Pergolas vs Gazebos

By December 16, 2021 No Comments

Both pergolas and gazebos are a great choice for any property’s outdoor space but which one is the best outdoor structure for your property? What is the difference between gazebos and pergolas? Today, our shading experts will answer these questions (and more!) to, hopefully, help you choose the right shading solution for you.


What are pergolas?

Traditional pergolas are outdoor structures supported by vertical pillars and feature an open lattice roof. Pergolas are beautiful structures that can add a visual point of interest to any back garden, patio and terrace.


  • Offer partial shade to an outdoor space.
  • Feature a stunning design.
  • Define or enhance outdoor living spaces.
  • Provide the perfect place for hanging plants or grape vines to thrive.


  • Limited weather protection.
  • Cannot be used all year round.
  • Require ongoing maintenance.
  • Only offer partial shade.

What are retractable roof pergolas?

Retractable roof pergolas are the modern version of traditional pergolas. Pergolas with retractable roofs can be used all year round and are a great shading solution for both commercial and residential properties.

These are designed to tackle the disadvantages of traditional pergolas and create structures that are not only stunning but also highly practical. At Designer Shade Solutions, we can create a wide range of retractable roof pergolas for your property, including frameless retractable and tilting louvred roofs, retractable roof pergolas with frame, retractable and tilting pitched roof systems, retractable fabric roof systems and more.

Our team can also create bespoke retractable roofs to perfectly suit your property. A great example is the fully retractable fabric roofs Designer Shade Solutions installed at the Lost in Brixton. These retractable roofs had to be specially made to fit into this themed bar’s custom-designed roof.


  • Full weather protection.
  • Create seamless transition from indoor living to outdoor living.
  • Retractable roof can be easily closed, extended or simply tilted for shade.
  • Highly functional yet also feature stunning design.
  • Fully customisable structures.
  • Can include heating, lighting and side glass screens.
  • Suitable for residential and commercial properties.
  • Ideal for outdoor spaces, such as terraces, patios and gardens.
  • Available as self-supporting structures or can be integrated into property.

Which pergola is better?

The innovative retractable roof pergolas are definitely the best option. This modern version of traditional pergolas can be completely designed and built to meet any shade requirements you might have. So, retractable roof pergolas are without a doubt the best pergola for your property. Contact our team today for more information about our retractable roofs.


What are gazebos?

Gazebos are open outdoor structures that are often hexagonal or octagonal in shape. These are freestanding structures with a roof that are usually found in gardens, parks or other outdoor spaces.


  • Offer protection from rain and sun.
  • Provide a great space to entertain guests.
  • Can be used as a venue for various activities (such as a music stand, yoga practice and even weddings).
  • Stylish designs available.
  • Provide privacy.


  • Lightweight canopy gazebos will not withstand heavy winds.
  • Large gazebos won’t fit all outdoor spaces.
  • Do not feel as open as pergolas.
  • Steel gazebos will become very hot during summer.
  • Wooden gazebos will require ongoing maintenance.

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