We determined that a full pergola wasn’t in our budget, and I’ve since revised my design so that it’s more of a “half pergola,” with three posts/columns and two supporting beams. I think I like this better, anyway – I was worried that a full pergola might block out too much light from our indoor dining room and kitchen.
Intex Millwork (http://www.intexmillwork.com) makes reinforced cellular PVC (Azek is one brand) pergola parts. Their listed prices scared me off at first, but I’ve since learned that the prices you’ll end up paying are much less than what’s listed. I like the Intex option since the pergola can still be painted, is virtually maintenance free, and will match the Azek trim throughout the exterior of our home.
Here’s my updated pergola using Intex’s column wraps and structural pergola beams with decorative tails:
I hadn’t considered using column wraps for the pergola before, but I like how they’ll match the pilasters from our front entry:
We’ve decided to go with Azek decking in “Cobre” – it’s a nice warm color and is fairly close to the color of our front door and interior oak floors.