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Which Is Better Gazebo Or Pergola

What Is The Purpose Of A Gazebo

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Gazebos have been around for centuries, typically functioning as meeting spaces or areas of retreat. Today, gazebos have the same function but are more private, often being built on decks, patios, and in gardens at private residences. Many standard gazebos are octagonal, but gazebos can be built in square or rectangle shapes as well. Another common name for this type of structure is a pavilion. Since gazebos have completely covered roofs, they offer protection from the harsh summer sun and shelter from the elements. The sides of gazebos are often left open, either with railings or screened-in walls to keep insects out. Gazebos are great for homeowners who want to spend time outdoors regardless of the weather.

What Are Gazebo Pros And Cons


  • Waterproof and sun protection. Although UPF ratings can vary, most gazebos provide protection from sun and rain.
  • Withstand weather. Gazebo frames can be made of many materials including aluminium, steel or wood. A permanent gazebo can withstand harsh weather while portable gazebos cannot withstand heavy winds.
  • Temporary fixture. Like an outdoor umbrella, some gazebos can be assembled or stored away when desired and can be portable so you can change its positioning as you please.
  • Adjust height. Some portable gazebos will allow you to adjust the height of the canopy, allowing more versatility
  • Optional walls. You can purchase screens for some gazebos, allowing more protection from the elements.
  • Price. Portable gazebos can be an inexpensive option with prices starting from around $35 for a basic gazebo to more than $100,000 for a high-end custom built gazebo.


  • Design. Although portable gazebos come in a range of colours and styles, they may not always look aesthetically pleasing in every outdoor environment compared to an outdoor umbrella or pergola.
  • Robustness. Depending on how much you spend on a gazebo, some cheaper gazebos made with cheaper materials may not be able to withstand wind, rain and constant set ups and pack downs as well as higher quality gazebos and will quickly deteriorate.

So Which One Is Best For You

Here are the three main differences in the two.

  • Gazebos are round and the pergola is square or rectangular
  • Gazebos have a solid roof, and the pergola has cross beams and an open roof.
  • Gazebos are separate from any other structure while a pergola usually links 2 structures or extends a structure
  • Both the Gazebo and Pergola provide some shelter and allow you to enjoy the outdoors. But remember the Pergola does have the open roof concept, so even though it provides some shade, it cant be used in inclement weather.

    Now lets not forget to consider the price. A gazebo usually costs more due to the fact that the roof is solid, and it is made on a solid floor. More materials mean more cost in the project. However, there are many variations for the pergola that can exceed a modest gazebo.

    The choice of which one is better for you comes down to your personal taste and how you intend to use this outdoor area. The structure you choose will also depend on the desired use and the location for it on your property.

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    The Benefits Of Pergolas

    The most common features of a pergola include its open structure and lattice framework with vines or other climbing plants growing between its beams. A pergolas structure typically consists of cross beams and vertical posts that let the air, rain, and sun flow through however, most of the protection and shade that pergolas provide come from the plants and vines that cover it rather than the cross beams. Materials used to make pergolas include aluminum, brick, fiberglass, and wood.

    Usually installed above a deck, pergolas are popular with those who have a green thumb and like being surrounded by foliage. They provide comfortable spots to relax outside during the warmer seasons or on breezy days where both wind and sunlight can freely blow through the pergolas open frame.

    What Is The Purpose Of A Pergola

    Which is better canopy or a pergola?

    Unlike gazebos, pergolas are open air structures with open roofs supported by columns or posts. The main function of a pergola is to provide afternoon relief from the harsh summer sun. Today, many homeowners build pergolas to add architectural interest by breaking up large areas and adding a vertical feature to the landscape.

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    Is A Pergola Cheaper Than A Gazebo

    A pergola is less expensive than a gazebo. The upfront cost of a pergola is cheap and depends on the material used. Because a pergola can extend from an existing structure like a deck, and one can DIY the installation process, a pergola costs less than a gazebo. Inexpensive materials such as vinyl and natural wood reduce its overall cost.

    Pergola And Gazebo Materials

    Wood: As the most traditional material choice, wood offers a rustic and classic look. Cedar wood, which is commonly used, is a natural, weather-resistant, and insect-resistant option. Make sure to reseal or stain the structure every year to avoid rot or insect damage.Metal: Metal frames are durable and offer an easy-to-assemble structure with their click-together frames. However, they may rust over time if not properly taken care of.Vinyl: Easily cleaned off with a hose, vinyl gazebos are a low-maintenance option as they wont rot or warp. If your home has vinyl siding, the gazebo can easily match. Plastic: Resin plastic will not rust, rot, or splinter. Consider plastic for a durable and more affordable option compared to manufactured wood.

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    Main Differences Between Pergolas And Gazebos

    Summing everything weve discovered so far, theres a number of pergola gazebo differences weve discovered so far:

    • Pergolas are mostly either rectangular or square-shaped, while gazebos main shapes are a circle or a number of sides from 5 to 12
    • One of the pergolas prime use cases is to create a supportive framework for various plants and vines to climb over
    • Gazebos can only have a solid roof, while pergolas can be either partially covered, fully covered or not covered at all
    • Pergolas are relatively easy and cheap when it comes to the construction complexity, while gazebos are more complex and require more planning due to the specific shape and size of the structure.

    Speaking of pergola-specific features and traits, theres also a specific pergola type called pergola Agava. This pergola is made from aluminum and has a lot of advantages over the traditional pergola materials like wood and such. For example, the material structure and look makes the entire pergola look modern, the aluminums structure helps it to exist for a long time with little to no maintenance, and the entire structure is far more solid and less susceptible to various long-time effects like corrosion.

    Arbor Vs Pergola: The Differences

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    If youre wondering what the differences are between a pergola vs. arbor, youre not alone. These terms are often used interchangeably, although they are two separate things. While an arbor and pergola both have supportive posts with what is usually an open roof made up of lattices or beams, theres a lot more that separates the two.

    An arbor is typically a freestanding structure that acts as a garden or yards entrance in todays residential uses. It can feature a bench or a seating area to offer shelter as well. There are usually between two to four posts holding an arbor up, along with tons of plants and vines crawling about the entire thing. Latticework along the sides and top can help vines attach and grow more closely to the structure. An arbor may be made of various materials.

    On the other hand, a pergola is primarily a shade structure built with similar construction as an arbor. A pergola may extend from the exterior wall of a home to create a shaded space and expand the outdoor living space.

    While an arbors primary purpose is separation/entry with the added benefits of seating and shade if preferred, a pergolas main purpose is seating and shade with the added benefit of separation.

    Additionally, a pergola doesnt necessarily need to be freestanding, while an arbor almost exclusively is. If you want to build something onto your home and cut down costs, a pergola can be a great way to eliminate the need for one side of columns and extend your outdoor living space.

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    Pergola Or Gazebo: Which Is Better For My Backyard

    July 26, 2020 by Andrea

    If youre looking to protect your patio from the elements and create the perfect backyard space, explore the difference between a pergola or gazebo!

    Which is better, a pergola or gazebo? After you read this, you can decide for yourself.

    There are a lot of advantages to either option. Deciding which one you need depends on a lot of different factors.

    For example, how big is your budget for this project? Where to you want to set the structure up? Do you need it more for shade or just for decoration?

    Your answers to questions like these will determine which structure is best for your outdoor living space. To help you decide, weve listed the pros and cons of both. Read this guide to make an informed decision.

    Pergola or Gazebo: Whats the Difference?

    First of all, pergolas and gazebos are similar in so many ways that you may not know the difference. Both are backyard structures that usually have open sides.

    And both can be used to enhance the look of your outdoor living space while also providing shade. Thus, either one will add value to your home.

    So, before we compare these two options, you need a clear idea of exactly what they are.

    What Is a Pergola?

    A pergola is a patio cover with a roofing grid supported by columns. They often have an open roof to allow for some sunlight and wind to get through. But they can also have a solid roof like a gazebo.

    They can either stand on their own or be attached to an outside wall of your house.

    Pergola: Pros

    Pergola Vs Gazebo: Whats The Difference

    The biggest difference between a pergola and a gazebo is in the roof. A pergola has an open roof made of rafters, while a gazebo has a fully closed roof. A gazebo offers full shade and protection from the weather. A pergola allows the sun and the rain inside.

    Are you tired of indoor living? You may want to consider building a permanent outdoor structure in your backyard where you can spend your summer days relaxing and letting go of your worries.

    Pergolas and gazebos are becoming increasingly popular amongst homeowners and you too can jump on the trend!

    But which structure is ultimately better for you? Pergola vs gazebo?

    If you would like a shelter in the middle of your lawn that offers full shade and protection from the elements, opt for a gazebo. Conversely, if you would like to define a specific area in your backyard with an open structure, go for a pergola.

    Theres a lot more you need to know! You can find all pergola and gazebo differences below!


    A pergola is an open-style outdoor structure easily recognized by its lattice roof and open sides. It has vertical posts with cross beams and rafters across the top. Its appearance may be simple, but it creates a huge difference in ones backyard.

    Since pergolas have a unique look to them, they are great for defining a space within the yard. They add visual interest to a garden and can look very romantic if you train grapevine or flowering vines to grow over the lattice.


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    The Purpose Of A Pergola

  • Move Your Party Outdoors – Many homeowners use pergolas as a simple way to create an outdoor extension of their living space. By choosing a design that will complement the exterior of your home and placing the pergola very close to your home, you’ll have a seamless transition from inside your home to your outdoor living area.
  • Upgrade Your Garden – A pergola is a fantastic way to add an extra charming touch to your backyard garden area. When using a design with an open-top lattice roof, your garden will get the necessary sunlight and air circulation it needs.
  • Boost Your Homes Value – You can create a magnificent entertaining space and increase the value of your home by simply adding a well-designed pergola to your backyard. Just make sure to use a sturdy pergola from a reputable brand because if the pergola is poorly designed, it can actually decrease your homes value.
  • Add Shade and Privacy – With or without a roof, a pergolas can still add a touch of shade to your patio area. If you desire more shade, you can opt for lattice to be placed along the sides and roof. Lattice can also accommodate climbing vines, enhancing the already wonderful aesthetic and appeal that a pergola provides. Adding walls to your pergola will provide privacy to your backyard space.
  • Characteristics Of A Pergola:

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    A Pergola is a structure with vertical posts or pillars that support cross beams. Pergolas are defined as a structure that has the posts secured into the ground and are free standing. They are a stationary structure. However, they can also be an extension of another building or structure. Pergolas are either square or rectangular. They have a flat and open roof. The horizontal top beams are usually covered with lattice, and the sides are open. While the lattice will provide shade for the occupants, it will not provide protection from the rain and weather. A pergola may or may not have a solid floor.

    Pergolas can combine areas and enhance the character of each, as well as provide a shaded walkway or sitting area.

    Pergola kits are available in the big box stores as well as online.

    The pergola provides a space for intimate conversations under the starts or out of the direct sun during the day. A pergola is a great way to create and elegant outdoor living space. Add patio furniture to the structure to create sitting areas. Add a table and chairs for a great place to enjoy dinner. You can decorate the interior of the pergola any way you want to provide a great place to congregate and relax

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    Difference Between Pergola And Gazebo

    The classification of the differences between these outhouses is not so mysterious. We make it easy for you.

    The main difference between a pergola and a gazebo is the purpose and shape of the structure. Because of these two factors, materials and costs vary widely.

    Due to its function, the gazebo provides full coverage from the sun. On the other hand, a pergola with interrupted beam spacing allows sunlight to shine through its slat roof. At the same time, it provides only partial coverage.

    Also, and most importantly, the pergola is designed first and foremost to allow the vines to climb and roll up along the posts and beams. This makes it unique and different from a garden shed.

    Moreover, one of the main differences is the shape of the design. A gazebo is almost always octagonal in shape with a defined roof. The architectural design is characterized by modified details along its entire length.

    As for the pergola, the traditional shape is rectangular. It has more to do with the fact that I love contemporary architectural designs. Therefore, they are structurally less confusing. The difference in reality is staggering, it is not difficult to distinguish one from the other. For more information, read our article on gazebo sizing here.

    Characteristics Of A Gazebo:

    A gazebo is either shaped like an octagon, a hexagon or a round structure. It is freestanding. Gazebos have a complete roof cover that slopes upward in a cone shape and is supported by 8 symmetrical pillared columns. Gazebos are built with a raised floor on a sturdy foundation. Usually, gazebos are portable or can be moved about. Most gazebos are generally enclosed but offer an open view on all sides. A gazebo will protect the occupants from the rain and weather. Some Gazebos are completely enclosed with windows or screens. Others have a wall half way up and are then either left open or have lattice installed to provide some privacy.

    Gazebo kits are available in the big box store and online. For the do-it-yourself type of person, there are sites that help you design your own too.

    A Gazebo can have built-in seating along the rails. It offers the same privacy as an indoor area, so its great for the hot tub. A gazebo is a structure that can support lighting, electrical outlets and other equipment without the concern of the weather. For this reason, a gazebo allows you to entertain even during the rain.

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    Pros And Cons Of Pergolas


    • Pergolas are easy to build or assemble.
    • They tend to be less expensive when compared to a gazebo.
    • They give more visual structure and spacing to the yard.
    • Depending on the quality and placement, a pergola can also add value to your space.
    • They provide some measure of shade.
    • There are a wide variety of materials to use in building a pergola.
    • Pergolas sometimes offer more versatility in terms of design and aesthetic to the overall property.


    • Pergolas do not provide as much shade or protection as does a gazebo.
    • They are often not as sturdy or fixed as a solid gazebo.
    • Pergolas don’t ever come with a floor.

    What Are The Benefits Of Having Shade Over Your Spa Or Swim Spa

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    When youre protected from the suns rays, this means you dont have to wear a hat, lather on sunscreen and you can spend more time in the water and less time worrying about getting sunburn and extra maintenance.

    A very good shade option for spas and swim spas that we can recommend is a Shadowspec Serenity umbrella.

    You could also think about buying a Shadowspec Unity. You can attach two umbrella canopies to the mast so you can cast enough shade over your swim spa. Its marine grade quality components, wind resistance, ability to rotate and portability mean you can add or remove shade as you please.

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