Gazebo VS Pergola: The Best One For Your Outdoor

Whenever you try to add a structure in your garden to improve its appeal, one thing that keeps bugging you is that what type of framework you should adopt, a gazebo or a pergola? As both these garden homes look very similar, it’s very easy and natural to get confused about which one to build- and we understand your anxiety.

To help you decide what would be the best for your patio, in this article, we have compared and contrasted both these structures [Gazebo VS Pergola] and also provided our verdict so that it’s easy for you to set up your mind and build the right framework in your beloved garden. 

Gazebo And Pergola: What Are These?

Even though the term “gazebo” doesn’t have any definite meaning, when we say gazebo, we mean a hexagonal or octagonal freestanding garden structure in the garden or patio to provide you protection against the sun, rain, and snow. Constructed mostly with wood and metal, this garden-house has a fully covered roof with half railings to offer you an incredible view of your surroundings.

On the other hand, a pergola is also a garden structure, but it is very much different from a gazebo [which we will discuss in just a bit]. It is a modern outdoor structure with a grid roof on the top and columns to support it perfectly. As the roof is not covered rather gridded, a pergola won’t offer any protection against the environmental elements. It would enhance the beauty of your garden while providing you a great space for a peaceful evening.

a nice gazebo
A Patio Gazebo

Gazebo VS Pergola: What Is Better For You

The main difference between a gazebo and a pergola is the structure or shape. While a gazebo has a fully covered roof to provide protection against the sun or rain, a pergola has a partially covered top, which lets the sunlight and rain pass through it.

However, these are not the only differences between these two types of garden structures. Let’s find the other difference for an even better understanding.


The concept of gazebo and pergola are the same- a structure in the garden. However, when it comes to the design of these structures, both gazebo and pergola are very much different. For instance, a gazebo is a garden house with a covered roof and hexagonal or octagonal shape. The roof design can vary depending on your choice. From a pagoda-style roof to a rotunda dome and a Victorian shelter, you can choose a number of covering designs according to your home architecture. Additionally, most gazebo designs include built-in sitting areas for the comfort and convenience of the owners.

Similar to a gazebo, a pergola is also a garden structure but with a very different design. Its design consists of a framework with pillars and posts to support the roof. Then again, unlike a gazebo, it doesn’t have a completely covered shelter. Instead, the roof design of a pergola has vertical posts connected to one another to form an open, gridded sheltering. Also, because of this distinctive design, the top of a pergola is often flat. Furthermore, as this “garden house” doesn’t have any railings and more open, it doesn’t have any sitting arrangements attached to it. For your refreshment, you have to install chairs and tables afterwords.

If you want to enjoy the surroundings all year long, then building a gazebo would be the best idea as it provides complete shelter while providing you an excellent focal point.

White Pergola
A White Color Pergola

Ease Of Constructions

Pergolas consist of just pillars and poles connected to one another. This means that when it comes to the construction process, this outdoor framework is extremely easy to build and install in your garden. If you have a bit of ‘building knowledge”, even you can make a pergola for your patio and enhance its look by several notches.

Then again, the same cannot be said about the building process of a gazebo. Even the simplest of gazebos are super difficult to construct. From the finished floor to the roof, building a gazebo is like building a house, just in the gardens. You will have to raise the structure from the ground to support the framework perfectly. Also, as the gazebo is a much heavier structure than a pergola, you have to build the supports intricately for maximum safety.

Better Protection

In this article, time and again, we have mentioned that gazebos have a conventional covered roof. This means that this garden home will provide you better protection against sun, rain, and other environmental elements subsequently. It doesn’t matter if you are enjoying your patio under the blazing sun or in heavy rainfall, this outdoor structure will not only provide you extraordinary shade but will also protect you from the elements.

On the other hand, as a pergola features a relatively open roof [gridded top], it doesn’t offer as much protection against the environmental elements as a gazebo does. Sunlight or raindrops can easily enter the structure and annoy you when you try to sit and enjoy the view of your beautiful patio. If you let some vines grow on this framework, it may provide some protection. But it still won’t be enough. 


When talking about gazebo VS pergola, we cannot differentiate them in terms of durability because of obvious reasons. For both gazebos and pergolas, the durability of the framework largely depends on their construction material as well as your maintenance. For instance, if you build your garden home [can be a gazebo or a pergola] with teak or any other exotic hardwood, it will last much longer than the ones built with pinewood. The same is true for many other building materials.

Nonetheless, if both the frameworks are made from the same material, know that a gazebo would last much longer than a pergola. As gazebos require more materials in their construction and also have stronger pillars, they will be more durable comparatively, it’s common knowledge. 


You don’t build an outdoor structure just to enhance the look of your garden, you also want to enjoy the best convenience from it. And a gazebo provides you just that. Aside from being an incredible place for beautiful photographs, this framework also offers other amenities, like the use of electricity. As it has shelters and protects from bad weather conditions, you can get electricity connections in this garden house to light it up and improve its appearance even more. 

You can also install bug screens and roll-up screens in a gazebo to keep bugs, insects, and wondering eyes at arm’s length. Because of such conveniences, you can enjoy your garden and yard more comfortably than otherwise.

However, you cannot enjoy any of these amenities in a pergola. As this garden framework is extremely open, you neither can get an electric connection [bad weather can cause electrical hazards] nor can put screens for safety and privacy. The only amenity you can enjoy in this garden house is the ease of access. As there are no definitive boundaries, you and your beloved pets can enter and exit it easily without any trouble. 


When it comes to the cost of gazebos and pergolas, you must remember that gazebos are much costlier than pergolas. It doesn’t matter what material you use or what accessories you install, gazebos will always be more expensive. This is because, in simple words, gazebos require more material and man-hour to build than the pergolas. From the structured ground to the covered roof and the half railings, the building process not only requires a whole lot of product but also time- and hence, you have to have a bigger budget when you decide to build a gazebo rather than a pergola.

In general, a gazebo could cost you something around $1000 to $15,000, whereas a pergola would only cost you between $3,000 to $6,000.

Final Verdict On Gazebo VS Pergola

After reading and analyzing the content carefully, we can conclude that both gazebos and pergolas have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. However, if you have the budget and you want a durable structure to enhance the look of your garden, then it would be an excellent idea to install a gazebo in your outdoors.

On the flip side, when you have a modern home and a “not so flexible” budget, building a pergola on the garden would be a wise decision to make.

Then again, these are only our suggestions. At the end of the day, analyze the advantage and disadvantages of both these frameworks, and get the one that best suits your needs and wants. 

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