Why Timber Beats Wrought Metal for Your Pergola

Posted on Oct 31 2017 - 10:25am by Susan

Whether you want to create a shaded walkway or a place for your climbing plants to thrive, a pergola will make an excellent addition to your outside space. Of course, there are plenty of factors you’ll need to consider, and one of the most important is whether to opt for metal or timber.

In truth, timber will almost always work out more expensive, but it’s still a very popular pergola material. Read on to find out why.

Pleasing Appearance

Firstly, and often most importantly, wooden pergolas are more attractive. Wood has a more natural look than any metal, so timber pergolas fit in with outdoor spaces more readily and effectively than metal structures. There are lots of different woods from which you can choose, from something light and golden like pine to something deeper and darker like teak. Once erected, you can stain the wood and then paint it any colour you fancy. Most metals retain their metallic finish – at best, you can find some treated to vaguely resemble wood, but the effect doesn’t age well.

Stays Cool

Even with the summer sun beating down all day, a wooden pergola isn’t going to get particularly hot. In fact, it will stay relatively cool to the touch under all conditions. In contrast, metal can get hot enough to burn. This is a problem if you happen to rest up against it at the wrong time, and such excessive heat can also damage any plants you run over the pergola. That’s not a problem you’ll need to worry about when you opt for timber.

Room for Customisation

There’s plenty of room for customisation when it comes to timber pergolas, even beyond the type of timber you choose and the colour you treat or paint it. Unlike metal, wood can be easily worked with intricate detailing, so you can order timber pergolas that take on a certain appearance. You’ll also find that more roof materials are available. Thatch, tiles, polycarbonate, and Colorbond is generally available – such versatility is lacking when you opt for metal.


Metal can be extremely strong, but metal pergolas tend to use quite thin support beams that can be easily bent or broken. This also makes metal pergolas a lot lighter, leaving them susceptible to the wind. Timber pergolas are a lot tougher and sturdier.