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Pergolas vs. Pavilions (The Similarities and Differences to Know)

Pergolas vs. Pavilions (The Similarities and Differences to Know)

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Have you been thinking of adding something to your yard? Many people like having either a pergola or a pavilion to utilize.

Both pergolas and pavilions can be useful for different reasons. They’re also used in similar ways, though.

Some people don’t quite understand why the two are different. If you’re not very knowledgeable about these structures, you might need a bit more information to help differentiate them.

Keep reading to learn about both pergolas and pavilions. This will help you to know everything you need to know about both so that you can decide which one you’re more interested in.

What Is a Pergola?

A pergola is a structure that’s placed outdoors. It consists of support columns and a roofing grid.

Pergolas have a roofing grid that is made up of beams and rafters. The beams are placed a certain distance apart.

So the sun can shine through the spaces between the beams. This means that pergolas don’t have roofs that keep you from getting rained on.

It’s common for people to use pergolas as seating areas. You can sit underneath a pergola and enjoy your yard, but you might need to take extra steps if you want protection from rain or shade to keep out of the sun.

Often, people will attach shade cloths to pergolas when they’re using them. Or they might choose to grow plants on the pergola so that more shade will be provided.

Note that there are a few different types of pergolas. Pergolas are often free-standing structures, but they can also be attached to other structures.

Some pergolas are attached to garages, barns, or houses. Pergolas need to be anchored to the ground using concrete footings or some other solution.

What Is a Pavilion?

A pavilion is an outdoor structure that looks a lot like a pergola at first glance. It has the same support column design as a pergola, but the roof is completely different.

Pavilions have more traditional roofs like the ones you’d see on homes. They’re open spaces that you can place patio furniture under to give yourself a nice seating area.

Since the pavilion is likely going to have a sloped roof design, it’ll keep you safe when it’s raining. You won’t have to worry about getting wet if it suddenly starts sprinkling while you’re enjoying lunch outside.

The pavilion area is also a great spot to sit outside when you need to get out of the sun. You can enjoy the breeze outdoors without having to worry about the harsh sunlight making you too hot.

For some, a pavilion will be a more practical choice than a pergola. It just depends on what you want to use it for.

Similarities Between the Two

It’s easy to see the similarities between pergolas and pavilions. Many people mistake pavilions for pergolas and vice versa.

After reading the information above, you know that the two are different. For now, it’s time to focus on how the structures are similar.

Both pergolas and pavilions are used to give people seating spots outside. It’s normal to place furniture underneath both pavilions and pergolas.

Often, pergolas and pavilions are used to add aesthetic appeal to a yard. The structures look nice and can add some beauty to the area.

You might use both structures to get some shade when you’re enjoying the yard. People often place pavilions and pergolas in similar locations.

Free-standing pergolas and pavilions are quite common. Sometimes people will place pergolas and pavilions right up against their homes, too.

They’re used for similar purposes and have similar benefits. Which one you’ll like the most will likely come down to the differences between these two structures.

Differences Between the Two

Of course, the differences between pergolas and pavilions will be important to consider. The big difference is the type of roof that a pergola has.

Pergolas have rafters that are spaced apart. The beams will be a certain distance apart, and this means that sunlight and rain can get through.

A pavilion has a more traditional roof that works to block sunlight and rain. Sitting underneath a pavilion will keep you dry whereas sitting underneath a pavilion might not.

People sometimes use shade cloths and other things in conjunction with pergolas. There might be some benefit to having the sun shine through the spaces in the roof.

For example, you might like having the sun hit you on a cool day. Some people also place pergolas on grass, but this wouldn’t really be possible with a pavilion.

Which Option Is Better?

Which option is better will come down to personal preference. There’s a reason why both pergolas and pavilions are popular.

For some, a pavilion will be the most practical choice. If you’re just looking to have a structure with an open design that will keep you out of the sun, it’s best to go with a pavilion.

Pavilions are also better when you want to be able to sit outside while it’s raining. Pergolas are great when you want to grow plants on the structure.

It’s common for people to grow various types of vines and other climbing plants on pergolas. You might also consider a pergola to be more versatile since you can add retractable shade options to them.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which option you like the best. Consider all of the factors and your personal needs so you can make a good decision.

You Can Get Professionals to Help

Don’t feel as if you need to build a pergola or a pavilion by yourself. Most people don’t have the necessary carpentry skills to handle building a pergola or a pavilion.

Whichever structure you choose, you want the results to be great. This is why it makes sense to look into getting professional help.

If you don’t have carpentry experience and you lack tools, this will be the most practical way to get what you need. You can hire experts to build a bespoke pergola or pavilion and place it on your property.

Granted, this will cost a bit of extra cash. It will be a bit more costly to go this route, but it’s a worthwhile choice for most people.

Will You Need a Permit?

You might need a permit to build either a pergola or a pavilion. One of the benefits of hiring experts to do the job is that they will help you to get everything that you need.

They can point you in the right direction and make securing the necessary permits straightforward. In many places, permits will be required for pavilions and pergolas so long as they’re large enough.

Some types of small pavilions and pergolas might not require permits. It all depends on your local laws.

So it’s wise to look up your local laws to see what you need to do. You can also ask questions to the professionals if you choose to hire someone to help build your pergola or pavilion.

Note that you might need to check with the local homeowner’s association as well. Many people live in areas where homeowner’s associations dictate whether certain elements can be added to a property.

Make sure that you do everything to clear the way so you can legally install a pergola or pavilion on your property. It’ll make your experience much smoother and you’ll be able to focus on enjoying your yard once things are finished.

Final Thoughts

There are many things to consider before installing a pavilion or a pergola. Both of these structures are appealing in different ways.

They also happen to be appealing in many similar ways. You can utilize a pavilion and a pergola in many of the same ways.

The differences between the two might make you appreciate one more than the other, though. Both are great, and you should take the time to consider each option.

Some will like having a more traditional roof that will protect them from rain. Others will appreciate the versatile nature of pergolas.

You can build pergolas and pavilions yourself if you have the right building materials, tools, and skills. It’s also possible to buy kits and follow instructions to install them on your property.

Some will choose to hire professionals to build these structures. Go with whatever option is best for your budget, but consider your situation before you commit to tackling a big DIY project.

So long as you make wise choices it’ll be easy to have a good experience. Enjoy your new pergola or pavilion to the fullest whenever you make a final decision.

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