Pergola vs Gazebo (Comparison & Pros and Cons)

Have you ever wondered which is better, a pergola or a gazebo? If you’ve ever lived in a home with both, you’ve probably experienced both the pros and cons of each.

Pergolas are a popular choice for covering large areas of garden, patio or lawn. They are also extremely popular for use during the winter months allowing us to enjoy our gardens, patios and lawns year round. Pergolas cover a large area and are very stylish but are quite expensive and are often difficult to build. Gazebo’s are very cheap to buy and don’t take up as much room as a pergola, however they are often too small to cover a substantial amount of area and they are somewhat more difficult to build.

Here’s our guide to comparing pergolas and gazebos, including what they are, the pros and cons, and what’s best for your garden design.

Our gardens are intimate spaces, especially when we share them with our loved ones. A place like this creates memories and allows you to spend time outside. Some people even plan their garden down to the smallest detail.

If you are here because you want to learn more and build some shade and shelter for your yard where people can find shelter, then you are on the right page.

You have two options: a pergola or a pergola. But wait, you have no idea what they are exactly. Are they really the same? We will compare the two concepts below to provide some clarity. At the end of this lecture, you will be armed with knowledge that will help you decide what is best for your home.

Pergola versus pergola

Pergolas and pergolas are structures intended for outdoor use. Both can provide shade and protection from the sun and rain in your garden.

However, it is important to note that the two concepts are distinct and therefore not interchangeable. But that’s a good thing. If you know the difference between the two, you have not one, but two options for your garden.

Familiarize yourself with their functions, advantages, disadvantages and usability. This will help you make the right purchase decision. So let’s get started.

What is a pergola?

More and more people are becoming familiar with pergolas. The main reason for this is that they are usually built over houses as partial covers for terraces. They are also less expensive than garden sheds. But let’s move on and get to know each side.

Pergola comes from the Latin word pergula, meaning projecting edge. This means that all pergolas are self-supporting structures. They can be designed as fixed roofs or folding roofs, which provide partial shade. These are usually intermittent beams that are laid over a large area of your roof.

There are also pavilions without a roof. In this case, plants or vines can be grown on the beams to provide shelter and create the intended atmosphere, e.g. natural aesthetics.

With a modern design, the pergolas offer an elegant and sensitive look that suits our modern architecture. This style appeals to minimalists and lovers of simplicity. It can be a perfect oasis in the garden, placed by the pool or along the flowerbeds. See more ideas about Gazebo’s here.

What is a gazebo?

Gazebos are outdoor structures characterized by a sophisticated style, often inspired by polygonal shapes. The traditional pavilion, which dates from the 19th century. Dating from the 19th century, it has a domed roof and is often associated with a luxurious retreat with picturesque views.

The structural design of the pavilion is simple yet elegant. The points of the polygon are the places where the poles, pillars or columns will be placed. And the sides are completely open to the air. Sometimes they are surrounded by full walls, but with large built-in window structures.

As a rule, most gazebo designs give the impression of a Victorian garden – elaborate and layered.

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.

Pros and cons of pergolas and gazebos

Pergola Professionals

Quick and easy to build – For a pergola, these structures are relatively easy to build. Once your posts are in place, the final build-up will be over before you know it.

Extend your outdoor space – Since many pergolas are attached to a patio, they can extend the time you can enjoy that space.

A more modern or contemporary design – For those looking for a contemporary aesthetic, a pergola may be just what you need. A modern gazebo tends to have a more elegant look than a traditional gazebo.

The potential of a DIY project is that a pergola is much less complicated to build and assemble than a pergola. Therefore, homeowners can do the job themselves with some existing power tools. You can use a pergola design software to plan the layout.

Versatile Sunshade – An awning can be used on a gazebo to shade an area when needed, or it can be removed to let in filtered sunlight. An awning in the form of a pergola is a more versatile construction.

Cost-effectiveness – When you consider the financial aspect, you have the opportunity to find the right materials for your budget. If you choose the material, pergolas are still relatively inexpensive compared to gazebos.

Gazebo Pros

Durability – In this regard, gazebos are considered to be durable. In bad weather there is a small risk of damage to the pavilions. Being an open space where you can relax, they become an oasis of comfort and style.

Traditional look – For those who want to give their garden a traditional look, a gazebo is the best solution.

Protection from rain and weather – Because they have a full roof, the chances of your gazebo getting dirty from the rain are minimal. It will also be safe to conduct electricity. You don’t have to worry about damaging electrical appliances and outlets.

Provides shade – Unlike a gazebo, which requires an awning, a gazebo always provides a shady spot.

Increases the resale value of the house – There is no doubt that a quality pergola will increase the value of the house and thus will be attractive to potential buyers.

Disadvantages of the pergola

They don’t provide much shade – One of the biggest drawbacks of pergolas is that they don’t provide much shade. Once the vines have completely entwined your outdoor structure, you won’t want to sit under them, especially in the summer.

In addition, your design will look unfinished until the vines are fully grown. This can be quite frustrating for homeowners who completed the project in the fall, as the plants begin to grow before spring.

Can discolor over time – Many wooden gazebos can discolor over time in the sun if not treated properly. In addition, they can tip over or even fall over in bad weather.

Does not increase resale value – A pergola is known to increase the resale value of a home, but a pergola does not.

Regular maintenance required – Even though wooden pergolas look classic when they are finished, they require regular maintenance if you want the wood to look its best and last longer.

Gazebo Cons.

They take up more space in the garden – Generally, a pergola is large and takes up a lot of space in the garden.

Metal can get too hot – Steel or other types of metal gazebos can blister on hot summer days.

More expensive – An arbor is usually more expensive, and you may need to hire a professional to do the work for you. They are definitely not recommended for do-it-yourselfers.

The roof may leak over time – Just like any other house, the roof of your gazebo will eventually leak. That would mean expensive repairs to fix those sealing problems at the corners of the hood.

What should I call a pergola with a roof?

Some gazebo owners face the problem of lack of cover. If they want to solve this problem, they should consider installing a pergola with a solid roof.  They are often called gazebos.

An arbor is a self-supporting pavilion with a fixed roof. To make it even more interesting, you can install fixed and retractable roofs. If you prefer the aesthetics of a pergola but still want a roof, you have another option.

What’s better? Pergola or gazebo ?

The point is that it’s really a matter of personal choice. Both the pergola and the arbor are unique, but also provide shade and aesthetics to your garden.

A thorough study of the area in which your exterior structure will be built can be helpful. After all, when it is finished, it will affect the overall atmosphere of your garden in some way.

That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and think all decisions through. Take your time and imagine what you want your garden to look like.

Pay attention to where the sun gets hot and whether you need full shade. Are there any practical priorities that need to be addressed? You have z. B. a certain space for a swimming pool or garden, then you will have to build your structure in another place.

These simple details will define the look of your outdoor recreation, especially in the backyard. Whatever option you choose, make sure functionality and aesthetics meet halfway.

You can find more relevant pictures in our gallery of gazebo ideas here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a gazebo better than a pergola?

A gazebo is a type of pavilion that is typically used as a garden structure. A pergola, on the other hand, is a freestanding arbor or porch with an open framework and can be made from wood or metal.

Are gazebos outdated?

No, gazebos are not outdated. Gazebos are a great way to add some shade and privacy to your backyard.

Why would anyone want a pergola?

A pergola is a structure that is typically made of wood or metal and provides shade, protection from the sun, and privacy.

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