstand heavy rain

Easy installation

No corrosion or rotting


The cons of using fibreglass are as follows:


High expense

Fewer manufacturers offer fibreglass roofs

Expensive replacement


Trellis and plants pergola roof 


Pergola manufacturers incorporate trellised roofs into their designs since they:


Trellises have been a popular pergola roof choice since they were created.

Offer a classic, natural beauty

Are ideal for people who want to have climbing plants or creepers to accentuate their outdoor living space

Provide you with a wide-open seating space


However, trellised roofs:


Don’t offer you protection against the sun

Aren’t wind-resistant

Provide no protection against the rain


Insulated Panels roof


Insulated panels are newly popular as pergola roofing materials due to their:


Protection against the sun and rain

Airtight seals that guide water away from the pergola area

Adaptable design.

Can support solar panels


The disadvantage of using insulated panels:


You can’t control the amount of sunlight you receive when you’re under the pergola.


Open/Close Aluminum louvered roof system

Aluminum louvers are expensive, but offer you:


Wind protection

Durability, thereby ensuring that your roof lasts long

Rain protection

Sun protection

Complete control of the slats

The convenience of no maintenance


Polycarbonate roof


High-quality polycarbonate roofs are:



Easy to install



Polycarbonate roofs aren’t resistant to dents or scratches, so they deteriorate over the years after withstanding heavy rain, hail, or snow.

Should you require any further assistance after reading this Pergola Buyers Guide Series,  please feel free to get in touch with the Fresh Outdoor team today on 18008 37374. Our team of experts can surely provide advice and help you find the perfect solution for your outdoor project.