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Pergolas vs. Verandas (The Pros and Cons of Each)

Pergolas vs. Verandas (The Pros and Cons of Each)

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Are you thinking of ways to spruce up the outdoor portion of your home? The addition of a pergola or a veranda is an excellent way to do so. However, when you look at pergolas and verandas, what’s the difference?

Verandas are structures that are connected to the outside perimeter of a house. They can be on only one side, or surround the entire house. On the other hand, pergolas are stand-alone structures that are usually built in the middle of the backyard.

Read on to find out all you need to know about pergolas and verandas, as well as the distinctions between these two structures. We’ve also included an outline of the benefits you’ll reap from having each one, in addition to the problems you may encounter.

What Is a Pergola?

A pergola is a structure consisting of four columns and a pseudo-roof.

These structures aren’t necessarily attached to the house itself. They can be independent standalone structures in your backyard.

The material most commonly used to make pergolas over the years is wood. However, more and more people have been using advanced synthetic materials such as aluminum to cut down on costs and improve the structure’s durability.

Pergola is actually an Italian word that refers to outdoor constructions that are built with the intention of giving vines and other climbing plants space to grow.

They were traditionally used by Italians to add an extra dimension to the aesthetic of their gardens and provide them with an enclosed space to enjoy the beautiful weather.

Nowadays, pergolas have evolved into structures that can be used by members of the household throughout the whole year.

That’s thanks to the advancements in technology that’s made installing glass doors, walls, and retractable roofs on a pergola a viable option.

In turn, pergolas can now be sheltered from the elements. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also install air conditioning and heaters there.

What Is a Veranda?

Building a veranda in your home is nothing new. In fact, these architectural structures have been around for more than a century. Colonialists have been constructing verandas in their estates since the mid-1800s.

The term “veranda” actually originates from the word “varanda” which can be found in both Portugese and Hindi.

A veranda is an outdoor roofed living space that’s connected to the perimeter of your home. Verandas are essentially balconies that are at ground level instead of being in the first or second story.

Another similarity between verandas and balconies is that they’re enclosed by a railing. Additionally, these structures can be extruded from only one side of your house or they can span the entire perimeter of your home.

There are several types of designs that you can opt to go for with your veranda. Your choice of design should depend on which one is best suited for your needs and also complements the overall aesthetic of your house.

No matter which design you choose, you’ll have an open-air area that’s great for all kinds of uses. These purposes can include hosting your friends and family for a small gathering, throwing a full-blown party, or simply kicking back and relaxing on a warm, sunny day.

What Are the Differences?

So, how are pergolas and verandas different? Let’s delve into the details:


The fundamental difference between a pergola and a veranda is their position relative to your house.

The former is a structure that’s not connected to the house. It’s an independent enclosure that’s usually built in the middle of your backyard.

The latter is an extension of your building and is surrounded by railing just like a balcony.

While there’s no rule against building a pergola that’s connected to your house, you don’t often see people doing this.

The reason for this is that if you want to have an outdoor area surrounding your entire home, you’d have to build multiple pergolas, one on each side. It simply makes more sense to build one veranda that makes its way around the full perimeter of the house.


Another distinction between pergolas and verandas is their architectural design.

Pergolas consist of nothing more than two pairs of columns, topped with beams that form a pseudo-roof. On the other hand, verandas are a bit more sophisticated than this.


Due to the lack of a proper roof on traditional pergolas, they don’t really shelter you from the elements. In contrast, verandas are fully covered and are great at providing shade and protecting you from the downpour on rainy days.

However, more and more people have started installing retractable roofs on their pergolas. Doing so has many benefits, including the increased variety in the times of year that you can use your pergola.

You should note that retractable roofs aren’t an option for verandas.

An additional difference between pergolas and verandas is the shape of their roof. Although they can sometimes have slanted roofs, pergolas typically have flat roofs.

On the other hand, verandas are always built with slanted roofs to allow the rainwater to slide right off.

Which One Is Better For You?

Your decision as to whether you should install a pergola or a veranda in your home depends on what you’re looking for in an outdoor structure.

Here are some of the pros and cons of pergolas and verandas respectively:

Pros and Cons of Pergolas

If you want to add an exotic feel to your home’s aesthetic, then a pergola with beautiful vines climbing and twisting all over it is a great way to do so.

In addition to this, pergolas give you more flexibility than verandas when it comes to your handle on their general ambiance. The simple addition of a retractable roof over your pergola gives you full control over the amount of sunlight (or shade) that you’re exposed to when chilling in it.

The main downside of a pergola is that it needs a lot of upkeep in order to stay looking great and enhance your backyard. That’s because the climbing plants that surround it need plenty of care and attention.

Pros and Cons of Verandas

Verandas are essentially an open-air extension of your home. Therefore, they give you extra space to enjoy your favorite activities while basking in the sunlight and having a direct view of your vibrantly green backyard.

Another advantage of verandas is that they can range from the simplest to the most elaborate designs. In turn, they’re suitable for people with a wide variety of budgets.

In addition to this, the fact that verandas are directly connected to the house means that they’re accessible from different rooms all over your home. This feature offers a level of convenience that simply isn’t possible with pergolas.

You’re only likely to experience problems with a veranda if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain. If you don’t supplement your veranda with sliding glass doors, then you’ll have nothing stopping the water from getting in and harshing your mellow.

Final Thoughts

Are you thinking of installing a pergola or a veranda for your house? Both of them are great ideas that’ll add an additional element to your home’s aesthetic. But, when you look at pergolas vs. verandas, what’s the distinction between them?

The main difference between these two structures is their position relative to your house.

Verandas are directly connected to your house and are accessible from within it. In contrast, pergolas are independent enclosures that are typically built in the backyard.

Both verandas and pergolas are absolutely great for spending quality time with your loved ones outdoors. They also work great as a personal sanctuary where you can relax and unwind.

It’s safe to say that whichever one you go for, you won’t regret it!

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