So you want to build a Pergola - try using Pressure Treated Wood
Many homeowner's are utilizing "pressure treated" wood for pergola's (patio cover/arbor) and are very satisfied with this product. Here in Southern California homeowners experience unwanted "termites" visiting their homes and they feast themselves on the wood (ie: eaves, fascia, window trim etc.) of any home they happen to select to gnaw on. Using pressure treated wood on pergolas or other areas of your home is a great defense against termite infestation.
Yes, pressure treated wood does have indentations (many lined tiny holes) on the surface of the wood beams or posts. But when you know this type of treated wood will last a lot longer than non-treated wood and is termite and insect repellent, then my guess is that you will not mind seeing those tiny indentations. Keep-in-mind that pressure-treated wood is unattractive to some but also keep-in-mind that it does have long lasting features.
It is becoming more-and-more common for homeowners to use pressure-treated wood in their construction of a pergolas. Pressure-treated wood is long lasting and to many-a-people the most affordable option. Any pressure treated wood is very rot repellent and insect repellant plus is able to withstand severe weather conditions better than non-treated wood. Know that it has chemicals added to give it those repellant properties – it is pressure treated/impregnated with copper-based pesticides. Pressure treated wood usually comes with a greenish tint/look.
As it dries, more than likely, it will turn to a golden brown then gray if it is not water sealed, primed or stained. You will need to wait a little while before staining or painting the lumber since it will be saturated with the pressure treatment when you purchased it.
It is not recommended to leave the pressure treated wood and/or beams with direct exposure to the sun to give it some drying time as this will cause the beams to twist and bow. If it will be more than a day or two before you start building the pergola, any woodworker/handyman will recommend stacking the lumber and keeping it under a tarp or in a garage until you are ready to start building.
Another type of popular wood used on pergolas is Western Red Cedar.
This wood is a beautiful light amber color. It has an appealing fragrance. Western Red Cedar is also highly resistant to decay which makes it great for outdoor use. It is lightweight with close and even grains. It is easily worked and can be sanded smooth with little effort. Western Red Cedar takes on paints and stains very well and can also be used in situations where exposure to the outdoor weather elements can be very severe.
Will a pergola increase the value of my home?
Of course it will and this depends on the overall quality of materials and workmanship. Pergolas are considered an extension of your home in regards to entertainment and outdoor relaxation/usage. But homeowner's must always know that when it comes time to selling your home, the return will most likely not be dollar-per-dollar of your money invested on the pergola.
Oscar Castillo : Broker Associate - Coldwell Banker