Gazebo Vs Pavilion: Which One Should You Get

Sarah has moved to a new house, and she has been planning to install a gazebo in her yard. However, when she researched the web, she got confused as there are many different types of garden houses with very similar outlooks.

Especially, gazebos and pavilions seemed so similar that it was hard for her to differentiate them in the first place. To help her understand the concept of these two outdoor structures, and also to find the core differences between them, we have come up with this article. Here, we have pointed the differences perfectly, so that Sarah, as well as you, can decide which is the best for your gardens.

Also read: Gazebo VS Pergola: The Best One For Your Outdoor

Gazebo And Pavilion – What We Should Know

Gazebos and pavilions are similar structures, and therefore, it is very easy to mix them up when you are looking to build a relaxation structure in your garden. Even though we have a whole article on Gazebo VS Pavilion, let’s first talk about both these structures a bit so that you have a clear idea about them.

A gazebo is a freestanding garden structure, usually hexagonal or octagonal in shape, that not only enhances the look of your yard but also offers you protection against sun, rain, snow, and other environmental elements. It has a proper roof, complete floors, and half railings for a more finished look. Made from woods, metals, and other elements, this framework provides you a place to relax while enjoying the view of your beautiful garden.

Similar to a gazebo, a pavilion is also a roofed garden structure to improve the visual interest of your garden. To provide you and your guests ease of access and lots of fun, this framework doesn’t have any railings around. It just has the pillars to support the hardtop roof, and that’s all. Also, unlike gazebos, a pavilion is often used as an extension to the main building for convenience as well as enhancing the overall look.

Gazebo VS Pavilion – The Differences

The main difference between a gazebo and a pavilion is in their design. While a gazebo has finished flooring and railings, a pavilion is completely open with no built-in floors. Also, even though a gazebo is used as a “house” on the garden, a pavilion is usually installed in the patio or deck to provide a shelter to the sitting area/outdoor kitchen below.

garden gazebo
Gazebo In Garden

Then again, there’s more. There are more differences between these two garden structures that meet the eye. Below, we have discussed all the ways that a gazebo and pavilion differ from one another so that it’s easy for you to pick the best framework for your garden.


The idea of a gazebo and pavilion is identical- a garden structure to beautify your outdoors while offering you a place for relaxation. As the concept is the same, the design of both these frameworks is very similar, which confuses the users more often than not. For starters, a gazebo is a garden house that has a completely covered roof, finished floors, and half railings. This hexagonal or octagonal-shaped structure gives you a vibe of a “real house” with an excellent focal point. Even though the shape of a gazebo is somewhat round with edges, you can experiment with the roof style and try a whole lot of designs. From a Victorian-style to a rotunda dome or pagoda-style roof, the choices are endless. You have the freedom to pick the one that suits your vibe and the home architecture the most.

Another vital design aspect of a gazebo is that it comes with a built-in sitting area so that you don’t have to bring in chairs and sofas from your home to relax and enjoy the environment. 

An Empty Pavilion

On the other hand, a pavilion is also an outdoor structure with a solid roof on the top. And this is where the design similarities end. Unlike gazebos, a pavilion is often square or rectangular in shape to add a more modern vibe to your property. Its roof is also different. Pavilions usually feature a flat or sloppy roof supported by four pillars or posts to offer to shed on your outdoor sitting areas. Its completely open sides [pavilions don’t have railings] create a welcoming vibe and provide a very chill-out environment.


When we discuss Gazebo VS Pavilion, we must also talk about the level of protection these two structures provide to their users. To start with, as a gazebo has a solid covered roof with railings and floorings, it makes sure that you are safe from the blazing sunlight, raindrops, snow, and other elements. Also, because of its structural convenience, you can install screens in it to enjoy additional protection against insects, bugs, and prying eyes. 

A gazebo not only provides you protection against the environment but also offers you extraordinary privacy.

However, the same cannot be said about a pavilion. Even though it also has a covered roof, a pavilion doesn’t provide as much protection against the environmental elements as a gazebo. Because this garden house has completely open sides, it exposes you to the elements and won’t keep you [or the sitting arrangements] safe from heavy rainfalls, wind, or storms. Moreover, you can never put on screens on a pavilion, and therefore, cannot enjoy as much protection and privacy as you would like.

If you want a safer and more protected sitting lounge in your garden, constructing a gazebo would be a better choice for you.


Both gazebos and pavilions are garden structures, there is no doubt about that. However, as gazebos are fully independent and meant for just the gardens, the same is not true for pavilions. As it is not freestanding, you have to build a basement if you want to place a pavilion in the front or backyard of your home.

In general, this outdoor framework is attached to the house or the boundary walls for an incredible support. You can also place it on the patio or deck to enjoy shelter over your sitting area.


The cost of the structure plays a crucial role when deciding what type of garden framework you will install in your outdoors. Although the cost largely depends on the material you choose to construct your outdoor structures, you cannot ignore the type and design of the frameworks [a gazebo or a pavilion] when calculating the costs. 

For example, as a gazebo has a more detailed design with the floor, railing, and sitting arrangements, you will naturally need more material and labor to build it in your garden. Because you need more materials and manpower, this outdoor home will cost you much more than a pavilion, in general. Depending on the materials and the size, a gazebo can cost you anywhere between $1500 to more than $12,000.

On the same note, a pavilion will cost you way less [somewhere between $2,800 to $6,300] as it has completely open sides with no railings, floors, or even built-in seats. All you need to spend is on the roof and the pillars. However, if you are building it in the middle of your yard rather than on your patio, the cost will significantly increase. Because this garden framework doesn’t have any built-in floors you will have to install a concrete base, which will most definitely increase the overall cost.


Durability is important. It determines how long your garden house will standstill on the ground. If we want to discuss the durability of a gazebo, we have to admit that this structure is extremely durable and would last for years if you build and maintain it properly. Because it uses more material for the construction process and also has a solid base, it is less likely that this framework will suffer from wear and tear quickly.

The same is true for pavilions also. But if you ask us to compare and state which would be more durable among these two, the winner is a gazebo, hands down. As a pavilion structure doesn’t have a concrete base, it will get affected by the weather and tears easily.

Final Thoughts On Gazebo VS Pavilion

There is no doubt that both a gazebo and a pavilion would enhance the look of your property while adding value to your home. Then again, taking all things into consideration, a gazebo would be an excellent structure to build if you have a big yard and a flexible budget. 

Similarly, if you have a deck or a patio [and not a big garden] then getting a pavilion would be the best decision to make. This framework provides shedding and gives you an extraordinary focal point. 

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