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What's The Difference Between A Gazebo, Pavilion And Pergola?

Beach Gazebo The other day while I was sitting under a gazebo it occurred to me that many people don't know the difference between a gazebo, a pavilion, and a pergola. In fact, I've noticed most people will call just about any outdoors, covered structure in a garden or a park a gazebo. So, I'm going to break down the differences and clear up the confusion.

Pergolas

Let's talk about pergolas first. There's a good chance you've never heard this word before. The fact is, it's just not a word that is used very often, probably just because not a lot of people know what a pergola is. A pergola is the crudest of the three structures. It's really intended to be a covered walkway more than something you gather around and sit under. Pergolas have a rectangular shape, four legs, and a flat, open roof that typically consists of horizontal planks of wood. You'll most likely see a pergola in a garden and it's not uncommon for it to be conjoined to another structure. They're usually smaller than gazebos or pavilions, too.

Pavilions

Of the three structures, pavilions are the one you're likely to come across the most. A pavilion is essentially just a pergola a closed-roof similar to the roof of a house. Pavilions are freestanding and if they are connected to anything, it's a pergola. The size of a pavilion can vary to a large degree and they are often scaled up to very large sizes for the purpose of hosting parties, weddings, and other events.

Gazebos

Lastly, we have gazebos. Unlike pavilions, gazebos aren't really intended for large gathers; they're more for the purpose of a small number of people sitting under them. Nevertheless, you still see them around quite a lot, and they seem to be more common in peoples' yards than pavilions or pergolas. The main difference between gazebos and pavilions and pergolas is that gazebos always have a round shape. They're usually an octagon and are support by eight pillars rather than four. Like pavilions, gazebos have a closed roof but it's domed because of their round shape.

Sources: http://heartlandsheds.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/pavilions-and-pergolas-and-gazebos-oh-my/ http://patiogazeboshq.com/gazebos-vs-pergolas/

By Tom Servo - I have been a professional freelance writer since 2007. I write under many pen names for a wide array of publishers. I am an excellent researcher and I like to write about any topic that interests me. In add...  

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