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Gazebos and Pergolas Guide

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Create a stunning focal point in your backyard with a gazebo or pergola. Pergolas create an open and airy outdoor retreat (above left), while gazebos offer a luxurious covered spot to relax and entertain outside (above right). Find a gazebo or pergola for a variety of outdoor spots, such as a patio by the pool or an outdoor dining space. See our information below on both gazebos and pergolas to find the ideal structure for your backyard. 
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Gazebos

Available in multiple sizes and shapes, a gazebo is an outdoor structure with a completely covered roof and partially or fully open sides (left). Gazebos are ideal for enjoying the outdoors even when it's raining, and can provide additional protection for your outdoor furniture. From creating shade in a sunny yard to providing shelter from the elements, gazebos are a great option for a variety of climates. 

Pergolas

Pergolas feature a criss-cross wood top with four posts that secure into the ground. Often used in gardens as trellises to extend the garden feel above ground level, pergolas provide an elegant structure to define an outdoor space. Look for a pergola if you want to have maximum light exposure and an open look with less protection from the elements.

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Materials

  • WoodAs the most traditional material choice, wood (specifically cedar) offers a naturally weather-resistant option. Look for structures that have a coating or sealant to protect the wood from the elements.
  • Metal. Metal gazebos and pergolas often feature a more modern aesthetic compared to wood. Metal frames also offer an easy-to-assemble structure, and many feature click-together frames.
  • Manufactured WoodWith a structural metal core, manufactured wood (or PVC) can be one of the most durable materials for pergolas and gazebos. Invest in manufactured wood for the aesthetic of natural wood with maximum longevity. 
  • PlasticResin plastic will not rust, rot or splinter. Look for plastic for a durable and more affordable option compared to manufactured wood.

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Shape

  • Square/Rectangular: Great for entertaining, dining, and multiple layout options. 
  • Octagonal: This look offers traditional aesthetics, ideal for special occasions and most dining set-ups. 
  • Oblong: This shape provides the most flexible floor space for entertaining and several layout options.
  • Round: Round gazebos offer a great look, however have limited seating and dining layout options depending on the total size of the structure. 
  • Triangular/Hexagonal: This shape offers a unique aesthetic that's great for special occasions and lounging, however offers limited dining layout options. 

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Features and Accessories

  • No Foundation NeededLook for a gazebo that doesn't require a foundation for easy set-up and take-down. 
  • Canopy. Add a UV-resistant canopy to the top of your gazebo for an all-weather outdoor spot. 
  • Portable. Portable gazebos with metal frames and all-weather canopies are ideal for picnics and tailgating. 
  • Enclosed/Screened. Keep out insects and create the feel of a screened-in porch with an enclosed gazebo. 
  • Planters. Attach planter boxes to your gazebo to create a lush garden look. 
  • Pergola Add-Ons. Decorative panels in a lattice-like pattern are great for growing ivy or creating a trellis up the side of a gazebo or pergola. Other accessories and add-ons include attached benches, tables, and decorative second tier roofs. 

Evaluate the shape and size of your yard, plans for the main use of the structure, and the type of weather coverage you want before deciding on a pergola or gazebo. 

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