Gazebo vs Pergola vs Pavilion: Know How to Choose One

Gazebo vs Pergola vs Pavilion

When it comes to Gazebo vs Pergola vs Pavilion choosing one out of three is not easy. Especially, when you are buying it for the first time, getting confused is quite common!

There’s a lot of difference between a Gazebo, a Pergola, and a Pavilion especially when it comes to their structure and usage. Therefore being mindful before choosing among all three is important.

To help you out, here is this article we will explain the in-depth comparison between Gazebo vs Pergola vs Pavilion and suggest how to choose one according to your home space. But first, let’s understand what a gazebo, pergola, and pavilion are

Gazebo vs Pergola vs Pavilion: The Structural Definition

What is Gazebo?
Comes in octagonal and hexagonal shapes, Gazebos are freestanding garden structures that are built spacious where one can sit and enjoy the sheltered area relaxing with your friends in space.

What is Pavillion?
Similar to Gazebos, outdoor pavilions come in varied shapes. However, the major difference that makes outdoor pavilions different from gazebos is the sitting capacity and the open architectural space it has. 

What is Pergola?
A pergola is again an open architecture, having a major difference that makes it different from a gazebo and pavilion in the upper grid pattern shade. It’s a great option if you are looking for a partial shade but not the fully covered top roof.

Gazebo vs Pergola vs Pavilion: The Difference

Shape & Structure

It majorly comes in 3 basic shapes:

  • Octagon Gazebo
  • Rectangle Gazebo 
  • Oval Gazebo 

It comes in 4 different shapes:

  • Hexagonal Pergola
  • Square Pergola
  • Circular Pergola
  • Rectangular pergola

It comes in 4 different shapes:

  • Octagonal Pavilion
  • Rectangular Pavilion
  • Square Pavilion
  • Hexagonal pavilion

Space & Size

Some popular sizes are:

  •  8’ x 8’ 
  • 10’ x 10’ 
  • 10’ x 12’ 
  • 12’ x 12’ 

Keep in mind that the gazebo requires enough space to get set up. The smallest gazebo is “5′ x 8’” which is a grill gazebo.   


  • 12’ x16’ 
  • 16’ x 24’
  • 12’ x 12’ 
  • 16’ x 20’ (free standing) 

Can go up to 16 x 16 when preferring a customized pergola. 


  • 16’ x 16’
  • 20’ x 20’
  • 24′ x 24′
  • 28′ x 28′
  • 30′ x 30′ 

Depending on other pavilion shapes, the sizes can differ i.e., 30′, 9′, 18′, 16′, 24′,  20′ 28′, 32′.

NOTE:  Make sure to consider your home space before choosing one. A home with less backyard space can make all three appear bigger than your home. When selecting “Customization,” then considering an expert craftsman team can be helpful. 


A gazebo is used for beautifying your garden setting. It counts value to your home adding a sitting and hanging out peaceful space to your backyard.  

A pergola is used for decorating the home garden structure. It adds curb appeal to the home’s backyard by creating a partially shaded sitting space along with a sturdy open framework. 

A pavilion will be built as an independent structure or as an attachment to the building. It can serve multiple purposes such as shelter, an open meeting place, a BBQ space, or even a small living space.

Purpose of Building

The purpose of building it can be:

  • Enjoying small get together 
  • Perfect as a wedding stage 
  • Adds style, lushness, and shadow 
  • Helps in adding value to the property

The purpose of building a pergola can be:

  • To create a versatile shade area  
  • A space for celebrating events and weddings
  • Family picnic area 

The purpose of building a pavilion can be:

  • Sitting space which comes with low maintenance structure 
  • To make an extra outdoor room 
  • Durable space to save you from cold, wind, rain, and any other harming weather
  • Great build to enjoy social events 

Materials Used

It comes in three (3) different materials:

  • Wood 
  • Vinyl
  • Aluminum 

Pergola comes in seven (7) different materials:

  • Aluminum 
  • Wood 
  • Vinyl 
  • Metal 
  • Pressure Treated Wood 
  • Cedar Wood 
  • Fiberglass Pergola

Pavilion comes in varied materials: 

  • Pressure treated wood
  • Pressure-treated yellow pine
  • Western red cedar
  • Rustic cedar
  • Vinyl 
  • Streel 
  • Lumber
  • Other materials (stone, brick, PVC, etc.) 

Additional Add-ons or Accessories are Available

Ceiling Fan, Canopy, heater, Screen Package, Cupola, Furniture, lighting, Plants, Screens, Privacy wall, Benches, and so on. 

Mosquito mash, Lanterns, Canopy, Outdoor netting, Curtains, Shade kit, Sun shade privacy kit, Floor mat, lighting, and so on. 

Mesh netting panels, Canopy for top, Privacy curtain, Sunshade, Mosquito netting, Pavilion patio furniture, and so on. 

Gazebo, Pergola, or Pavilion: What’s Best for Your Home?

The popularity of gazebos, pergolas, and pavilions in teams of outdoor add-ons is highly appreciated by people throughout the world. After all, it’s a great outdoor beautifying option where you not just enjoy the beautiful view but also can sit back and relax over time. But before making mind to construct any of them in your backyard, you should look over varied elements.

It is important to understand, that such outdoor beautifying elements can be a great addition but can sometimes make the home area appear a little awkward. This is due to a bad build-up plan and sometimes due to incorporating architectural features or elements of the home. 

Therefore, to find out which structure works best for your home, you must include your home’s entire elements, area, and features for successful structure selection and construction continuity. Along with that, also be mindful of design considerations such as

  • Home Architecture and Style: Ask yourself, which structure blends best with your house and exterior structure. Would you like to have a small hang-out area or a bigger one? 
  • Location and Placement: The location and placement of the pergola, gazebo, or pavilion entirely change the appearance and home-beautifying elements. When placed in the right spot it can be the destination that builds a beautiful view. 
  • Materials Used: Choosing locations and home style is not enough to determine which one would look best for your home. Considering exterior materials such as doors, pavement, side doors, floorings, etc. are also essential to make note of. This way you can make your chosen addition built with the right material. 
  • Additional Exterior Elements: Additional exterior elements such as hardscape, paths, and backyard features, what build suits your home best with it? Ask yourself to get the right answer. 
  • Garden Area: The area of your garden plays a major role in making the outdoor buildup selection. If the garden size is small then a gazebo would be great, if it’s spacious then a pergola or pavilion would be best. 

What You Have Decided? Gazebo Vs Pergola Vs Pavilion?

Whether you make up your mind for buying a gazebo, pergola or pavilion, choosing one can be challenging but worth investing your time and money in. 

Undoubtedly each of them came up with unique characteristics that are entirely undeniable. But a quick brainstorming considering “Gazebo vs Pergola vs Pavilion and their differences” can help you a lot in making your purchase easy. 

The best part is, all three are customizable. If you are planning to get a customized one, then Woodshop can be your little secret for “Increased property value”. You can use your creativity to build a gazebo, pergola, or pavilion as per your comfort and home design.

Our WoodShop craftsman team will be there to guide you in your design journey. Helping you with customizing a well-designed and modern relaxing space under your budget for your backyard & for more information please visit our Facebook or Contact us.