What is the Difference Between Canopy and Gazebo?

These are two structures that are common among many homeowners. If you look at them with a simple mind you can think they are similar, but there are some basic differences between them. 

In this article I am going to talk about the uses, advantages, and disadvantages of both structures. This will help you if you are having a problem of choice between the two structures.   


A gazebo is an independent structure that is mainly used to provide shade and elegance in a home. It is normally called an independent structure because it has a solid roof and a strong sturdy beam, which makes it self-supporting. 

A gazebo can be built in many shapes, but the common shapes are oval and hexagonal. It has open sides but there are hooks that are used to hold the canvas that cover those sides in case the weather changes. 

When a gazebo is built on a private property it is used as a place to relax and unwind. But it can also be built in public places such as the parks.

Most gazebos have solid roofs which makes them durable hence they last for long. 

The gazebo floor can either be of concrete or grass. 

Sometimes gazebos are attached/connected with a garden wall instead of standing alone. An important thing to note is that gazebos should be constructed on a leveled ground where it can be easily anchored.

Types of Gazebos 

  • Gazebos that are hard tops  

These are gazebos that have the normal oval or hexagonal shape of design, but their roofs are metallic, wooden, or sometimes glass. Due to advancement in technology more hard materials are being used to create hard tops gazebos. For example gazebos that have plastic or vinyl roofs.

  • Gazebos that are soft tops 

These are gazebos that are less expensive both to construct and maintain. Their roof can be removed and be stored until the desired season is when they are put up again. This roof is mainly made of fabric that is laid on the crossing beams on the top. 

  • Decorative gazebos 

These are just normal gazebos, but the only difference is that these ones have many pleasing designs. But they still provide the basic purpose of protection and shade. The tops of these ones can either be hard or soft but the extras like aesthetic curtains and a double roof makes the decorative gazebos.

  • Standard gazebos 

These ones can be said to be the mother of all other types of gazebos. They have posts that run up to the corner of the roof and are attached to the ground. Most of the standard gazebos are less expensive to construct and maintain. 

Uses of Gazebos

  1. They can be used as garden shades 

They can be used as a place where people can sit and relax, enjoying the nice outdoors. Gazebos have nice roofs that shield the direct sunlight and sometimes prevent strong winds.

  1. They can be used as wedding tents

Here is where the decorative gazebos come to use. Because of their extra pleasing features they are used as wedding tents. Also gazebos are a cheaper option compared to booking huge wedding rooms.

  1. They can be used as temporary stores 

Gazebos, especially those with hard roof tops can be used as temporary stores. When it is a rainy season it will force you to have some extra materials to provide extra support on the sides.

  1. They can be used as shelter 

Gazebos can be used as shelter during outdoor spurs. Just like a house you can create different rooms inside a gazebo for example changing rooms and the bath room. 

Advantages of gazebos 

  • They can survive through any season 
  • They are less expensive to construct and maintain 
  • They always look good/fantastic 
  • They make a home owner look high socially 
  • They are easy to take down if you want to change the design 

Disadvantages of gazebos 

  • Some gazebos like decorative gazebos are expensive to construct 
  • They can take up a lot of space on your property 


This is a simple structure that has a metallic post holding a fabric covering. Sometimes it is referred to as the modern gazebo. A canopy is made of lightweight material whereas gazebos are made of heavy material. In this case we can say that a canopy is made for convenience while gazebos are made for durability.

Canopies are made in different colors and styles that sometimes match the owner’s patio or the backyard. Their purposes are similar to those of gazebos except one may work better than the other. 

Advantages of canopies 

  • They are easy to assemble/build 
  • They are less expensive than gazebos 
  • They have more space 
  • They can be used as green-houses if modified 
  • They come in different colors and shapes

Disadvantages of canopies 

  • Compared to gazebos they do not provide as much protection 
  • They are not fixed and sturdy as gazebos 
  • They do not have good floors as gazebos 

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Gazebos and Canopy 

  1. Long-term cost 

Getting a gazebo on your property is less expensive in the long run compared to canopies that can be easily torn and worn out in a few years or even months.

  1. Design and general out-look

Gazebos have more sophisticated designs and look good generally while the canopies come with simple designs that are supposed to be lightweight.  

  1. Durability in harsh weather conditions 

Gazebos have a strong foundation and are sturdy hence they can withstand harsh weather conditions like storms and strong winds. While canopies are made with lightweight materials that can easily be blown away and be broken.


Both the gazebo and the canopy add value to your home because of the shade they provide. If the home is for sale they will add a decorative touch, attracting more buyers. They both have similar purposes, but the little differences like durability make one work better than the other.