Choosing the Right Material for Your Backyard Structure
October 31, 2019
Not all backyard structures are created equal.
Whether you are looking to add a gazebo, pavilion, or pergola to your outdoor living space, you should select one based on the quality of craftsmanship and materials. A structure that uses sub-par materials can lead to increased maintenance, poor durability, and a less dependable structure.
Find out what material choices are available for your pergola, pavilion, or gazebo, and why it is important to select premium-quality materials.
In This Article
What are pergolas made of? Most pergolas come in as a DIY kit that can be installed yourself or by a local contractor. Pergolas come in pressure-treated wood, cedar, vinyl, and other materials like metal or fiberglass.
The most common material for building pergolas is wood for its availability, durability, and affordability. The wood is hand-selected for appearance and to reduce knots and checks in the material. This means you can enjoy a stunning wood pergola that looks great in your backyard.
Pressure-Treated Yellow Pine serves as an excellent material for custom pergolas. It can be left natural or stained to get the right style you want.
Western Red Cedar Pergolas is a great choice for those wanting to add a rustic, rugged look to the backyard.
Vinyl pergolas are built using pressure-treated wood for the support structure and a PVC sleeve along the exterior. The vinyl exterior makes vinyl pergolas extremely durable and easy to maintain. As a kit, vinyl pergolas are easy to set up, as all the wood and vinyl sleeves are cut to length and predrilled.
Additional Pergola Materials
What are pavilions made of? Pavilions are a covered structure that make an excellent choice for outdoor kitchens, picnic groves, or a place to entertain. A pavilion’s structure can be built using pressure-treated wood, rustic cedar, vinyl, and other materials. For a pavilion’s roof, you can choose from asphalt shingles or metal roofing.
Most traditional pavilions are handcrafted using wood – either pressure-treated pine or western red cedar. Wood pavilion kits are affordable and easy to assemble.
Pressure-Treated Yellow Pine is a popular choice for wood pavilions. It is a durable material that can be left natural or stained in one of several colors.
Western Red Cedar is the choice material for those who want a rugged, natural look for their pavilion. Cedar is naturally durable and ages beautifully.
Vinyl pavilions are recommended for homeowners who don’t want to spend time restaining their outdoor structure every few years. Clad in maintenance-free vinyl, these pavilions feature heavy-duty treated pine support structures. These are the perfect poolside structures and outdoor kitchens.
Other Pavilion Materials
Metal Pavilions – If you go to a big box store or online retailer, you might see metal pavilions. These are often temporary canopies for use in your backyard or over your grill on your deck. Depending on your climate and the build quality, these can rust or not last as long as you’d expected.
Matching Materials – If you are adding a pavilion as an extension of your house or deck, you may want to choose materials that match your house. This can include brick, stone, or PVC that matches your siding. For these results, you will want to talk to a home remodeling contractor or deck builder.
Asphalt Shingles – The most common choice for homeowners, architectural asphalt shingles are easy to install and last as long as your pavilion. They also come in a variety of colors, so you can get close to matching the color of your home’s roof.
Metal Roofing – For a long-lasting roof with unique styling, you can choose a metal roof. Available in several colors and in ribbed or standing-seam styles, a metal roof can be the final custom option for your custom-designed pavilion.
What are gazebos made of? Gazebos are great backyard structures that provide ample space to entertain, relax, and dine. Some people even add screens or windows and make them into affordable 3-season rooms. Gazebos can come in wood, vinyl, or aluminum. With custom gazebos, you can also choose from several roofing and flooring options to match your preferred taste.
Wood gazebos are a classic American structure that feature prominently in backyards and parks across the nation. Gazebos are made using pressure-treated yellow pine, which can be painted or stained for the desired look. Wood gazebo kits are easy to assemble and are durably built to last for years to come. Our kits come in several shapes: octagon, oval, rectangle, and large, which is perfect for commercial applications.
Vinyl gazebos are for homeowners who want the elegance of a gazebo with little maintenance required. Vinyl gazebos are built using pressure-treated pine that’s wrapped by a protective PVC vinyl sleeve that is durable, easy to clean, and adds years to your gazebo’s lifespan. Vinyl gazebos are available as a kit and come in several shapes: octagon, oval, large, and rectangle, which is a great choice for a hot tub gazebo.
Aluminum gazebos are often found sold at most big box stores. They can be affordable, easy to ship, and come in a variety of styles. They are also known as BBQ or grill gazebos and are useful to provide rain cover over your deck or patio. Most homeowners find aluminum gazebos to only last a few years and not as permanent a solution as a custom vinyl or wood gazebo.
Like pavilions, custom-built gazebos allow you to choose the type of roofing materials to add. Our gazebos feature several design options and are available in standard asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, rubber slates, or metal roofing.
Asphalt shingles are the standard choice for most gazebos. You can choose shingle colors that match your home’s roof.
Rubber Slate is an affordable way to capture the elegance of slate shingles in an eco-friendly, easy-to-install product.
Cedar Shake shingles complete the elegant, timeless look of a gazebo. Over time, these wood shingles will age gracefully into a nice, gray color.
Metal Roofing provides a long-lasting roof to your gazebo. You can choose from ribbed or standing seam metal for your gazebo roof.
You can order your gazebo kit with or without a floor. You may opt out of a floor if you are installing on an existing patio or deck.
If you do choose a floor for your gazebo, you can choose from wood, composite, or PVC decking. Each has style and performance benefits, which means you can get a gazebo that’s right for your use.
Wood floors made with pressure-treated yellow pine are a good choice for wood gazebos. It can be stained to match the rest of your gazebo.
Composite or PVC decking are the same materials that deck builders use, leading to plenty of years of use without wearing down.