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What’s the Difference Between a Pergola, Gazebo, and a Pavilion?

What’s the Difference Between a Pergola, Gazebo, and a Pavilion?

Outdoor structures can provide shade, protection from the elements, and a location for outside entertainment. The question is, which one is the best for you?

Though many often use these terms interchangeably, there’s a distinct difference between each of these structures. If you’re like the masses, then you call any exterior construction a gazebo. There there, we are likely to help you impress your friends at your next outing! “What a fantastic Pergola this is!”

At first glance, significant subtleties may not be obvious but there’s always a way that you could tell which sort of structure you are taking a look at. Some cues which you’re able to search for are the shape, style, and operational intent. Let us define the hottest; the Pavilion.


The pavilion is an architectural structure that became well-known in the 1800’s. Originally intended to be the host of entertainment and other activities, pavilions have functioned a multi-use purpose for centuries. The size of these structures can fluctuate widely and are usually reserved for celebrations, weddings, banquets, and other events. Pavilions typically have roofs that are very similar to a home. Imagine a home with no walls! They are often used for venues, picnics, and outside weddings.


Gazebos are also quite popular in parks and backyards. They can alter the appearance of your backyard with a relatively modest investment. Once you enjoy your first dinner outside in the comfort of your own terrace, you will be pleased that you made this decision! The main difference between gazebos and pergolas is that gazebos ALWAYS have a rounded form. This is a fast and easy tip to tell them apart!

Gazebos are formed in the shape of an octagon with a domed roof that’s supported by 8 symmetrical pillared columns. What’s more, pavilions are a lot bigger than gazebos that are ideally designed to accommodate a tiny gathering of anywhere from 5-15 individuals.


Pergolas are used to cover walkways and to give refuge for seating areas. Rectangular shapes and four-legged constructions are characteristic of pergolas. One of the easiest ways you can point out a pergola is by its roof. Typically consisting of horizontal planks of timber, Pergola roofs are most commonly flat and open. Have a look at the photo’s and you’ll have the ability to distinguish the difference speedily! Many times, these structures have been used in gardens or adjoining homes to make an elegant outdoor setting.