Different Styles Of Gazebos (With Photos)

Whether you’re wanting to enjoy the bright sun of summer while lounging in the shade or enjoy being outside watching the rain without being in it, gazebos are the way to go!

There are so many styles available on the market today that choosing between them can be kind of confusing. Each of them comes with their own set of benefits and drawbacks, and are suitable for different kinds of outdoor living. This guide will help introduce you to the five most common forms of gazebo and help you pick which one would be right for your outdoor space.

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Before we begin, we’re going to tick off one type of gazebo that you won’t find on this list, the Folly. A folly gazebo is a full-size metal frame gazebo that isn’t actually intended to be used. The decorative metal scroll work and fanciful design of these gazebos were created for the sole purpose of serving to beautify any space they were erected in. Commonly found in upper-class Victorian gardens, these are rarely constructed anymore as fashions have changed. If you’re interested in this form of gazebo, there are doubtless many metal workers out there who would be happy to work with you, but it’s unlikely you’ll find someone who specializes in them in the modern-day.

Each of the following section will feature pictures of outdoor gazebos of each type listed and will outline important design elements like gazebo roofing options for each. Also included will be informed about which of them are the best gazebo for decks and yards.

TypeMain FeaturesBest For
Pavilion GazebosOpen walls and concrete floorsCooking/Dining Areas Outdoors
Victorian GazebosHexagonal Design, Peaked RoofOpen Yards and Decks
PergolasOpen Roof DesignGardening And Lounge Space
RotundasRounded Roof, Round ShapeGardens and Secluded Spaces

# Pavilion Design Gazebos

Pavilion Design Gazebos
  • How used
  • Consider when buying
  • FAQ

Pavilion gazebos are defined as a structure that is freestanding, has a roof, but lacks walls. Gazebos of this type are typically larger than those of other design styles. They are intended to serve as an outside lounging area for large groups that is protected from rain and sun. They can be constructed of any material, though traditionally wood is used for its aesthetic properties and relative ease of maintenance.

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The roofs on these pavilions are traditionally built in a manner resembling houses, complete with shingling, tar roofing, etc. Pavilion style gazebos tend to use concrete or stone as their flooring rather than the wood that is common in other forms. If you’re looking to construct a large outdoor space that can accommodate barbecues, weddings, or large family gatherings, a pavilion gazebo is a good way to go.

How They’re Used

Those looking for a gazebo will often opt for a pavilion-style when they intend to hose large outdoor gatherings at the site of the gazebo. The stone or concrete flooring makes them a perfect option for an outdoor kitchen, which can be particularly striking when constructed out of brick or flagstone. Their open design means they can accommodate large furniture such as couches, sofas, tables, and chairs designed for outdoor use.

While pavilions come in many sizes, they are traditionally large enough to accommodate sizable outdoor gatherings and have been used for patio parties : family reunions, weddings, birthday parties, company meetings, and outdoor gatherings. Pavilion style designs are perfect for people who intend to stay busy and entertain company often.

What To Consider When Buying A Pavilion Gazebo

One of the most important things you’ll need to decide is how big you want your pavilion to be. Pavilion gazebos can be quite large; the limit is based on your space restraints and budget. The choice of size is as much aesthetic as it is practical. You want a gazebo that’s going to accommodate your usage requirement while flattering the space it will occupy.

You’ll also want to consider what materials you’ll want to use in the construction of your pavilion gazebo. You can start on the road to a decision by searching for pictures of outdoor gazebos in the pavilion-style. They’re typically made of wood, though metal and polyurethane models exist as well. Once you’ve decided on the material, you’ll have to spend some time considering color.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Build A Gazebo On My Property?

Pavilion gazebos can be built anywhere that space allows. The biggest factor determining whether or not a pavilion can be built on your property is local ordinances. Be sure to check into the regulations that cover your property prior to construction.

What Do I Need To Do To Prepare For Installation?

Before you have a team come out to begin installation, you’ll need to have a proper foundation laid for the pavilion to be installed on. Many contractors offer foundation plans to get you started, often at an additional cost. Be sure to find a licensed contractor to do the foundation work.

Will My Existing Concrete Pad Support A Pavilion Gazebo?

An inspection will have to be done before this can be determined. Pavilion gazebos require a certain thickness and size to be properly installed. If your existing foundation meets these requirements, then it can be installed on it.

# Victorian Gazebo

Victorian Gazebo
  • How used
  • Consider when buying
  • FAQ

Victorian style gazebos are what most people think of when the word gazebo gets mentioned. They are traditionally octagonal or hexagonal in shape and have walls and a roof to provide some protection against the elements. They also come equipped with their own decking, protecting the inhabitants from the ground and the weather outside.

When extra protection against the elements is desired they can also be equipped with lattice, curtains, and in some cases, you’ll find gazebos that contain windows or shutters that can be opened and closed. Inside these gazebos you’ll usually find seating lined up along the walls. This seating usually consists of built-in benches without cushioning, but in some gazebos, you’ll find cushions as well.

This style of gazebo is traditionally built in wood, but vinyl gazebos are also popular for their versatility and resistance to weathering.

How They’re Used

The uses to which you can turn a gazebo are limited only by your imagination. They are frequently situated in places away from other structures in gardens or yards to provide shelter from the weather as well as some degree of solitude. This style of gazebo is particularly good for housing a hot tub, with the floor serving as a cover for the hot tub when not in use.

Gazebos are a popular choice for weddings and other important events, but they also can be used when a little extra space is needed. Gazebos make excellent temporary art studios and places to practice music, especially when equipped with shutters or windows to permit privacy.

Most of all, they serve as a great way to spend time with friends and family in a lovely outdoor setting.

What To Consider When Buying A Victorian Gazebo

Just like with pavilion gazebos you have to make sure you have somewhere to put the structure that will accommodate it. While gazebos are traditionally separate from other structures, they can be connected if that will help make space. Victorian gazebos are popular for use as porch gazebos (or porches, if you will).

These structures can be quite the investment, so make sure you have at least a few ideas of how you want to use it once it’s built. They can be used for entertaining, as a playroom for children, a place to relax next to the pool, or a cool respite in the middle of a lush garden. The possibilities are nearly endless, but it still pays to have an idea of how you’ll use yours before you build it!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Shape Of Gazebo Should I get?

Victorian gazebos may traditionally be hexagonal or octagonal, but they can come in just about any shape you can imagine. They can be built as rectangles, dodecagonal, oval, round, whatever your heart desires! Check with your contractor to determine what sizes they have available and what their pricing is.

Should I Get Wood Or Vinyl?

Wood and vinyl are both wonderful materials for a gazebo, and which you go with is going to depend on a number of factors. Wood is generally considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing, but it also takes an additional amount of labor to maintain it. Vinyl doesn’t have quite the same rustic charm, but it makes up for it with ease of construction and maintenance.  With vinyl you don’t have to worry about sealing, treating, or staining. Just wash it down with a power-washer now and then to keep it good as new!

# Pergolas

  • How used
  • Consider when buying
  • FAQ

Pergolas are a distinctive type of gazebo that is perfect for those looking to create a beautiful and defined space within their yard. Pergolas differ from traditional gazebos in that they have open roof beams supported by uprights rather than a closed roof. While they may not look like they offer much protection from the environment, there are a variety of ways you can temporarily close off the roof to keep you out of the rain while you’re under it.

These structures are great for adding definition to space in your yard. While the roof and walls are open, it creates a distinctive feeling of separation that makes it perfect for defining an outdoor dining area or lounge. When you combine them with lattices and growing plants, you can create a strikingly beautiful area in your yard that will take your visitors breath away.

How They’re Used

These structures are commonly used to define an outdoor space and add a little privacy through the use of drapes and canopies that can be closed when you desire a more secluded space. They’re a very popular choice for garden areas, especially when climbing plants are used to decorate the pergolas. It’s not unusual for owners to add lattice to their pergola to create dense foliage that provides aesthetic appeal and privacy in one go.

Pergolas are also a great way to add value to your home, with some homes increasing in value nearly 20% after the addition of a gazebo. Pergolas can also be used to create a corridor in your yard, a popular choice being to create a pathway leading to a gazebo using a pergola. When you combine the pergola with climbing plants and a gazebo you create a beautiful environment in your yard.

Things To Consider When Buying A Pergola

Pergola can be one of the most cost-effective forms of gazebo, and some companies sell kits that allow you to install them yourself. So one of the first questions you have to ask yourself is whether you’ll be doing the installation yourself or hiring someone else to do it for you.

This decision may be preceded by deciding what kind of material you want your pergola to be made of. Like most other forms of gazebo they’re available in wood, vinyl, and metal. This allows you to select one that fits your budget, the style that you’re hoping for, and the amount of labor you want to put into maintaining it.

The last thing to consider is whether you want a variety that has the optional canopy and curtain walls, or are going to be happy with using them open as they were originally designed. After making these decisions, you’ll be ready to make your purchase!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Material Should I Get My Pergola In?

There are three common materials that pergolas are available, metal, vinyl, and wood. Wood is the traditional material and is often considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing. Wood is beautiful, can be stained in any color of your choosing, but requires additional labor to maintain. Metal is the next easiest to maintain, requiring regular pressure washing and monitoring for rust build up at the joints. It also lacks versatility in appearance. Vinyl combines the best of both worlds with being super easy to maintain (power wash it now and then) and available in a nearly endless variety of styles.

Is It Safe To Grow Plants On My Pergola?

This is one of the most popular uses of pergolas, but you do want to take some care with your selection of plants. Some climbing plants can cause wood pergolas to decay faster as they grip or try to burrow into the wood. Be sure to check with your local gardening supply store and pergola dealer before beginning a long-term planting process on your pergola.

# Rotundas

Rotundas compressor
  • How used
  • Consider when buying
  • FAQ

Rotundas are a popular form of gazebo in Europe, but they are gaining ground here in the United States. What sets a rotunda apart is the dome shape of its roof and is supported by multiple pillars. These design elements give it an architectural design that is undeniable classical in nature while providing ample shade and space for those under it. Properly placed this style of gazebo can add an air of distinction and elegance to your property that is sure to be a conversation starter.

Taking its design from a classic design finding its roots in Rome, rotundas are defined by their round shape and domed roof. The architectural ancestors of this design can be found all over Europe in the form of parochial buildings throughout Europe, as well as many educational and governmental buildings in the old and new world alike.

What Rotunda Gazebos Are Used For

Like all gazebos rotunda are remarkably versatile in their usage options. Rotunda’s tend to be used in areas that have a more classical feel to their architectural, and would not feel out of place in the yard of a Victorian or colonial era home. They carry a distinct air of being ostentatious and regal that gives them the ability to add a distinguished air to a well appointed garden.

This style of gazebo is perfect for hosting events including weddings, family gatherings, and other large groups. It’s usefulness doesn’t end there though, it can also be a perfect place to set up an area for personal reflection, artistic endeavors, and even something as simple as playtime for the children in your family.

What To Consider When Buying A Rotunda

The first thing to consider when purchasing a rotunda is, of course, how large you want it to be and what material it should be made of. Like with other gazebos you can get a rotunda built in wood or vinyl. Metal rotunda are not common and typically fall into the folly design mentioned in the opening of this article.

These are beautiful pieces, but if you’re looking at one for your location, you want to be certain it will fit in with your décor. There is something striking about the form of a rotunda that can overpower a home in a way that Victorian, pergola, and pavilion gazebos don’t. Carefully choosing the gazebo roofing options so that they will last and not clash with your existing decor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Rotunda Gazebo Right For My Home?

Depending on the amount of space you have available, and the overall design of your home and property rotunda gazebos can be a great choice. They really add a certain something to the right home that can help give it an air of elegance that is hard to match. These are not a good gazebo for a deck due to the rounded nature of the surface, and are best built as a free-standing design.

Are Rotunda Gazebos Good For Creating A Private Space?

This style of gazebo can be used for this, but it is not one of the better options due to its traditionally open-walled design. That being said, they can be equipped with walls and curtains as well as any gazebo, so the option exists if you don’t mind the additional cost that tends to go with it.

Are Rotuna Gazebos Easy To Maintain?

This depends largely on your choice of material. Wood rotundas are beautiful but require a significant amount of maintenance in the form of yearly staining and sealing to protect them against the ravages of weather. Vinyl rotundas are easier since a simple power washing is all that will be required to keep them fresh and beautiful from year to year. Another consideration with this style of rotunda is their typically higher roof. Cleaning and performing maintenance on the roof can be tricky given their rounded shape and higher peaks.

# End

Gazebos can be a stunning addition to any home and have traditionally been a symbol of affluence and elegance for generations. Throughout history, they’ve been used for everything from emotional and spiritual getaways to meeting places throughout the year. As the seasons change, so do the potential uses for your gazebo. With the addition of a hot tub, you’ll have a steamy relaxation spa in even the coldest months. Add a grill, kitchen, and seating, and you have a unique dining area that will have your guests coming back again and again.

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