Gazebo vs. Pergola vs. Pavilion—Which One Should You Choose for Your Mechanicsburg, PA, Landscape Design

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to enjoy your Mechanicsburg, PA, backyard no matter the weather? Updating your landscape design with the addition of a gazebo, pergola, or pavilion can provide shade or shelter and create a cozy outdoor room. We have broken down the differences between the three structures to help you decide which one is best for your backyard.

Why Structure Is Important for Landscape Design

A functional and visually pleasing landscape requires balance, proportion, and flow. This can be achieved with a well-planned combination of softscapes and hardscape features to create an attractive and user-friendly yard.

Covered structures are useful for bringing definition, form, and function to your landscape. They can also add vertical interest to an otherwise flat yard. Elements such as a gazebo, pergola, or pavilion can serve multiple purposes in a landscape. They bring shade, shelter, increased privacy, and definition to outdoor spaces. While these structures may seem similar, they each have distinct features.


What Is a Pergola?

A pergola is a very popular outdoor shade structure. You can find them everywhere from backyards to parks and public patios. Consisting of vertical columns that support an open-roof structure of rafters and cross beams, pergolas provide shade and can also help define an outdoor room. A pergola does not have a floor but can be placed on a patio or concrete base to create a level seating area. There is no standard size for a pergola, making it easily adaptable to suit any yard.

A pergola is a good choice if you are looking for shade but don’t want full coverage above you. It offers a durable and low-maintenance addition that can create a big impact. Pergolas also make attractive focal points and can be designed to complement any landscape design style.  They are popular among gardening enthusiasts as they provide ideal spots for growing climbing vines and hanging plants.


What Is a Gazebo?

Gazebos are typically round or octagonal structures with a covered roof and partially open sides. They often have a built-in floor, but they can also stand on a concrete base. The structure of the sides of a gazebo can vary somewhat. Many gazebos feature a half-wall railing with spindles, while others have a solid half wall around the bottom.

A gazebo is a great way to increase privacy in yards with nearby neighbors. It could create a secluded outdoor space ideal for dining or relaxing. And it will provide shelter from the elements while still being open and airy. It’s possible to add screening for all-day refuge from insects.

What Is a Pavilion?

Gazebo vs. Pergola vs. Pavilion—Which One Should You Choose for Your Mechanicsburg, PA, Landscape Design

A pavilion also features a full roof, but unlike a gazebo, the sides are completely open. The roof is supported by posts or pillars, the number of which will vary depending on the size of the roof. Pavilions are often constructed over patios and mark the area of your landscape design where the fun and entertaining happens.

A pavilion commonly covers outdoor rooms to create spaces that can be enjoyed in a range of weather conditions. It also gives homeowners the opportunity to upgrade their outdoor furnishings and appliances as the roof protects them from the elements.