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The Difference Between Pergolas, Pagodas, Gazebos and Arbors

Posted on 25/06/2019

Designing the ideal garden will often require a built structure to provide an area of rest as well as to build height and interest into the garden landscape. Knowing the differences between pergolas, pagodas, gazebos and arbors will help you choose the right design for your garden. 

The phrases are often used interchangeably but there are a few key differences that set them apart. Unlike a summerhouse or garden house, these structures are open or semi-open depending on their design. 

Different Types of Pergolas and Arbors

What’s the Difference Between a Pergola and an Arbor?

Pergolas and arbors are both open structures that feature beams to form a canopy, often designed for climbing plants to grow on. A pergola is traditionally made with vertical posts and horizontal beams, with many connected to form a tunnel over a pathway whilst an arbor would often be made with latticework or trellis, and often created an archway or arched tunnel. 

Traditionally an arbor would mark the entrance to a garden, and may feature a bench or seating area while more modern usage of the word refers to an L shaped bench with semi open sides and a pitched roof – more like half a gazebo. 

Different Types of Gazebos and Pagodas

What’s the Difference Between a Pagoda and a Gazebo? 

Pagodas and gazebos are both garden structures that feature a roof supported by pillars or columns, to provide shelter from sun or rain. The wooden structures have fully open or semi open sides, and can have any number of sides to be round, square or octagonal. A wooden gazebo is what in Western cultures would traditionally be built in public parks and spaces for bandstands and events, while a pagoda refers to Buddhist and Hindu temples which feature intricate designs and tiered roofs. Modern pagodas for gardens will refer to a gazebo like structure, but will often be more intricately decorated and have a taller, multi-layer roof. 

Whether you’d like a gazebo, pagoda, pergola, arbor, archway, summerhouse or shelter in your garden – our experienced and talented teams can build it for you! Everything we make is made to order and made to last, using top quality pressure treated timber. Give us a call or email today to book a free quotation – call 01603 928494 or email

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