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A backyard pavilion extends your outdoor living experience all year long as it provides protection from outdoor elements like rain or snow and gives you shade from the heat of the sun. But what is a backyard pavilion?
A pavilion is an open framed structure that is equipped with a closed roof. Simply put, it is a covered pergola. A pavilion is also a temporary or permanent freestanding architectural open space that is flexible and can be used in a variety of ways – from lounging, to dining, cooking or gathering people. It is normally situated in a backyard, in gardens, patios, pool sides or decks. It is almost similar to a gazebo, differing only in size as a pavilion is typically larger, depending on its purpose. Typically rectangular in shape,but it can be designed in any way you want according to any need you have.


The Purpose of a Pavilion

The primary purpose of a backyard pavilion is to provide a protection to weather changes and offer shade from the sun and keep you dry during the raining season. It gives shelter and coverage while you enjoy different outdoor activities. Aside from being functional, it is also decorative as it adds an interesting visual element to outdoor living spaces. Backyard pavilions easily spruce up a yard, especially if designed well according to the surrounding landscape. It extends your living area, allowing you to entertain friends and spend time with your family while basking in the view of your yard. Outdoor structures like pavilions encourage you to come out of your home and spend more time outside.


While there’s no question that a pavilion looks absolutely gorgeous, it can offer much more than just the attractive style. Your pavilion can enhance the way you, your family, and your guests use your outdoor space. These are some of our favorite ways to use a pavilion on a deck or patio:

  • Covered Outdoor Kitchen — For all the grill-masters and home bartenders out there, this home pavilion use takes your game to the next level. One of the most popular ways to use a pavilion is to cover your grill or bar, providing it with the feel of a private restaurant. Not only can this keep you barbecuing for hours at a time without getting a sunburn, but it creates a one-of-a-kind ambiance right on your deck or porch.
  • Small Seating/Reading Area — A pavilion can be the perfect way to set aside an area of your deck or porch for some secluded time. Cover a corner area of your space with a small to medium sized pavilion and you can create the perfect small conversation space or reading nook.
  • Covered Hot Tub — Use your hot tub anytime — even in the rain, when you cover it with a sturdy pavilion. Chances are pretty good that a hot tub will be one of the centerpieces of your whole deck or patio, so it makes sense to outfit it with a gorgeous pavilion.
  • Formal Outdoor Dining — Even if outdoor cooking isn’t your thing, we’re willing to bet you love outdoor dining. Provide cover to a table and chairs on your space with a pavilion to create an elegant and formal feeling dining room — that provides you shade while you eat. The size of the space determines the size of the home pavilion you’ll

Whether your activity is personal or with a group of people, a backyard pavilion is the ideal place to be.

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Common types of backyard pavilions

Here are some of the most common types of backyard pavilions according to their material together with their positive and negative features:

Wood – Wood is the most common material used to build outdoor structures. It is well loved by most owners because of the natural distinctive beauty it possesses that can not be matched by any other material. Aside from that, wood backyard pavilions can be finished or stained in so many colors. However, wood is prone to termite infestation, warping and decay when exposed to harsh weather elements. So for outdoor structures like a backyard pavilion, make sure to go with a wood species that is resilient when wet. Cedar, redwood and pressure treated pine are the most popular types of wood used for backyard pavilions.
Cedar or Western Red Cedar has natural oils which make them resistant to decay, rot and insects. In addition to that, it is durable and is guaranteed to last for years. This type of wood turns gray when weathered, giving it a timeless beauty and visual appeal. It is also abundantly available and is also less expensive compared to California Redwood.
California Redwood, on the other hand, is the most expensive type of outdoor wood. Unlike cedar, this wood species has a limited supply. It has a rich reddish hue and a tight grain pattern which appeals to most homeowners. Among all the three types of outdoor wood species, this is the most resistant to decay and is guaranteed to last for years without rotting. A redwood backyard pavilion is guaranteed to last for 15 years, making it a wise cost effective investment.

Lastly, Pressure Treated Pine is another wood species that can be explored in building a backyard pavilion. It is the least expensive one because it is not as sturdy as the first two outdoor wood types. Unlike cedar and redwood which are inherently resistant to certain elements, pressure treated pine is subjected to harsh chemicals to gain these properties. Though not as beautiful, it is more suited to be painted, giving you more options in terms of finishes.

Vinyl or Plastic – This is a modern alternative to wooden backyard pavilions. Usually used for kits, this material is decay resistant and is not prone to insect damage. It is lightweight yet durable and comes with as long as 25 year warranties. Maintenance wise, vinyl pavilions are practically maintenance free and just needs some mild soap and water for cleaning. Traditionally, vinyl pavilions come in white, but there are more available finishes in the market now. From faux finishes and colors which simulate the appearance of natural wood, this material provide a broad spectrum of choices to choose from.

Fiberglass – Also known as composites, are also prefabricated backyard pavilion kits. Another modern alternative to wood, this material is perfect if you want a more modern or contemporary look. It is lighter than wood but is stronger than steel. In addition to that it won’t rot, decay, rust or get infested by insects. Fiberglass pavilions are highly customizable in any color, shape or size. Cost wise, a fiberglass backyard pavilion is more expensive compared to wood and vinyl.

Metal– Metal pavilions do not have the same versatility as wood in terms of design, but it is durable and heavy duty. This material is not prone to insect damage but has the tendency to rust when exposed to varying elements. Another downside of using metal backyard pavilions is that its look cannot be easily altered, so when you get one, you’re gonna have to stick with it for a while.

Stone– Natural stone, cement or concrete – these backyard pavilions are perfect for rustic inspired spaces. It has a natural beauty which gives off warmth and coziness to a space. Permanent and very sturdy, stone pavilions have a strong base which can last for years. When it comes to design sensibilities, there are a lot of decorative stones which one can explore to express different characters in a space.

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