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Syzygy Pergolas & Pool Covers in Palm Beach
Syzygy Pergolas & Pool Covers in Palm Beach

Pergola Superiority: Pergola vs Arbors, Gazebos and Trellises

News   >  Knowledge Base   >  Pergola Superiority: Pergola vs Arbors, Gazebos and Trellises
Jason Herring
August 22 2021

Often used interchangeably, the terms arbor, trellis, gazebo and pergola are actually very different sorts of outdoor structures. With an understanding of their differences, you’ll be better prepared to choose the ideal shade structure for your outdoor living space.

Trellis vs Pergola: What is the ideal outdoor living space in Palm Beach?

A trellis is usually a decorative framework that can support climbing vines. Often used in vegetable gardens, trellises allow tomatoes or grapes to grow up off the ground.

A pergola, though, is a far more dynamic outdoor living structure. Traditional pergolas are open-sided structures consisting of a roof supported by columns. They can feature a solid fixed roof, or one made of slats that leave the roof open to the sky while creating some shade. But, today’s modern pergolas take outdoor living to the next level with adjustable roof slats, called louvers, that can open and close to control the amount of shade. If you choose the right adjustable louvered roof pergola, it can even block out the rain to keep your outdoor space dry.

While they are totally different structures, a trellis can be integrated with a pergola to add a splash of floral color to a pergola’s structure. To ensure the climbing plants do not damage the pergola, and its motorized operations, it’s important for the vines to be pruned away from moving parts of the pergola.

Arbor vs Pergola: What’s the difference?

An arbor is a frame structure like a trellis, but where trellises often climb the side of a home or pergola, an arbor is usually a freestanding structure. Imagine a European countryside farm with grapes growing on an elevated arbor. It can be a nice addition to the aesthetics of your garden, but arbors are not patio covers in the way that a modern pergola can be. An arbor will not seal out the rain in the way that a pergola can.

The main benefits of a pergola over an arbor are the flexibility and functionality that a pergola can deliver. Where the arbor is a static structure, a pergola can be outfitted with a motorized adjustable louvered roof that allows flexibility in how you use your deck or patio. The modern aluminum pergolas that we build here at SYZYGY Global are specially designed to seal out the rain when closed.

Gazebo vs Pergola: Close but no cigar

Gazebos are fixed-roof structures that, like a pergola, are open on the sides and are sometimes referred to as pavilions. You often see gazebos on the town square outfitted for hosting public events. In residential backyards, gazebos are common shade structures by the pool or built far from the home as a relaxing covered nook.

The key differentiator between gazebos and pergolas is construction materials and functionality. Where gazebos are usually built of wood and covered in standard roof tiles or shingles, today’s advanced pergolas are fabricated from high-quality powder-coated aluminum, and can vary their roof structure for differing customer demands.

What does a pergola offer that a trellis, arbor or gazebo does not?

Today’s modern pergolas can range from fixed-roof designs to amazingly high-tech motorized structures. The motorized louvered-roof pergolas that we build here at SYZYGY Global will offer you the most flexibility from your outdoor living space, and can be outfitted with tons of great functionality.

Our louvered roof pergolas can open to allow the sun in, close partially to create some shade or close completely to seal out the rain. Many louvered-roof pergolas claim to seal out the rain, but ours are specially designed to capture every drip. Our manufacturing partner, Azenco in Miami, Florida, employs a precision manufacturing process to create truly gapless louvered roof pergolas. This means that when the pergola is close it actually blocks out all of the sunlight to keep you cool on your patio. It also means that, when closed, the louvered roof will not drip onto your guests below. This level of craftsmanship is very unique in our industry.

With the sun and rain protection of our pergola covering your patio, you can truly unlock its potential. Without fear of afternoon showers, you can easily turn your deck into a relaxation space with a TV to host tailgating parties or build out an entire outdoor kitchen knowing it will be protected from the elements. One of the unique advantages of a modern pergola is its aluminum construction which allows us to embed features ranging from LED lighting and infrared heaters, to integrated sun and insect screens, etc.

To make the pergola system even more intuitive, we can even add a sensor array that monitors the weather and autonomously controls the louvered roof. So, the second a drop of rain is detected, the autonomous system will close the louvers to keep your cocktail party from being interrupted by an afternoon shower. Also, integrated wind sensors will monitor for high winds that can potentially damage the louvers, and automatically open the louvers to protect your investment.


If you are considering your options for an upgrade to your outdoor living space, contact us so we can walk you through all the amazing capabilities that a modern adjustable louvered roof pergola can bring to your outdoor life.

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