Pergolas, Gazebos, and Verandas – How Are They Different?

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The names of these popular garden fixtures are often used interchangeably, but there are actually significant differences between pergolas, gazebos, and verandas. If you’re looking to get a new structure in the garden – this guide will help you define the difference between pergolas, gazebos, and verandas, and decide which one will suit your needs the best. 

What is a pergola?

The word ‘pergola’ originates from the Italian language and refers to a purpose-built outdoor structure that is made to support the growth of plants. These growing plants attach on to the beams and rafters of the pergola which creates a naturally shaded outdoor structure. 

Today, pergolas are versatile structures in terms of design and could be the ideal option if you are looking for a freestanding structure that is customisable. Pergolas were traditionally made of wood; however, they are now often manufactured using durable materials such as aluminium and other metals. Because of this, pergolas can last for years without any necessary maintenance, providing outdoor shelter in your garden for the foreseeable future.

What is a veranda?


The word ‘veranda’ originates from the Middle East and describes an area leading to outdoors. Verandas as we know them today are structures that are attached to the exterior of a property and provide shelter in an outdoor space. 

Verandas can be attached to any side of a property, whether it be the front, back or side of your house. They are the ideal solution if you have a bit of outdoor space going along the side of your home, but there is not enough room to have a separate free-standing structure in place. 

Verandas usually have enclosed roofs, and they cover porch areas surrounding the parameter of a property. They act as perfect cover for small seating areas and allow you to make more use of the immediate space surrounding your home. 

What is a gazebo?


You may have heard the term ‘gazebo’ refer to the temporary structures used at campsites and festivals for large communal areas, but the term can refer to permanent outdoor structures which provide shade and shelter. 

Gazebos are open on all sides but have a completely covered roof to prevent any rainfall or sunlight getting through. They are popular structures for homeowners looking to build an outdoor space in their garden, as gazebos are easily accessible and provide an area of shelter. 

Gazebos can be made from a variety of materials and there are options to suit everyone. Gazebos are often best placed in back gardens, as they tend to have relatively large surface areas when compared to verandas.  

Main differences between a pergola, veranda, and gazebo

As established, each structure is unique in its own way, and one may be better suited to your needs than the others. It’s a good idea to research the specifics of each structure before making your decision on what will be the most suitable for your own idea. 

As for the main identifiable differences between pergolas, verandas, and gazebos – the type of structures and roofs are arguably the most impactful. Pergolas tend to have open or slabbed roofs that allow sunlight and rainfall to enter the outdoor space, whereas verandas and gazebos are covered. Verandas stand out as they are directly attached to the property and act as more of an extension as opposed to a separate area. Gazebos on the other hand are free standing but provide a completely covered roof. 

If you’re looking to build one of these structures in your garden, Team Build Joinery and Interiors specialise in bespoke garden furniture and structures and are experts when it comes to custom made fixtures. Whether you prefer a pergola, veranda, gazebo, or any other type of garden structure – get in touch with Team Build today.