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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Are All Pergola Materials Equal?

Pergolas are all the rage these days, and it’s easy to see why. They add that ‘wow’ factor to a home’s outdoor space and make it possible to extend the comforts of our favorite indoor living spaces to the outside. Some experts even estimate pergolas can boost the value of a property—especially if you live in a warm and sunny climate where outdoor living is a year-round activity.

Whether the desire is to create the ultimate backyard destination or to boost the value of a property, homeowners who invest in a pergola will need to ensure the outdoor structure is built to last. After all, a pergola in any type of climate is going to be subject to the elements. So, what is the longest-lasting pergola?

Metal pergolas, particularly those made from steel, are turning heads. Their popularity is on the rise due to their proven performance and sought-after aesthetic. Checking multiple boxes, steel pergolas require minimal upkeep and are incredibly durable, which is a major part of their appeal. How do other pergola materials like wood stack up? Keep reading to find out.

Nighttime view of a rooftop terrace featuring a modern steel pergola with integrated lighting.Close-up of a steel pergola showcasing its structure and powder-coated finish.

Steel’s superior weatherability makes lasting pergolas

Although loved by many for their rustic charm, traditional wood pergolas are not without their drawbacks. Outdoor elements can be harsh, and a wooden pergola can quickly deteriorate if homeowners do not spend enough time and money on regular maintenance. Wood is also vulnerable to insect damage, which can quietly turn an outdoor structure into a safety hazard.

In contrast, metal pergolas, especially when made from a durable material like steel, will not rot or deteriorate after long-term exposure to moisture. Even when faced with extreme weather conditions, steel pergolas will not split or wrap. Metal pergolas are also noncombustible in nature, which means they can help reduce the vulnerability of a home and any surrounding structures, as they do not pose an ignition risk.  

Metal pergolas are low maintenance

For some, the idea of maintaining a pergola may sound like getting stuck in a never-ending DIY project. After all, wood pergolas demand regular sanding, staining and sealing to stay in top shape.

But a steel pergola's enhanced durability directly translates to its low maintenance appeal. Light cleaning with a soft brush or cloth and soapy water will help remove the buildup of dirt and pollen (read more about breezy steel pergola maintenance here). Leading steel pergola manufacturers also use a powder-coated finish for enhanced corrosion resistance and UV protection. This means homeowners can spend more time enjoying their open-air “room” rather than maintaining it.

Steel pergola joint, highlighting the sturdy construction and weather-resistant materials.Backyard patio under a steel pergola next to a white brick outdoor fireplace.

Comprehensive steel pergola systems are easy to install

Some homeowners may feel hesitant to invest in a steel pergola because they worry about the complex installation process or the hassle of hiring a contractor to get the job done.

DIY-friendly Pergola Kits from Fortress Building Products can help ease these concerns. The ready-to-assemble kits are offered in three standard sizes—including 8’ x 12’, 10’ x 14’ and 12’ x 12’—to accommodate different outdoor layouts. A homeowner can count on a straightforward installation process that doesn’t require any specialized tools.

For those craving a more customized look, Evolution Steel Pergolas from Fortress Building Products provide nearly endless design possibilities. The customizable steel pergola system can be tailored to accommodate a specific design vision or project specification.

What is the longest-lasting pergola? Steel all the way

Feeling inspired to elevate your backyard game this year with a metal pergola? Follow us on Instagram at @fortressbldgproducts for outdoor living design ideas and start planning your pergola upgrade today.

Backyard view of a home featuring a steel pergola over a deck.Aerial view of a spacious rooftop deck with a steel pergola.


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