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Aluminium pergola vs gazebo comparison article

What is the Difference Between a Pergola and a Gazebo?

Pergola vs Gazebo Introduction

Ah, the great outdoors. Nothing beats relaxing in your garden, soaking up the sun, and enjoying the company of friends and family. But when it comes to outdoor structures, you might find yourself in quite the pickle: what is the difference between a Aluminium Pergola and a gazebo? Fret not! We shall embark on a delightful journey to unravel the mysteries of these two elegant structures, and by the end, you’ll know which one is the perfect match for your stylish outdoor space.

Pergola vs Gazebo Comparison, pergola on a deck

Key Takeaways

  • Pergolas and gazebos are both weather protection systems, but they serve different needs!
  • The roof structures are the main differences between a pergola and gazebo, with each offering unique design styles & materials.
  • Choose wisely - assess your needs, preferences & space before investing in either structure for added style & functionality!

Defining Pergolas and Gazebos

Outdoor structures like pergolas and gazebos are the perfect addition to any garden - they provide shade and can also save space, making them both stylish choices. The key difference is that Pergolas tend to have a louvered, often adjustable roof, and you'll see them more commonly attached to a house. Gazebos are their semi permanent cousins, and more commonly have a hard top roof, and sometimes are pop up and pop down for each use.

So a good overall guide...

When you think pergola, think permanently in one position, with a louvered roof, often attached to the house.

When you think Gazebo, think a canvas or hard top roof, which give full shade all the time. They might also be semi permanent - the sort of thing you take to an event and erect for the day.

Outdoor furniture inside a pergola

Pergola vs Gazebo Comparison Table

Pergola Gazebo
Louvered roof, adjustable when aluminium, allowing flexibility between sun, shade and waterproofing A canvas or hard top roof that doesn't allow the sun in. Primarily a shade and shelter solution
Fixed to one position. Often attached to the back of the house, but can freestand, they are a permanent fixture in the outdoor space. Often semi permanent, sometimes popped up for the day and then packed away again.
More robust - very wind resistant when installed correctly. Less robust, often need weighting down and not suitable in high winds.
Long term investment. More suitable as something that will transform your garden for many years. Shorter term investment - suitable for a summer or two.
Larger upfront cost - with the expectation of using it for the long term. Smaller upfront cost - intended for a shorter time period.
Aluminium pergola close up with fence behind

Installation guidance

Pergola installation

To ensure a successful pergola installation, it’s important to make sure you take all the necessary steps. Check out our guide on how to install a pergola, to learn more.

In a nut shell, this is a more complex installation, but you'll only need to do it once. You'll want to measure out your area, and ensure it is level. You'll also want to ensure you have appropriate footings to fix the pergola legs to, like concrete studs or timber, something solid in order to provide stability against strong winds.

Finally you'll want to decide whether you'd like it mounted to the back of your house, for seamless indoor-outdoor living.

Gazebo installation

Gazebo installation depends slightly on the type of Gazebo you opt for. If you're looking at something more permanent, that is going to stay in the same place, your installation will be similar to that of a pergola. Get the correct footings, make sure they are level and fix it down.

A pop up / pop down gazebo is a more simple "installation", more of a set up really. It won't take you as long, but you will need to do it every time you want to use it.

Choosing the right structure for your needs

Choose a pergola if...

  • You want the flexbility to choose between sun, shade and rain proof inside your structure at all times
  • You want something more permanent to transform your outdoor space for years to come
  • You're happy with a larger initial cost outlay
Pergola by a lake
Freestanding pergola
Dummy Image
Pergola over a hot tub
Aluminium pergola attached to house
Pergola attached to the house

Choose a gazebo if...

  • You just want shade and rain protection, and don't need the flexibility to allow the sun in to that area
  • You want something that you can take with you to events etc.
  • You need something that you can pop up and down that isn't there permanently
Round gazebo in a park
Ornate wooden gazebo
Round wooden gazebo in forest
Traditional gazebo
Soft top gazebo tent on decking
Soft top gazebo

A nerd on all things aluminium pergolas. Loves cricket, golf and being in Cornwall with his wife and dog!

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