If you are in the process of designing your yard and landscaping, you are probably looking at outdoor structures. These options can provide shade, entertaining space and general ambiance to your property. However, if you have begun to look at your options, it’s likely that you are a bit confused. Should you chose a pergola, ramada or gazebo? What’s the difference between these choices and which will best meet your needs? There are some distinctions that you can recognize in order to help you make a more informed decision.
Traditionally, a ramada was a structure erected to provide shade, usually roofed over with brush or branches. An open walkway or porch was also known as a ramada. In modern construction, however, a ramada is a structure used to provide shade, with a fully covered roof. It usually matches they style and material of the home.
A ramada is ideal for an outdoor space that is designed to be an extension of the living environment. Because of the sturdy structure, it is easy to include details such as a fireplace or barbecue area. Some homeowners include an outdoor wet bar in their ramada and make it a full featured entertaining area. Brick and stone details are common in the design as well.
Throughout history, a classic pergola was designated as an outdoor structure with an open roof. It was usually supported by columns or similar architectural details. Pergolas are designed to accommodate creeping or vine like vegetation. Modern pergolas remain at much the same specifications. An open roof, often made with a wood trellis, is placed atop columns or posts.
Pergolas are ideal for homeowners who appreciate an open, airy feel and wish to incorporate vegetation in their entertaining area. Planting pots look lovely next to each column. Vine plants can grow up the sturdy poles and begin to make a home in the open trellis work of the roof structure. If you do intend to utilize your pergola in this classic setup, be sure that your contractor uses materials that are designed for the strain of plant growth. A pergola that won’t be used for planting can be made with less durable materials and still last. However, for supporting plant growth, go with the best quality possible.
The gazebo is probably the most recognized outdoor structure that is used in landscaping designs. Gazebos are usually built in more circular geometric shapes. In years past, the name of gazebo was given to an open building that took advantage of a view, or a summerhouse. For this reason, gazebos are often found on hills, wooded clearings, or next to a beach view. Today, any outdoor structure with at least five sides is designated as a gazebo. Most often, a hexagonal shape is used. The roof is most often fully covered and vaulted.
When selecting a gazebo, it’s still a good idea to take advantage of a lovely view. A gazebo sits well in a more traditional landscaping, with a lot of trees, gardens and vegetation. Gazebos compliment Victorian architecture, as well as other classic details. A gazebo is ideal next to water features, such as a pond, or a flower or vegetable garden. Also, if your property fronts woodland, a gazebo may be ideal to take advantage of that view.