Gazebo, Pergola, Screened in Porch: Pros & Cons

Sep 2, 2020 | Outdoor Living

Gazebo, Pergola, Screened in Porch

Pros & Cons


Landscaping can make a huge difference in your home value, increasing it from 5.5% – 12.7%! That improvement can very much be driven by any outdoor structures on your property, such as a gazebo, pergola, or a screened in porch. But even if you are not looking to sell, it may just be that you want to live in your yard. It is your yard after-all; a part of your home. Pergolas, porches, and gazebos are beautiful structures that enhance your landscape and add to the enjoyment of your property. Here’s how it breaks down:

Gazebo & Pergola Appearance

Pergolas are usually rectangular, with crossbeams and rafters across the top. Sometimes people will cover the tops of their pergolas with fabric to create even more shade or integrate planters or vines to give it a natural, integrated look. Sometimes, a Pergola will link two structures, or it could just provide a shaded zone in your yard. They don’t have to have a solid floor or deck and can just serve as a sun cover for a grassy area to enjoy. Their appearance is usually plain and functional.

Gazebos on the other hand are full stand-alone structures. They are often round or octagonal and have a closed roof and floor; they are often open on the sides but could have walls with windows. Unlike Pergolas, Gazebos are usually very decorative.

Purpose of a Pergola or Gazebo

The main reason for a Pergola is to create a clearly defined space in a yard. They are very open and don’t provide much protection from wind and rain, but they may highlight an especially pleasing sitting spot or perhaps encircle a fire pit! Gazebos are much more functional, and are designed specifically for people to get together, enjoy outdoor meals, or just relax outside. Larger gazebos are a great addition for people who host backyard parties, as they create the perfect venue for a band or outdoor performance.

As mentioned earlier, Pergolas are great architectural additions to connect areas or structures, creating a sun shade or just helping to highlight a travel-path between two points in your yard, while Gazebos are more of a destination that people want to go to in your yard.

How to Add an Outdoor Structure 

A Pergola is generally within the DIY arena and can be as simple as four poles with crossbeams and rafters connecting them. However, a basic Gazebo is still quite an endeavor; with a finished roof and deking or floor (which is often raised to keep it off the ground. Generally speaking, a Gazebo is a job for the professionals, unless you are an experienced and capable builder with available help.

How Much Does a Gazebo or Pergola Cost

Of course, there is going to be a wide range in expense for your Pergola or Gazebo since there are a wide range of solutions and sizes. If you are going to hire a professional, you can expect a well-built, attractive, 9’ pergola to cost somewhere around $3,000-$4,000 dollars, possibly more depending on what materials you want to use.

A similarly sized Gazebo is going to cost a bit more, mainly because of the labor involved. Because of the range of available materials, roofing, and decorative elements, a 9’ Gazebo could cost you somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000.

At the end of the day, both structures are going to boost the value of your home, and when combined with a backyard patio, you could end up recouping as much as 55% of your cost with the increase in your home value. Not a bad deal when you are enhancing your living space.