Pergola vs. Arbor: What’s the Difference?

Pergola vs. Arbor: What’s the Difference?

Pergola and Arbor Design & Installation in Annapolis, MDBecause of their similar structure and design, pergolas and arbors are often used interchangeably in conversation. They’re also both often found in yards with an abundance of plant life, to add dimension and a unique style to outdoor garden spaces.

Although they have a lot in common, there are actually quite a few differences that distinguish pergolas and arbors from one another. Understanding the distinct features of each structure is crucial to helping you choose the right one for your yard!

What is a pergola?

A pergola is an outdoor structure, typically built with an open rafter roof and four or more support beams to hold it up. Pergolas are usually constructed as an overhang off of another structure on your property, such as the back of your home or the side of a garage. They’re used primarily to create functional outdoor living spaces and provide shade over a deck or patio.

What is an arbor?

An arbor is a freestanding structure with a slatted, often arched, roof held up by support posts and usually covered in a lattice design. Its construction is very similar to that of a pergola. Traditionally, the lattice work is wrapped in climbing plants and vines. An arbor can sometimes be used as a small shelter as well.

What is the difference between a pergola and an arbor?

The biggest difference between these two structures is that one is usually built attached to another structure (the pergola), while the other stands on its own (the arbor). A pergola is larger, offers more shade, protection from the elements, and privacy than an arbor, and is used to help define outdoor living spaces.

An arbor is typically smaller than a pergola, acting more as an entryway than an enclosure. Its purpose is more decorative than functional, most often used as a special design element in a backyard garden.

If you need help deciding between a pergola and an arbor for your backyard space, get in touch with the team at VistaPro Landscape & Design to give you a hand! Our landscaping professionals specialize in design and installation for both pergolas and arbors, so they can help you determine which structure is the best fit for your property.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!

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