Gazebo or Pavilion: Which Is the Better Choice?

Are you considering a gazebo or pavilion for your backyard? You might be thinking that they’re one and the same. Wrong! They are two different structures, with designs that make them ideal for outdoor living spaces in different ways. 

The main difference between a gazebo and a pavilion is the size of each. Gazebos are open-air structures with no walls, whereas pavilions have walls but no ceiling overhead kind of like an enclosed patio area without windows or doors that lead inside your home. 

Both can be used as places to relax on rainy days when you don’t want to be confined indoors all day long, but each has its own distinct qualities as well:

100 beautiful gazebos and pergolas! Pros and cons
Gazebos are often open-air structures with a roof and open sides, while pavilions have a roof supported by pillars or columns.
Gazebos provide a focal point and open-air experience, while pavilions offer more covered space and are ideal for larger gatherings or outdoor events.
The choice between a gazebo and a pavilion ultimately depends on your backyard needs and personal preferences.
Both gazebos and pavilions can provide a shaded and sheltered outdoor space for a variety of activities.
When deciding between a gazebo and a pavilion, consider the size of your backyard, the intended use of the structure, and your personal style preferences.

Gazebo Vs Pavilion: Which One Should You Get

Gazebos and pavilions are both open-air structures that can be used for entertaining guests or relaxing. The main difference between them is size: a gazebo is smaller than a pavilion, which is larger and more formal.

A closer look at their structures reveals some additional differences. Gazebos tend to be rectangular or octagonal in shape, while pavilions are round or square. A gazebo’s roof may have multiple sides, while a pavilion has only one side (usually the front). 

Both have roofs made from wood shingles or tiles laid flat; however, gazebos usually have simpler roofs with more minimal details compared to those of pavilions which often feature intricate designs such as carved turrets on top with lightning rods sticking out of them!

If you are considering investing in a gazebo, it is important to determine if it is worth the cost. Check out our article on are gazebos worth it to read about the experiences of gazebo owners and find out if a gazebo is a worthwhile investment for your backyard.

Choose The One That Fits Into Your Landscape

Both types of structures have many things in common. For example, both are freestanding and can be placed where you need them most. Both can come with attached benches for sitting or storage under the pavilion. 

And both are often made from vinyl or wood and may even include a shingled roof. But if you want to get technical about the difference between gazebos and pavilions, there is one important feature they have that sets them apart: size.

If you don’t have much space to work with but still want some outdoor respite from the sun, then a gazebo might be right for your needs. 

A smaller structure fits better into small spaces without being too cramped or crowded for anyone who would normally use it and its design makes it ideal for providing shade under hot summer weather conditions when having an entire backyard isn’t really possible due to lack of space or budget constraints.”

Pros and Cons of Gazebos

Provides a focal point in a backyardMay not offer enough protection from the elements
Open-air experienceCan be more expensive than other backyard structures
Can be used for a variety of outdoor activitiesMay require regular maintenance or upkeep
Adds value to a homeMay not be suitable for larger gatherings or events

Consider The Material Of Your Gazebo Or Pavilion

The first thing to consider is the material of your gazebo or pavilion. There are a few options, including wood, steel and aluminum. Each material comes with its own set of pros and cons:

Wood – Wood is a popular choice because it’s durable and lasts a long time. It can also be made in different styles (such as cedar or redwood) that’ll suit your tastes better than other materials would. 

However, this option costs more than steel or aluminum so it might not be affordable for everyone!

Steel – Steel is stronger than wood but costs more money—and who wants to spend more money on something when there’s another option out there? If you want something that’ll last forever without breaking down too soon then this might be worth looking into though!

Aluminum – This material isn’t very expensive but doesn’t last very long either; think about how long plastic furniture will last outside before becoming rusted over time due to exposure from rainwater splashing up against its surface during storms (or even just regular rain showers). 

Most people don’t have enough space inside their homes where they’d need something like this anyway so maybe just stick with cardboard boxes instead since those won’t cost anything anymore!

Windy weather can be a concern when it comes to outdoor structures like gazebos. To ensure your gazebo is safe and secure during windy conditions, read our article on are gazebos safe in wind for expert advice on how to anchor and secure your gazebo.

Storage Space

When it comes to storage space, the gazebo wins hands down. The pavilion has storage options but it’s not as much as a gazebo. As for maintenance and style, you should go for the one that suits your needs best.

If you want to spend less money on a structure that will last for years and years, then get a gazebo because they are more affordable than pavilions and porches. 

They also require less maintenance so even if you live in an area where there is high humidity or rainfall during most of the year, this shouldn’t be an issue with a well-built wooden gazebo.

The main difference between Gazebos Vs Pavilions lies in their features; while both offer shade from sun rays and raindrops alike they differ greatly when it comes to overall design–and depending on what type of home décor you’re after:

Modern vs traditional –with each having its own set of advantages depending on which kind would work best given how many people need access into these spaces at any given point before making any decision about building one or buying one off-the-shelf instead.”

Pros and Cons of Pavilions

Offers more covered spaceMay not provide a focal point in a backyard
Ideal for larger gatherings or outdoor eventsCan be more expensive than other backyard structures
Provides shelter from the elementsMay require a more extensive foundation
Can be customized to match personal style preferencesMay require more maintenance or upkeep

How Much Maintenance Does It Need?

If you’re looking for a gazebo and want to do a little DIY, then the maintenance required will be relatively minimal. But if you prefer not to spend your weekends painting the gazebo, then a pavilion could be a better choice.

The main difference between the two is that pavilions need little maintenance work, while gazebos must be painted every few years (or even every year) with special waterproof paint designed specifically for metal structures like these.

Pavilions also come in different styles of metalwork: wrought iron or steel frames with wooden slats as well as aluminum frames with polycarbonate panels. The latter tend to be more expensive but easier to maintain since they don’t need painting at all!

If you’re stuck deciding between a gazebo and a pergola for your backyard, our article on a gazebo vs pergola can help you determine which option is best for your needs. We discuss the pros and cons of each structure to help you make an informed decision.

Style And Appearance

The style of your gazebo will really depend on your personal preference. Some people prefer a more contemporary style, while others may want something more traditional. 

If you’re looking for something that has a modern feel, then we would recommend going with a gazebo that has clean lines and straight edges. 

This can be done by choosing materials like aluminum or stainless steel. These materials tend to lend themselves well to more modern designs because they are often sleek and linear in appearance.

If you are looking for something more classic or rustic, then wood might be your best bet. Wood is known for being warm and inviting which makes it an excellent choice for those who want their space to have a homey feel about it. 

You could also consider using stone since it’s very durable and timeless as well as earthy which lends itself well to rural settings or outdoor spaces in general

What’s Your Budget?

When deciding between a gazebo and pavilion, the first thing you need to do is figure out what your budget is. 

The price range for these structures can be quite high from $1,000 all the way up to $20,000. Before you make any decisions about which one you want, ensure that it fits within your budget and doesn’t require any sacrifices in quality or design.

When considering cost of installation, keep in mind that it varies quite a bit depending on where you live and how much work needs to be done before installation can begin (i.e., removing trees). 

You may find some companies offer free shipping or financing options as well as delivery fees or installation services for an additional fee; others will charge taxes separately at checkout but still offer free shipping on certain products like gazebos and pavilions.

The cost of maintenance will depend largely on whether there are any specific conditions that need special attention such as high winds or snowfall during winter months where extra support would be needed otherwise they might collapse under pressure due to their lightweight structure 

Anchoring a gazebo to concrete is crucial for stability and safety. Our article on how to anchor a gazebo to concrete provides a step-by-step guide on how to securely anchor your gazebo to concrete, ensuring it remains stable and safe in all weather conditions.


Before you start shopping for a pavilion or gazebo, take a moment to consider what kind of lifestyle you have. 

How often do you entertain outside? What kind of weather do you typically experience in your area? How much time do you spend outside during the day? Most importantly, how much money are you willing to spend on your pavilion or gazebo?

Decide what type of entertainment space will work best for your needs and go from there!

Gazebo Or Pavilion? A Question Of Purpose

Gazebos and pavilions are both open-sided structures with roofs, but they’re not exactly the same. A gazebo is typically smaller than a pavilion and is often used to provide shade or shelter in outdoor spaces such as gardens. 

Gazebos are also typically freestanding and can be moved around easily, though they can also be built into your home in place of a deck or patio area.

Pavilions, on the other hand, tend to be larger than gazebos due to their need for more space beneath them for tables or chairs under which people can sit comfortably.

Unlike gazebos that can be moved easily from one place to another or even taken down entirely if needed pavilions usually have foundations so that they remain permanently in one spot for years at a time.

When choosing between a hardtop and soft top gazebo, it’s important to understand the key differences between the two. Check out our article on hardtop vs soft top gazebo to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each option, and which one may be best for your backyard needs.


Size is an important consideration when deciding between a gazebo or pavilion. Depending on the purpose for your outdoor structure, you may find that one size fits all—or you might need more than one.

The size of your yard and the amount of space you have available will dictate how large or small your outdoor structure needs to be. 

If all you want is a small place where you can relax with a drink after work, then a smaller structure like an arbor might suffice but if you’re planning on hosting large gatherings, then maybe it’s time to think about investing in something bigger!

Just keep in mind that larger structures take up more space and can be harder to maintain because they require more upkeep over time.

Purchase vs. DIY

The DIY option is always cheaper, but it takes a lot of time and effort to build your own. You’ll need to find the right materials, and you’ll have to spend hours of your day putting them together.

Purchased gazebos and pavilions are more expensive in terms of the initial purchase price, but they’re easier for you to install. This means that if you don’t have the time or ability to do it yourself, then this may be a better option for you.


Once you’ve decided on the perfect gazebo or pavilion, it’s time to order it! Don’t forget to check your installation instructions carefully. 

If you’re going to have someone install your gazebo or pavilion, make sure they are qualified and insured for this work. Before hiring them, ask for references and check their insurance coverage. 

Also look online at reviews of potential contractors so that if they have a bad reputation (or if they have been involved in lawsuits), you can avoid hiring them. If possible, pay attention to previous projects too a good contractor will leave behind a great final result!

Location! Location! Location!

When you’re choosing a gazebo or pavilion, the first thing to consider is location. This may seem like a no-brainer, but we can assure you it’s not. 

While some people like to put their structures in the middle of their backyard and make an oasis out of it, others want their structures in more low-key areas. If you live in an area with lots of sun exposure, it might be better to choose one that provides shade and vice versa! 

It also depends on how much wind is around; this will affect whether or not your gazebo or pavilion moves around too much when someone walks underneath it (for example).

Additionally, think about how much use this space will get. If it’s going to be used by children on a day-to-day basis (think family dinners), then maybe consider something a little more sturdy than if nobody will ever walk under there again after installation (ex: guest house).


Now that you know more about gazebos and pavilions, it’s time to choose the right one for you. If you are looking for something that fits in with your landscape and doesn’t require too much maintenance, then a gazebo might be the way to go. 

But if you want a more permanent structure that has storage space as well as an attractive design and appearance, then maybe opting for a pavilion would make more sense? 

Either way, just remember that location is key when choosing between these two popular outdoor structures!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources on gazebos and pavilions:

Amish Gazebos: Pavilion – This website offers a variety of pavilions for sale and provides information on the benefits of owning a pavilion.

KP Contracting: Gazebo vs Pavilion vs Pergola: Which One is Right for You? – This article compares the differences between gazebos, pavilions, and pergolas to help you decide which option is best for your backyard.

Anest with a Yard: Gazebo vs Pavilion – This article compares the differences between gazebos and pavilions and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each structure.


What is a pavilion?

A pavilion is an outdoor structure that provides shade and shelter. Pavilions typically have a roof supported by pillars or columns and can be used for a variety of outdoor activities.

What is a gazebo?

A gazebo is a freestanding outdoor structure with a roof and open sides. Gazebos are often used for outdoor dining or entertaining and can provide a focal point in a backyard.

What are the benefits of owning a pavilion?

Owning a pavilion can provide a shaded and sheltered outdoor space for a variety of activities. Pavilions can be used for outdoor dining, entertaining, or as a relaxation space.

What are the benefits of owning a gazebo?

Owning a gazebo can provide a focal point in a backyard and a shaded space for outdoor activities. Gazebos can be used for outdoor dining, entertaining, or as a relaxation space.

Which is better: a gazebo or a pavilion?

The choice between a gazebo and a pavilion ultimately depends on your backyard needs and personal preferences. Gazebos provide a focal point and open-air experience, while pavilions offer more covered space and are ideal for larger gatherings or outdoor events.