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Wood, Hardware & Design Options For Arbors & Pergolas

Materials ~ Your arbor, pergola or pavilion can be built of Redwood, Mangaris™ (Red Balau) or other woods. More expensive woods can be used for joint accents, decorative pegs and trim. The substructure framing should be built of pressure treated wood for durability. See below for details.

Finishes ~ Heat and light contribute to weathering, so a UV protection finish is very important. If it will eventually be covered with hard to remove plants, applying a thorough coating is critical. Stains (clear, tinted, or solid) and paint are popular finish choices.

Custom Touches ~ Post feet can be boxed with decorative trim. Decorative beam end cuts can echo those used on the house. Post caps and finials can match those used on fences, gates and other structures. Access panels for utilities can be inset or trimmed with molding. Beams and rafters can be notched and stacked in tiers for additional strength and visual interest.

Built-ins ~ Consider how built-in features can enhance your usage. Benches (with built in storage) can be added and fireplaces can add romance and warmth to increase usage during the evenings and winter months.

Metalwork ~ Blackened, wrought iron or copper post braces, lanterns and accents can add style, strength and functionality.

Lighting ~ The placement and type of lighting can evoke both a style and a mood. Lanterns hung from ceiling beams, side mounted sconces, track or spot lighting or a central chandelier all create an immediate sense of style. Low mood lighting can softly illuminate pathways and steps as well as create a romantic atmosphere.

Selecting The Right Wood For Your Arbor or Pergola

To make sure you are delighted with your custom Raleigh NC arbor, pergola, patio cover or trellis -- you want to choose the right building material. In North Carolina, the popular wood (and composite) choices allow you to make tradeoffs in terms of cost, quality, color, visual appearance, ease of maintenance and the ability to resist the elements (water, sun and pests).

You need to select materials for ... the framing (posts and cross pieces) used to support the weight of the your arbor the wood used for roofing, trim and accents.

Wood For Framing & Substructures... The first type of wood to choose is for your framing -- the structure that holds your arbor upright and to which you attach the beams, lattice and roofing.

Pressure Treated Wood ~ For hidden framing, I only use pressure treated lumber . This wood is treated with a variety of chemicals to make it resistant to termites and rot. In the last few years, a major change has been made to the preservatives used -- they are safer for the environment but less effective.

Redwood ~ For visible framing, such as arbor posts and cross beams you can upgrade to redwood for a better appearance.



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