Rediscover your backyard with a beautiful custom pergola handcrafted by the best pergola contractor in Little Rock, AR.

We specialize in designing and building custom pergolas, decks, patios, and outdoor living spaces. Their experienced team will collaborate with you to turn your vision into reality. From start to finish, they provide personalized service, ensuring every detail is perfect. Whether you prefer a classic wood deck or a sleek composite design, they have the expertise to create a space that reflects your style and fulfills your needs. As the best Little Rock pergola contractors, Trex Outdoor Living prioritizes exceptional quality and service, making them the trusted choice for outdoor living projects.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Wood Decks

What are the different types of wood that can be used to build a pergola?

There are several types of wood suitable for building a pergola, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a breakdown of the most common choices:

Pressure-treated lumber:

    • Most affordable option
    • Resistant to rot and insects due to treatment chemicals
    • Requires staining or painting for aesthetics and additional protection
    • Prone to warping and cracking over time. Particularly if it isn’t protected.

Western red cedar:

    • Naturally resistant to rot and insects
    • Warms up beautifully in the sun
    • Relatively easy to work with
    • Develops a silvery-gray patina over time, which some find appealing


    • Similar to cedar in terms of rot and insect resistance
    • Richer reddish-brown color that ages to a grayish brown
    • More expensive than cedar

Tropical hardwoods:

    • Extremely strong and durable
    • The most weather-resistant option
    • Beautiful colors and finishes
    • Highest cost of all wood choices
    • Environmental concerns regarding deforestation

Here are some additional factors to consider when choosing wood for your pergola:

    • Climate: Cedar and redwood perform well in most climates. Pressure-treated lumber is a good option for humid areas.
    • Maintenance: Tropical hardwoods require the least maintenance, while pressure-treated lumber may need more frequent staining or repainting.
    • Aesthetics: Consider the natural colors and how they will age over time. Cedar develops a silver patina, while redwood has a richer brown tone.

    What are the different options for sun protection or coverings with a pergola?

    A pergola’s open design offers a charming outdoor space, but limited sun protection on its own. Here are ways to enhance sun protection with your pergola:

    Overhead Cover Options:

      • Louvered roof: Adjustable slats allow you to control sun exposure. Open them for sunlight and ventilation, close them for shade.
      • Retractable roof: Provides full sun protection when needed, and opens to enjoy the sky. Great for patios where you want flexibility.
      • Fabric shade sails: These large fabric panels attached to the pergola structure offer a stylish and affordable way to block sunlight. They come in various colors and materials.
      • Solid roof panels: Made from wood, metal, or composite materials, these create a permanent shaded area. Consider ventilation if opting for a solid roof.

    Additional Sun Control Strategies:

      • Shade curtains: Fabric panels hung along the sides of the pergola block harsh afternoon sun and offer privacy. Choose breathable fabrics for air circulation.
      • Climbing plants: Vines like wisteria or clematis can be trained to grow on the pergola structure, providing natural shade as they mature. Requires planning and maintenance.
      • Freestanding awnings: Awnings can be attached to a nearby wall and extend over the pergola for additional shade control.

    Choosing the right option depends on several factors:

      • Desired level of sun protection: Do you need full shade, or are you looking for dappled light?
      • Budget: Louvered roofs and retractable covers are more expensive than fabric shades.
      • Style preferences: Consider how each option complements the overall design of your pergola and outdoor space.
      • Climate: Retractable covers or shade sails might be ideal for areas with unpredictable weather.

    By combining these strategies, you can create a comfortable and stylish outdoor haven under your pergola, perfect for enjoying the outdoors year-round.

      How often should you stain or seal your deck and what type of stain is best to use?

      The frequency of staining or sealing your deck depends on a few factors:

      • Wood type: Softwoods generally require more frequent maintenance than hardwoods. For example, pressure-treated lumber might need restaining annually, while cedar or redwood might last 2-3 years. Hardwoods like Ipe can go 4-6 years between applications.
      • Climate: Harsh sunlight, heavy rain, and high foot traffic will wear down stain faster. If you live in a sunny, rainy climate with heavy deck use, you’ll need to restain more often.
      • Stain type: There are three main types of stains, and each offers different lifespans:
        • Transparent stain: These offer the least protection and show the most wood grain, but they also need to be reapplied most frequently (often annually).
        • Semi-transparent stain: Offers a balance between color and protection, typically lasting 2-4 years.
        • Solid stain: These provide the most color and protection, and can last 4-6 years or more, depending on the quality.

      Here’s a quick guide to choosing the best stain type:

      • For maximum natural look: Choose a transparent stain, but be prepared for frequent reapplication.
      • For a balance of color and protection: Opt for a semi-transparent stain.
      • For the most color and longest protection: Choose a solid stain, but be aware it will obscure the wood grain more.

      Pro Tip: Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application and recommended reapplication intervals for the specific stain you choose.

      Is it better to have our pergola free-standing or attach it to the house?

      There are pros and cons to both freestanding and attached pergolas. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide which is best for you:

      Freestanding Pergola:


        • More versatile placement: Can be placed anywhere in your yard, ideal for creating a focal point or defining an outdoor area.
        • Doesn’t require attaching to the house: Less construction hassle, especially if your house wall has siding or other features in the way.
        • May be more affordable: Generally requires fewer posts and beams compared to an attached pergola.


        • Less sturdy: May require additional support posts or anchoring depending on the size and local wind conditions.
        • Takes up more space: Needs clearance from surrounding structures and landscaping.

      Attached Pergola:


        • Creates a seamless extension of living space: Perfect for integrating your patio or deck with your house.
        • More stable: Shares support from the house wall, reducing the need for extra posts.
        • May be more space-saving: Utilizes existing wall structure.


        • Limited placement options: Restricted to installation next to the house wall.
        • More complex construction: Requires careful planning to ensure proper attachment to the house structure.
        • May require permits: Depending on your local building code, attaching a structure to your house might necessitate permits.

      Here are some additional factors to consider:

        • Style: A freestanding pergola offers a more standalone aesthetic, while an attached pergola creates a cohesive look with your house.
        • Future plans: If you envision adding an outdoor kitchen or screened porch later, an attached pergola might be a better foundation.
        • Sun protection: Consider how existing structures cast shade and where you might need additional sun control with either pergola option.

      Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific needs and preferences. I recommend sketching some ideas and measuring your outdoor space to visualize how each pergola type would fit and function.

      We’d love to have an opportunity to earn your business!