Pergolas, Pavilions & More – Your Guide to Outdoor Living Structures

Pergolas, Pavilions & More – Your Guide to Outdoor Living Structures

June 26, 2019

Covered patios and decks have become a sought-after feature among home buyers, and homes with covered outdoor living structures tend to earn a higher resale price. It’s easy to understand why.

  1. Outdoor structures provide valuable extra square footage of usable, livable space.
  2. They are extremely versatile and can be used many different ways.
  3. Covered structures give friends, family, and guests a place to gather outside with essential protection from the elements.
  4. They turn seldom-used outdoor areas into stylish outdoor living spaces.
  5. A beautifully crafted covered outdoor living structure can really tie your home and landscape design together.


Stone Creation Northwest offers a wide variety of outdoor living structures to transform the look and function of your landscape, garden, deck or patio. From pavilions and pergolas to gazebos, arbors and arches, we have your outdoor structure needs covered!

What Type of Outdoor Structure Is Right for You?

There are many types of outdoor structures you can use to define and beautify your space. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular structures for your yard, patio, deck, courtyard, or garden.


A pavilion is an outdoor structure that has a full coverage roof with completely open sides. Pavilions are excellent for covering your patios, outdoor kitchens, or sitting areas, allowing you to use your outdoor living areas more. You will be able to spend time outside even if it is very sunny or if it is raining. Pavilions are usually square or rectangular and are most often constructed from wood or stone. They can be designed to match or complement your existing architecture, landscape, or outdoor living features.


A pergola is similar to a pavilion, but it has an open roof with partial cover provided by beams or a cross pattern. Pergolas are great for breaking up direct sunlight while allowing air to flow in and out. Because pergolas allow rain and partial sun to pass through, they are a popular choice for placement in yards and gardens with no concrete patio or engineered deck underneath. A pergola can also be a great choice to put over an outdoor kitchen, especially a kitchen with a built-in grill. The pergola’s open roof will allow smoke, steam, and delicious smells to escape and ventilate with ease.

Pergolas have excellent aesthetic appeal, too. Some homeowners like to put flowers or vines on the pergola for a natural, organic look. Others leave theirs bare and let the wood structure and architectural details take the spotlight. However you style your pergola, it is sure to be a beautiful addition to your outdoor space.


Gazebos are another popular type of outdoor structure that are similar to both pavilions and pergolas. Gazebos are octagonal or turret-shaped outdoor structures that have a full roof and open sides, often with railings or balusters. They are typically smaller than pavilions and often have more architecturally stylized roofs. Gazebos are often used create defined seating areas and gathering places or add major visual impact to an outdoor space.

Arbors & Arches

Arbors and archways are a great choice for defining entrances and pathways in your outdoor living areas and gardens. They give a sense of direction to your space and let people know which way they should be going. Their relatively small size provides a lot of flexibility in where you place your structures.

Arches and arbors can be made of many different materials in many different styles to fit your preferences. They often pull double-duty as trellises, decorated with climbing flowers and vines to blend and coordinate with existing gardens or landscaping.

Outdoor Structure Design Tips

Looking for advice on how to fit a covered structure into your outdoor living design? Here are three of our favorite ways to take your outdoor living structures to the next level.

Enhance the Look of Your Outdoor Structures with Natural-Looking Stone Creations

A pergola or pavilion on its own can be beautiful, but can sometimes feel a bit simple or added-on. One way to enhance your structure’s look or make it feel like part of your environment is to ground it with bit of stone. Pillars, pedestals, columns, and retaining walls all make wonderful additions to your outdoor structure design.

Stone Creations enhances outdoor structures using the ClifRock panel system. ClifRock looks like real stone but lasts longer and costs much less. These strong and sturdy reinforced concrete panels have serious long-term durability, even in the harsh climate of the Pacific Northwest. Real stone is very heavy, so the install time is much longer than it is with the panel system. Also unlike real stone, the look of your ClifRock panels can be customized to whatever you would like, such as matching existing stonework or natural features. There are six different rock styles you can choose from along with three color scales.

Combine Your Pavilion or Pergola with an Outdoor Kitchen to Create an Inviting Environment.

A covered outdoor kitchen will really define the look of your outdoor living space and create a focal point for your backyard. When people are over at your house, where do they usually gather? There’s a good chance it’s the kitchen area. The reason is simple – people gravitate toward the kitchen because that is where the food is going to be! It is also often where one of the hosts can be found.

Outdoor kitchens give you the same experience, but outside! No more constant in and out, tracking in dirt, and worrying about keeping pets inside and bugs outside. You will love spending time in your outdoor kitchen with your friends and loved ones gathered around, enjoying the fresh air, good food, and great company.

Add Warmth to Your Structured Spaces with Radiant Heating & Fire Features

There is only one drawback to having an outdoor structure at your home or business in the Pacific Northwest, and that’s the climate. Short summers and longer winters can mean less time spent outside enjoying your outdoor structures. Weather doesn’t have to be so limiting, however. Many homeowners find that having a covered structure in their backyard or patio area extends the amount of time they can spend outside during the year. This is especially true with the addition of fire features or heating systems to your structure.

Fireplaces, fire bowls, fire pits, and fire tables can all be safely installed with your outdoor structure to provide warmth, light, and design impact. You can also add warmth without the flame by installing a radiant heating system with your structure. These systems will keep you and your guests comfortable and allow you to enjoy your outdoor living space well into the fall and earlier in the spring.

How to Get an Outdoor Structure for Your Home

Outdoor structures really complete the look of your backyard or other outdoor living area. There are many types and combinations of structures available to you that you should have no trouble finding options that work for you. The hardest part will be deciding between all the options!

Be wary of store-bought DIY kits. These products offer a quick fix, but can be difficult to assemble, may have safety issues if not properly installed, and ultimately add very little if any equity value to your home or commercial property.

A custom structure created for your space by a licensed contractor will be structurally sound, built to fit the specifications of your unique space, and designed to match your property and preferences. A professionally built pergola, pavilion or arbor can add great value to your property and costs less than you think! You can even apply for financing to make your project more affordable.

If you’re interested in a consultation for some of these outdoor living designs, we’re here to help.

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