Pergola vs. Arbor: What Are the Main Differences?

Written By Alla Levin
November 06, 2023

Pergola vs. Arbor: What Are the Main Differences?

If you look in someone’s backyard, you might sometimes see a structure. It could be a pergola. It could also be an arbor. You might like what you see and feel you should get one for yourself. The Luxury Pergola is a reliable place to get yourself a pergola if one appeals to you, or you might buy yourself an arbor instead. You might not be sure about the difference between these two structures, though. We will talk about that right now.

What is a Pergola?

Let’s start with an explanation of a pergola. A pergola is an outdoor structure. It normally has columns that support a roofing grid. The grid is usually composed of either beams or rafters. You can make a pergola out of various materials. You can make one out of a wood like cedar. You might also see them made out of aluminum, vinyl, PVC, or fiberglass.

You sometimes see one attached to a house, but it can also be a free-standing structure. They’re not typically too expensive. You can find build-it-yourself pergola kits on Amazon or at brick-and-mortar store locations like Home Depot or Lowes.

What is an Arbor?

As for an arbor, that’s a shady garden alcove. It has a roof and sides. Usually, trees form the roof. You might also see one sometimes that has climbing plants that go up over a wooden framework. You will sometimes see a sitting area under an arbor. They can be different sizes, and they can be either simple or elaborate.

How Do They Differ?

When you’re looking at an arbor or a pergola, it might be hard for you to immediately tell the difference. Someone who is an expert in these structures, though, should be able to immediately tell you which one it is.

The main difference between the two is that an arbor will have either four posts holding it up or it might have just two in some cases. By contrast, the pergola will always have either four or more posts. The other place where a pergola and an arbor differ is the composition and placement of the roof. If you have an arbor, the roof will usually be both arched and slatted. If you have a pergola, the roof will be flat.

You can also often tell whether you’re looking at a pergola or an arbor by scrutinizing the sides of the structure. With a pergola, the sides are left open to the elements. If you have an arbor, the sides will be covered. This covering is normally composed of either a lattice or trellis.

Which One Should You Get?

There’s not that much difference between a pergola and an arbor from a practical standpoint. Usually, the only reason why you might want to get one or the other is aesthetic. You can either get a do-it-yourself kit if you’d like to set up an arbor or pergola in your backyard, or else you can hire someone to set it up for you.

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