Need advice on pergola project
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!