Deck and Patio Blog

What’s the difference between a Pergola and a Gazebo?

October 25, 2016

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Outdoor structures provide us shade and comfort from the elements, a place to entertain and enjoy the outdoors. If you are considering adding an outdoor element like a gazebo or pergola to your home, you may find yourself asking which is right for you. Both the gazebo and the pergola structures are very different, aesthetically and functionally, and the two are often confused for one another. Here is what you need to know when deciding between the two:


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Gazebos are very popular in older homes and are making a modern comeback. You often see them at outdoor parks as well. Gazebos are most commonly use as outdoor dining or seating areas and they can be open or screened in.

The most recognizable traits of a gazebo is its shape and size. Gazebos are shaped to form an octagon and have a classically domed roof with 8 support pillars. Gazebos tend to fit around 5-15 people. They are smaller in size as compared to a pavilion, and you typically do not see them holding more than 15 people.


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Pergolas are covers for walkways and entertaining areas. They are rectangular in shape and have four support pillars. The tell tale sign of the pergola is the roof.  A pergola’s roof is characteristically made up of horizontal planks that can be decorative and that latch across each other.

Pergolas are great ways to cover and protect outdoor kitchens, furnished spaces, and patios. And not only are they stylish, but they also provide shade.

While both structures serve similar functions, it is a matter of personal preference, cost, and overall backyard entertaining goal. At North America Deck and Patio, our experienced designers can discuss with you your outdoor space goals, your budget, and help you to make your dreams a reality. Pergola or gazebo, your outdoor space will be something you can love and be proud of. Contact NA Deck and Patio today to schedule a free consultation.

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