What are the different types of pergolas?

Pergola, grass and autumnal leaves

Modern aluminum pergolas, louvered pergolas, garden pergolas, enclosed pergolas, traditional timber pergolas, even shade sails – there is a host of different pergola options! Whether you want to create a space to relax, an entertainment hub, or a tranquil garden retreat, pergolas are the perfect addition to a Bay of Plenty backyard providing shelter and shade year-round.

But which one should you choose? The one that is right for you will depend on your style, needs, and budget. 

Zones are expert pergola builders and installers and can help you plan and design a custom trade tested pergola that’s perfect for you. We can also help with awning installations, gazebos, privacy screens, decking, and more!

Should I build a wood or metal pergola in Tauranga?

Timber pergolas offer a rustic, natural feel to your outdoor living space whereas metal options can provide a modern, sleek look that meshes well with contemporary homes. Aesthetically you will have a preference, but it’s wise to consider the impact of the weather on outdoor building materials especially when living in hot, coastal climates. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.

Metal Pergolas


  • Durable and stay true to their dimensions
  • Won’t splinter or sag
  • Aluminium is lightweight and won’t rust – great choice for those living near the coast
  • Powder coating allows for a variety of different colours and finishes
  • Easy to clean


  • Steel frames are prone to rust and corrosion if not treated with a 100% zinc coating
  • Can be more expensive than wood options
  • Can be less suited for growing climbing plants
  • Can be difficult to customise design

Wooden Pergolas


  • Natural material
  • Can choose different woods, hues, and finishes to customise your look
  • Can be painted
  • Typically less expensive than metal   


  • Requires ongoing maintenance
  • Can eventually warp or crack over time
  • Shorter life span than metal

Choosing the right material for your pergola is important, particularly if you are living near the coast, but your Landscaping Consultant can help you choose the best material to suit your needs. This stunning Te Ranga property is a fantastic example of how a custom pergola and landscaping by an experienced consultant and pergola builder can transform your outdoor living space. 

Maintenance tips for pergolas in Tauranga

They say prevention is the best cure, and the same is true when it comes to looking after your pergola. To maximise the lifespan of your wooden pergola, commit to cleaning quarterly and ensure it is free from any signs of mold and mildew. Apply protective coatings annually and keep on top of any signs of damage.

Steel pergolas should have a zinc coating applied at installation to keep them rust and corrosion free. They won’t require cleaning as often as wooden pergolas but be vigilant with your rust checks – especially if living by the coast - and clean every six months. An anti-rust coating once a year should keep your pergola in tip top shape! Rinse regularly with clean water to help keep the abrasive sea air damage at bay.

An aluminum pergola will never rust, but it’s still wise to keep it clean so it’s always ready to enjoy!

How much does a pergola in Tauranga cost?

The cost of your pergola will depend on the design and materials you choose, the building site, and any accompanying landscaping. Zones are committed to achieving your goals within your budget though, so chat to your local Landscaping Consultant about how they can help, or check out our articles about basic, mid-range, and premium pergola costs. 

Make your outdoor area suitable all year round with a new pergola in Tauranga!

Ready to transform your backyard? Our expert team can turn your dreams into reality with a custom pergola that provides fantastic outdoor living all year round. Get in touch with your local Zones Landscaping Consultant today for a free, no obligation consultation.

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