Originally Posted by juryduty
I agree go with Cedar or better yet, Redwood. They just last, look and smell better. PT stuff looks ugly and might contain chemicals like arsenic.
I'd recommend the cedar or redwood, too, for aesthetic reasons as well as b/c of my experience with PT...here it is:
We went to HD and told them we wanted to build a pergola using 4X4 PT posts as well as 2X6 PT stringers. We told them we wanted to paint it to match the trim work on the back wall. We were told to use Kilz II primer and regular latex housepaint.
We proceeded to paint the lumber before cutting. We must have spent a week getting multiple coats of Kilz-II and good quality latex exterior house paint on the boards....only to have the surface coatings BOTH bubble up and peel off the PT lumber, leaving ugly areas where the wood was visible.
We complained to HD about this and were told that the government was requiring different methods of PT to eliminate the arsenic from the process, and that was resulting in PT lumber that would not hold paint.
Well, we had told the HD representatives about our plans to paint before construction and had followed their advice. We filed a complaint with the HD corporation regarding the issue and they sent a local HD representative out to see our problem areas. He told us that the PT lumber needs a considerable length of time to dry out before it is painted or the problems we faced would be ongoing. We were not told this in the store when we bought the materials, in fact the representative in the paint department assured us that Kilz-II would stick to the "new" PT lumber.
If you are going to clad all your PT lumber with cedar or redwood, well, that's not going to be a problem for you, but if you plan on using any PT lumber that will be exposed, be sure you let it age for 6 months or greater so that the moisture will not cause the paint bubbling I mentioned.
In the end, we're about 80% through. This is the "before" photo:
Here's how it looks now:
I still need to trim out the feet of the posts to hide the brackets, and we plan to add solar screen fabric in the 22" wide spaces between the horizontal stringers.
Building codes are pretty tought here in Huntsville, TX...we built the pergola under a permit and received raves from the inspector for the work. Recently we were visited by the Central Appraisal District to investigate the "addition", but when we showed the appraisal district representative that the pergola can be removed quite easily and is not affixed to the main structure of the home, we were told that the valuation/taxes on the house would not be affected as the structure is "portable". We have to wait for the next tax statement to make sure they honored that, but have high hopes for now.