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Ideas for Pavillions, Pergolas & Gazebos

Outdoor Gazebo Idea - Farmside Landscape & Design

Ideas for Pavillions, Pergolas & Gazebos

Pavillions, Pergolas & Gazebos help extend your enjoyment of your outdoor oasis! Our desire to enhance our homes with outdoor living spaces that are functional, beautiful and comfortable is greater than ever. From simple patios and decks, to fully functional outdoor kitchen spaces and pool houses, there is an outdoor living space design and structure suited for any need and budget.


When you’re looking for some structured, outdoor protection from the elements, consider including a pergola, pavilion or gazebo to your yard. These structures help to define outdoor spaces and can also provide varying degrees of privacy from neighbors and street or foot traffic.


Outdoor Pavillion Idea - Farmside Landscape & DesignPergolas and pavilions, in particular, are durable and last for years, and are able to withstand heat, rain, wind, and cold weather beautifully. Because they offer greater protection than a pergola, they can allow for the inclusion of electricity for cooking, heating, cooling, lighting and other features we enjoy in our indoor spaces, helping them to function as true outdoor rooms.


Understanding your site conditions such as orientation to the sun, hills or valleys that may or may not block wind, seasonal shifts and light throughout the course of the day can help determine the best location and angle for your structure. A professional builder will help you with this.


Here’s a look at the difference between the outdoor structures:


Pergolas – Have supportive posts that hold an open-slatted roof-like structure, often used to shade a walkway, deck or patio. The amount of shade they offer can be controlled by the number and placement of overhead slats, the addition of plantings, and/or the inclusion of fabric, overhead.  They can support elements such as lighting and ceiling fans, and their clean lines fit well with today’s contemporary designs. They are very easy to maintain and the least expensive of the three options to build.


Although a pergola’s roof is fairly open, you can customize your structure for more or less coverage. Consider including vines such as clematis, wisteria, ivy, grape or honeysuckle to climb up the beams and weave throughout the rafters to create a natural ceiling that will blend seamlessly in your garden landscape, or add hanging plants for an integrated look with your garden.


Pavilions – A pavilion is an open-framed structure with a completely closed roof that may have a finished ceiling. It has its own floor, often made of concrete, and provides full coverage from the sun and shelter from rainfall. Pavilions are sometimes referred to as ramadas in the southwest. A garden pagoda is a pavilion with tiered, upward-curved roof eaves, and may be square, hexagonal or octagonal.


Outdoor Pergola & Pavilion Ideas - Farmside Landscape & DesignGazebos – A gazebo is a self-supporting structure that requires a foundation and is made with sturdy beams, a fully-covered pitched roof and vaulted ceiling. Its overall shape is circular/octagonal. These require a bit more yard space than a pergola, and a level area for the structure to be built upon. Versatile and functional, a gazebo can serve a variety of purposes for your outdoor space: from a garden room to an outdoor kitchen, or an entertainment space. Gazebos are available in a variety of different grades, materials, and styles to fit your needs. Local codes, which vary in every town and county, will determine the distance your gazebo needs to be from your house. Check with your local planning department or town hall for exact distances, but the average is about 3 feet.


So which is best for you? Space and cost are two important elements to keep in mind – pergolas can be the least expensive and best option for small spaces. They’re great for providing shade from the sun while still maintaining an open feel.


Pavillions can shelter you from both sun and rain.  For more privacy/shelter, you can add “sides” in the form of panels made from various materials (fabric, vinyl, etc.).


For a more defined outdoor room, a gazebo may be your best choice. Its sheltered construction makes it ideal for outdoor kitchens, running electricity, and for privacy. It’s the most costly of the three options and requires more space.


Still not sure which option is right for you? Contact us here at Farmside – we’ll help you determine what your needs are and which structure will be your best fit.