– A pergola is a temporary structure as opposed to a permanent structure. It doesn’t add value to the home and it begins to show signs of wear very soon after being built. Honestly, our company tears down more pergolas than we build.
– Painting wood instead of staining will result in this project being high-maintenance. This is why new homes are built with Hardieplank trim and siding instead of wood.
– The see-through plastic on top (Polygal or Lexan are commonly used products) is the primary issue … it will also be high-maintenance, especially with mature landscaping in the backyard. It will not be clear for very long because it will become very dirty in a short time period. The constant cleaning and difficulty of cleaning will cause other maintenance issues – it will leak, it will make it difficult to repaint the structure (which will need to be done frequently). It will need to be flashed against the house wall just like a roof … this will be unattractive and will need to be repaired when it is time to replace the pergola.
I closed my email to this prospective client with these thoughts…
“We like to build projects that are intended to last the life of the home. We feel responsible for everything that we build and we don’t want to be on the hook for something that is destined to have so many problems. If you want to seriously entertain the project I designed previously, I’d love to work with you. If you want to go the route of the painted pergola with a see-through top, we believe another builder is better suited for you.”
You learn a few things after building 1,200 projects. We truly are experts in outdoor living and we should share that knowledge and educate buyers whenever possible!