What’s The Difference Between A Pergola And Gazebo?

There are so many options to consider when renovating your outdoor entertainment area. If you’re wanting to make a statement, two of your options are installing a pergola or a gazebo. For those that aren’t experts, knowing the difference between the two can be confusing. After all, they do look very similar, and can often be used for the same thing. We’re here to help ease the confusion and establish the difference between pergolas and gazebos.


One of the easiest ways to know if you’re looking at a gazebo or a pergola is by looking at the shape of the structure. Gazebos are generally shaped in the form of an octagon and will have a domed roof. If you’re looking at something that is round – it’s a gazebo. Meanwhile, a pergola is rectangular or square and has four-legged structures.  


colorbond gazebo
The design of the roof differs greatly between the two. A gazebo will have a domed roof, which is supported by 8 symmetrical pillar columns. A pergola, on the other hand, has a roof that is made of horizontal planks of wood. Unlike a gazebo, the roof does not slope upward but is generally flat and open. However, the roofs of many pergolas will include a Colorbond® roof.   


Pergolas are generally far more sturdy than a gazebo. Pergolas can be freestanding if you choose to add a deck. However, if you do not add a deck, the pergola will need to be concreted into the ground or bolted with stirrups to an existing slab. Pergolas are quite popular in desert or warm climates, as they allow for vines to grow along the sides and top, creating additional shade. Pergolas can be a stand-alone feature in your outdoor entertainment area, or they can link two structures together.   
While gazebos are usually constructed with a deck, you can choose for your gazebo to be built without a deck, which will not require any stirrups. While a pergola is often built on the side of another structure, a gazebo is generally a stand-alone feature.    


While they can often be used for the same thing, gazebos and pergolas generally serve a different purpose.

  • Gazebos are a stand-alone structure and are often a focal point of a garden due to its decorative characteristics.
  • Gazebos tend to be used specifically for entertainment, and can very easily fit a table and chairs within it.
  • Pergolas are usually a larger structure than a gazebo and can offer protection to outdoor equipment such as furniture, a spa or a barbecue.
  • Pergolas are often used to provide an area of shade, and can even be used as a carport.  

It’s important to consider these factors when considering whether you want a pergola or gazebo in your outdoor entertainment area. If you have a lot of space in your backyard and are wanting to entertain guests or add a decorative feature, then a gazebo is the better option. If you’re wanting to create a shaded area or perhaps even a carport, then a pergola is the option for you.
No matter what option you choose, Aarons Outdoor is here to make the decision easier. We offer both gazebos and pergolas, which both come in five different sizes, and can come with or without a deck.
Both options come with a Colorbond® roof, which can be customised to suit your colour scheme preferences. We are sure to have a gazebo or pergola to suit your tastes and help you to completely transform your backyard.

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