What Fits You and Your Home More: A Pergola or a Pavilion?

When the temperatures start to rise around San Antonio, local homeowners have one thing on their minds: heading outdoors! As soon as we get a bright and sunny day, we’re all itching to enjoy our exteriors, spend time with friends, and even eat a few meals al fresco.

Is your backyard ready for all the festivities that spring and summer are sure to bring? If not, you still have time to give it the ultimate makeover! If you want to extend your living space, you might be weighing the differences between a pergola vs pavilion.

Today, we’re breaking each one down a little more and sharing key features to help you make the right decision for your property.

What Is a Pergola?

A pergola is an outdoor structure that gives you additional space to hang out, enjoy meals, and spend time with loved ones. Most models are made of either real wood or vinyl, and they all have one central characteristic in common: a beautiful lattice roof.

Lattice roofs give privacy and shade to your pergola without blocking natural light. They’re a great way to achieve that airy, breezy look that you want without closing in your space too much.

In addition to serving as an excellent meet-up spot, you can also use a pergola to give height and visual interest to your landscaping. A variety of creeping vines love to grow upward along these structures, including homeowner favorites such as:

  • Bougainvillea
  • Wisteria
  • Cape honeysuckle
  • Clematis
  • Grapes
  • Climbing roses

Whether they’re all green or in their blooming stages, these vines make a gorgeous addition to any pergola. They’re also great conversation starters!

What Is a Pavillion?

Both pergolas and pavilions are outdoor shade structures. However, the primary place they differ is their roof. While a pergola has a semi-open, lattice-style roof, pavilions typically have solid roofs.

You’ll still have lots of space for backyard entertaining, and the basic concept is relatively similar, but the look and feel of the space will change. Pavillions tend to have sturdy, traditional appearances and are designed to blend with the materials used on your home’s exterior.

Pergola vs Pavilion: Which Should You Choose?

When browsing outdoor living space designs, you’ll likely come across both pergolas and pavilions. Both are beautiful in their own right, but which one is best for you and your home?

As you make your decision, let’s take a look at some of the top considerations to keep in mind.

Natural Light

If you’re someone who loves enjoying the sun, you may find a pavilion to be a little too dark for your needs. While you may have light on all sides of your structure, you won’t have any coming from overhead.

This can make your gatherings feel relatively shaded, especially on days when the sun isn’t too bright. However, it also means you won’t have to worry too much about shielding your eyes while talking or experiencing a glare while you read.

Adverse Weather

One benefit of a pavilion is that it provides a little more protection during rain or adverse weather. You don’t have to worry about precipitation falling between the layered beams on top of the roof.

However, this isn’t too much of a concern for most San Antonio homeowners. In this city, the average annual precipitation is just under 33 inches and it stays sunny more than 250 days of the year!

Still, it’s important to plan ahead when designing your addition. If you want a spot you can use almost entirely year-round, a pavilion will give you that flexibility.

Air Circulation

There’s no denying that summers in San Antonio can get very hot and humid! One benefit of pergolas is that their roofs allow a little more air to circulate overhead than a pavilion will.

This might not be hugely important during the mild fall and winter months, but you’ll be grateful for that extra breeze when it’s sweltering out!

Custom Design

As a discerning homeowner, you naturally want a patio structure that fits your design aesthetic. The beauty of both pergolas and pavilions is that you can usually customize most of the features, such as:

  • Size
  • Roof style
  • Roof color
  • Decorative elements

This gives you creative control over the process, so you can rest assured the final product will meet your expectations. To make sure the materials are solid and built to last, remember to team with a local builder you can trust.

Plans for Use

When browsing outdoor roof ideas, think about how you plan to use this new space on your property. Do you simply want to add another spot for your loved ones and guests to mingle? If so, you can’t go wrong with a pergola!

This kind of structure has its own defined space, but its open-concept layout allows it to blend beautifully with the rest of your landscaping. In this way, it almost becomes part of your yard, integrating into it as one seamless piece among your shrubbery, trees, and green spaces.

On the other hand, a pavilion is more of a standalone structure. While it’s still open on the sides, its covered top gives it more of a finished appearance. You might use it as an outdoor living room, a party spot, or even an outdoor kitchen.

Pavillions are often more spacious than pergolas, with enough room to host family dinners, neighborhood barbecues, or birthdays. You can even add a television and fireplace to yours for the ultimate game-watching experience!

Your Stop for Custom Outdoor Projects

Are you torn between a pergola vs pavilion? As you can see, there isn’t a clear winner! Both structures will enhance your backyard, extend your living space, and allow you to entertain more comfortably.

While reading about these features can help, the best way to see which one is right for you is to talk to our team! At Diamond Decks, we’ve worked on residential and commercial projects for more than 30 years. Contact us today to learn how we can help with your next project!