What is the difference Between a Gazebo and a Pavilion


The gazebo and pavilion are outdoor structures with similar designs; people often confuse the two structures as the same. But the gazebo and pavilion differ from each other in so many ways. If you intend to install an outdoor shade in your home, it is better to know the difference between a gazebo and a pavilion.

What is a Gazebo?

The gazebo is a freestanding or a lean-to outdoor structure that is round, square or rectangular shaped. Gazebo makers can also build it to look like an octagonal or hexagonal structure. A gazebo can have a hard or soft roof that can shade you from the sun and rain. 

Builders install the gazebo roof in such a way that it complements the gazebo structure. The roof is domed shaped and may be single or double tier, and sometimes the gazebo can be flat. A gazebo can also have a vented roof to allow air circulation and the immediate discharge of smoke from grills. 

The gazebo has partially open sides; the sides can also be enclosed with a screen wall or bricks for added coverage. A gazebo can have an in-built floor, and you can also place it on a hard surface like a deck or concrete.

 There are permanent gazebo types and portable gazebos; you can use materials like metals, bricks, wood and vinyl to make a permanent gazebo. For the portable gazebo, you can use materials like metals and canvas to build it.

What is a  Pavilion?

What is the difference Between a Gazebo and a Pavilion

A pavilion is a lean-to outdoor structure; it is usually not freestanding like the gazebo. It has completely open sides with a solid roof and no in-built floor. Unlike the gazebo that can be round, hexagonal or octagonal, the pavilion is a rectangular shaped structure. 

The pavilion has a pitched roof supported by four or more posts depending on the pavilion’s size. A pavilion roof looks like a triangle or a pyramid; the roof is fully enclosed and can shade you when the sun is high and when it is raining. The pavilion can hold many people; you can use it for a wedding reception, meetings or any other large events.

If you want to build a pavilion on your open space, you can attach it to a deck, a patio or a concrete surface. You can use materials like metals, vinyl, bricks, cedarwood, pressure-treated pine, redwood and rafters in making a pavilion.

The Difference Between a Gazebo And a Pavilion

The gazebo and pavilion are quite similar, but they differ from each other. You can easily differentiate between the two structures if you examine them closely. Below are some features that distinguished the gazebo from the pavilion.

The Size 

A gazebo is small in size when compared to a pavilion; the pavilions are larger. A gazebo structure has a standard size of 12m x 12m which is smaller to a pavilion. The pavilion can hold more people than the gazebo; it can also contain a large couch, a dining room, a grill or an outdoor cooking area.

The Sides

A pavilion has a completely open side compared to the gazebo structure. The gazebo sides are partially closed and enclosed with a screen, while a pavilion side can not be enclosed with a screen, probably because it is large. The gazebo can protect you from the elements; it can protect you from the sun, rain, wind and more. The partially closed sides of the gazebo make it more resistant to the elements. While a pavilion can shade you from the sun and rain, the completely open sides cannot protect you from a heavy downpour, wind and insects.

The Floor

You can purchase a gazebo with an in-built floor from the same material as the gazebo structure. Unlike the gazebo, the pavilions do not have an in-built floor. Builders make a pavilion with a vertical post directly on any ground surface.

The Roof 

 The pavilion has a pitched roof, and the pavilion roof makes the structure resemble a house without a wall. While you can classify the pavilion with a particular roof shape, the roof of a gazebo can be domed, flat, slanted or can have a single or double tier.


The difference between a gazebo and a pavilion is that the pavilion is larger than the gazebo. You can also distinguish the gazebo and pavilion from the sides, the roof, and flooring.

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