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  • September

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    2020
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How To Choose The Right Timber For Your Pergola 

How To Choose The Right Timber For Your Pergola 

Your dream pergola

They don’t teach you this one in school. If you’ve got a vision for how your timber pergola will look, it’s likely you’ve already narrowed down your options. Yes, aesthetics are important, but choosing the right timber for your pergola requires considering a few other factors. We’ve listed them for you to consider.

Hardwood or Softwood?

The difference between the two technically derives from whether the trees conceal their seeds or not. Hardwoods are generally derived from deciduous trees, whose growth is much slower and denser in structure, compared to softwoods available from evergreens. Hardwood tends to be much harder, tougher and durable but also expensive. We’d advise to opt for these in order to create a pergola that’s exceptionally long wearing and far more resistant to the elements. They’ll also require far less maintenance in the long run, so it’s worth the investment.

New or Seasoned Timber?

New or unseasoned ‘green’ wood doesn’t mean they’ve skipped the salt. This wood will contain a great deal of the timber’s original moisture content which will leave the wood over time, causing it to shrink, warp and twist which will buckle your pergola. It’s imperative therefore that you choose seasoned wood. Whilst this also adds to the woods cost, doing it right is important. Seasoning is typically done with sawn timber in a kiln. This will be done slowly to stabilise the timber, which will also naturally lose its moisture and become seasoned over time. That’s why you’ll often find older timber being a more preferred and pricey option.

H Level Treatments

H is for Hazard which in this case relates to the hazards that may affect the lifetime  and longevity of your wood. This can include the susceptibility of timber to fungal and termite infestation. When we’re talking about H-Level treatments, that means the chemical compounds that have been applied to the timber to preserve it. These treatments are assigned numbers such as H1, H2 H3 and so forth, with each level designed for a particular use. You’ll want to look in the realms of H3 to H5. H4 is the most common here, designed for outdoor wood that comes into contact with the ground and is protected against sever decay, borers and termites. 

Maintenance 

Timber is a commitment, you’ll need to provide regular maintenance to protect it from the elements and rot. When choosing timber for your pergola be sure to use a good-quality, heat resistant paint to prevent too much dry heat damage. You’ll want to repaint it at least once every five years and be sure to remember to wipe down your frame with bleach during damper months to prevent mould from growing. For those who don’t want to paint their timber, treated timber is the way to go.

Get in touch with the team to discuss your pergola build.

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