Pergola vs Gazebo: Which Is Right For You?

Gazebo! I don’t know about you, but I think the gazebo is a FUN word to say. Try saying it right now…..See, it is fun!

But what do we really know about gazebos, though? If you have seen what a gazebo looks like, you can probably guess a few uses. Gazebos are places where friends and family gather under the security of a hard-topped structure. But wait, isn’t that basically what pergolas are?

If you are starting to feel confused, don’t worry, you are not alone.  Many people have questions like the ones below.

Is a Gazebo or Pergola better for me?

Which is less expensive, a Pergola Or Gazebo?

What are the differences between Pergolas and Gazebos?

If that sounds like where you are at in your comparison shopping, you have come to the right place. In this blog, we want to answer all of these questions and hopefully a little more!

What Is More Affordable, A Pergola Or Gazebo?

pergola vs gazebo questions

In most cases, Pergolas are cheaper than Gazebos. However, there are rare cases where a pergola outprices a gazebo. If you are looking for a true side-by-side price comparison for the same size structure, it can be really difficult to give a ballpark estimate. This is because the price of a pergola or gazebo is heavily dependent upon three main factors:

  • Materials Used
  • Add-on Features
  • Size

What Is The Average Cost Of A Pergola and Gazebo?

On average, people usually spend $7,800 on a backyard Gazebo and about $4,400 on a Pergola. This is not always the price point where things will start. However, this should give you a basic starting point when considering the cost of the project of an outdoor project of this magnitude.

Why May A Pergola Be More Expensive Than A Gazebo?

In rare cases, a Pergola may be more expensive than a Gazebo. The reason for the increased price of a Pergola would be related to the kind of wood used to build the pergola. This may be treated lumber or maybe a specialty wood like cedar.

Why Is A Gazebo Usually More Money Than A Pergola?

Gazebos are often greater in price because of the features the people add to the structure. This means you will find things like electricity, windows, upgraded roofs, and personalized features in most gazebos.  Gazebos also tend to be larger in size, resulting in a larger cost for the overall price of the building.

Which Is Better, A Pergola Or Gazebo?

There isn’t really a “better” option between pergolas and gazebos. In fact, both buildings can be designed in multiple ways. A better question to ask is which Gazebo or Pergola design you prefer. To help you figure out what design works best for you, take a look at the options of pergolas and gazebos below.

Pergola Styles

Pergolas | Flat-Roof | Wooden or Vinyl

The flat-roof pergola is the most iconic and traditional-looking pergola we have to offer. Commonly used by a pool, the flat-roof wooden or vinyl pergola exists to bring shade and character to your property. This will be the least expensive option for most of the pergolas on the market. If you choose the completely wooden version of this pergola, they are usually made of treated pine or cedar. For some added aesthetic, you can customize these structures with canopies or curtains.

Pergolas | Curved- Roof | Wooden or Vinyl

The dimensional curve of these pergolas adds a specific desired look. These pergolas can often have more overhangs on the sides and tend to be more expensive than ones with a flat roof. However, when it comes to the popularity of pergolas, wooden arched tops are more commonly found than vinyl arch top pergolas.

Pergolas | Pitched Roof | Wooden or Vinyl Pergolas

A pitched pergola gives your backyard a distinct and modern look. The pitched roof could benefit you if your property is located where the sun only seems to affect your yard at particular angles! Nonetheless, no matter where the sun is, this pergola style allows for a more open feel.

Pro design tip: This design is the most popular option to add a roof to for some extra shade advantage.

Pergolas | Simple | Wooden Or Vinyl

These pergolas are great for a simple and modern look that is very clean. Many people love a pergola with a little bit of an overhang. If you are one of those people, then this one is not for you as there is no overhang on this model. Its simple construction allows for the roof to be held up by heavy-duty solid posts. If you prefer a sleek modern look, this pergola is for you.

Pergolas | Upscale Wooden

This style is the opposite of the simple style. Offering a more pronounced overhang than any other pergola style, this luxury backyard structure is perfect for your new patio. Big or small, these are the Ferraris of the pergola world. Generally only available in wood, they are often outfitted with electricity to make for an exciting entertaining area.

Gazebo Styles

Pergolas are styled in categories of appearance and unique features. Gazebos, on the other hand, are styled in shapes! The question remains! “Which structure do I like the best ?” Let’s take a look at the gazebo styles.

Gazebo | Octagon | Wooden or Vinyl

The octagon gazebo style is one of the most popular in America. It allows for the feel of a classic gazebo. Octagon gazebos can feature metal or a shingled roof, the latter being the most common. These gazebos can be incorporated into an existing patio or even added to the deck area as well!

Gazebo | Oval | Wooden or Vinyl

Oval gazebos tend to be larger than octagonal and are perfect for an open backyard space. These gazebos commonly feature a screen and dining furniture inside. With reinforced posts and a heavy-duty railing, these gazebos are sought after for not only their durability but their outstanding good looks.

Gazebo | Rectangle | Wooden or Vinyl  

Rectangular gazebos may be the most customizable kind of Gazebo out there. With a classic hard top, these gazebos most often feature electricity. Often times these small rectangular gazebos are used for outdoor lounging at home. While large rectangular gazebos are a wonderful addition to high-end venues, such as those for weddings.

Gazebos | Dodecagon | Wooden or Vinyl

We have reached the mammoth of gazebos! While rectangular gazebos can be bigger in size, the dodecagonal creates a visual draw as the focal point while enjoying the intimacy of an indoor space. The circular over rectangular design allows for many people to be in proximity to each other. To find out more about the history of the gazebo, check this out!

Gazebo Add-Ons & Options

Now that the styles have narrowed down, we can focus on what we want our outdoor structures to feature! Here is a list of all of the add-ons that you can use to make your gazebo everything that you wanted

Gazebo Roofing Options

You have the choice between shingles, shakes, or a metal roof for most of the gazebo options. You also can choose the roof style. The main roof styles that are often seen on gazebos are the pagoda, cupola, and pinnacle.

Gazebo Railing Options

There are a variety of railing options to make your Gazebo look the way you desire. The 3 main choices are Colonial, New England, and Dutch. Which one do you like the best?

Gazebo Flooring Options

Do you like the look of classic wood, or do you prefer a composite material? Or do you prefer to have no floor at all? No matter what you choose, we can’t wait to get to building your project!

Gazebo Brace Options

Do you want to add a touch of elegance to your gazebo? Try adding some decorative braces. Braces are added to the section between the post and the roof.

Gazebo Screen Options

Smack! “Did you get that mosquito?” Bugs are one of the most annoying things when you are trying to relax. Why not get a screen to keep the gnats, flies, and mosquitoes away? Who know you just may find out people want to come any hang out at your place more often!

Gazebo Panels Options

Do you enjoy the outdoors but don’t want your neighbors to see you? Panels are a great way to add more privacy or help control the environment’s temperature. Getting a couple of these could help make your space more inviting and cooler!

Gazebo Bench Options

Having seats available in your gazebo is just one way to make your space even more enjoyable. Benches can be built into the sides of your gazebo and can go the whole way around. Save on furniture prices by adding this feature!

Gazebo Window Options

If you want complete control over the climate of your gazebo, then you can window off the entirety of the sides! This allows you to see the outdoors still and gives you a nice indoor space. In fact, some of people may call structures like this a Sun-Room.

Gazebo Electricity Option

Imagine being able to enjoy all the convenience of being indoors while being outside. This package generally includes 2-3 receptacles and wiring to ensure you have the power you need outdoors is available. Now you can enjoy music and lighting late into the evening.

Pergola Add-Ons & Options

Pergola Roofing options

Do you enjoy being in heavily shaded areas or only areas that are slightly shaded? With a pergola, you can choose between open spaces between the boards for a slightly shaded area. If you prefer a more shaded experience, you can add a lattice roof. Whichever you choose, we are sure that you will be able to enjoy your outdoor space.

Pergola Post Options

Pergolas need to be supported by posts. And to do this, we offer posts that are visually appealing and reinforced. Which one do you think will be the look you are after?

Pergola Canopy

Do you want to have the ability to have shade with your pergola but don’t want an enclosed roof? Canopies may be just what you want. Canopies are installed on the underside of the rafters. Canopies also allow you to block out the sun or keep yourself dry from light rain.

Pergola Curtain

Pergola curtains are similar to gazebo panels in that they give you some shade and added privacy. These can be installed on the sides of your pergola to give the feeling of an enclosed space. The easy pull mechanisms make it convenient to give you the shade or privacy you desire.

Pergola Electricity

Do you like to have guests over late into the evening? How do you plan on giving the proper lighting to see each other? Well, why not add an electrical package to your pergola? This package generally includes 2-3 receptacles and wiring to make sure you have the power you need outdoors.

What Are Common Sizes For Gazebos and Pergolas?

Common Pergola Sizes:

Most pergolas start at 8′-10′ width. From here, you can determine which length size is the best size for you. If you do desire a larger pergola, the “next size up” is 12′-16′ widths.

Common Octagon Gazebos:

Common octagonal gazebo sizes are 8’, 12’, and 14’. These are measured in diameter as they are round in shape.

Common Rectangle Gazebo Sizes:

The common sizes for the rectangular gazebos are 10’x12’, 12’x16’, and 14’x20’.

Common Oval Gazebos

The standard sizes for oval gazebos are 10’x12’, 12’x14’, and 14’x16’

Dodecagon Gazebos:

The sizes of a dodecagon gazebo are 20’, 24’, and 26’. These are measured in diameter as they are some what round in shape.

What Are Pergolas and Gazebos Made Of?

What is better for pergolas and gazebos…vinyl or wood? That is really up to you. Here are some key things to think about before making your decision. 

Vinyl Pergolas and Gazebos

This material will require less from you. There is not much care to clean and maintain this material. With a power washer, or some elbow grease once a year, you can have a beautiful-looking pergola! Often in the color white, vinyl will last you a lifetime if it is kept damage-free. 

Wood Pergolas and Gazebos

These pergolas and gazebos are generally more sought after. The classic wood look is timeless and makes any property look amazing. But…wood requires upkeep. Wooden pergolas may require additional staining, monthly cleaning, and various care depending on your climate and the location of the pergola.

Pergola vs Gazebo: Conclusion

So should it be pergolas vs gazebos? These beautiful outdoor structures aren’t at odds with each other as much as they complement each other. We have seen multiple homes have both of these structures! Each structure offers various perks and different visual preferences.

In the end, it is up to you! What do you want from your outdoor structure? Don’t forget to think about…






If you can answer what you want from the above list from your structure, that will give you a pretty good indication of which one suits your property the best! If you need any help in this process, feel free to contact us!