Gazebos have been used for centuries as a shelter for people to enjoy as they go about their outdoor activities. In fact, the earliest use of gazebos can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians who used them as a gardening space. Pergolas are upright structures that closely resemble a trellis. They can also be used in a garden and are particularly useful for vining or climbing plants.

Which structure is best for your environment? Below, we’ll go over the difference between gazebos and pergolas and discuss the benefits of both.

What is a Pergola?

Pergolas are structures that shelter seating areas or other landscaping elements like walkways. Often, pergolas are rectangle-shaped, but they can also be square. One of the easiest ways to spot a pergola is by its roof. A pergola will have a roof made from horizontal planks of wood or metal. The open roof is flat rather than angled. 

What are the Benefits of a Pergola?

Adding a pergola to your outdoor space has many benefits.

  • It’s an elegant design feature for an outdoor seating area.
  • Added over outdoor park cooking spaces, it provides protection from the sun.
  • Foliage can be grown across the top for more sun protection and landscaping
  • It adds visual appeal to a backyard or park.
  • They’re affordable and easy to build.
  • Vinyl pergolas are durable, low maintenance, water-resistant and rust-resistant.

What is a Gazebo?

A gazebo is a shade structure typically octagonal in shape. This outdoor shelter includes a domed roof in addition to symmetrical columns. Gazebos are available in different sizes, and they are typically large enough to host medium-sized gatherings of 20 to 40 people. 

Adding a gazebo to your school, park, etc. will likely transform the look of the space without requiring a tremendous investment. Companies that manufacture gazebos usually prepare them against insect infestations because they’re outdoor structures. Gazebos are typically manufactured from wood, but you can get one that’s made from steel and other metals. 

What are the Benefits of a Gazebo? 

With a closed roof and solid floor, outdoor gazebos extend your capacity to host a multitude of events as well as provide a place for public gatherings on off days. Other benefits include:

  • Increase the safety of playgrounds by providing protection from the elements.
  • Create an additional source of revenue with parties, weddings and more.
  • Add a performance venue for local concerts or recitals.
  • Enhance the beauty of your space with a gazebo as a focal point or garden structure.
  • Provide a public gathering place where people can rest, get out of the elements or meet a friend for coffee.
  • Preserve your patio furniture and amenities by placing them under a closed roof. They’ll withstand water and sun damage much longer.

Pergola or Gazebo?

A gazebo or a pergola will complete your park, school or city’s landscaping by adding protection and shade. These types of outdoor accessories are sure to make your outdoor space more visually appealing, providing a place to congregate for the public. While both gazebos and pergolas provide varying benefits, there is surely a place for one or both in your next outdoor project.