At SRI Decks, our custom outdoor carpentry specialists in the Denver area are experts at building beautiful structures that enhance your property’s value and living and entertainment space. These structures include custom gazebos and pergolas.

Over our many years in the industry, we’ve noticed the stumped look in homeowners’ eyes when deciding between a gazebo or a pergola. Both have great qualities, so it’s easy to understand why the choice can sometimes be difficult.

We want to dedicate this blog to exploring the ins and outs of gazebos and pergolas. Hopefully, you’ll take away knowledge of what sets them apart, making your decision between the two a bit less complicated.

Let’s start with what makes these two structures different from each other. Look to the sky for the reason why: The style and functionality of the roofs set them apart.

Gazebo or Pergola: What’s the Best Choice for You?

(Dendy Darma Satyazi/Unsplash)

Grand Gazebos

Topped with an enclosed roof, gazebos are fully-covered areas that keep the sun, snow, and rain at bay. Due to their generous roof sizes, gazebos must have a foundation to strengthen and reinforce the long legs of the posts. The foundation can be made of concrete, brick, stone, wood, or composite.

Gazebos come in all shapes and sizes and make captivating focal points in a yard or as an extension of a house. Their grandiose beauty isn’t right for all spaces, though. Before deciding on a gazebo, consider the size of your home and yard in comparison. Also, keep in mind any future additions or updates you want to make to your house or surrounding area.

The size of your home and yard is influential in determining whether or not a gazebo is suitable for you. A gazebo needs to fit in and flow with the environment around it, not look like it’s out of place or an eyesore.

Equally important are any future plans for your home, garage, or landscape. Consider how a gazebo could hinder additions and extensions to your current home or landscaping.

Gazebos make great spaces for entertaining and relaxing during all kinds of weather. You, your family, and your guests can unwind in shaded style underneath the full coverage of a gazebo. Barbeque, dance, and dine on a sturdy foundation made of just about any durable material to suit your needs and personality.

However, these are bigger, heavier structures. As such, they require more planning and professional help. Their size and the expertise needed to build them make them the more expensive option.

Perfect Pergolas

Unlike gazebos, pergolas have slatted roofs that allow sunlight to shine through with shifting areas of shade throughout the day. Pergolas can be built over just about any foundation: undeveloped ground, gardens, existing porches, pathways–you name it!

Sunlight filtering in from this style of covering makes for wonderfully bright spaces, ideal for growing potted plants and climbing vines. This measured sunlight is excellent for reading a book or lounging poolside.

Like gazebos, pergolas come in all shapes and sizes, but their versatility is hard to beat. They have the advantage of being able to fit into small spaces. On the other hand, they can be just as large and impressive as gazebos if you have the area. Though they don’t offer as much of a safeguard from the elements, awnings and other fabrics can be secured over or around the beams and posts for more protection and privacy (bonus: fabrics make for an even more elegant look).

Planning for Your Pergola or Gazebo

Proper planning is key for creating an outdoor structure you’ll love and use for years. Consider how you want your gazebo or pergola to function. How do you envision yourself using it? Do you wish for a shadier gazebo or a sunnier pergola?

Also, take into account your home and yard capacity. Will current or future house and yard size limit your space for a loftier gazebo?

As with any property addition or renovation, you’ll need permits and your HOA’s consent before starting either outdoor project. Permits aim to ensure safe and secure structures. Follow your area’s most local requirements: usually state, city, or town safety codes.

Either structure can be completed within a few days, though pergolas are the easiest for a do-it-yourselfer. Gazebos require in-depth knowledge of leveling, laying foundations, installing posts, and building roofs.

You can’t go wrong with using a professional carpenter for either choice. We can discuss design options, get the necessary permits for the project, and do all the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to.

An Easier Choice

What makes homeowners choose one over the other? We hope the information about coverage, size, versatility, and costs helps your decision-making. Considering how you plan to use your new outdoor structure and your available square footage is the place to start. We also have a few blogs on pergolas to further help you envision their function and versatility.

Call our custom pergola or gazebo builders in the Denver area for more information. From pergolas and gazebos to decks and porches, we have the know-how to turn your yard into a relaxing, classy retreat.


At SRI Decks, our tailored outdoor construction specialists in the Denver area have been the authority in creating lovely structures that boosts the worth of your home. Customized pergolas and gazebos are among these. Both have excellent features, so it’s reasonable why making a decision can occasionally be more complex.


4 Reasons to Have Gazebos or Pergolas Infographic


  • Nate Barrett

    As the President of SRI Decks, my greatest satisfaction comes from the immediate sense of fulfillment that our work brings. From the initial design discussions with our customers to the moment we capture the final project in photos, I feel an immense pride in my team for their dedicated efforts. My passion for hands-on work and outdoor projects is matched only by the joy I derive from seeing a delighted customer when we’ve successfully completed a job. Fun Facts: I like hot chocolate in my coffee. I’ve been with SRI for 12 years, prior to ownership. I have a daughter, 3 dogs and a loving girlfriend.

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