It’s the age old question, timber or steel.

 This is one that I am asked rather frequently and my answer is always the same. What look do you prefer? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that one is ‘better’ than the other, or lasts longer – it is absolutely a case of personal preference.

At Urban Alfresco we take great pride in building attractive solid timber structures (with the exception of steel posts on occasion where necessary). This is because first and foremost I am a carpenter and therefore, of course, I love timber. I love to be able to look at a structure and see on display for myself the tried and tested skill that is real building. I have always loved the geometry involved in carpentry. I want to be able to see that the rafters are locked into position by pushing against the ridge and perimeter beams, and pulling against the collar tie – not relying on a hidden bracket that takes the load.

Another statement I get – ‘You don’t have to paint steel.’ This is correct, but as long as you get a good couple of coats on your timber you will not need to repaint it until you change your mind on colour. Which by the way, you can’t do with steel, so be sure on your colour choice before installation. When you think about it, the parts of most pergolas/verandahs/carports that are exposed to the weather (and are therefore prone to ageing) are really just the posts and a bit of facia under the gutter – certainly not the whole structure. These also happen to be the easiest bits to repaint after 10 years should you feel the need to. Personally, I would prefer to fill and paint my timber post than rustproof and try to patch up my steel post after my 5 year old rides his bike into it.

‘But timber will rot’ is another common one. And to that I say ‘and steel will rust’. Yes timber has the propensity to rot if not treated correctly for the application, and this would be quite a concern if you were to turn back time 20 years or so and decided to build out of untreated Oregon. But these days if you choose modern permapine, this is guaranteed to last for 15 years (which of course is standard amongst most building products now).

So really the choice is yours, naturally I would love everyone to choose timber structures, and also to choose Urban Alfresco to build them! But everyone is different and wants different things from their new addition. I can promise that should you decide that timber is for you, we can deliver a truly striking, solid and exceptionally built enhancement to your home that you will enjoy for many, many years.