No matter what the size or style of your yard, adding a pergola or other structure can help define the space, increase its usefulness, and make your yard more welcoming. Which structure is best for your needs?
Top 10 Most Popular Yard Structures
Backyard structures come in all shapes and sizes. Knowing the basic differences between them can help you choose the style that you’ll enjoy the most.
- Shed – The most common structure, a shed is a basic storage unit, but you don’t have to be basic about it. Sheds can have a porch with seating, window boxes, and other details so they’re as lovely in your landscape as they are useful to store your gear.
- Pergola – A pergola is a freestanding, open roofed structure supported by columns. Cross-beams form the roof and provide filtered shade for seating or lounging areas, and pergolas can be great supports for woody-stemmed climbing vines.
- Patio Cover – Attached to your home, a patio cover stretches across an adjacent seating area to provide shade and rain shelter. Awnings, sun sails, partial pergolas, and retractable covers are all options, or solid roofs can be patio covers.
- Pavilion – An open pavilion is a detached, closed-roof structure that is more solid than a pergola but still has open sides for fresh breezes and outstanding views. These are larger structures ideal for outdoor dining and lounging areas.
- Gazebo – Generally more ornate, gazebos are octagonal or hexagonal structures with solid roofs and open sides. Latticework, finials, and other delicate details are often part of gazebos, and they may be screened as well.
- Arbor – A freestanding arch or arbor can be a welcoming touch over a pathway into your yard or garden. Side latticework can support climbing flowers, or there may be garden boxes on each side. Arbors can even have benches to become simple freestanding nooks.
- Trellis – A trellis is a flat piece of latticework that can dramatically expand your garden’s vertical space or could be used alongside a wall to encourage greenery to grow and cover a boring or blank wall. Trellises can be wood, wire, or vinyl.
- Cabana – A freestanding, casual lounge area, cabanas bring a beach vibe to your pool or yard with open sides and a solid roof for superior shade and rain protection. Many cabanas are accented with drapes for a flowy, luxurious feel.
- Greenhouse – Gardeners will love how a greenhouse expands their growing season for greater productivity, and a greenhouse can also be great for showcasing orchids, ferns, and other exotics in a microclimate that provides an instant tropical getaway.
- Bridge – Move from one space in your yard to the next over a quaint bridge and you’ll feel transported to relaxation. Bridges don’t have to cross just water: they can also be used over poor drainage areas, downspout spillways, and low flowerbeds.
Choosing Your Best Structure
No matter what plans you have for your yard, there is a structure that can help expand your outdoor living space in beautiful and functional ways. Whether you are interested in year-round or seasonal structure use, opt for a style that best suits your needs and the overall design of your yard, and consider multi-functional structures that bring the best value for your investment. In no time, you’ll be enjoying your new structure and making the most of all your outdoor space.