Spending time in the backyard is the best way to bond with family and friends. Adding a gazebo or a patio can make the experience even more enjoyable!
Both these structures can protect you from harsh sunlight and shield you from strong winds. You may also decorate them with tables and chairs to enjoy a meal.
However, because of their similarities, you might have the two confused.
What are the differences between gazebos and patios? Which one is better for your backyard?
In this article, I’ll tell you about the factors to consider before starting your gazebo or patio project!
The term gazebo is from the words gaze and ebo, the latter of which means “I shall” in Latin. The origin of the word is indicative of its purpose!
Gazebos, or belvederes, were viewing structures for the wealthy in the Renaissance period. This is why many of them have ornamental designs on their roofs.
What I find interesting about gazebos is they’re often elevated and open on all sides. The openness means you can appreciate a 360° view of a garden!
Some people customize gazebos into Asian pagodas or whimsical Victorian styles. Because of their aesthetics, many use them as backdrops for weddings as well.
Today, gazebos come in all shapes, materials, and sizes. Here are some types of gazebos to build in your yard.
- Fabric: Fabric gazebos are easy to set up and resistant to rust. They’re waterproof and portable.
- Wood: Wooden gazebos look classic, natural, and elegant.
- Metal: For a sturdier structure, you can choose aluminum or steel gazebos.
- Vinyl: These gazebos are lightweight but can come with intricate finishes.
Patios are open-air courtyards originating from the Spanish Renaissance period. They were main features in medieval Latin-American architecture and were used for outdoor privacy in the hot climate of Spain.
A common feature of a patio is concrete or stone flooring for placing a grill and outdoor seating.
What I like about patios is their versatility. You may decorate them with fire pits or connect them with pools!
Luckily, you can make patios out of different materials. Here are two types of patios according to flooring.
- Fixed material: You can make patios from stone, concrete, bricks, tiles, and pavement.
- Loose material: It’s possible to build a patio using only stones, gravel, or sand. You may also mix these with fixed materials to create a natural look.
Aside from the flooring, some people add roofing to patios.
Pergolas are patios with four pillars and a partially open roof system, for instance. You can plant vines around the pillars to create living structures.
Pavilions, on the other hand, are high-roofed modern builds that let plenty of air and light pass through.
There are plenty of differences between gazebos and patios. Here’s what you should know:
Gazebos are freestanding buildings, meaning you can place them far away from the house. You can build them anywhere in the garden or place them among foliage.
Since gazebos aren’t attached to the house, you may build a stone path leading to one.
On the flip side, people usually build patios closer to the house than a gazebo. You can connect them directly to the backdoor for convenience.
Placing a patio near a wall will help shield you from harsh weather conditions too.
The most compact gazebos are about 8 x 8 feet and are ideal for small backyards. However, you can buy 18 x 18 feet gazebos for up to 20 guests!
If you build a gazebo from scratch, you may customize its length and width to fit your garden.
On the other hand, patios can be as small as 7 x 7 feet, enough for two chairs and a table. A patio at 16 x 18 feet can fit couches and lounge chairs.
Sizable patios are perfect for families with children who love to play outdoors!
In general, patios are easier and cheaper to build than gazebos.
Patios need less expertise to build, and you can do it yourself. All you need to do is clear an area in your backyard and lay the flooring down.
In contrast, since gazebos are elevated and have roofing, you may need an expert to help you with construction. You should treat gazebos as buildings and anchor them to the ground too.
Don’t worry. The good news is they’re sturdier than patios!
Gazebos come with solid roofs that can protect you from sun and rain.
Meanwhile, you don’t need a roof to create a patio. This makes it perfect for those who love being outdoors!
Gazebos tend to look classical and Victorian. They’re ideal for cozy backyards with great views.
Compared to this, patios are more modern. Being enclosed means you can have a patio even if you’re in the city and there’s no view to look at.
Before starting your project, don’t forget to consider these four factors!
According to Angie’s List, a gazebo can cost $2,688 to $9,892 to build. The price depends on materials, labor, land, and size.
Brick gazebos are the cheapest types, while metal ones are the most expensive.
Compared to this, Forbes says patios are more affordable at $3,000 to $5,500. If you choose to make it from simpler materials, you can even build one for only $500!
Gazebos are for areas that receive a lot of rain or snow. Moreover, since they’re anchored to the ground, gazebos are great for cities that get hit by strong winds.
Meanwhile, patios are better for warmer climates and places that don’t receive much rain. Of course, you can also build a roof over one to protect you from the elements.
Gazebos tend to need more space than patios. You should have at least a 15 x 15 area surrounding your gazebo so people can walk around it.
What’s more, you’ll defeat the purpose of having a gazebo if you don’t have an expansive garden view.
For patios, there’s no need for much garden space. You can build it in the tiniest of backyards!
For patios without roofs, you may have to regularly clear them of debris as they can stain your flooring. You must reseal it every two to three years and use a power washer occasionally too.
Gazebos don’t need much maintenance, but it helps to wash them with water and a brush. If your gazebo is wooden, you should trim plants around it to avoid damage.
Gazebos are ideal for families with huge gardens in rural areas. They do well in rainy weather and are for those with bigger budgets.
Patios, however, are better for small city living and for places that don’t see much rain. A patio is perfect if you have a limited budget!
In conclusion, gazebos and patios are excellent for entertaining guests and enjoying the outdoors.
Gazebos are roofed structures that are expensive yet sturdy. Patios are cheaper and compact, but without roofs to protect you from rain.
Whichever you choose, you’ll surely add value to your home and have a great time to boot!
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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