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Gazebo vs Pergola: Which Is the Best Choice for Your Outdoor Space?

ByJessie Sanner

Feb 11, 2020
Outdoor Space

So, you’ve gathered the perfect furniture for your outdoor space, and all that is missing now is some shade under which you can cool off on a hot summer day. If you don’t have a deck, alfresco or a tall tree, the best way to add some shade is to use a gazebo or a pergola. But which one is best for your outdoor space? Let’s take a look at how both of these structures differ.

Gazebo vs. Pergola

What is a gazebo and what is a pergola? Well, the most noticeable difference between a gazebo and a pergola is the design of their roof. Gazebos have round or octagonal roofs, whereas pergolas are square or rectangular. The gazebo has a completely covered roof that resembles the tip of a tent. As such, it provides full coverage from the sun or rain. Some models can feature walls that offer protection from the wind too. Or you can install a screen wall to keep insects out. As such, a gazebo is great for people who want to spend time in their yard regardless of the weather. A gazebo is also usually easier to clean and maintain than a pergola.


On the other hand, a pergola has a slatted roof where some sunshine can shine through, providing partial shelter. The roof is supported by columns or posts. However, this type of roof can be made to offer full sun protection with the help of climbing vines and other plants. As such, homeowners opt for a pergola when they want to add an extra feature to their landscape.

Choosing a Gazebo

permanent gazebo

So, you’ve decided that a gazebo is a perfect option for you. Now the question is: What types of gazebos are available? Well, you can choose between a permanent or outdoor pop up gazebo. Once installed, a permanent gazebo becomes a fixture on your patio or yard. It can be made of all sorts of materials – metal, wood, plastic or vinyl. The permanent gazebo sometimes includes a floor that raises it off the ground, or it can be bolted on the ground in order to withstand extreme weather. To prevent rot, you need to make sure that your permanent gazebo is installed in an area that has adequate drainage.

On the other hand, a pop up gazebo is a collapsible structure that’s easy to transport and pack away when needed. It typically has four legs and doesn’t include a floor, allowing you to move it around easily. These gazebos are available in an array of colours and sizes, and can also be custom made according to your wishes. When buying an outdoor pop up gazebo, make sure that it has a roof made of high-quality canvas that’s UV and water-resistant.

pop up gazebo

How to put up a pop up gazebo? Well, it’s very easy and you yourself can do it without extra help. Most pop up gazebos can be installed in under a minute when following the instructions by the manufacturer. Another advantage of a pop up gazebo is that it’s lightweight and can fit easily inside the trunk of your car. This allows you to take it with you when camping or going to the beach.

Choosing a Pergola

While some gazebos can be portable, all pergolas become a permanent structure of the space. Depending on how they’re installed, pergolas can be anchored or wall-mounted. An anchored pergola is fastened on the ground with cement or stakes. This way, the pergola can be installed in the middle of a lawn or any other spot you want. On the other hand, a wall-mounted pergola is fastened to your home’s exterior wall on one side with its slats extending over the patio.


When it comes to material, pergolas can be made either from wood or from metal. If you want a wooden pergola, make sure that it’s sealed to prevent rot and damage from insects or the vegetation surrounding it. A metal pergola, on the other hand, can be prone to rust over time.

Final Thoughts

There are many factors that will influence your decision. One of the biggest ones will be your budget. If you have a big budget, a permanent gazebo can offer the most protection and is the most durable investment. On the other hand, if you only have a limited budget and want something to provide you with shade during a few months of the year, a pop up gazebo is the most cost-efficient choice. Pop-up gazebos are also suitable for families that go camping and want to increase their comfort.

Pergolas don’t provide protection as much as gazebos, but they can have a big impact on the appearance of your outdoor space. When covered in lush vegetation and colourful flowers, a pergola becomes a unique decorative feature of your garden.

By Jessie Sanner

Always weighing things, the life of a Libra isn’t easy and that’s something Jessie is well acquainted with as a Libra herself. The confusion with having to choose between things is what helps her write for the blog, in the hope of making it easier for readers who are indecisive themselves. Interested in contrasts, like period dramas and sci-fi, casual and classy outfits, fries and detox shakes, the life of this young lady is anything but boring. Or is it?