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Dream Backyard on a Budget? Compare Pergolas and Pavilions First

Dream Backyard on a Budget? Compare Pergolas and Pavilions First

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Have you been thinking about upgrading and enhancing the looks of your backyard space? There’s nothing better than adding a shaded area to relax in with family and friends.

However, sometimes it can be confusing to choose between different outdoor elements, especially when it comes to pergola vs. pavilion.

Pergolas and pavilions are two of the most stunning outdoor structures to consider. They’re both beautiful and they accept even more dazzling different add-ons.

This article helps you in your decision to choose between a pergola and a pavilion. So, stick around.

Similarities and Differences Between a Pergola and a Pavilion

Both pergolas and pavilions offer a nice area for different outdoor activities. Additionally, they both look amazing and improve the overall aesthetic of the house.


Pergolas and pavilions are both freestanding structures but can be attached to the house if you’d like that. You can also attach curtains to both of them for more privacy.

Not to mention that having a pergola or a pavilion in your backyard notably increases your house’s value and creates a space to entertain.

In addition, when purchasing either a pergola or a pavilion, you get to choose from a variety of materials, finishes, colors, and styles.


There are a few differences between a pergola and a pavilion, which include:


The main thing that differentiates a pergola from a pavilion is the shape of the roof. The roof of a pergola is often made with inter-crossing beams, while the pavilion’s roof is solid.

Consequently, pergolas allow natural light in, as they provide partial shading. A pavilion, on the other hand, has a completely solid roof.

Having a roof with openings, like that of a pergola, is perfect for moderate weather, while pavilions fit more in rainy areas because of how their roof is designed.


A pergola doesn’t need built-in flooring to be installed, however, it’s not structurally strong and can’t handle too much weight.

A pavilion, contrarily, has a strong structure, but the installation of a pavilion costs much more than a pergola.


Mainly, a pergola of a certain size and material costs less than a pavilion with the same specifications.

On average, a 10×10 pavilion costs a little bit under $7,000, while a pergola of the same size costs around $5,200.

Of course, the prices vary depending on not only the material and size, but also on whatever add-ons and accessories you choose.

Adding a fan, curtains, masonry pillars, power, or lighting can easily make the price go through the roof.


As mentioned before, a pavilion’s roof is completely solid, which makes it perfect for those who prefer complete shade and shelter. That’s because it protects whatever and whoever sits under it in case it rains.

However, in case you’re living in a region with little chance of rain, either structure would work for you just fine.

On the contrary, a pergola doesn’t totally block out all the light and wind, which is ideal if you’re thinking about having some plant pots here and there.

So, if you prefer to enjoy the airy, sunny weather, you should definitely go for a pergola structure.


A pavilion has more of a classical romantic style, which fits perfectly in a colonial house, Victorian house, or something of a similar aesthetic.

A pergola, on the other hand, is a bit more elegant and slim, which gives you a modern feel. That’s why a pergola would be a great match with contemporary homes.

Pergola vs. Pavilion Ideas

Your outdoor backyard structure, whether a pavilion or a pergola isn’t only used as a sitting area. In fact, there are plenty of ideas to make use of that space, including:

Barbeque Area

Nothing beats a Sunday barbecue with your family. You just need a fire grill (or a gas grill if you prefer), and you’re good to go.

Furthermore, adding a prepping area and a small dining table with chairs would be the perfect setting.

So, what’s better than a beautiful pergola or pavilion to provide shade? Additionally, it protects your furniture and tools from rain when not in use.

Poolside Area

If you already have a pool, then including a covered relaxation spot is definitely what you need.

Just lie down on that chaise lounge and unwind!

Hot Tub Cover

Relax in your hot tub and enjoy the privacy that a pavilion or a pergola can offer you. Adding a structure over the hot tub is a great idea, as it protects it from sunlight.

That’s because exposure to the sun might cause your hot tub and other installment’s color to fade.

Outdoor Kitchen

For all the cooking lovers out there, you’ll get to enjoy a breezy day while preparing lunch. An outdoor kitchen area, with a fridge, a grill, a stovetop, and even a sink is what you need.

You get to enjoy cooking in your backyard whenever you feel like it. In addition, you can rest assured that all those appliances are going to be protected in case it rains.

Dining Area

If you aren’t into the idea of having an outdoor kitchen, then a dining area would do just fine for you. Whenever you have friends or family over, it’s always a good idea to grab a meal together.

Having lunch, dinner, dessert, or a simple snack outside, especially when the weather is pleasant, is really enjoyable. It’s a sure thing that your guests would love it.

For this specific setting, both a pavilion and a pergola would do a great job. Don’t forget to add a couple of decorative elements for a better aesthetic.

Movie Theater

That’s one creative idea when the air is great outside, and you’re feeling like doing something different.

It’s also perfect for your kids when they invite their friends for a sleepover at your place. They would go crazy over having an outdoor movie theater.

All you need is a projector or a TV and you’re ready for hosting the best movie night. Additionally, if you want to go extravagant, add a popcorn machine and a cotton candy stand.

Living Area

An outdoor living area is the most basic use for a pergola or a pavilion, however, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea.

On the contrary, an outside living area is great for relaxing while having your favorite drink. After all, nothing beats the feeling of sitting underneath your pergola or pavilion.

You can also add an outdoor fireplace to enjoy roasting marshmallows on those chilly nights.

Pergola vs. Pavilion Add-ons

There are a few add-ons that you can choose for your pavilion or pergola. Not only do these add-ons enhance the overall look, but they also serve a function or two.

For privacy, you can cover a chosen side or two of your outdoor structure. This can be done with evergreens, lattice wall panels, or even curtains.

You can also choose to install lights or a ceiling fan, which is a great addition, especially for hot nights.

As for pergolas, the lattice roof enables you to grow beautiful vines, wisteria, ivy, or any type of climbing plant. Not only do those plants look good or smell great, but they also provide additional shading for when it’s really sunny out there.

If you’re not into growing plants, there’s always the option of installing a fabric canopy to your pergola. There are many canopy types, colors, styles, and patterns to choose from.

You can even go for a stationary canopy or a retractable one, it’s all up to your preferences.

Pergola vs. Pavilion Property Value

As mentioned before, having an outdoor structure in your house increases the property value. In fact, you can expect about %50 ROI from the initial cost of that structure.

So, having a pergola or a pavilion is a type of investment that you get to enjoy for however long you’re living at your home.

In addition, you would make almost half of the cashback in case you decided to sell the house. Depending on the state you’re living at, the ROI percentage may increase or decrease.

Final Thoughts

Both pergolas and pavilions improve the overall aesthetic of your house and provide many uses for the space they’re added to.

As big as this investment might be, it’s totally worth the money. That’s mainly because having an outdoor structure increases the house value and provides you with a spot to appreciate.

You just need to determine which of the two would better serve your needs when it comes to looks, cost, and function.

Finally, whatever your decision is, we’re sure you won’t regret having an outdoor structure in your house.


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