Wood vs. Vinyl Pergolas: How to Choose Which One is Right for You

Every homeowner deserves to have an outdoor space where they can relax and enjoy themselves, and adding a pergola is the perfect way to do this. Whether you want to make your backyard into a shady sit-down space, or you’re looking to create a private patio area, a pergola has the potential to turn your outdoor space into a beautiful oasis.

Still, if you choose to add a pergola to your backyard, how do you know which one is right for you? Wood vs. vinyl pergolas is a hot topic, but with the right information, you can determine which one is best for you.

In this blog, we’ll cover the differences of wood vs. vinyl pergolas to help you know which one is the perfect fit for your outdoor space.

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Wooden Pergola Details

Using wood as a material for pergolas is immensely popular due to its versatility and visual appeal. The natural and authentic appearance of the wood itself paired with the lower cost makes it a worthy contender when it comes to choosing pergolas.

There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to using wood as your pergola material. It’s important to take into account a variety of factors to make sure a wooden pergola is the best fit for you.

Pros of Wooden Pergolas

There are many reasons people choose wooden pergolas over vinyl pergolas. One of the greatest advantages is their versatility. Wood can be stained or painted, and can be made into almost any style you desire.

Its versatility also means it has the potential to match multiple types of decor, whether you are seeking something more rustic or you prefer a modern wood pergola. Depending on the wood species, it is typically tough on insects and rotting, as long as it’s maintained properly. Wood also tends to be the cheaper option when choosing materials for your pergola. Finally, people are attracted to wood because of its natural look.

Cons of Wooden Pergolas

While there are countless pros to wooden pergolas, it’s also important to be aware of the cons. As a pergola material, wood requires the most maintenance in order to keep its appearance appealing.

Failing to keep up with maintenance will shorten the lifespan of your wooden pergola. The maintenance may include repainting or restaining periodically. Even though it is usually the cheaper option, wood prices vary greatly depending on which wood species you desire. In addition, the availability of wood species also varies.

Choosing the Best Wood for Your Pergola

Another thing to consider when looking at wood vs. vinyl pergolas is which type of wood is the right fit for you.

When choosing the best wood for your pergola, you must consider where you are located, your budget, and the overall appearance of your pergola. Depending on these factors, you can narrow down your wood options.

Pressure Treated Wood Pergola

Pressure treated wood is the most popular choice when the budget is a big factor. Not only is it easy to work with, but it’s also available at almost every home improvement store or lumber yard. The process pressure treated wood undergoes makes it more resistant to rotting, decay, and insects. This makes it a durable choice for outdoor wooden pergolas. However, pressure-treated wood doesn’t have the same natural look as other wood species.

Cedar Wood Pergola

Cedar wood is one of the most commonly used woods for pergolas. It’s popular for its naturally-appealing appearance as well as its durability. Not only is it a stunning wood species, but it is naturally rot- and insect-resistant. Depending on where you are located, it may be more of an expensive choice and have limited availability. Yet, a cedar wood pergola will give your outdoor space a natural and rustic look.

Tropical Hardwood Pergola

Tropical hardwood has become increasingly popular for solid wood pergolas. Being widely known for outdoor projects, this wood species is not only admired for its natural beauty, but also for its density and resilience to the elements. Unfortunately, tropical hardwood tends to be the most expensive and the most difficult to get.

Composite Wood Pergola

Composite wood is a popular pergola wood material for many reasons. It is the most eco-friendly choice and requires the least amount of maintenance. While it is weather-resistant, one of the cons of composite wood is its artificial and manufactured look.

Vinyl Pergola Details

10’ x 14’ Traditional Wood Pergola With Canyon Brown Stain

While it hasn’t always been the most traditional choice, using vinyl as a pergola material has become increasingly popular over the years. The flexibility in choosing different colors while also requiring little maintenance has made vinyl pergolas the first choice for many people.

Similar to wooden pergolas, there are advantages and disadvantages to choosing a vinyl pergola for your outdoor space. Make sure you take into consideration all the factors before you make your decision. 

Pros of Vinyl Pergolas

The main reason people are attracted to vinyl pergolas is the little maintenance they require. Unlike wood, vinyl never needs to be repainted or restained and will withstand the turmoils of natural elements far longer than wood is able to withstand. 

Vinyl is also mold-, insect-, and rot-resistant. When it comes to choosing your vinyl pergola, you are given countless options for colors, making it easy to match your backyard theme or style. 

Cons of Vinyl Pergolas

Unfortunately, vinyl pergolas also have their cons. While you are given many options pertaining to color, you can never repaint vinyl. This means whichever color you choose, you must keep unless you get an entirely different vinyl pergola

The other reason people are against vinyl is that it may lack a natural look depending on what colors you choose. It doesn’t have the same traditional and authentic look that wood provides. Finally, vinyl tends to be the most expensive option. 

Choosing the Best Vinyl Pergola Color

When debating between wood vs. vinyl pergolas, you will want to pay attention to your backyard theme. One of the great advantages to choosing a vinyl pergola is the color options you can choose from. Depending on the theme of your backyard, you have the ability to decide which color scheme you want to incorporate with your pergola. 

The placement of your pergola should also play a part in choosing the best vinyl pergola color. Its surroundings and the type of style you are trying to master will influence your choice.


You can still have a vinyl pergola and keep the natural look in your backyard. Using a woodgrain or natural color will give you a pergola that blends in with the elements in your backyard. 

Soft Hues

Keep it simple with soft hues. Shades like ivory and pale colors will give your outdoor space a clean and calm look. Appealing to the eyes, and easy to match, incorporating soft hues is a perfect way to add to your outdoor scene. 

Make it Stand Out

If you want your pergola to stand out, make it the focal point of your outdoor space by choosing a vibrant color. This could mean choosing a nontraditional color or simply choosing a white vinyl pergola. The stark white will add a contrast to the natural elements. 


Choosing one color can be hard, so why not choose two? You can pick two complementary colors to create a two-tone pergola. This is a unique way to incorporate more colors into your outdoor space without overwhelming the eyes. 

Pergola Designs: 3 Ways to Incorporate a Pergola Into Your Outdoor Space

When looking at wood vs. vinyl pergolas, you want to think about how you are going to incorporate your pergola into your outdoor space. There is no doubt adding a pergola will elevate your backyard, but you want to make sure you place it in the right area for practical reasons, as well as visual appeal.

Poolside Paradise

If you have a pool or hot tub in your backyard, a pergola may be the final touch to creating your personal paradise. No matter what pergola material you choose, having a structure to provide some shade and shelter will no doubt add to the perfect poolside aesthetic. 

Outdoor Dining

Outdoor dining is not only a nice change to your regular routine, but it’s a refreshing way to enjoy a meal with family or friends. Make your outdoor dining dreams come true by adding a pergola. You can keep a table and chairs underneath, and even add an outside kitchen to make cooking easier. 

Shady Hangout

Having a shady hangout outside makes your backyard even more appealing. Whether you have a patio or not, adding a pergola will allow you to create the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. Placing patio or lawn furniture underneath will make being outside irresistible.

Create A Backyard Worthy Of Your Home

Check out Penn Dutch Structures’ selection of wood and vinyl pergolas to find the perfect one for you.

10’x14′ Traditional White Vinyl Amish Pergola With Superior Posts and White, Brown EZ Shade System
Traditional White Pergola