Over the last 15 years I have designed and built hundreds of Cedar Pergolas and Shade Arbors. For starters let me inform you of the education that I recieved from an 81 yo client.  She said, “Sonny.. you are very sweet and you built me a beautiful project but I gotta tell you.. This structure that you built me is a PERGOLA not a SHADE ARBOR!”  I was astonished!  She said, “An ARBOR is something that you build over a gate or a swing.. A PERGOLA is what you built me.”

See if you can Pick out the “Shade Arbor”. 

Back to the topic.. Cedar Shade Arbors and Pergolas have made quite an impact on Austin Outdoor Living.  To build a Cedar structure you are typically looking at spending anywhere from $13-$25 per square foot depending on the specifics of the work.  Does it have large beams or small beams?  is it free standing or attached to the house?  To name a few.  Now with a Cedar Arbor or Pergola you do need to consider the maintenance that will be involved.  A typical shade structure like the ones pictured above will usually cost you about $3-$5 per square foot to have a proffessional company stain it for you.  A professional Pergola/Arbor treatment should last about 1 1/2 to 2 years.  As you can see.. The cost could continue to grow as long as you want to keep it looking nice.  I am not saying that this a bad thing.  I am just stating the facts of the cost of a Cedar or Redwood Shade Structure.  There is always the option of SOLID STAIN which will cost more but will last longer (I will be writing on the difference between Solid Stain and transparent stain at another time).   Using Cedar or Redwood for you Shade Arbor or Pergola is a great option but not the only one. 

TO BE CONTINUED>>>>>>>>>>>>>>  Here is a video I found on Aluminum structures.