What Is the Difference Between a Pergola and a Gazebo? 

To help us find the best deals and useful information for you, we may earn compensation from our advertising partners. See our advertising disclosure for more detail.

Posted 05/6/21 7:45am by Prim

Having a solid structure in your garden to offer much-needed shade and shelter can be an excellent feature. A dizzying array of options exist on the market. It can feel almost impossible to understand which is best for you. Two hugely popular structures are pergolas and gazebos.

You can find both types of structure in all kinds of gardens. From huge sprawling mansion grounds to modest suburban yards, these adaptable structures can look at home almost anywhere. With their principal purpose of offering shade from the sun, they’re as useful as they are attractive. You can use them for many purposes.

Many people assume that pergolas and gazebos are the same. However, they can look quite different from each other. The differences between the two could influence which type of structure suits you and your garden best. Let’s get into more detail and take a closer look at the differences between a pergola and a gazebo.

What is a Gazebo?

The gazebo is the granddaddy of garden structures. In use since Ancient Egypt, gazebos have long been the garden symbol of luxury and opulence. They tend to be more elaborate than pergolas. They are typically hexagonal, octagonal, or round. However, the key feature is that gazebos have a domed or steep roof (like a house). Often built with a raised floor, they have pillars to support the roof and railings around the sides.

Gazebos were hugely popular during the Victorian era. Many wealthy families would have had a gazebo that matched the style of their mansion. Public parks and gardens would also often feature a gazebo. Many are still in use today as entertainment platforms or bandstands.

Modern versions of gazebos can be metal, canvas, wood, or even masonry. Smaller or cheaper versions tend not to have the raised floor. Instead, the less expensive kinds are normally fine on top of the existing ground. 

For a more temporary or flexible option, gazebos with metal poles and canvas allow users to erect them and dismantle them as needed. This makes them ideal for entertainment spaces.

What is a Pergola?

The pergola is the gazebo’s modern counterpart. It is often sleek and minimal, lacking the typical ornateness of a gazebo. 

Pergolas tend to be wood or metal. Rather than having a solid roof, pergolas usually feature a latticed or beamed flat shelter supported by rafters and pillars. This means the pergola is used primarily for shade as opposed to shelter from the rain.

Some higher-end pergolas can feature electric shades. You can draw these across the top of the structure remotely. For sunny days, you can position the shades to protect you. On cloudier days, you can adjust the shade to enjoy an even more open-air experience.

Many people also like to train flowers and plants to grow up and over their pergolas because of its minimalist design. Popular plants to use are wisteria, grapevines, and ivy. This can create a beautiful, living structure that blends into your garden environment and provides more shelter and shade.

When deciding where to place your structure, a pergola offers more versatility than a gazebo. You can place a pergola against a building or it can be free-standing. It doesn’t need foundational support, so it will work on hard or soft ground.

Pergolas are typically the cheaper option as they require less material. However, the result can often appear as beautiful as a gazebo, if not more.

Which One Is Best for Your Garden?

So gazebos and pergolas serve different purposes. The choice between a pergola and gazebo largely comes down to personal preference and what you intend to use it for:

Choose a gazebo if:

  • You like classical and ornate designs
  • You would prefer a solid roof and shelter
  • You would like a permanent structure
  • Your garden has lots of space
  • You plan to entertain outside in all types of weather

For some of the best prices on gazebos, check out the latest offers on DealEpic. Once you know what you want, we’ll help you find it at a price you’ll love.

Choose a pergola, however, if:

  • You like modern, minimal designs
  • Your needs are primarily for shade
  • You want to be able to move or change the structure easily
  • You have a smaller garden or space
  • You plan to entertain outside primarily during summer months

There are also some great deals on pergolas, if you know where to look for them. It should not be too difficult to find a pergola to suit your style, needs, and budget.

Now you know the essential differences between gazebos and pergolas, you can investigate what will be best for your garden. Check out our website for deals on an excellent selection from the varied models on the market. 

Share this: