Pergolas Ramadas and Gazebos: Outdoor Structures Best Defined

If you’re designing your backyard landscape, you’re likely considering adding an outdoor structure.

However, with so many options available, such as pergolas ramadas and gazebos, it can be confusing to decide which one is right for you.

Each outdoor structure – pergolas ramadas and gazebos – has unique architectural features and serves a different purpose. Let’s explore how each of them compares.

    StyleThe structure is open and airy  The structure has a covered, pitched roof with open sides  The structure is often fully covered with a pitched roof and a vaulted ceiling  
    PurposeSuitable for the summer and provide partial shade and shelterSuitable for cooler seasons and provide complete shade and shelterSuitable all year round and provide complete shade and shelter

Suppose you’re interested in enhancing the look and function of your outdoor space with a structure like a pergola, gazebo, or patio cover.

In that case, it’s helpful to understand the unique benefits and features of each.

This can help you make an informed decision about which option is best suited to your specific needs. Keep reading for more information.

Comparison between Pergolas Ramadas, and Gazebos

Related Reading: Can You Raise The Height Of A Gazebo?

Choosing Between Pergolas Ramadas and Gazebos

People often use these terms interchangeably, but it’s important to understand the architectural differences between them when choosing the best outdoor structure for your needs.

Knowing what they’re ideal for can help you make the right decision.

Two Main Points to Consider

  • Style – the style of the structure should complement your backyard surroundings and your home.
  • Purpose – you should be able to use the structure all year round, so ask yourself whether you want complete protection from the weather or partial shade.

Along with that, you need to first think of the climate your home is situated in.

The climate plays a large role in deciding which materials are best suited for longevity.

Then, you can proceed with thinking about the style of the structure that you want to go with to fit the purpose that you have in mind for it.


Vinyl pergola in backyard next to house with sun shining

If you have a green thumb and appreciate open and airy structures to enhance your property, consider adding a pergola.

This structure is a popular choice for homeowners who want to incorporate vine plants and other vegetation into their outdoor space.


I would be happy to assist you with your outdoor entertaining area.

If you’re looking for a traditional and stylish addition, you may want to consider a classic pergola.

This outdoor structure typically features an open roof and is supported by columns or posts. It’s designed to provide a comfortable and inviting space for you and your guests to enjoy.

Modern pergolas still follow the same specifications – an open and typically flat latticed roof, often constructed with a wood trellis.

Sturdy columns or posts support the trellis structure where vines and vegetation can grow on them.

Eventually, vine plants can make their way to the top, covering the open cross-beamed roof beautifully.

Pergolas are ideal for smaller backyards or homes with an open patio. Nevertheless, they are versatile enough to fit in with any kind of architecture; you just need a little bit of creativity to make it all work.


Pergolas can be constructed to extend an existing patio or designed to blend in with the home’s style.

They’re great for covering outdoor kitchens or built-in BBQs. However, they’re not always the best option for providing complete shade or protection from the rain.

They’re not the best at providing shelter from the rain, but they can provide partial shade from the sun at certain times of the day.

So, they’re perfect for the summer days and nights when you entertain friends and family.


ramada structure covering historic site

Ramadas can be a smart choice for homeowners living in cooler climates who want a covered structure for entertaining friends and family.

These structures are also typically designed to be aesthetically pleasing and functional.


When constructing a ramada, it is important to consider the style and materials used in the home.

Traditionally, a ramada was an extended structure, like an open walkway or porch, that was roofed with branches to provide shade.

Nowadays, a modern ramada typically takes on a rectangular or square shape with a fully covered roof and open sides.

Outdoor ramadas are typically built to match the style and materials of the house. They are best suited for larger, more open backyards.


Ramadas are structures that offer ample shade and protection from rain.

Their closed and sloping roof design helps retain heat, making them suitable for cooler seasons.

They can be constructed as independent units and occupy more space.

Ramadas are a popular choice among homeowners and landscape architects because of their sturdy structure, which allows for the addition of details like a fireplace, barbeque area, outdoor kitchen, or wet bar.

This covered structure is great for protecting appliances from rain and other outdoor elements. It can be used as a free-standing project.

Whether you have a pool or a garden, ramadas are a wonderful addition to your backyard as they can provide space for relaxating and entertaining.


Quaint gazebo in garden

Gazebos are a well-known outdoor structure in landscaping designs that provide both relaxation and entertainment space.

They are perfect for homeowners who desire an open structure to enjoy the outdoors.


A gazebo is typically located on a hill, facing a woodland area, or near a beach with a stunning view. In the past, this was the traditional style.

Nowadays, any outdoor structure with at least five sides can be considered a gazebo.

They’re thought to fit better with traditional homes as they can enhance the overall appearance of the backyard or become the centerpiece of the outdoor space.

The gazebo is a great addition to any backyard or outdoor space as it can enhance the overall appearance.

It typically has a circular shape with five or more sides, often octagonal or hexagonal, and is supported by posts.

The gazebo comes with a pitched roof that is fully covered.

Gazebos are also thought to be ideal for larger, more open backyards with lawns or gardens as they take up more space as independent structures.

Related Reading: How Many Sides Does a Gazebo Have? [ANSWERED]


Gazebos are typically free-standing structures that are often located in spacious yards with lawns or gardens, as they require significant space to be constructed independently.

Their purpose is to provide a covered outdoor area where people can gather and relax.

Gazebos can provide complete shade and shelter with their fully covered structure.

Not only can they be fitted with screens on all sides, but can also be fitted with electrical supplies such for a fan or a television.

Gazebos can be made to be the perfect place for both day and night to entertain your friends and family or to simply admire the surrounding view and landscape.

Do I Need A Permit?

A pergola, ramada, or gazebo can serve as the perfect spot to entertain friends and family or simply enjoy the surrounding view and landscape, whether during the day or at night with a fan or television.

Do I need a permit for these types of outdoor structures?

Related Article: Do You Need a Permit to Build a Pergola?

While permits might not always be required for small pergolas and patio covers, it’s better to check with your town officials to make sure that you adhere to local laws.

Understanding the requirements will allow for your project to move safely and efficiently.

Can I Build Them Myself?

If you have the necessary skills and tools, there is no reason why you cannot build your outdoor structure.

Home improvement retailers offer a variety of DIY kits and supplies that can assist with the process. However, it is crucial to be mindful of safety and compliance rules.

To minimize errors, it’s recommended to hire a landscape architect or building contractor when building a pergola, ramada, or gazebo.

With their assistance, you can quickly enjoy your new outdoor structure with your loved ones.

Are They Permanent Structures?

Both pergolas and gazebos are permanent structures that are set in place for the long term.

However, gazebos can be portable which means that they can be built and moved from one place to another.

On the other hand, ramadas can be either permanent or temporary structures depending on the materials that you used to build them.

Which Structure is the Least Expensive?

Bottom line is, that the amount of money you’d spend on these outdoor structures depends on how big you want them to be.

The materials and manpower that you’re using to construct them, and the additional details you wish to incorporate would dictate costs.

However, as you might have already worked out by now, pergolas are the cheapest to build in comparison to ramadas and gazebos.

You can easily install a pergola in a matter of days whereas ramadas and gazebos require more planning, material, and labor.

Related Reading: Are Louvered Pergolas More Expensive?


Pergolas, ramadas, and gazebos have similar functions for showcasing your outdoor space. However, there are differences in each structure depending on how you want to use the space.

Pergolas have a more open roof letting in more sunshine and rain.

Ramadas have the solid, slanted roof best for protecting from the elements.

Finally, gazebos are a more popular design with a solid roof with five or more sides.

If you’re considering adding a structure to your outdoor space, it’s worth considering the different options available.

A pergola is generally the most affordable option when compared to ramadas and gazebos.

Plus, it can be installed relatively quickly, often within just a few days. Keep this in mind as you decide which option is best for you.

Enjoy living the outdoor life!!!