Fiberglass vs Plastic Pergolas

Both fiberglass and plastic pergolas offer the benefit of a low maintenance outdoor structure. There are two types of plastic pergolas currently available, the first and most common is constucted from vinyl(also known as PVC). The second type of plastic pergola is constructed from a material similar to composite decking(Azek or Palite). These are low maintenance materials, however they differ significantly in terms of quality, lifetime and finish. Below is a detailed comparision of these materials.

Fiberglass Pergola

* Maintenance free

* Available in any color

* Structural material with free-spans of up to 20'

* Will not mildew, mold or yellow

* One piece CNC rafter tails

Vinyl Pergola

* Low maintenance but will mildew and yellow over time

* Non-structural vinyl tubes

* Pressure treated lumber is inserted into the vinyl and can sag, twist and rot

* Available in a limited number of colors

* Snap-on rafter tails

Azek Pergola

* Requires bi-annual painting

* Yellows and mildews over time

* Sheets of Azek are glued to either aluminum or lumber for structural support

* Azek will delaminate and fall of over time

* High cost of ownership

Comparison Chart

Fiberglass PVC(Vinyl fencing) C-PVC(Azek)
Maintenance: Maintenance free. Maintenance free. Will yellow & mildew. Requires bi-annual painting. Will yellow & mildew.
Finish: Available in any color Limited color options Limited color options
Durability: Hard industrial coatings. Durable cast fiberglass column bases. Scratches easily. Plastic post bases break easily Azek delaminates and fall off over time
Lifespan: Designed to last a minimum of 15 years Minimum of 5 years Minimum of 5 years
Structural Properties: Structural fiberglass pultrusions will not sag or warp. Structural pressure treated core. Prone to sagging and warping. Structural pressure treated core. Prone to sagging and warping.

Azek Pergola Fail

Fiberglass Pergola

This Azek pergola was poorly constructed. It experienced yellowing, excessive rot and sagging as a result of the manufacturer cutting corners.

Vinyl Pergola

This what the main structural support beam looked like when the Azek fell off and the remainder was removed.

Baldwin to the rescue!
Azek Pergola

The client's contractor reached out to us and we replaced the existing structure with a fiberglass pergola that will last for years to come.


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