You have a lot of options when choosing an outdoor shade structure that also adds beauty in your backyard. Great choices for offering shade include arbors, pergolas, gazebos, and pavilions. Homeowners often confuse these similar structures, so use these clues to help you tell the difference and choose the right one for your home.\r\n\r\nAre Arbors and Pergolas the Same Thing?\r\nAn arbor and a pergola are not the same structure. They are similar and can be mistaken for each other because they both are designed with a lattice framework (wood or vinyl strips that create a grid with a square or diamond pattern).\u00a0 But there are also some key differences, mainly in how they are used in your yard.\r\n\r\nArbors \u2014 Arbors are designed with sides formed from lattice and often have an arched top. Arbors are often used to add shade or decor along walkways or paths or to designate the entry point into a garden or backyard. They are also very popular at outdoor wedding venues because their lattice framework is perfect for decorating with climbing plants or vines.\r\n\r\nPergola \u2014 While an arbor is a smaller structure, pergolas tend to be much larger outdoor shade structures. They include a lattice-style roof that is supported by posts and are used to cover and define larger areas, including entire patios or outdoor seating areas. They provide sun protection through the roof grid and through the addition of shades or canopies.\r\n\r\nWhat\u2019s the Difference Between Gazebos and Pavilions?\r\nGazebos and pavilions are commonly mistaken for each other because they have similar designs with solid roofs.\r\n\r\nGazebo \u2014 Gazebos are outdoor shade structures with a solid roof and partially open sides, that can even be screened in. A gazebo can have a built-in floor or can be placed on a concrete base. The most telling feature of gazebos is their shape. They are typically shaped as an octagon or oval, but there are some rectangular designs as well.\r\n\r\nPavilion \u2014 Unlike a gazebo, a pavilion is a roofed structure with completely open sides and no built-in floor. The roof is typically supported by 4-6 posts or more, depending on the size, and they are most commonly attached to a deck, paver patio, or concrete base.\u00a0 While many gazebos are octagonal or oval, most pavilions are designed to be long and rectangular.\u00a0 Additionally, while a gazebo is more of a self-contained structure, pavilions are commonly used to provide a roof for a patio or seating area below.\r\n\r\nPavilions can also be confused with pergolas. When comparing these two structures, the roof is key to identifying the right structures. Pavilions feature a completely closed roof while a pergola\u2019s roof is constructed of open slats.\r\n\r\nThe opportunities for adding an outdoor structure to your home are endless. Browse our selection of gazebos, pavilions, pergolas, sheds, barns, and so much more!\r\nCan\u2019t find exactly what you\u2019re looking for? You can now build your own structure!