What Type of Pergola Should You Choose?

A pergola is an excellent addition to any backyard. Defined as “an outdoor garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area,” a pergola is a great way to add visual interest and functionality to your backyard. 

But once you’ve decided to add a pergola to your yard, that’s still only the beginning. One of the other big decisions you’ll have to make, along with design and placement, is what material to use.

There are three main materials used for pergolas: wood, vinyl, and aluminum. Which is right for you? Let’s go over the features of each.


Wood pergolas have been around for a long time, so they have a very “classic” look to them. They can add a rustic or natural element to a backyard, which gives a very relaxed, casual vibe. That said, wood pergolas are also versatile, as they can be shaped and painted as you see fit. 

Wood is also a fairly inexpensive material for a pergola, especially if you choose pressure-treated wood over cedar or redwood. Although, that can vary widely based on the size and style of your pergola. 

One downside to wood is that, as a natural material, it is going to experience wear and tear. Wood may fade, splinter, or otherwise fall victim to the elements. It needs regular maintenance in order to look and function at its best.


Vinyl pergolas are less popular than wood or aluminum pergolas, but they are still a viable option. Vinyl is very durable, and a little more sleek-looking than wood. It also requires less maintenance, and is typically still on the affordable side.

Still, vinyl is more restrictive in terms of design, as color options are limited. Additionally, some people think that vinyl looks cheaper than aluminum. 


Possibly the most popular option for pergolas these days, aluminum allows for versatility and creativity in your pergola design. Aluminum pergolas are very sturdy, stable, and durable, requiring little to no maintenance over the years. Aluminum comes in various colors and finishes, including wood-look finishes. Because of this, aluminum pergolas can fit in with many designs and aesthetics, from rustic to modern and everything in between. Along with that, various accessories can be used with aluminum pergolas, from built-in heaters to rotating roof blades.

The biggest downside to using aluminum for your pergola is the cost, which is going to be noticeably higher than the other options. Still, the quality and versatility might be worth the extra expense.

The type of pergola you choose will depend on your personal taste and the style you are going for in your backyard. But now that you know the pros and cons of each, you should be able to make an educated decision. No matter what, you will love the style and functionality a pergola adds to your yard. Contact Rustic Creek Landscaping today to speak with one of our experienced landscape designers about adding a custom pergola to your outdoor space!

Prev Ways to Spruce Up Your Back Patio
Next How to Protect Your Plants During Storms and Cold Fronts