Is An Attached Wooden Pergola An Inexpensive Project? 

The team here at Golden Eagle Builders has been busy at work installing beautiful pergolas and patio covers for homeowners in Reno and Sparks. Happy customers pass along our name to their friends and families, and we’re contacted by potential clients interested in their own pergolas. Recently, we’ve been asked something specific: Is an attached wooden pergola an inexpensive project? Here’s what to understand about pricing for this type of project.

Attached Wooden Pergola Costs

While it’s true that Douglas Fir is a relatively inexpensive material to purchase and it’s easy to work with, many people are surprised by the cost of an attached pergola with this material. It’s not the materials costs. It’s because attaching the structure to the home requires permitting here in Washoe County, and those permits require engineered drawings.These drawings add a few thousand dollars to the cost of this project before any work even begins, making an attached wooden pergola comparably priced to an attached aluminum pergola.
If you’re thinking that aluminum pergola materials can’t be priced the same as Douglas fir, you’re right. But again, the key is in the permitting requirements. No matter what material you’re using, permitting is required if the structure is going to be attached to your home or if a freestanding structure is larger than 200 square feet. But with certain aluminum pergolas, contractors can manage site-specific engineering themselves. That means they don’t have to hire an engineer for the drawings, which saves that expense.
With costs between wood and aluminum being fairly close, the question is which material is better for an attached pergola here in Reno and Spark.

Wood Vs Aluminum For Pergolas

We’ve covered this topic before, so let’s hit the highlights. Wood is a traditional choice, but maintenance will be an ongoing factor. Be prepared to sand and repaint or stain a wooden pergola every single year. Eventually, peeling, rotting and warping may become a concern, even if you’re diligently maintaining it annually. With our high desert sun and freeze-thaw cycles, a wooden pergola won’t have the same lifespan as an aluminum pergola.
While aluminum pergolas may not sound as appealing, they’ve come a very long way. Today’s modern aluminum pergolas are incredibly strong and light, which means zero issues relating to warping, cracking or rotting, and minimal maintenance. They also come in an array of stylish and subtle colors to complement the architecture and color palette of different homes. One drawback? Some homeowners find they’re a little noisy when it rains.

The Bottom Line

If your pergola is going to be attached to your home or is larger than 200 square feet, choosing between the two materials largely comes down to personal preference. If you’ve been considering a wooden pergola for your home, we’d love to discuss the options with you. Contact the team here at Golden Eagle Builders today to learn more.