Outdoor Structures to Enhance Your Yard

Outdoor structures on your property are enjoyable for you, your family, and guests. They also add quite a bit to the value and aesthetic appeal of your yard.

Furthermore, they provide coverings to protect various additions, such as an outdoor kitchen that will be happily used for family cook-outs and parties.

There may be a type that better suits the available space in your backyard. However, canopies, pergolas, and gazebos have similarities that benefit those who prefer to have some protection from the heat, rain, snow, and other elements.

The cost of the structure depends on the type, size, materials, and what extras you choose.


The basic construction material may be wood, vinyl, aluminum, or wrought iron. The most common and popular material is hardwood, which is the most durable, versatile, and traditional in appearance.

Softwoods require the most maintenance and will last the least amount of time. Vinyl or aluminum will last twice as long as wood, with vinyl being the longest-lasting material.

What structure is best for you?

In your search for which type is right for you, your family, and your lifestyle, here some of the details and benefits of each popular and attractive category.


A canopy is an economical structure featuring a metal or fabric overhead covering. It’s a little bit like a large tent without flooring or walls. It can stand alone, or be supported by the building to which it is attached.

Fabric canopies offer various designs, are strong, flame-retardant, water and corrosion resistant, long-lasting, and easy to clean. The material can be canvas, vinyl, acrylic, or polyester. Modern frame materials have high strength-to-weight ratios.

For example, you can get a pop-up folding canopy tent, which takes one person about one minute to set up. Some comfortably fit as many as six to eight people. and come with their own carry bag for transport and storage.


Pergolas are arched outdoor structures with cross rafters supported by four columns and a roof that does not protect from wind or rain. They are open on all four sides. However, some have a top that is enclosed with fabric, climbing plants, lattice, or vines to create a partially shady area.

Pergolas are the least expensive and easiest to build, and can sometimes be erected by competent DIY homeowners. However, a more elaborate version will probably require a professional. Most pergolas use cedar or redwood, but less expensive woods can be considered.

Materials will be at least 50% of the cost, and the total cost will be between $3,000 and $6,000 for a nine-foot wooden pergola.


Gazebos are stand-alone small buildings that are round or octagonal with a finished solid roof. They may be open on the sides, screened, or have walls with windows.

Walls not only strengthen the structure but also offer protection from the elements. The floor requires building a raised structure to keep it off the ground, and the entire gazebo requires professional installation. Gazebos are often decorative and elaborate, making them ideal for outdoor dining and entertaining.

When built on a larger scale, they can be used for a stage or to accommodate an outdoor performance. The cost will normally be between $5,000 and $10,000 for a nine-foot wooden gazebo.