What Is the Best Lumber for Pergolas? Pick THIS Wood for an Outdoor Build... (2024)

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Home Blog Material Choices Best Lumber for Pergolas & Other Outdoor Structures

What Is the Best Lumber for Pergolas? Pick THIS Wood for an Outdoor Build... (26)

There is undeniable classic beauty that comes from a pergola or pavilion built from gorgeous hardwood. However, unlike vinyl backyard structures, there is a wide range of wood species to choose from when shopping around for your piece. We generally say that Western Red Cedar is the best lumber for pergolas as well as our other structures!

At The Backyard Showcase, we craft a wide range of luxury structures from wood and vinyl that homeowners all across the country love. Since we want to offer our customers the very best, we explored countless different wood species options looking for the standouts. Western Red Cedar is our choice as the best lumber for pergolas because it looks gorgeous, ages well, and has a handful of practical advantages. However, we also offer other great lumber options that have their own unique looks and benefits — as well as come in at lower price points.

What Makes Cedar the Best Wood for an Outdoor Pergola?

What Is the Best Lumber for Pergolas? Pick THIS Wood for an Outdoor Build... (27)

Immediately recognizable by the distinct red hue, Western Red Cedar is our number once pick as the best wood for an outdoor pergola, pavilion, or any other outdoor structure. Simply put: the beautiful look paired with the practical advantages make it a must-have for any project. Here are the key reasons why we recommend this species of American hardwood:

  1. Spectacular Natural Color — The naturally reddish hue is the defining trait that makes Cedar such an in-demand wood species. When augmented with a clear stain and routine maintenance, this beautiful color will be protected and can be an aesthetic asset to almost any space. The gorgeous aesthetic is one of the reasons that it’s such a popular choice for our modern pergolas!
  2. Ages Beautifully — While the rich reddish color of Cedar looks exceptional when it’s new, it also looks gorgeous as it ages. Over time in the elements, the Cedar will develop an attractive silverish patina. This is one of the traits that makes Cedar the best wood for an outdoor pergola — especially when you consider that some wood types look rough and unsightly as they age. Even if your pergola does patina, it won’t have any negative effect on the lifespan.

    Learn more about deciding between wood and vinyl pergolas right here!

  3. Cedar Smell — One other unique aspect of this wood species is the rich, uniquely Cedar smell. While people love the evocative Cedar scent, it repels the woodboring insects that can damage outdoor structures. This is one more built-in advantage that makes this the best lumber for pergolas.
  4. Long Lifespan (With Less Maintenance) — While the lifespan of vinyl outdoor structures can’t be beat, Western Red Cedar boasts impressive longevity, too. If you keep up with regular maintenance by keeping your Cedar pergola stained, you can enjoy a more than 30-year lifespan from it.

Budget-Friendly Outdoor Wood Types

What Is the Best Lumber for Pergolas? Pick THIS Wood for an Outdoor Build... (28)

While Western Red Cedar may be our first choice for the best wood for an outdoor pergola, there are several other strong contenders as well. We offer all of our structures in several other wood types that are more budget-friendly, too. These are two of the other pressure-treated wood pergolas we build:

  • Hemlock — A very strong outdoor wood species, Hemlock is a great choice for standing up to high winds and heavy snow loads. Since Hemlock doesn’t have as much distinct grain or color, it is a smart match for darker paints or stains.
  • Southern Yellow Pine — A very common wood species used in construction, Yellow Pine is a very hard and strong lumber. We use an appearance-grade Pine that comes sanded and is meant to have an attractive surface texture. Just like Hemlock, Southern Yellow Pine is more budget-friendly than the deluxe option of Cedar.

The Backyard Showcase: Using Only the Best Lumber for Pergolas

Any piece you bring home from The Backyard Showcase — whether it’s a pergola, pavilion, or gazebo — will be built to the highest standard of quality. That commitment to excellence begins with exceptional quality materials. Count on the best lumber for pergolas and other outdoor structures to ensure that your new backyard structures look spectacular from day one and continue to shine after decades in the elements.

The first step is to reach out to our team to discuss your project and discuss pricing. Give us a call or send us an inquiry to build your piece with The Backyard Showcase!

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