Imagine sitting under a pergola on a hot summer day, or enjoying an early cup of joe in a pavilion. When it comes to outdoor living spaces, both pergolas and pavilions can be great additions to a deck or patio. But how do you determine which one is best for your lifestyle and backyard?
What is the Purpose of a Pavilion?
Pavilions have been around for centuries, typically functioning as meeting spaces or areas of retreat. Today, pavilions have the same function but are more private, often being built on decks, patios, and in gardens at private residences. Many standard pavilions are square or rectangle shapes. Another common name for this type of structure is a gazebo. Since pavilions have completely covered roofs, they offer protection from the harsh summer sun and shelter from the elements. The sides of pavilions are often left open, giving you the best views. Pavilions are great for homeowners who want to spend time outdoors regardless of the weather.
What is the Purpose of a Pergola?
Unlike gazebos, pergolas are open air structures with open roofs supported by columns or posts. The main function of a pergola is to provide afternoon relief from the harsh summer sun. Today, many homeowners build pergolas to add architectural interest by breaking up large areas and adding a vertical feature to the landscape.
Which one is right for you?
Determining whether a pergola or pavilion is the right fit for your outdoor space can be a difficult task. Here are a few questions to ask to help you decide:
- Do you see yourself using the space when there is inclement weather? If so, a pavilion may be the best option.
- Do you need 100% protection from the sun, or is filtered shade ok? Pergolas will give about 75% shade. If more is needed, a pavilion may be your best bet.
- Will a large roofed structure obstruct any views from inside the house? Pergolas are a little less obtrusive since the members on top are flat, unlike a pitched roof.
- Do you have a budget? Pergolas are often more cost effective than pavilions since there are no roof components required.
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