If you’re 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, we’ve listed the pros and cons of both. Read this guide to make an informed decision.
Pergola or Gazebo: What’s 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.
What Is a Gazebo and How Is It Different Than a Pergola?
A gazebo is a freestanding structure that always has a solid roof. Unlike pergolas, they never have an open roof and are never attached to your home. Also, gazebos are round while pergolas are usually rectangular because of their grid-style roof.
One of the biggest differences, though, is that gazebos can be set up anywhere in your yard. This is due to the fact that they come with their own raised floor.
They can be used as a patio cover, but they can also be freestanding in the middle of your yard. Pergolas, on the other hand, are solely meant to be patio covers.
Pergola or Gazebo: Which Is Better for Your Backyard?
Now, let’s figure out which structure is best for your needs. Here are the pros and cons of each of these options.
First, pergolas are simple structures. This means that setting them up is very quick and easy compared to gazebos. It also means they tend to cost less than gazebos.
However, there’s a very wide range of materials and styles you can choose for your pergola. There are low-budget options, low-maintenance options, long-lasting options, and everything in between. You can learn more about this in The Ultimate Guide To Patio Covers.
And, because the pergola’s roof can be open or closed, they’re more versatile than gazebos. You can choose to leave the roof open or set up a rain cover or netting for shade. You can also put these accessories up temporarily depending on the time of year.
The open roof of a pergola is also nice for growing decorative climbing vines. Furthermore, many of these options—open roof, netting, vines—still allow some light to get through. Your patio doesn’t have to be so dark with a pergola.
While the setup is fast, completion may not be. For example, if you want vines covering your pergola, you may have to wait a whole year for them to grow. In the meantime, your pergola looks like a bare skeleton of the structure it will be, someday.
You also won’t have a lot of shade while waiting for your vines to grow. So, if you need a lot of shade, you’ll probably want a gazebo or covered pergola.
But also, pergolas usually aren’t as sturdy and long-lasting as gazebos. Thus, if you need it for cover, you’d probably benefit more from a gazebo than a covered pergola.
Weather can also ruin your time under the pergola. Heavy rain or wind will definitely find a way in.
Plus, pergolas don’t have a raised floor like gazebos. Rainwater from your yard can overflow onto the patio floor beneath your pergola. Additionally, many people don’t like the look of the unraised floor.
Lastly, most people prefer the appearance of wood pergolas over other materials. But wood pergolas require plenty of maintenance to keep them in good condition.
There are some gazebos that are meant as budget-friendly options. And gazebos offer a much larger range of design options than pergolas do.
Some gazebos have simple design and cheap materials. Others are extremely complex and built to last for decades.
Gazebos, and the people sheltering beneath them, will be far less affected by adverse weather compared to pergolas. Some gazebos even have solid walls or flaps that can shut out the weather. And you will definitely have plenty of shade under your gazebo.
Because of their weather-resistant properties, gazebos can house electronic accessories like lights and fans. This is helpful since gazebos are thickly shaded and resistant to wind. You can even set up a (properly encased) outdoor entertainment center in your gazebo.
All-in-all, there are very few unfavorable situations that can prevent you from relaxing under your gazebo.
In general, gazebos are more expensive than pergolas, especially the nicer and more durable they are. Complex gazebos will also require professional installation, adding even more to the cost.
Also, your gazebo may provide more shade than you need, making it too dark to enjoy. You can fix this by adding lighting, but then you’re increasing the cost yet again.
And, although they’re more permanent structures than pergolas, they certainly aren’t impervious to wear and tear. Specifically, they may start to leak after a while. Then you’re forced to pay for pricey repairs or even pricier replacement.
Enjoy Your Outdoor Covering
To get the most out of your roofed outdoor structure, choose wisely. Use this list when deciding between a pergola or gazebo.
Furthermore, there are loads of other choices to make when improving your home. And we have an entire blog dedicated to helping you make those decisions. Check our blog daily for more helpful home improvement tips.