How To Choose A Gazebo or Pergola

  • 10 min read
Outdoor Gazebo covering patio furniture

What Is A Gazebo?

A gazebo is an outdoor structure for decorative or functional purposes which is a popular addition to any garden or patio. It Is a perfect place to meet friends and family outdoors.

Under hard top gazebos, you get to enjoy a warm afternoon together with your loved ones while staying outdoors and in the shade. Gazebos can be either standing or attached to a building or garden wall, so when it comes to choosing the right gazebo for your property there are plenty of choices.

Types of Gazebos


Pavilion -An octagon shaped pavilion gazebo is a familiar sight in many gardens. Occupants of this small style of gazebo love the fresh air that blows in from everywhere. It also comes in rectangular shape. 

Pavilion gazebo white with flowers around it


PergolaPergola gazebos look elegant and classy in every backyard, but this design matches particularly well with homes with plenty of greenery and a large garden presence. 

Pergola Gazebo made of wood with roof


Victorian- This kind of gazebo has a style matching the motif of houses built in the Victorian era. In their columns, knee braces, and wall panels these gazebos have many complex, curvy features.

Victorian gazebo image with green roof


Pagoda- If you're a lover of Japanese architecture, bring home a little piece of Japan to your home with a gazebo in Pagoda style. In nearly every backyard, and especially those with touches of Japanese culture, this kind of structure looks gorgeous.

Pagoda Gazebo made of wood


Rotunda- A rotunda is a vast, oval gazebo. Usually Rotundas consist of a ring of simple pillars that support a domed roof. The gazebo style comes from Europe, and the rotunda has also become a popular building architectural style. In a house the rotunda refers to a circular room with a domed roof.

Large Rotunda Gazebo with big pillars


Folly- A folly is a building which was only built for ornamental purposes. Follies originated on wealthy estates centuries ago, often with extravagant designs or made to look like old ruins. Similarly, a folly gazebo is intended to be used only for decoration and not for use.

Folly gazebo in garden with lots of vines overhanging the steel gazebo

Advantages of Gazebos

  • Gazebos can be built from a variety of materials.
  • A great gazebo will immediately add more value to your property and make it more attractive for potential buyers.
  • Gazebos offers a great location for taking pictures.
  • They're great for protecting your hot tub, allowing you to use it even when weather is uncertain.
  • Gazebos allows users to enjoy more of their yard with comfort and style, as they give you outdoor space where you can relax and be safe against the weather.
  • Gazebos has both floors and roofs and these work to keep the hot sun and rain out and make sure the surface is not dirty due to the weather.
  • Because they are protected from the weather, you can run electricity to a gazebo. 
  • Installing bug screens is easy to keep away bugs, mosquitoes, and other rodents, enabling homeowners to feed outside without worrying about getting distracted at their meals.
  • Roll-up windows in a gazebo provide far more anonymity than other systems do. It encourages homeowners to use them for romantic dinners, or when they just want to be away from family members or neighbors ' prying eyes.
  • Peace of mind is hard to find in today's day and age. The bonus of incorporating structure to your outdoor space is that it can provide a way to relax and unwind.

Disadvantages of Gazebos

  • Expensive
  • Hard to build
  • With time, the gazebo's roof will start leaking just like in a house.
  • If the gazebo you create in your yard looks too big, then it seems out of place and does not enhance your property's overall appearance.
  • Although prefabricated gazebos are easier to install and much less costly, they are not always designed to last, and will not have the same elegance and appearance as a handmade gazebo.
  • During the summer, steel gazebos will become very hot while wood ones will require regular maintenance to prevent damage to the wood.

What is a Pergola?

A pergola is essentially an outdoor room with cross rafters and no walls, allowing for a nice, inviting place for you and your loved ones to dine and relax. If you are the kind of person who loves being outdoors – reading a book or having dinner – amidst nature, getting in touch with Patio Pergola Builders Penrith or somewhere more local to you, just may be what you need to get a patio installed in your backyard.

Pergolas are generally freestanding structures, but they can easily attach to the side of your house becoming an extension of your home. Patios and grilling areas that were once rarely used will become gathering points for family dinners and late evenings with friends. 

The Purpose of a Pergola 

  1. Move Your Party Outdoors - Many homeowners use pergolas as a simple way to create an outdoor extension of their living space. By choosing a design that will complement the exterior of your home and placing the pergola very close (or attached) to your home, you'll have a seamless transition from inside your home to your outdoor living area.
  1. Upgrade Your Garden - A pergola is a fantastic way to add an extra charming touch to your backyard garden area. When using a design with an open-top lattice roof, your garden will get the necessary sunlight and air circulation it needs. 
  1. Boost Your Home’s Value - You can create a magnificent entertaining space and increase the value of your home by simply adding a well-designed pergola to your backyard.  Just make sure to use a sturdy pergola from a reputable brand because if the pergola is poorly designed, it can actually decrease your home’s value. 
  1. Add Shade and Privacy - With or without a roof, a pergolas can still add a touch of shade to your patio area.  If you desire more shade, you can opt for lattice to be placed along the sides and roof. Lattice can also accommodate climbing vines, enhancing the already wonderful aesthetic and appeal that a pergola provides. Adding walls to your pergola will provide privacy to your backyard space.
  1. Add Lighting and Decorations - A pergola is the perfect structure for hanging lights, fans, and decorations to create the perfect entertaining area. Installing lighting in your pergola is a sensational way to spend time with family and friends as it allows you to enjoy your outdoor living space after sunset. 

Types of Pergolas 

There are plenty of design options when it comes to pergolas. You can have an outdoor structure custom-made or opt for a less expensive pergola kit for convenience.  

Below are some of the most popular pergola styles.

Open-Top - designed with an open-roof design that allows for air circulation and sunlight. Open-top pergolas are often placed in a garden area to create an appealing focal point.  The open-top pergola provides minimal shade and doesn't provide shelter from rain.  An open-topped design can include a traditional lattice roof to provide additional shade.

Open top pergola built with wood

Gable or Pitch - designed with a roof to protect you from the sun, rain, and other elements. Because of the roof design, the gabled or pitched roofs offer sufficient water runoff and are most often seen over decks, patios, hot tubs, dining areas, and entertaining spaces.

Gable pergola also called a pitch pergola built on patio

Sail - designed to provide a clean, modern look and more shade and shelter than an open roof design. The sail pergola utilizes a stretched fabric in place of a traditional lattice roof.  If you want partial protection and a little sunshine coming in, transparent panels or sails would be a perfect choice. 

Sail pergola with stretched fabric on the top

Steel - designed to last in areas with harsh weather conditions.  Not only does the steel frame hold up extremely well in inclement weather, but it often lasts the longest. Steel pergolas are not very common due to their industrial appearance.

Large steel pergola covering patio

Vinyl Pergolas- designed to give an elegant, clean look. Vinyl pergolas are becoming increasingly popular due to their durability, affordability, and universal design. As a bonus, vinyl is practically maintenance free. 

White Vinyl pergola built in garden area with patio furniture

Advantages of Pergolas 

  1. Pergolas aren’t super expensive so they can be a cost-effective way to give your property a more unique and inviting appeal.
  1. Pergolas are easy DIY projects that you can complete in less than a day.
  1. Pergolas are usually made with very durable wood so they are very sturdy 
  1. Pergolas create a great atmosphere for outdoor entertaining and dining by helping you maximize your outdoor space. During the summertime heat, pergolas offer much-needed shade to your yard.
  1. Pergolas are customizable so you can add accessories to provide more shade, either by creating a roof, attaching fabric, or even growing vine coverings around the wooden beams or columns.  A few attractive vine options are wisteria, honeysuckle, trumpet vine, and clematis.

Disadvantages of Pergolas

  1. Pergolas require maintenance and need to be cleaned, treated, or repainted over time to keep them from looking weathered. In moist air conditions, mildew should be watched for and cleaned when present.
  1. Your structure may naturally fade to a different color shade depending on its wood construction.  Most wood pergolas can be preserved by cleaning the wood, applying wood stain, and applying sealant. Every year, you can apply a new coat of wood stain to keep up the appearance.
  1. While many wood pergolas like cedar or pressure-treated pine naturally repel termites, it is not uncommon for a wood pergola to be a target for them.
  1. Due to the size of a pergola, most are built as permanent structures.  While they can add value to your home, some home buyers won’t enjoy dealing with a permanent fixture like a pergola.   

    Material Choices for Pergolas

    STEEL - A more contemporary choice that, unlike wood, does not decay. Using chemically treated steel will also result in less rusting. Steel is typically installed quicker than wood because it has lower volume and needs less support. 

    ALUMINUM - A perfect choice for pergolas if you live near the ocean because humidity and salty air can lead to corrosion. Aluminum is lightweight and easy to maintain.Powder-coated aluminum can be used for extra protection and color options. If you are interested in building an aluminum pergola or another similar shelter, you could always opt for one of these aluminum and glass canopies to give your home and outside space a whole new look.

    WOOD - The most common and conventional material used to build a pergola. Since wood is available in a wide variety, there are options depending on which suits your preference and living conditions.  Hardwoods are costly, but more durable and add an appeal to older homes.  Softwood, on the other hand, is less expensive and comes treated. Softwood is often used for building posts and beams.  Wood stains can be used with softwood to give it a rich texture.

    Pergolas can be made from several types of wood:

    • Ipe - a beautiful exotic wood from South America also known as Brazilian walnut.  Ipe wood creates structures that are strong, hard, and naturally resistant to rot, abrasion, weather, and insects so they can last through wetter and saltier conditions,
    • Cedar - known for its aroma, as well as its durability,  withstands moisture in the air and naturally resistant to pests and moisture. 
    • Pressure-treated woodlong-lasting and insect-repellant but not as beautiful as ipe, redwood, or cedar   
    • Timber - gives the pergola a more organic or rustic feel, but requires maintenance to protect the wood from moisture, fungi, and/or termites. 

    If you want to stain your pergola wood, do it before assembly to ensure you stain all areas equally including the hard to reach areas.

    Factors to Consider When Buying a Gazebo

    Buying a gazebo should be an investment in your property, so whether it is for personal or public use, you want to be sure that you want the structure you are designing.Here’s what to look for when buying a gazebo: 


    Whether you're purchasing a gazebo in preparation for a picnic or just want it to give you a different look to your house, you just need to make sure you pick the one with a stunning look. You can use your gazebo to showcase your property in some situations and this can only be possible and effective if you choose the one that is attractive.


    Gazebos come across in various sizes. So if you are heading to the store to get one for yourself, you can make sure you get the right model that's perfect for your backyard. This suggests you need to have a clear understanding of what your expectations are before you agree on the size you will be purchasing. You must also realize that the quantity you choose will determine the amount you'll pay for the same product. 


    As much as this will be a lot of fun, you can't afford to ignore the price factor. Ultimately, you'll be forced to deal with a certain amount of money to make things happen.

    It is where you need to practice patience to avoid spending more than you initially planned. You'll be happily amazed to learn that gazebos often come at different prices. This allows you to choose one that falls within your price range.


    There are tons of gazebos styles and brands available. You'll want to look at various designs and materials for your gazebo depending on what you want to use it for, how much room you have available in your backyard, and your landscaping or decorating preferences.

    Gazebos can be built from wood, canvas, vinyl, or metal

    Wood/Cedar gazebos give any backyard the best looking style. The other types of gazebos are much easier to install and customize than those. Cedar gazebos are usually treated as decay-resistant and insect-resistant, so your gazebo will last long. Besides, wood is good enough for handling heavy snow loads and heavy winds. Even the cedar scent is great!

    Canvasis used for some models of gazebos. The cloth-like material is dense and robust, so its sensitivity to the elements won't decay. Affordability and flexibility are also key features of gazebos canvas which continue to make them a more attractive homeowner range.

    Vinyl is used due to its price, durability, and modern clean look.  Gazebos can be constructed from vinyl, which can create the same complex shapes as wood gazebos but tends to look like plastic. 

    Steel is often used in public areas for gazebos but is typically not suitable for a backyard gazebo for both aesthetic and practical reasons. Metal gazebos are heavy, hard to assemble and prone to rusting after exposure to the elements.


    When you acquire a gazebo, you need to always be prepared to look out for its protection and proper appearance. This should never in any manner be a case of negligence because gazebos are also said to be quite delicate as per upkeep.⠀On the other hand, You're not going to have to work that hard to ensure your gazebo is always in good shape.


    Various brands possess different qualities. Some brands have a reputation for the best quality gazebos and pergolas while others won't give you a good value for your hard-earned money. Always ensure you're purchasing your outdoor shade structure from reputable brand.

    Check out our outdoor shade collection for more information on individual gazebo and pergola style.

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