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Choosing the right structure for your landscape

Six common structures to complete your outdoor space

Outdoor structures are perfect for keeping you sheltered from all kinds of weather. Structures can also range from simple to complex, so there's a structure for every space and design style. Plus, adding a structure to your landscape lets you stay outside longer so you can continue to create lasting memories.

But how do you know what structure is suitable for your space? We break down some of the common structures our clients choose for their landscapes.

outdoor pergola and patio cover

Common structures to add to your landscape

1. Arbour

An arbour is a simple way to add structure to your backyard. They are generally arched or square-cornered frames that are used to define pathways. You can choose a stylistic arbour and let the structure add an aesthetic element to your backyard. Or another option is to cover it with trailing or climbing plants for a naturalistic look. This can make an arbour a great addition to your backyard if you have sprawling gardens.

stone path with flowers and arbour

2. Pool house or cabana

A pool house can be as simple as a shed for storing supplies or a larger structure to fit changing rooms. It is generally considered a freestanding structure located next to or near a pool and can sometimes be considered a cabana. Simple, small pool houses are often used to store equipment, supplies, and other items.Cabanas are a more open structure next to your pool. They can have storage for your pool supplies. Or you can create your own resort-style cabana with a lounge area to get out of the sun and into the shade but still enjoy being by the pool.

pool with pool house

3. Gazebo

As a freestanding unit, a gazebo is a more significant and permanent backyard structure. They are versatile in that there are many gazebo ideas, and they can be built in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and designs.Gazebos are supported by columns and have a solid roof that offers protection from sun and rain. They are a perfect structure to add to a beautiful and large garden area. Some gazebos also have built-in benches or "porch" swings.

gazebo with hot tub

4. Pavilion

A pavilion is similar to a pergola in that it can be freestanding and supported by four columns or attached on one side to another structure. But they have one key difference: unlike a pergola, a pavilion has a closed roof.This provides complete shade and some protection from the weather. Because of this, it is a popular option for full coverage of patios and other outdoor living spaces. They are often built to provide protection near an outdoor fireplace or to provide coverage over an outdoor kitchen.

pavilion with kitchen

5. Pergola

Although arbours and pergolas are sometimes confused with each other, they are different structures. A pergola tends to be a larger unit that can be freestanding and supported by four posts, usually columns or pillars. They also tend to offer more shade and more privacy than arbours.Pergolas are great for any design style. Pergolas often provide some shade for a walkway or an outdoor lounge area. Their roof is designed with cross beams and can be fully open or have some closure to protect you from the elements. Pergolas are popular because their design fits in with many modern styles and is minimalist and easy to maintain.

pergola with lounge chairs

6. Patio Covers

A patio cover is an easy and simple way to add structure and shelter to your backyard. They are attached to the home or pergola and can come in many different forms. They can have a simple, solid roof built to provide partial coverage or be retractable.Patio covers are highly customizable and can be built to match your needs and style, no matter what you're looking for.

patio cover with dining set

Choosing the right structure for you

Pergolas, pavilions, arbours and gazebos all serve different purposes. So consider if the structure you want also fits your space and needs. But before you choose one of these structures, ask yourself if you want complete protection from the weather or partial shade. 

If you would like a structure to complete your backyard space and keep you outside longer, schedule a consultation with Vandenberg Landscapes, and we can help design and build your perfect outdoor structure.


Written by  Jonathan Kingma
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