Is A Pergola The Same As A Gazebo? (Explained)

Are you thinking about building a pergola in your backyard? Or maybe you’re just wondering what the difference is between a gazebo and a pergola. Either way, don’t worry! We’ve got all the information you need to know about this popular outdoor structure.

Take a look at all the topics we cover, from what kind of material you should use for your pergola to how much it costs to install one.

What is the Difference between a Canopy, Pergola
Pergolas and gazebos are different outdoor structures with distinct features and purposes.
A pergola typically has an open roof and four supporting columns, while a gazebo has a complete roof and is often octagonal or circular in shape.
Both pergolas and gazebos can provide shade, but a gazebo offers more shade coverage due to its solid roof.
Pergolas and gazebos are not typically used interchangeably due to their design differences.
While DIY installation is possible, professional installation may be recommended for optimal results.
Pergolas can be attached to a house as an extension, while gazebos are freestanding structures.

Is A Pergola The Same As A Gazebo?

A gazebo is a small, freestanding structure that is usually open on all sides. It can be used as a sitting space or as an ornamental feature on a larger property.

A pergola, on the other hand, is a trellis that supports climbing plants. It’s typically surrounded by latticework or some other type of fencing to keep people from falling into the plants below it.

A pergola may also serve as an arbor-like walkway or porch a covered area with an open roof where you can relax and enjoy your garden without getting wet in bad weather.

When setting up a chuppah, it’s important to know how to securely attach a canopy. Our comprehensive guide on attaching a canopy to a chuppah provides step-by-step instructions and tips to ensure a beautiful and stable setup.

Can I Build A Pergola On My Property Line?

A pergola is usually built on private property. It’s not uncommon for a homeowner to build a pergola on the homeowner’s property.

Pergolas are usually built on one’s own property, but sometimes they can also be placed along property lines. 

The specific location of your pergola will depend upon your local zoning codes and building ordinances, as well as other factors such as the size of your yard and whether there are any trees nearby that could obstruct its view from inside the home.

Does A Pergola Need To Be Licensed?

There are a number of different organizations that regulate structures in the United States. The city, county, and HOA are some examples of these organizations. 

These bodies have regulations requiring permits for construction projects on private property. If you plan to build a pergola in your backyard, it’s important to understand which government entity has jurisdiction over your property before starting construction. 

You may be able to apply for a permit from one organization and get approval before applying for another permit from another organization. 

However, if you do not follow the guidelines set by all of these groups when building your pergola then you could face fines or even criminal charges depending on how serious the infraction is

For example:

  • You don’t need HOA approval but they will want permits so make sure you check into this
  • The county might not require any special approvals but there may be strict rules about how close your new structure can be built onto any public roads (this means no more than 6 feet).

Looking for a versatile solution to enhance your pergola? Discover the possibilities of placing a tent over a pergola with our informative article on putting a tent over a pergola. Explore the benefits and considerations of this creative combination.

Do I Need A Permit For A Pergola?

If you’re planning to put up a pergola on your property, you may have heard that it’s required for you to get a special permit from the city.

 It depends on where you live and how big of an area it takes up in relation to the surrounding property lines. 

In general, if your pergola takes up more than 10% of any adjacent property line, then yes you will likely need some kind of approval from your local government official before construction can begin. 

This is because the purpose of building such structures is usually meant as an extension or addition to existing buildings; not just something that stands alone like many other types of outdoor projects.

So what are some requirements needed when applying for one? Your application might include:

A detailed map showing where exactly this structure will be placed within its designated area along with measurements showing how much space it will occupy versus neighboring properties; most importantly though how much room there is left over between each side (i.;e., front/back walls) 

So they don’t infringe upon anything else nearby which could lead to future lawsuits later down the road if anything goes wrong while building this project into existence!

Local RegulationsPermit Needed?
Homeowners Association (HOA)Check rules

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Pergola?

The cost to install a pergola varies substantially based on the size, material, and location of your project. A small octagonal or hexagonal pergola made of cedar might cost as little as $500 while a large octagonal one made of redwood could cost $10,000 or more.

If you’re planning to buy new materials for your project, then you should expect to pay about $5-$20 per square foot for treated lumber and about $5-$35 per square foot for composite wood products such as Trex decking. 

These prices do not include labor costs which can add another 10% – 15% or more onto your overall project budget depending on how much work you want to be done yourself and how many people you hire to help out with construction tasks like nailing boards together or hanging lattice panels over railings (more).

If you’re considering different roofing options for your pergola, a plastic roof can be a practical choice. Learn more about the advantages and installation process in our detailed guide on putting a plastic roof on a pergola. Make an informed decision for your outdoor space.

Can I Install A Pergola Myself?

While it is possible to do this yourself, you will need the right tools and materials, as well as some experience with carpentry work. 

You should also be prepared for a lot of physical labor; building a pergola can take several hours if you’re doing it yourself. 

A professional carpenter would be much better suited for this job because he or she has all the tools and supplies needed to complete it more efficiently than you could on your own.

What Kind Of Wood To Use For Your Pergola?

You will want to use wood that is rot-resistant and weatherproof. You also want to use a durable material that won’t damage easily and will last a long time. Wood that’s easy to work with is also important, as well as affordable materials. 

Lastly, you want to make sure the wood isn’t too heavy for you or your contractors/workers to lift onto your property!

Wood TypeCharacteristics
CedarNatural resistance to decay and insects
RedwoodDurable and naturally resistant to decay
Pressure-Treated PineTreated to resist decay and insects
Douglas FirStrong and durable, ideal for larger pergolas
IpeExtremely durable and resistant to rot

Can I Build My Own Pergola Plans Myself?

If you want to build a pergola on your own, we recommend building it on your property line. This way, if you ever decide to relocate the structure and move it somewhere else, you can do so easily. 

Plus, if there’s any damage done by other people or animals in the area (such as squirrels), this will allow for easy access so that they don’t cause any more damage than necessary.

If you’re interested in installing one of these gorgeous structures on your property line but aren’t sure where to start, we’d be happy to help! 

We have a variety of different styles and designs available from which to choose you’ll find something perfect for every taste out there!

Transform your rooftop deck into an inviting oasis by adding a pergola. Our article on putting a pergola on a rooftop deck explores the unique considerations and benefits of this elevated installation. Create a stylish and functional space to enjoy.

Where Do I Get The Best Deals On Outdoor Furniture And Decor For My Backyard Patio Or Deck?

You can get great deals on outdoor furniture and decor for your backyard patio or deck at any of these places:

  • Local furniture stores
  • Local classifieds (newspaper, craigslist)
  • Local thrift stores
  • Local garage sales
  • Local yard sales
  • Local auctions (ask around!)

Find out if there are any antique stores in your area that may have some great finds!

WayfairWide selection, competitive prices
Home DepotAffordable options, frequent sales
IKEAAffordable and stylish furniture
OverstockDiscounted prices, variety of choices
AmazonExtensive range, competitive pricing
TargetBudget-friendly options, seasonal sales

Where Can I Find Cheap Used Furniture For Sale Near Me In My Area Online At Low Prices?

You can find cheap used furniture for sale near you in your area online at low prices by checking out the following venues:

Craigslist – You can find almost everything on Craigslist, including cheap used furniture for sale near you in your area online at low prices.

Yard sales – Lawns are lined with items that need a new home and owners who want to sell them for a fraction of their original cost. 

Check out your local Craigslist sites and yard sales for great deals on all kinds of different things, including cheap used furniture for sale near you in your area online at low prices.

Thrift stores – Many thrift stores will have everything from clothing to kitchenware and even outdoor patio furniture available at rock-bottom prices or even free! Just be sure to check first!

Newspaper classifieds – Sometimes people place ads offering their unwanted goods without realizing they could make more money selling them elsewhere

Considering different materials for your pergola? Steel pergolas offer durability and a modern aesthetic. Dive into the advantages and maintenance tips in our informative piece on steel pergolas. Discover why they are a popular choice for outdoor structures.


Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand what a pergola is and its many benefits. A pergola can be a great addition to any home, whether it’s used for entertainment or just as an added space for relaxation and enjoyment. 

If you have any questions about pergolas or gazebos, don’t hesitate to ask us! We’re happy to help with any inquiries just contact us today!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on the topic of pergolas and gazebos:

Pergola vs. Gazebo: Which is Right for Your Outdoor Space?: Explore the differences between pergolas and gazebos, their design features, and considerations for choosing the right option for your outdoor space.

The Difference Between a Pergola and a Gazebo: Gain insights into the distinctions between pergolas and gazebos, their purposes, and the various benefits they offer for creating a stylish and functional outdoor area.

Pergola vs. Gazebo: Understanding the Key Differences: Delve into the comparison of pergolas and gazebos, including their unique features, styles, and how they can enhance your outdoor living space.


What is the main difference between a pergola and a gazebo?

A pergola is an outdoor structure with an open roof and typically has four supporting columns. On the other hand, a gazebo is a freestanding structure with a complete roof and is often octagonal or circular in shape.

Which is more suitable for providing shade, a pergola or a gazebo?

Both pergolas and gazebos can provide shade, but a gazebo with a solid roof offers more shade coverage compared to a pergola with an open roof. However, pergolas can be enhanced with additional shade elements such as retractable canopies or fabric covers.

Can a pergola and a gazebo be used interchangeably?

Pergolas and gazebos have distinct design and functionality differences, so they are not typically used interchangeably. However, personal preferences and specific outdoor space requirements may influence the choice between the two.

Do pergolas and gazebos require professional installation?

While it is possible to install pergolas and gazebos as DIY projects, the complexity of the structure and the desired customization may require professional installation for optimal results. It’s recommended to consult experts for guidance.

Can a pergola or a gazebo be attached to a house?

Pergolas can be attached to a house as an extension, providing a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor space. Gazebos, being freestanding structures, are not typically attached to a house and are usually located at a separate area in the yard.