What’s The Difference Between A Pergola And Gazebo?

There are so many options to consider when renovating your outdoor structures. If you want to make a statement, two options are installing a pergola or a gazebo. Knowing the difference between the two can be confusing for those who aren’t experts. 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 solid 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 freestanding structures together.

While gazebos are usually constructed with a deck, you can build your gazebo without a deck, which will not require stirrups. While a pergola is often built on the side of another structure, a gazebo is generally a stand-alone feature. It’s also good to know that you may not need a permit, but it’s worth checking local building codes when planning your pergola or gazebo.


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

  • Gazebos are stand-alone structures and are often a garden focal point due to their decorative characteristics.
  • Gazebos are used specifically for entertainment and can easily fit a table and chairs within it.
  • Pergolas are usually larger structures than a gazebo and can offer protection to outdoor space 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.

Considering these factors when considering whether you want a pergola or gazebo in your outdoor entertainment area is important. If you have a lot of backyard space and want to entertain guests or add a decorative feature, then a gazebo is the better option. If you want 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 completely transform your backyard.

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