6×6 vs 8×8 Post: Strength & Design Compared

6x6 vs 8x8 post

When it comes to choosing the right posts for your project, the dimensions and strength of the posts play a crucial role. In this article, we will compare the 6×6 and 8×8 posts, two popular options for wooden structural posts. We will explore their strength, design, and other important factors to help you make an informed decision for your project.

Key Takeaways:

  • Comparing the strength and design of 6×6 and 8×8 posts is essential for choosing the right option for your project.
  • Glulam columns offer high strength and resistance to warp and twist, making them a durable choice for load-bearing applications.
  • Glulam columns are lighter and easier to handle compared to solid timber posts, but the weight of 6×6 posts may be more manageable on a jobsite.
  • The type of wood used in the construction of the post can affect its strength and durability.
  • Consider availability and geographic considerations when choosing between glulam columns and solid timbers.

Strength Comparison: Glulam Columns vs Solid Timbers

When it comes to comparing the strength of glulam columns and solid timbers, the bending strength is a crucial factor to consider. Glulam columns, which are made from high strength materials, have a significantly higher bending strength compared to solid timbers. Let’s take a closer look:

Post Type Bending Strength (in-lb)
Three-ply 2×6 Glulam Column 37,738
6×6 #2 SYP Post 23,570
6×6 #2 Hem-Fir Treated Post 12,755

As shown in the table, the bending strength of a three-ply 2×6 glulam column is 37,738 in-lb, demonstrating remarkable strength. On the other hand, the bending strength of a 6×6 #2 SYP post is 23,570 in-lb, and a 6×6 #2 Hem-Fir treated post has a bending strength of 12,755 in-lb.

This comparison clearly indicates that glulam columns are significantly stronger than solid timbers, making them an optimal choice for load-bearing applications where strength is a top priority.

When it comes to structural integrity and reliability, glulam columns provide a superior solution with their impressive bending strength and load-bearing capacity.

Practicality and Ease of Handling

When it comes to practicality and ease of handling, glulam columns offer distinct advantages over solid timbers. One of the main factors that sets glulam columns apart is their lighter weight compared to solid timber posts. This makes glulam columns easier to handle on the jobsite, facilitating transportation and installation.

Let’s look at a comparison between the weight of a glulam column and a 6×6 solid timber post. A typical 20-foot long glulam column weighs around 100 pounds, whereas a 20-foot long 6×6 post can range from 180 to 300 pounds. This significant difference in weight can have a direct impact on the handling and maneuverability at the jobsite.

Glulam columns, being lighter, offer practicality benefits such as easier transportation, reduced strain on workers during installation, and improved overall efficiency. These advantages can result in time and cost savings, making glulam columns a preferred choice for projects that prioritize practicality and ease of handling.

glulam columns

Type of Post Weight (20-foot long post)
Glulam Column Approximately 100 pounds
6×6 Solid Timber Post Between 180 to 300 pounds

This table provides a clear comparison of the weight difference between glulam columns and solid timber posts. The lighter weight of glulam columns contributes to their enhanced practicality and ease of handling on the jobsite.

Availability and Geographic Considerations

The availability of glulam columns and solid timbers can vary depending on geographic location. Glulam columns are more prevalent in northern states, particularly in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and South Dakota, where they are commonly manufactured. On the other hand, solid timbers can be found more easily in various locations, including local lumber dealers and big box stores. When considering the availability of these options, it is important to take into account manufacturing locations and local suppliers to determine the availability and accessibility of glulam columns and solid timbers in your specific area.

Glulam Columns Solid Timbers
Manufacturing Locations Varies by Geographic Location
Availability More prevalent in northern states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, South Dakota)
Accessibility Found in local lumber dealers and big box stores

Construction Materials: Wood and Metal

When it comes to constructing pergolas and pavilions, the choice of construction materials plays a crucial role in both aesthetics and durability. The two main options for materials are wood and metal, each with its own advantages and considerations.

Wood: Wood, particularly Western Red Cedar, is a popular choice for constructing pergolas and pavilions. This type of wood is known for its natural beauty, strength, and resistance to insects and rot. Western Red Cedar not only provides a warm and inviting look to any outdoor space but also offers exceptional durability, making it an ideal choice for long-lasting structures. With its rich color variations and natural grain patterns, Western Red Cedar adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any pergola or pavilion.

Metal: Metal pergolas and pavilions are also available and can be found at many retailers. Metal structures provide a sleek and modern aesthetic, perfect for contemporary outdoor spaces. The use of metal allows for unique design possibilities, such as intricate patterns and shapes. Metal structures are known for their durability and low maintenance requirements, making them a practical choice for outdoor installations.

pergola and pavilion

When considering construction materials for your pergola or pavilion, it is crucial to prioritize quality and durability. Some lower-quality kits may use imported, pressure-treated wood, which can have several drawbacks such as warping, cracking, and decreased durability over time. These issues can compromise the structural integrity and overall lifespan of the pergola or pavilion. To ensure long-lasting performance, it is recommended to choose materials that have been sourced and processed locally.

At Housewarmings Outdoors, we understand the importance of using premium-grade materials in our pergolas and pavilions. That’s why we exclusively utilize rough cut, locally sourced Western Red Cedar. Our commitment to quality ensures that our structures are not only visually stunning but also built to withstand the test of time.

Construction Material Advantages Considerations
Wood (Western Red Cedar)
  • Natural beauty and warmth
  • Strength and durability
  • Resistance to insects and rot
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Potential for warping and cracking in lower-quality wood
  • Sleek and modern aesthetic
  • Durability and low maintenance
  • Unique design possibilities
  • Can become hot to the touch in direct sunlight
  • Limited wood-like aesthetics

Housewarmings Outdoors: The Difference in Quality

Housewarmings Outdoors is dedicated to delivering exceptional quality in every aspect of their pergolas and pavilions. With a focus on using premium-grade Western Red Cedar, their structures are built to last and provide a beautiful outdoor living experience.

Unlike some competitors who may compromise on materials, Housewarmings Outdoors ensures the highest level of reliability and durability. One notable difference is their use of solid headers instead of split headers. Solid headers offer superior strength and stability, reinforcing the overall structure and providing a solid foundation for your outdoor space.

The construction of the posts is another area where Housewarmings Outdoors sets itself apart. Using a framed post design, their pergolas and pavilions feature a full-length zinc-plated steel reinforcing rod. This design not only adds strength and rigidity but also helps resist warping, twisting, and cracking. Additionally, the secure ground connection enhances stability and longevity.

When it comes to installation, Housewarmings Outdoors goes the extra mile. All the necessary hardware for installation is included, so there are no additional charges for post mounts or other attachment methods. This ensures a hassle-free and comprehensive experience for customers.

Key Features of Housewarmings Outdoors Quality:

  • Premium-grade Western Red Cedar
  • Solid headers for enhanced strength and stability
  • Framed post design with a full-length zinc-plated steel reinforcing rod
  • Secure ground connection for added durability
  • All necessary hardware included for installation
  • No additional charges for post mounts or attachment methods

With Housewarmings Outdoors, you can trust that your pergola or pavilion will be constructed with the utmost attention to quality and detail, providing you with a structure that will enhance your outdoor space for years to come.

Housewarmings Outdoors Competitors
Materials Premium-grade Western Red Cedar Varies
Headers Solid headers for enhanced strength and stability Split headers
Post Construction Framed design with full-length zinc-plated steel reinforcing rod Varies
Post Attachment All necessary hardware included, no additional charges Varies

Purlin Beams and Construction Techniques

In the construction of pergolas and pavilions, purlin beams play a crucial role in providing support and enhancing the overall strength of the structure. At Housewarmings Outdoors, we employ advanced construction techniques to ensure durability and longevity.

We use 2×8 purlin beams set at 12 inches on center, offering exceptional strength and durability. These beams are carefully notched and interlocked with the headers, utilizing an interlocking dado joint. This unique construction technique significantly enhances the rigidity and overall strength of the pergola or pavilion, ensuring a secure and long-lasting structure.

It is worth noting that the spacing and width of the purlin beams can also impact the amount of shade provided by the pergola or pavilion. Our meticulous attention to detail in construction techniques ensures optimal shade coverage, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space comfortably, even on sunnier days.

In conclusion, Housewarmings Outdoors prioritizes the use of high-quality materials, innovative construction techniques, and attention to detail to deliver exceptional pergolas and pavilions. Our expertly crafted purlin beams, secured with interlocking dado joints, contribute to the shade, strength, and overall beauty of our structures.


After carefully considering strength, design, availability, and construction materials, it is evident that when comparing 6×6 and 8×8 posts for pergolas and pavilions, there are important factors to take into account. Glulam columns offer superior strength compared to solid timbers, making them a more reliable choice for load-bearing structures. They are also more readily available in specific areas, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

In terms of construction materials, the choice between wood and metal is another crucial consideration. Western Red Cedar stands out as a popular and durable option due to its natural beauty and strength. Its resistance to insects and rot makes it an excellent choice for outdoor structures like pergolas and pavilions.

When it comes to quality, Housewarmings Outdoors sets itself apart by utilizing solid headers, framed post construction, and interlocking dado joints. These features contribute to better overall performance and longevity, ensuring that your pergola or pavilion will withstand the test of time. Additionally, Housewarmings Outdoors includes all necessary installation hardware without any additional charges for post mounts or other attachment methods.

By taking into consideration these factors and the specific requirements of your project, you can confidently make an informed decision when choosing between 6×6 and 8×8 posts for your pergola or pavilion. Whether you prioritize strength, design, availability, or construction materials, Housewarmings Outdoors’ commitment to quality and reliable options makes them an excellent choice for your outdoor structure needs.


What factors should I consider when comparing 6×6 and 8×8 posts?

When comparing 6×6 and 8×8 posts, it’s important to consider factors such as strength and design.

How do glulam columns compare to solid timbers in terms of strength?

Glulam columns have higher bending strength compared to solid timbers, making them a better choice for load-bearing applications.

Are glulam columns easier to handle compared to solid timbers?

Yes, glulam columns are lighter in weight compared to solid timbers, making them easier to handle on a jobsite.

Are glulam columns more readily available than solid timbers?

The availability of glulam columns and solid timbers can vary depending on geographic location.

What are the main construction material choices for pergolas and pavilions?

The two main choices for construction materials are wood and metal, with Western Red Cedar being a popular option.

What sets Housewarmings Outdoors apart in terms of quality?

Housewarmings Outdoors uses premium-grade Western Red Cedar and offers solid headers and reinforced post construction for added strength and stability.

How are purlin beams used in the construction of pergolas and pavilions?

Purlin beams provide support and strength to the structure, and Housewarmings Outdoors uses interlocking dado joints for added rigidity.

What should I consider when choosing between 6×6 and 8×8 posts for my pergola or pavilion?

When choosing between 6×6 and 8×8 posts, it’s important to consider factors such as strength, design, availability, and construction materials.

6×6 vs 8×8 Post: Strength & Design Compared

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