What is the Difference Between a Gazebo and a Pergola?


The difference between a gazebo and a pergola is apparent. A gazebo and a pergola are outdoor structures that you can use to beautify your home. Some people have mistaken these structures as the same, but they differ from each other.

What is a Gazebo?

A gazebo is an outdoor shade that can be freestanding or attached to a building. You can easily identify a gazebo structure when you see one, it has a roof and partially open sides. You can build a gazebo in a circular, square or rectangular shape. A gazebo can also take an octagonal, decagonal or a dodecahedron shape. 

Homeowners who want to install a gazebo in their home can build it from scratch or buy the gazebo in kit form.  You can also install a gazebo in your garden, backyard, parks or an open space. A person can use materials like wood, aluminium, steel, iron cast or vinyl in making a gazebo. There are different types of outdoor gazebos, the permanent gazebo type and the temporary gazebo. 

 If you have a gazebo in your backyard, you can use it for several purposes.  A gazebo can protect you from the sun and can also serve as a shade where you can relax comfortably outside. In summer, when the temperature is hot, you can use the gazebo in your backyard to extend your indoor living space. You can also use the gazebo as an outdoor dining area, an outdoor kitchen or a playhouse for your kids.

 The gazebo is a unique structure; you can choose to customise the gazebo to suit what you want. If you want some form of privacy or additional coverage against the element, you can add a screen wall to your gazebo. You can also add curtains and latticework to the gazebo sides to make it look more attractive. 

What is a Pergola?

What is the Difference Between a Gazebo and a Pergola?

Like the gazebo, a pergola is an outdoor structure that can be freestanding or attached to other structures. A pergola has a lattice or slatted roof supported with four posts. The space between the lattices allows the passage of cool air and sunlight inside the pergola. A typical pergola has open sides; you can use the pergola to cover a patio, deck or garden. You can use materials like metals and wood like cedar, pines and redwood to build a pergola. 

The pergola can beautify and add value to your home; it adds value to your home by increasing the property worth. If you want to install or pergola in your garden, you can buy a pergola kit or have a builder make it from scratch. 

Pergola owners can choose to customize the pergola to suit their needs. If you want to have a private time alone you can add curtains or a screen to the gazebo sides. You can also add a ceiling fan, furniture and a retractable awning to a pergola.

 A pergola can serve as a support for growing plants; the plants can later serve as shade for the pergola. You can also use a pergola to shade an outdoor lounging or dining area; you can also install a pergola close to a swimming pool.

The Difference between a Gazebo and Pergola

A person can easily tell the difference between a gazebo and a pergola by the roof. A gazebo roof provides full coverage against the elements, while a pergola provides little to no coverage. Unlike the gazebo, the pergola has a lattice top that can not shade a person completely from the sun. A gazebo can prevent you from getting wet when it rains, but the roof of a typical pergola can not keep you from getting wet when it rains. You can stay outdoors in your gazebo in different climate conditions, but you can’t do that if you have a pergola.

If you are a pergola owner, to enjoy the benefits a gazebo roof offers, you can add a roof to your pergola without changing the structure’s look. You can add a fixed roof to your pergola, and if you don’t want a fixed roof, you can add a retractable awning to your pergola. The retractable roof allows you to adjust the pergola top to suit your needs.  If you want sunlight to penetrate your pergola, you can open the retractable cover, and if you want some coverage against the element, you can close the roof.


The difference between a gazebo and a pergola is the roof function. A typical pergola has a lattice roof that cannot protect a person against the elements, while a gazebo roof provides complete coverage against the elements.

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