Differences Between Wood and Metal Frames and Trusses When Building a Pergola


When it comes to building a pergola in a yard, some pergola manufacturing contractors go for metal frames and trusses, while others opt for wooden frames and trusses. While both material choices have their pros and cons, depending on what the builder needs and the homeowner prefers, you can choose between wooden and metal frames and trusses. 

Let’s look at the difference between wooden and metal frames and trusses so you can make the right choice when building a pergola.


Differences Between Wooden and Metal Frames and Trusses


When compared to metal frames and trusses, wooden frames and trusses are less expensive, whereas metal makes an expensive alternative. Metal frames and trusses, especially the ones made with stainless steel, make a costly choice.


Fire Resistance

Wooden frames and trusses offer better fire-resistant compared to unprotected steel beams. Wood, particularly timber, is more fire-resistant compared to unprotected steel beams because wood doesn't catch fire until the temperature reaches over 250 degrees. Moreover, even after it catches fire, it develops a protective coating that continues to the entire structure.

On the other hand, metal may lose its strength at higher temperatures. Metal, particularly steel which is commonly used in the manufacturing of frames and trusses, weakens as the temperatures soar up to 230 degrees. Eventually, it loses its strength, which is why large wooden trusses are less likely to burn because the timber's interior remains cooler than that of the unprotected steel.



Another significant difference between wooden and metal frames and trusses is that of strength. Wood can warp and bow, which can damage or may even lead to the collapse of the structure, whereas metal frames and trusses are sturdier. Moreover, untreated wood can also rot or become infested with bugs if not maintained properly, whereas that's not a concern with metal frames and trusses.



While metal frames and trusses are more durable, they are more lightweight than wooden frames and trusses, allowing for larger shipments and reducing the time it takes to deliver the raw material to the project site.



Last on the list of differences between wooden and metal frames and trusses is the level of expertise required to build your pergola. If you are considering steel frames and trusses, you will be required to rely on the expertise of more skilled labor, whereas that's not always the case with wooden frames and trusses.


Final Words

Picking the right type of material for your pergola’s frames and trusses depend on the style you want for your outdoor structure. However, an experienced pergola construction and installation professional can help determine which building material is the right choice for your property.

Get in touch with Prestige Decks and Pergolas to learn more about pergolas and which material is best for you.