July 5, 2022

Pergolas Vs. Pavilions Vs. Gazebos: May the Best Outdoor Yard Structure Win 

Picture this: it’s a Friday afternoon in the middle of July, the temp is 85 degrees and there isn’t a cloud in the sky; you have the day off work and get a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather- you could use you day off to catch up on yard work or maybe attempt starting a garden- or, you could use your day off to allow yourself time to do nothing and lay in the sun for hours with the book you’ve been meaning to start. You pick the last option and have been laying in a beach chair for three hours and your bottle of water is empty. Now, you have a couple options; do you go inside and eat a sandwich in the air conditioning or do you bring your sandwich and fresh, cold water back outside and find some solace under a shady tree to really soak up the sunshine while it’s still here? 

You may be thinking in this scenario how you’d most definitely pick to find solace under a shady tree so you can capitalize on the summer warmth, but your yard is barren of trees! Now what? 

How is a homeowner supposed to enjoy the sun in a yard without trees while protecting themselves from dehydration and the harmful rays of the sun? The answer, get yourself a pergola, pavilion, or gazebo! 

All three of these structures will add value to your home, visual appeal to your yard, give you some sort of shade, and jazz up any outdoor entertaining! 

At this point you may know you want to add some shade to your yard but also may be asking yourself, what in tarnation is a pergola and how is it different from a pavilion and gazebo? The main difference between these outdoor structures are the type of roof they have and how much shade and protection from the elements they’ll provide you. 


-PROS: adds value to the home, GREAT for gardening, slits and criss-crosses in the roof give plants room to grow, easy, cheap, and quick to install, no flooring required for installation, unique design options, nice air circulation through open design, and can be placed anywhere in your yard

-CONS: no real protection or shelter, materials can fade, not very durable, and not much privacy 

-COST: roughly $2,000-$10,000 


-PROS: adds value to the home, full-coverage roof for shade and protection, air circulation through the open design, have the option to add walls for additional privacy, cost effective materials and installation, can install electrical outlets, and great for entertaining 


-CONS: not entirely private through open design, take up a lot of yard space, and may need flooring installed

-COST: roughly $3,000-$15,000


-PROS: adds value to the home, full coverage roof for lots of shade, protects you from the elements, durable, can be placed anywhere in your yard, can be installed with electrical outlets, gives you some privacy, and tons of design options

-CONS: more expensive than pergolas and pavilions, require lots of maintenance, takes longer to install, and takes up a ton of yard space 

-COST: roughly $8,000-$22,000 

The main things to keep in mind when deciding whether a pavilion, pergola, or gazebo would be best for your yard are how much yard space you’re willing to give up and how much shade you want your roof to give you. If you’re looking for just a little shade and a space to sit by your garden, a pergola may be your best option. If you’re looking for a space to sit under the shade and have a cocktail while still being exposed to the warmth of the sun, go with a pavilion! If you want actual shelter from the sun or a place to play card games outdoors without bugs, get a gazebo! 

If you’re looking to add some spice to your yard and shade to your summer fun, now is the time to start the process of designing and purchasing your pergola, pavilion, or gazebo. Start now, and your biggest problem this summer will be where to set up your relaxation station! 

Summer’s only a few months long, capitalize on it!