When it comes to choosing the type of wood for your pergola, one of the main questions is about whether to use heavy or light timber. Heavy and light are simply a reference to the size of material used. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. But in the end, it comes down to proportion and balance. Hopefully, this comparison will help you choose the one that’s right for your pergola.
Light Timber Pergolas
Light timber pergolas use conventional 2x lumber sizes you would see in normal residential framing such as 2×4, 2×6, 2×8, 2×10, and 2×12. Slats are typically 2×2, 1×3 or 1×4. Because the frame looks more delicate, light timber pergolas are more suitable for smaller areas.
Advantages of Light Timber
One of the main advantages to using light timber in your construction is the cost. Around 70% of the pergola cost is in the materials, so remember the more wood in the design, the more it will cost. Using light timber will save you money.
If you are working with a smaller area, say a small deck or patio, or a shallow backyard, the smaller posts and slats won’t overwhelm the space. Light timber creates an airy, free-flowing and more spacious vibe. Adding summery sheers and light colors to your decor will complement the relaxed and casual atmosphere. Think beach themes or garden parties with fun cocktails, lawn games, bonfires, twinkling string lights, or tiki torches.
Heavy Timber Pergolas
Heavy timber timber pergolas are made of larger more substantial material such as 4×8, 4×12, 6×12, and 2×4 slats. These pergolas have a sturdier presence and look better on larger homes and designs that might overwhelm a light timber structure.
Advantages of Heavy Timber
Heavy timber creates a more substantial and impressive structure. One advantage of heavy timber is that because it is bigger and sturdier, it will last longer. If you are trying to achieve a more formal or upscale atmosphere, heavy timber will definitely look more stately.
If you are building a larger pergola, heavy timber will also make more sense. It will allow for larger pieces of furniture, richer colors, and more of an indoor-moved-outdoor feel. Outdoor rugs, cozy blankets, larger planters, and permanent lighting will add to the richer ambiance. Think formal garden, fire table, privacy wall, romantic dancing, and wine or martinis.
Pick the Perfect Pergola
A picture is worth a thousand words. Our best advice is to look around and find photos online or in magazines of structures you like. It will all come down to your space, your budget, and your personal taste. The good news is we can produce different architectural styles regardless of whether we use heavy or light timber. Just let us know what you’re thinking and we can help you create the perfect pergola for your deck, your patio, or poolside.
We Design Custom Decks, Pergolas, Gazebos and More
We can build pergolas, decks, lanais, gazebos…just about any garden structure you can think of. These architectural additions not only bring beauty but they create more usable living space in your home.