Pergola vs Pavilion

Wondering about pergola vs pavilion? You’re not alone!

Pergola vs Pavilion

Each year, millions of people are looking to add something unique to their backyards. But for those considering a pergola or pavilion, they’re constantly wondering, “What’s the difference?”

In this pergola vs pavilion post, I explain the key differences between the two so that you can make an informed decision for your backyard.

When it comes to outdoor living, there are three main types of structures that people use to add shade and protection from the elements: pergolas, pavilions, and gazebos. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to cover pergola vs pavilion.

Keep reading to learn more about how to tell the difference between these two outdoor structures and discover which one is right for your home now.

What is a Pergola?

Pergolas have been around since at least 1400 BC and were originally used as garden structures. The word ‘pergola’ actually is derived from the Late Latin word ‘pergula,’ which translates to projecting eave. Eaves are the part of the roof that hangs over the structure’s walls or meets the edge of the walls.

They’re made up of vertical posts or pillars that support a horizontal beam or lintel. Ultimately, if you’re planning on buying a pergola, you should know that they’re not typically covered. So, if you’re looking for an outdoor structure that will provide some shade, a pergola might not be the best option.

What is a Pavilion?

Pavilions, on the other hand, are much more like gazebos in that they have a roof and are mostly enclosed on all sides. The roofs of pavilions are often made out of thatched materials like straw or reeds. But other materials can be used, including but not limited to metal, wood, plastic, and others.

The word ‘pavilion’ actually comes from the French word ‘pavillon’ and the Old French word ‘paveillon,’ which comes from the Latin word ‘papilionem.’ In both Late Latin and Old French, the word means both ‘tent’ and ‘butterfly’ due to the thought that the original canas structure looks comparable to a butterfly’s spread wings.

Pavilions can be free-standing or attached to another structure, like a house. And, because they’re mostly enclosed, they offer more protection from the sun and rain than a pergola.

What is the Difference Between a Pavilion and a Pergola?

Now that you know the basics of each structure, let’s dive into the key differences between a pavilion and a pergola so that you can make an informed decision for your backyard.

Pavilion vs Pergola Roof

The first and most obvious difference between a pergola and a pavilion is the roof. As I mentioned, a pergola doesn’t have a roof while a pavilion does. This means that if you’re looking for an outdoor structure that will provide some shade, a pavilion is a better option than a pergola.

Pergola vs Pavilion Enclosure

Another key difference between these two structures is that a pavilion can be mostly enclosed on all sides, while a pergola is not. This enclosure provides more protection from the sun and rain for those inside the pavilion.

So, if you’re looking for an outdoor structure that offers a bit of shade and some protection from the elements, a pavilion is probably preferable over a pergola.

Pergola vs Pavilion Cost

The cost of pergolas and pavilions can vary depending on a number of factors, including but not limited to the size, material, and features.

On average, pergolas tend to be less expensive than pavilions. This is because they’re generally smaller and less complex structures. Additionally, pergolas are usually made out of cheaper materials like wood or plastic while pavilions can be made out of more expensive materials like metal or stone.

However, equally important to note is that pavilions also tend to require more maintenance than pergolas. This is because they have roofs that need to be regularly cleaned and repaired. Additionally, the enclosure on a pavilion can trap leaves and other debris, which will need to be removed periodically.

Final Thoughts on Pergolas vs Pavilions

For those in the market for a pergola or pavilion, this article gives information about each option to encourage an informed purchase. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual buyer to decide which option is better for their needs.

Consider the cost, roof, and enclosure when making your decision. If you find you need some advice, feel free to reach out directly at any time; we’re always happy to help!