Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, construction projects in North America continued without pause, although the movement has been slower. However, building activity is seemingly hitting a massive roadblock recently with the shocking news of rising lumber prices.
According to Global News, a piece of 2×4 stud that was at $3.50 two years ago is now at $9.80, while an OSB plywood priced at $12 per sheet before is now $56. The Industrial Product Price Index (Statistics Canada) also reveals a 118.9% year-over-year rise in softwood lumber.
Needless to say, if you were thinking of finally building that wood pergola in your home because now you have the time, well, you might no longer have enough funds to get it done. That’s not just for your outdoor project. Any construction or renovation job that involves wood could slowly find itself shifting towards equally sturdy but cheaper materials. Eyes are now believed to be on aluminum.
Wood vs Aluminum Pergolas
In the past, the main reason why contractors preferred wood over aluminum to build pergolas is the cost of materials. In general, wood is cheaper to buy, though it is more labour-intensive. Aluminum, conversely, costs a little higher but requires fewer labour resources to complete and maintain. Over time, the advantage of using aluminum for pergolas and other types of outdoor structures becomes more evident.
Why Aluminum Pergolas Offer a Better Deal Than Wood
Now that wood materials more or less cost the same as aluminum, much good is to be said about using aluminum to create pergolas, canopies, trellises, and other similar structures.
Wood structures age, so they require frequent checks and maintenance procedures to prevent warping and decay as the years pass. This issue does not exist with aluminum pergolas, which are smooth and nonporous. Once they are installed, you can hold off on regularly checking up on their condition unless a deliberate force is applied to damage them.
Aluminum is not subject to weathering. Unlike lumber, it does not require seasonal maintenance and annual staining. It is already waterproof and has a weather-resistant finish. Our aluminum products powder coated and not just regular paint, we never saw rust on aluminum. In addition, you won’t ever have a need to sand or repaint this material unless an external solid force damages it. Generally, once aluminum is set up, you can forget about maintaining it for a long time.
Compared to wood, aluminum is a lighter material, making it more suitable to build pergolas, decks, and the like. Our products have very high wind resistance
There are plenty of design options for both wood and aluminum pergolas, so there’s really not much competition in this area. Most aluminum structures can be built out as a unit before installation, making them easy to set up. Wood also provides versatility as lumber can be cut and shaped to any design you wish.
If you’re thinking about the better material for your pergola or roofing structure, aluminum offers better flexibility as it can be made retractable and adjustable. Wood has a static nature, so you can’t really keep adjusting it as you please. On the other hand, aluminum can be fabricated to shorten or extend according to your needs. If you need to sunbathe, you can adjust the louvers and enjoy full sun exposure, and then when you need partial to full shade, you can certainly adjust to your heart’s content.
Aluminum pergolas are also sleeker-looking, which is an advantage if a modern or industrial look is what you’re going for. However, if you want to have more drama and art to your structure’s aesthetic, then a wood pergola will be the better choice.
All Eyes on Aluminum
As wood prices continue to increase (with no signs of pausing anytime soon), aluminum emerges as the better, more practical choice for building pergolas, canopies, and other outdoor structures. While there certainly still are trade-offs, like when you’re in a location with unpredictable weather conditions, there are more advantages to using this material for the long term.