Let's face it: trying to decide on an outdoor structure for your home can feel...overwhelming.

No one (not you, not us) likes feeling uncertain when making an investment in their home.

  • What if you choose a pergola—only to find you would've been better off with a pavilion (or vice versa)?
  • What if the outdoor structure you choose goes out of style, and you end up resenting it in a few years?
  • What if your pavilion or pergola requires a lot of maintenance and isn't worth the aesthetic?

And the list goes on...

You might find yourself hesitating for days, weeks, and months before purchasing an outdoor structure—and still find yourself regretting your final decision.

We've been there before.

We understand what it's like to be in your shoes, (and we sell outdoor structures for a living)!

But what if there was a way to avoid feeling paralyzed by uncertainty when buying an outdoor structure?

As experts on outdoor furniture and structures, we want you to feel as confident as possible when making your purchase.

So read on to discover the difference between a pergola, pavilion, and motorized pergola—and find out which outdoor structure is best for your back yard?

Wooden Pergolas and Vinyl Pergolas: The Standard Outdoor Structures

Pergolas have been a statement piece for decades—and these beautiful structures aren't going out of style any time soon.

From hanging flower baskets to outdoor dining to extra shade with a pergola canvas cover overhead. What is there to lose with a pergola?

To top it all off, pergolas are a budget-friendly option for those who want to stay within a certain price margin.

Our wooden pergolas are more affordable than our vinyl pergola, however, both options are reasonably priced when it comes to outdoor structures.

Now, let's break down the styles of our wooden and vinyl pergolas.

Wooden Pergolas: Alcove and Outback

There's just something eye-catching about a wooden pergola that draws you outdoors.

The Alcove creates a snug "hideaway" for a corner of your yard or patio—while the Outback blends in near the pool, over the patio, or even as a trellis over walkways.

Wooden Pergolas: Vineyard and Mendoza

The Mendoza pergola has sharp, clean lines which create a sharp contrast to your home and outdoor space.

The Vineyard pergola adds a contemporary look to your yard—with the option between standard, lattice, or shade slats.

Vinyl Pergola: Urbana

The Urbana pergola comes in white or clay-colored vinyl and adds a classic touch to an outdoor space.

The clay Urbana pergola blends in with landscaping or your home. On the other hand, the white Urbana pergola brightens up any outdoor hangout.

Pavilions: The Iconic Outdoor Structure

Like pergolas, pavilions have been a staple outdoor structure for years.

But are there any advantages to owning a pavilion versus a pergola?

As a company that's worked with hundreds of clients, we can tell you that clients often wish they would've invested in a pavilion over a pergola.

It's not that a pergola is the wrong investment for you (remember it depends on what you want).

But many of our clients regret not spending more on a pavilion initially to same time and money in the long run.

So what's the benefit of owning a pavilion instead of a pergola? Let's talk about it.

Pavilions vs Pergolas

Pergolas are simply beautiful—there's no way around that.

But when it comes to extra protection from the sun or light rain, a pavilion is the champion.

A pergola costs less upfront, but to add more shade, you'll need to invest in a pergola canopy or canvas.

Pavilions add more bulk to your back yard while pergolas are light, open, and airy.

This means you have more variety when choosing a pavilion versus a pergola.

Pergolas bring a whimsical touch to your back yard, but realistically, a pavilion brings more practicality for outdoor dining.

In our eyes, a pavilion is a level up from a pergola when you're looking for more shade over your outdoor area.

Of course, it's always up to you to decide whether you prefer the beauty of a pergola or the practicality of a pavilion. Some of our clients have both!

StruXure Motorized Pergolas: The Ultimate Outdoor Structure

As much as we love the simple aesthetics of a wood or vinyl pergola, the brilliance of a motorized pergola is undeniable.

Why decide between a pergola or pavilion when a motorized pergola combines the best of both worlds?

Plus, a hidden gutter system around the outside of the louvers keep water moving away from your pergola during a rainstorm.

StruXure pergolas aren't water-proof, but they do provide water resistance and adjustable shade during warm months.

So whether you want the roof of your pergola completely open or closed, you can have it all with a StruXure pergola!

Countless custom options also means that you can add lights, fans, side walls, and more to your motorized pergola.

Whether you're a homeowner or a business owner, we can't recommend a StruXure pergola enough.

Where Should You Place Your Pavilion or Pergola?

Now that you've thought about all the ins and outs of pavilions and pergolas, the question "Where should I put my pavilion or pergola?" comes up.

And it's a valid question.

Your back yard is a big contributor to relaxing and entertaining.

The last thing you want to do is disrupt your outdoor space and ruin the homey environment.

So before you purchase your pavilion or pergola, here are some things to consider:

  • How often will you use your pavilion or pergola? Daily, weekly, only during warmer months?
  • Do you often host get togethers and parties outside? How many people do you host?
  • What are hoping to accomplish with your outdoor structure? More shade or just adding an accent piece?
  • Do you have an existing patio or foundation for an outdoor structure?

Once you've answered these questions, then you can decide on the best placement for your pergola or pavilion.

Our wooden and vinyl pergolas and pavilions come in the following sizes 10', 12', 14', 16', 20', 24'.

All louvers for our StruXure pergolas are only 12' long, but each motorized pergola can have multiple sections of louvers.

If you're unsure of where to place your pavilion or pergola, some popular options are:

  • Near your pool (adds shade and a space to eat, read, and relax)
  • Over your deck (makes outdoor dining easier and cools your seating area)
  • On your patio (easily accessible from your home, adds protection from the sun)

Find the Perfect Pavilion or Pergola for Your Home!

Looking for an outdoor structure can feel paralyzing, but the good news is that it doesn't have to.

With the right information and the right team on your side, you can confidently choose the perfect pergola or pavilion for your back yard.