Need advice on pergola project

newhomeownerinwaMay 3, 2010

I am building a pergola/patio in our backyard, or more accurately, I'm hiring someone to do it, and I need some advice on a couple areas. Feel free to chime in on one or both.

*Type of wood. We are in Western Washington and get a lot of rain, so it needs to be durable. I'm planning to prime and paint or stain. The builder suggested cedar, which is 3x as expensive as fir. Is cedar worth the extra cost?

*Covering. I'd like to provide shade but also have it function as shelter for the days when it's a bit rainy up here. I also don't want to completely block out the sun that we do get. I've heard good things about polycarbonate, but I have no idea how I'd get that in large quantities. Any suggestions? Has anyone polycarbonate? Pros/cons? Any alternatives for transparent covering on top of the pergola/patio?

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Doug Fir is some good stuff. They sell a very east to install two part channel system along with the lexann sheet. I have used them several times with good results.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 9:24PM
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This is the one I am building from Cedar. I stained it. Personally I love the look at feel of rough cut cedar. I used to be in the Seattle area so I'm familiar with the weather. I think that if you made a stripping top like mine you angle the joists and cover the stripping with a sheeting to have the water flow. But I would probably make a blind system that could be pulled from one header to another to keep the water off when necessary. If it is a solid top, you'll be fighting the debris on the top of it all the time.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 4:40PM
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