Gazebo vs. Pavilion: How to choose the right one for your home

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Do you long to increase the liveable square footage of your home? Instead of an expensive home renovation, you can extend your living space outdoors with a gazebo or a pavilion.

If you love to entertain, an outdoor structure increases the number of people you can host. But the real value of adding a gazebo or pavilion structure is the peace and tranquility it adds to your everyday life.

And if you are considering selling your home, there is a financial benefit too. Architectural Digest states that swimming pools, kitchens, and other features increase the value of a home. 

If you desire a backyard structure that is small and intimate, a gazebo may be what you are looking for. On the other hand, if you entertain large groups, a pavilion may be a better choice. We’ll dive into the differences in these structures to help you make the best decision for your home. 

In the battle of gazebo vs pavilion, the ultimate winner is a structure that creates the outdoor oasis of your dreams.

What Is A Gazebo?

Gazebos are outdoor structures built with a solid roof, flooring, and partial sides. They are often placed near gardens, next to a pool, or near the home to create outdoor living spaces.

Typically, gazebos have an octagon or oval shape, adding to the visual appeal and romantic ambiance. Outfit a gazebo with a small dining table, comfy furniture, or even a swing to make it your dream relaxation spot.

If you love to work in your garden, a gazebo gives you a spot of shade when you need a break from the sun. After you’ve pulled weeds and watered, your garden gazebo is a perfect spot to enjoy your hard work.

Small gazebos placed in unused areas of your yard create a relaxation destination. Grab a book, cup of tea (or glass of wine), and head to your gazebo to relax or nap. Closer to the home, gazebos create outdoor eating areas protected from the elements.

If you have flies or other pests, add mosquito netting or screens for protection.

According to House Logic, increasing curb appeal adds value to your home. If you don’t have a front porch, consider placing a gazebo in the front yard where friends and family can gather.

Before you choose the size, consider buying a can of spray paint to mark several sizes and shapes on the ground. Then, place the furniture you’d like within the boundaries to see if this size fits your needs. This process helps to determine the size and shape of the gazebo you need. 

Gazebos are available in ready-to-erect kits and as pre-built structures. You can choose the size, shape, material, and design to best match the look of your home. If you struggle to find one you love, contractors can custom build one to your specifications.

Building a custom gazebo can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000, or even more, according to Home Advisor. But, ready-to-erect gazebo kits start around $1,500. 

Of course, the cost of a gazebo varies depending on size, material, and where you live. Meanwhile, Allen+Roth offers affordable gazebos across the country. Just drop by your local Lowe’s store!


  • Gazebos encourage intimate conversations and relaxation with the partial walls.
  • Gazebos can support screens or mosquito netting, unlike pergolas or pavilions.


  • The gazebo’s partial walls limit access except through the dedicated open area.
  • The partial walls may limit the surrounding view.

What Is A Pavilion?

Pavilions and gazebos are similar, but each has a distinct design. Unlike gazebos, pavilions don’t have partial walls. Instead, pavilions have posts in the corners to support the roof, so the feeling is more open and welcoming.

Another difference between a pavilion vs gazebo is the lack of flooring. Pavilions are placed on existing surfaces, like concrete patios, grass, or pool decks. This allows for a seamless appearance and easy no-lip access to your outdoor oasis.

Instead of an octagonal or oval shape, pavilions are square or rectangular. The streamlined design gives a more contemporary aesthetic than ornate gazebos.

In the National Association of Realtors report, “2018 Remodeling Impact: Outdoor Features,” one of the top projects to increase home resale value is a new patio. In some areas of the country, a solid roof over a patio is essential for three or four-season use.

Hot summers in the southwest need a structure to diffuse the sun. Cool evenings in the mountains need a structure with a solid roof to keep temperatures warm. A drizzly afternoon in the southeast doesn’t have to drive you indoors if you have a pavilion to keep you dry.

The design of a pavilion supports hosting larger groups. The open sides allow for flexible use, including dining, dancing, and relaxing. Large pavilions are often staged like a great room with both a seating area and dining area.

Some pavilions even have fireplaces and outdoor kitchens, expanding your home’s liveable space. With a kitchen and a fireplace, a pavilion allows for year-round outdoor living in many areas. 

According to outdoor kitchens and eating areas can provide a 100 to 200 percent return on your investment.

Home Advisor’s statistics on the cost to build a pavilion show prices start at $3,000 and can exceed $15,000. If cost is a factor in your decision, pavilion vs gazebo costs are similar. Like gazebos, the price is dependent on the size, style, and material that is chosen.

Ready-to-erect pavilion kits start around $2,000 and can exceed $10,000, depending on the options you choose.

If you are creating an outdoor kitchen, don’t forget to include the cost of running water, gas, and electric lines. Or if you prefer, your pavilion great room could go green with the addition of solar panels.

As mentioned above, it is wise to spend some time laying out how you want to use the space. For example, a dining table that seats 12 needs to be at least 12-feet long with ample room around all sides, according to Home Stratosphere


  • Pavilions feature open sides that allow for access from all points.
  • The open sides don’t block the view. 
  • Pavilions can be placed on existing concrete patios, pool decks, and grass. A floor is not necessary for support. 
  • The square or rectangular pavilion offers flexible seating plan options. Be sure to check our backyard pavilion ideas for inspiration!


  • Mosquito netting or screens are not supported by the design of a pavilion. 
  • A pavilion has a more contemporary or modern look that may not complement traditional homes. 

Unfortunately, Allen and Roth does not sell any pavilions. 

Breaking Down The Battle Of Gazebo Vs Pavilion

Shade: Both gazebos and pavilions offer shade from the sun’s rays. Larger pavilions offer more shade protection than gazebos, due to the overhang and overall design. 

The winner for largest shaded area: pavilions

Curb Appeal: Gazebos and pavilions can increase the curb appeal and garden appeal of your home. For traditional or Victorian-style homes, a gazebo is a better fit, while for mid-century modern, contemporary, or modern homes, a pavilion’s streamlined design is a better addition. 

The winner for curb appeal: depends on the style of your home. 

Flooring: Gazebos are constructed with a floor or placed on top of a concrete base, while pavilions can be installed over any type of flooring. If you want a continuous, barrier-free entry to your outdoor oasis, the pavilion is the better choice. 

The winner for no-barrier entry: pavilions 

The winner for a cozy, self-contained space: gazebo

Size: Both gazebos and pavilions are available in an array of sizes. Typically, gazebos are smaller and more intimate than open-air pavilions. 

The winner for large groups:  Pavilions

The winner for intimate settings: Gazebos

Gazebo Vs Pavilion: Stand-out Features 

Both pavilions and gazebos offer unique features that may make one better for your home than the other. Let’s examine the stand-out features of each structure:


  • Partial sides: Gazebos have half walls or fencing that creates an intimate space. 
  • Octagonal or oval shape: The shape of the gazebo encourages seated conversation and interaction. 
  • Flooring: Gazebos with wood or concrete floors elevated off of the ground are suitable for outdoor rugs. 


  • Open sides: Pavilions are open structures that allow entry from any side. 
  • Square or rectangular shape: The shape of a pavilion allows for flexibility in the design of seating, eating, and entertaining areas. 
  • Flooring: Pavilions are placed on existing flooring, tiles, or grass creating a zero-barrier entry. 

Are You Ready To Create Your Outdoor Oasis?

At the end of the day, don’t you long for a peaceful space to relax? Expand your liveable area by creating an outdoor living area protected from the elements by a gazebo or pavilion. If you are still debating the benefits of gazebo vs pavilion, check out these scenarios to help you choose. 

Choose a gazebo if…

  • You want a small, intimate area that encourages conversation. 
  • Your home’s design is traditional or Victorian. 
  • You want a relaxation destination near your garden, a water feature, or tucked in the woods. 

Choose a pavilion if…

  • You love to entertain large groups of people. 
  • You want a flexible space where you can set up multiple dining tables for one event and casual seating areas for another event. 
  • You want to create an epic outdoor great room complete with kitchen, fireplace, dining area, and seating area. 

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1 thought on “Gazebo vs. Pavilion: How to choose the right one for your home”

  1. The phone number I just called and got a hold of an Allen & Roth Customer Service Representative was (866) 439-9800. They were able to assist me in ordering the needed replacement part. Just thought I’d pass the information along.


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