What’s the Difference Between Pergolas and Gazebos?


What’s the Difference Between Pergolas and Gazebos

The outdoor space of your home can make a huge difference in how you use it. So what are the differences between pergolas vs gazebos?


How Are They Similar?

Pergolas and gazebos are similar in that they are prominent features and they tend to command a great deal of attention in any yard or garden. They will both provide a great deal of visual interest and will make any outdoor space look more put together and homey. They may even be an excellent conversation piece. They are also similar in that they provide shade and a place to rest.


What is a Gazebo?

Gazebos are sort of like outdoor rooms. However, they are not as finished as a room in your home would be. They do have solid walls with window passages, a solid floor that is independent of any other structure, and a solid roof that is often shingled. The walls are often open and allow air to flow through.

These structures are normally round or octagonal in shape and are located far from other living structures. The idea is that a gazebo will provide a somewhat secluded resting place in a vast yard or garden. You will also see gazebos in large parks. In parks, they sometimes serve as bandstands.


What is a Pergola?

Pergolas are generally square or rectangular structures that are made of pillars and beams. They do not have traditional walls, roofs or floors. Instead, they have four or more posts that are set in concrete. These posts provide a base for the crossbeams that are used to create the top of the pergola. Think of it as an arch of sorts with four posts and crossbeams for the roof.

A pergola is a visual structure more than anything else and does not provide much protection from the weather. They are often placed on a patio or over an existing floor to provide both visual interest and shade to a certain extent. Pergolas can also be planted or covered in plants or vines, to both add to the appearance of the pergola, and to add to the overall shade quality of the structure. This is going to be best for those that want shade but that do not necessarily care that the structure does not look as solid or as built in as a gazebo might.


Which is Right for You? Pergolas vs Gazebos

There is no sure fire way to say which is going to work best for you. The best way to decide which you want is to first determine what style you like better. Do you prefer the harder lines of a pergola or the softer contours of a gazebo? Are you looking for a more permanent structure or something that seems a bit freer and less traditional?

Also, how much shade do you want? Pergolas are going to provide less shade than a gazebo unless the top is covered in vines. When the top of a pergola is completely covered in vines, it will provide excellent shade and cover from the elements. Gazebos are more common in areas where plants tend to grow more freely. Pergolas are more common in desert areas.

Taking into account what you want your garden to ultimately look like may also help you to choose a pergola or a gazebo. If you want a more contemporary style a pergola is a great option. For those that want to be a bit more traditional, a gazebo may be the ticket. However, pergolas are less expensive, easier to put up, and they can be customized with whatever vines, plants or flowers you choose.

If you are unsure, consider reaching out to a professional for a consultation. Mesa Awning can help you install any type of shade structure and can also help you to choose the right option for your yard or garden. If a pergola is not right for you, they will happily install an awning instead to provide quick and easy shade.

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