September 29, 2023

What is the difference beween a Gazebo and a Pergola?

Pergolas and gazebos stand as distinct outdoor structures, each offering shelter and shade from the elements in your backyard. The question then arises: which one suits your preferences?

In the realm of outdoor enhancements, myriad options await, each presenting unique advantages and creating distinctive atmospheres. Recognizing that our physical surroundings profoundly influence mental and emotional well-being, it becomes crucial to not only assess the practical aspects of your backyard space but also to contemplate the aesthetic appeal of the planned addition.

If your aim is to find respite from the sun or protection from unpredictable weather, a cursory online search may direct you towards the suggestion of either a pergola or a gazebo. However, it is essential to note that these terms are not interchangeable. Before embarking on building a gazebo, it’s prudent to discern the nuances between these two structures, as what you truly desire might be a pergola.


What is a Gazebo? 

Gazebos boast a rich history, with traces found in Egyptian garden plans dating back to 1400 BC. It symbolized luxury, a place to lounge while enjoying a magnificent view. Traditionally polygonal, with six or eight sides, contemporary gazebos now adapt to simpler shapes to complement modern gardens. Their sides can be open, including a half wall or railing, or feature full walls with expansive windows for panoramic views. Often, depending on the foundation, they have a floor that is raised above the ground level to offer a better vantage point and to ensure that the surface remains dry even during heavy or extended rainfall.


What is a Pergola?

In contrast, the term “pergola” emerged much later, in the 1640s during the late medieval period, rooted in the Latin word “pergula,” meaning “projecting eave.” Pergolas exude a modern aesthetic, characterized by a less cluttered and more elegant design. While some may have a full or retractable roof for shade, many provide partial shade with spaced beams at the top. 

For roofless pergolas, plants or vines growing on or hanging from the beams may enhance the cover offered, if the target ambiance embraces natural aesthetics. As the Latin root implies, not all pergolas are freestanding structures but can be attached to the house or integrated with and supported by the main structure of the home while blending seamlessly with the main structure. You might build your pergola on your existing terrace or patio surface, with the pergola’s posts settling directly on the ground or on concrete. Walls, if present, are minimalist, with options like retractable zipshades or rotatable blades for controlled light exposure. In these modern times, the look and feel of a pergola is sleek and sensible with an ambiance that complements modern architecture. Appealing to those with minimalist tastes and an appreciation for the beauty of simplicity, the pergola fits the style of a contemporary backyard. Placed poolside or along the garden or flowerbed, a pergola can be your backyard oasis.

Pergolas are manufactured in different materials. When making the decision for what kind of material you want your pergola to be made out of, it is best to do your thinking outside in your current outdoor space. The preferred choice of many is solid wood. You can order your Mocha pergola in 4 kinds of solid wood: Spruce, Douglas, European Oak, and American Oak. Choose wisely according to your taste and budget. 


Gazebo or Pergola — What’s best for you?

Do you want a gazebo or a pergola in your backyard? The choice is all yours. After all, it’s a personal matter.

Both offer shade and shelter for you to maximise your time spent in your backyard, and both could potentially meet your practical requirements for your new backyard space. When considering the aesthetics and energy that you want to bring into your backyard with this home makeover, it may help to take the time to make the choice in the midst of the environment it will directly affect.

If possible, spend some time sitting in your yard imagining how it will look when this project is complete. Consider the heat of the sun you may need shade from or the persistence of the rain you may need cover from. In your setting, what will your practical priorities be?

Consider if you want to admire the ornate details and layers of your backyard sanctuary, or if you would prefer a structure that almost melts into the background. Where can you imagine yourself relaxing and letting go of stress? 

Last but not least, we know you prefer not to think about it but, how much does it rain in your area. Needing a roof might affect your choice too. Sorry we had to bring it to you 😉

Whichever you choose, a gazebo or pergola, make sure to create a backyard that meets both your practical and aesthetic needs. Mocha has different models and sizes of both gazebos and pergolas. 


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