Wood vs. Aluminum…Cost of a patio cover
Post in Summary
The primary differences which play the biggest role in the price gap between aluminum patio covers and wood patio covers are first, Cost and second, Longevity. The average cost range for aluminum patio covers is $2,200 – $5,020. While the average cost range for wood patio covers is $5,500 – $13,500. Aluminum patio covers are virtually maintenance-free while wood, on the other hand, requires a significant amount of maintenance in comparison. Aluminum patio covers will last forever while wood patio covers will eventually turn to dust. Overall, the percentage of differences between aluminum to wood can range from 80% to 90%, respectively.
Comparing Aluminum and wood patio covers is like comparing apples to oranges. For starters, both materials couldn’t be further apart when it comes to specific, individual differences. That said, when the dust settles, however, it all boils down to longevity which is the one quality that really sets them both apart.
Most people who choose one type of pergola over another that has to at some point consider how long the pergola cover will last. Beauty, on the other hand, is subjective from person to person so really, it’s hard to debate that.
What is debatable, however, are all the individual qualities that set them both apart and make them so different.
You may not want to buy a wood pergola if…
- you don’t want to watch it turn to dust after 20+ years.
- feeding the termites isn’t your thing.
- sanding, scraping, and painting isn’t your cup of tea.
- keeping more of your money is important.
You may want to choose the aluminum pergola if you…
- want it to last… and last.. and last.
- like to save a few bucks.
Comparatively speaking, wood patio covers are some of the most costly of all patio cover materials except, of course, those which are made from solid steel or structural aluminum.
On the other hand, Alumawood Aluminum Patio Covers can in many cases end up costing a little more than half the price of wood. By the same token, however, when we’re talking price, we really need to compare apples to apples right? What do I mean by this? Allow me to explain…
In this comparison let’s take a 10’L x 10’W x 8’H lattice or Pergola style patio cover, attached to the home as our example. It’s important to realize that there are just too many variables to compare roofed patio covers, so we won’t be making that comparison.
Some of the roofing variables include such things as roofing types and materials. You see it’s difficult to compare a concrete, copper or slate roof to an alumawood foam insulated roof covering. Besides, the costs between roofing like copper are far greater than the aluminum roofing. Likewise, because roofing a wood cover with heavyweight concrete tile requires structural reinforcing on multiple levels, it’s again, difficult to compare to aluminum.
What makes up the cost of a pergola patio cover?Understand that patio cover pricing fluctuates greatly depending on multiple different factors. Of course for simplicity, we’ll just focus on the average out-the-door price for pergola covers here in Los Angeles.
How did we reach an average “out-the-door-price”? In 2019, we collected patio cover pricing from over 50 different contractors who claim to predominately build just patio covers and pergola. All of these contractors are within different areas around the greater Los Angeles area.
Factors which cause pergola patio cover prices to fluctuate
- Installation methods
- Material costs
- Dimensional lumber size
- Markup up
Costs of a wood lattice pergola patio cover in Los AngelesFactoring in the installation method, material cost, overhead and markup, let’s see where the 10′ x 10′ x 8′ lattice or Pergola style patio cover came in price-wise…
Rounding to the nearest hundreds, we found that the averaged, wooden lattice patio cover can cost as little as $5,500 to as much as $13,500 installed, complete with paint.
Regardless of whether we priced larger lumber, smaller lumber, paint or stain, the difference in price was negligible at best between these Los Angeles patio cover contractors.
Costs of Alumawood Aluminum Patio CoversJust as we called a bunch of Los Angeles patio cover contractors for our wood pergola comparison, likewise, we called some contractors who build aluminum patio covers.
Oddly enough, the price difference between the Alumawood or aluminum pergola patio cover contractors around the Los Angeles area was much wider than wood. Our averaged, Aluminum lattice pergola patio covers can cost as low as $2,200 to as much as $5,020.
All things considered, both of these materials are great products and make excellent patio cover systems. What it really comes down to is personal preference driven by needs such as durability, longevity and the ease of maintenance that Alumawood Aluminum Patio Covers provides.
We build all types of patio covers and from just about every material imaginable. One thing is for sure, the sun will never stop shining and we will always sweat. So the need to hide from the element is almost a necessity for many.