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Why We Only Build With Western Red Cedar

Cedar pergola

‘There is no classic when you use plastic’

For those who love the look of exceptionally built Western Red Cedar pergolas, it’s hard not to get swept away by the Instagram feed of a Midwest builder. Each post is better than the last with Minnesota Pergolas, a company that always crafts their rock-solid pergolas with Western Red Cedar. It’s the optimal material for pergolas because it’s rot resistant, has rich character and a gorgeous natural aroma, says Minnesota Pergolas owner Kregg Weispfenning.

No other material compares to the durability, stability and beauty of Western Red Cedar, explains Weispfenning.

“We simply won’t work with any other material for pergolas,” he says. “There is no classic when you use plastic.”

Their projects are made of Western Red Cedar, usually rough-sawn, as it is the character of the color and texture that creates the warm look the company is known for.

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Driven by a desire to build the best

Minnesota Pergolas has a simple mandate: “We want to provide homeowners with structures that help them enjoy the outdoors to its fullest,” Weispfenning says.

Clearly, Minnesota Pergolas is meeting that mandate with a diverse range of sizes, purposes and shapes, but what is consistent, in every style, is the commitment to quality.

For Weispfenning, the number one rule of thumb when it comes to landscape carpentry is: shade, shade and more shade.

“Form follows function,” he says. “Even though we consider our structures a form of artwork, they need to serve a purpose.”

Cedar pergola

What to look for in a contractor

Not everyone is lucky enough to live in the vicinity of Minnesota Pergolas. For those who have to find their own landscape carpenter, Weispfenning says look for those who pay attention to details.

“While many carpenters can build a pergola, by definition you want to look at the details,” he says. “For example, do they use big ugly bolts and structural connectors from your local hardware store? Do they notch their wood for strength and hide all fasteners when possible?”

“Always try to choose a contractor who listens to you,” adds Weispfenning, whose company has used wood from local and Real Cedar retailer affiliate lumber yards.

Cedar pergola

Weispfenning’s top-three pro tips for DIYers

  1. Prep – Choose quality building products, as not all are created equal
  2. Building – Start slowly and think your way through it. Always keep in mind the next step you will need to make. All houses should be built on a good foundation. Whether you start with footings or attached to the house, you must start level, plumb and square.
  3. 3. Maintaining outdoor spaces – Beautiful Cedar for pergolas need to be washed and sealed every two to four years. Minnesota Pergolas will last 15-20 years with proper care.