What’s the Difference Between a Pergola, Pavilion, Patio Cover, and Arbor?


There’s nothing better than stepping into your backyard on a warm, sunny day to enjoy the beauty and vitality of Mother Nature. However, if you don’t have any outdoor shade, that same beautiful sun might start to make you quite uncomfortable—which is where outdoor shade products come in. At Pacific Patio, we offer several different outdoor shade products to choose from, including pergolas, patio covers, pavilions, and arbors. There are unique differences between these different shade products that you will want to consider before making a decision for your home:


When it comes to beauty, it’s hard to beat the look of a pergola. These structures have a lattice-style roof that is supported by columns and used to cover larger areas, such as entire patios or outdoor seating areas. The roof grid of these structures provides partial shade, although there are some operable pergolas that will allow you to completely shut the lattices and create a closed roof—perfect for being completely safeguarded from the sun and rain.


Like pergolas, arbors also incorporate a lattice design, which comprise the sides of an arbor. Arbors also have an arched top and are smaller than pergolas; often used to add a small amount of shade and visual interest along walkways or paths to designate the entry point into a garden.


A pavilion is a structure with completely open sides and a solid roof that is supported by four to six posts. They are typically designed to be long and rectangular, and used to cover large patio or seating areas. Pavilions can be confused with pergolas, but it is important to remember that pavilions always feature a completely closed roof, compared to pergola roofs that are comprised of open slats.

Patio Covers

The term patio cover is often used interchangeably with pavilion and pergola; however, the main difference is that they are attached to the home rather than being a freestanding structure. They are used to cover a patio or deck, and can have either a partially open or completely solid roof.

Our Selection

At Pacific Patio, we have been providing homeowners with pergolas, arbors, pavilions, patio covers, and many other outdoor living products since our founding in 1989. Throughout the years, we have established an impressive reputation for the quality of our products, which are manufactured by industry-leading manufacturer TEMO and designed to provide incredible durability, ease of maintenance, and of course, beauty. You’ll love choosing from a vast array of design options to customize your outdoor shade addition to your liking, and you’ll also love the comfort that comes with knowing your new investment will be backed by TEMO’s unbeatable lifetime warranty.

If you would like to learn more about the outdoor shade products we offer, contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable professionals at Pacific Patio today. When you do, don’t forget to ask about the flexible financing options available to all those who qualify.

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Spring Valley, CA

Servicing all San Diego County


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