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How to Tell the Difference Between a Pergola and a Pavilion?

Summer is an excellent time to host intimate gatherings, or lavish parties at your home and what better way to make a statement than to have a breathtaking outdoor entertainment area.

Rain or shine, these beautiful structures provide protection from all types of weather conditions.


A Pergola is a freestanding structure with a flat, open-lattice roof that is supported by beams and posts. Roof rafters and slats are what give the pergola the open roof design. The posts and beams support the rafters and slats which run perpendicular to each other and form a filtered shade. Pergolas are not designed to completely block the sun, but to provide some relief from direct sunlight, and allow air to circulate freely.


Pavilions can be freestanding or designed to look like they are a part of your home. Unlike pergolas, pavilions have a pitched covered roof (shingles or metal roofing) designed to protect against direct sunlight and rain. Pavilions have a simplistic design structure consisting of posts, beams, rafters, and cedar TNG & groove. The posts and the beams support the rafters which allow the pavilion to have its pitched roof design. The cedar TNG & groove are carefully placed along the rafters, which gives your pavilion and aesthetic feature.

Sheds by Firemen create beautifully, custom-made pergolas and pavilions designed to your specifications. Each pergola and pavilion is constructed with cedar wood and special decorative black plates that give your pergola or pavilion a clean modern edge. One specifically unique quality about our company is that we pre-stain all our cedar wood before the construction of any pergola or pavilion.

We recommend using an oil-based stain to prolong the efficiency and appearance of your pergola or pavilion. Oil-based stains soak well into the wood so that the color doesn’t fade or possibly turn grey. Oil, which is a natural protectant for wood, provides a shield against water damage that could potentially ruin the exterior of your pergola or pavilion.

If you want more information about a custom designed pergola or pavilion don’t hesitate to contact Sheds by Firemen.