What’s the difference between a pergola and a gazebo?

Categories: Garden Pergolas

You wouldn’t be blamed for confusing the two at first glance, after all, they both fulfil the same role of providing shade in an outdoor area and come in a range of styles that can make them difficult to differentiate. Many people use the terms pergola and gazebo interchangeably, however there are distinct differences between these two outdoor shading structures that characterise them as separate entities. The differences between a pergola and a gazebo are:


A common sight in parks and stately gardens, gazebos are self-contained, free standing structures that are traditionally made of wood and are hexagonal or octagonal in shape, with half open sides and a solid roof. They can very in size and often feature built-in seating, though empty gazebos are equally possible.

Recently, the term gazebo has also come to encompass a less traditional pop up variety, which, except for being free-standing, does not bear much resemblance to the traditional gazebo. Pop up gazebos have a fabric roof like a canopy and often only have four legs, giving them a square shape – so your confusion is justified!


On the other hand, pergolas are outdoor structures that can be either standalone or lean-to, with either two or four vertical legs respectively supporting horizontal planks. Pergolas were traditionally used as an attractive walkway display for flowers and vines, though today they make excellent shading solution for homes.

Traditionally, pergolas were made of wood, however more modern varieties are available in materials such as aluminium and with adjustable and retractable louvred roof designs to give you full control. They can even be installed with LED lighting and a heater incorporated, so that you can make the most of your pergola year-round! 

We have an excellent range of both louvred roof and lean-to pergolas with an assortment of optional accessories to choose from. For more information about our pergolasgarden awningsroller screens or louvred roof products, contact our team today on 01202 679012.


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