When discussing structures that can accent an outdoor entertaining area many clients are not sure what is the right structure for them. This question is best answered by thinking of what you are trying to achieve with the structure, such as protection from the elements or insects? In some cases you may be looking for screening for privacy or to define an entertaining space. There are lots of options out there that can be tailored to look great in any setting. To decide which is best for you, think of how you will use the space. If you are looking for shade, do you want a solid structure or filtered shade? Are you concerned with mosquitos or other insects? This is especially important if you will be serving food in the area to be protected. The answers to these questions will determine if you need a solid roof or not and if having the area enclosed with screens is important.
A pergola will bring a more open feel to an entertaining space but provide filtered shade. If screening for privacy or wind is needed, sides can be added to block out the sun, wind, or nosey neighbors. The sides can be made from lattice panels that support foliage or be made of fabric if you’d like to have a more flexible/convertible space. A pergola will not provide protection from rain, snow or bugs.
Gazebos will add protection from precipitation and can also be screened to guard against insects. Similar to a pergola, the look is typically less formal and will usually not match the construction of the home.
Pavilions will provide protection from rain and snow and are typically built of materials that match the home. In some cases, we add walls to the pavilion to provide screening and wind protection. Walls can also complement other design elements such as fireplaces and bar areas and provide a backdrop for them.