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Construction Lumber Choices

When selecting the right construction lumber for a build, it’s essential to consider a variety of factors, including aesthetics, durability, maintenance, and cost. Different wood species offer various advantages and drawbacks, making the choice a crucial one in achieving your desired outcome.



Primarily Used For: Decks, Pergolas, Fences, Screens

One of the most popular choices for pergolas is cedar. Cedar wood is naturally resistant to decay, insects, and rot, making it an excellent option for outdoor structures. Its beautiful reddish-brown color and natural grain patterns add an appealing aesthetic to any garden or patio. Cedar is also relatively lightweight, making it easier to work with during construction. However, it tends to be more expensive than some other wood species, and over time, it may require periodic staining or sealing to maintain its appearance and longevity.


Primarily Used For: Decks, Pergolas

Redwood is another top choice for pergola construction. Like cedar, redwood boasts natural resistance to insects and decay, making it an ideal choice for outdoor use. It also has an attractive reddish hue and elegant grain patterns, giving your pergola a timeless, rustic appearance. However, similar to cedar, redwood can be on the pricier side, and it may need periodic maintenance to preserve its beauty and structural integrity.



Primarily Used For: Decks

Ipe, also known as Brazilian Walnut, is renowned for its exceptional durability and resistance to decay, insects, and moisture. Its dark, rich color matures beautifully over time, requiring minimal maintenance.

Benefits of building with ipe:
• Long life expectancy of over 50 years
• Resistant to pests and mold
• Requires little maintenance
• Easily withstands wear-and-tear


Primarily Used For: Decks

Mahogany, with its deep reddish-brown hue and fine grain, exudes a luxurious appearance. It is naturally resistant to rot and insects, though it might need occasional staining or sealing to maintain its luster.



Alternatively, pressure-treated pine is a cost-effective option for those on a budget. Treated pine is infused with preservatives to enhance its durability and resistance to insects and rot. While it may not have the natural beauty of cedar or redwood, it can be stained or painted to achieve a desired look. However, it’s essential to note that treated pine can be prone to warping, cracking, and splintering over time, and regular maintenance is necessary to prevent these issues.


The choice of wood species for your pergola build depends on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and willingness to invest in long-term maintenance. Cedar and redwood offer exceptional durability and beauty but come at a higher cost, while pressure-treated pine provides a more budget-friendly option but may require more upkeep. Ultimately, the best wood species for your pergola project will be the one that aligns with your specific needs and priorities.