Six Backyard Pavilion Plans & Ideas

Last updated Monday, January 23rd, 2023

Six Backyard Pavilion Plans & Ideas

What is a Backyard Pavilion?

If you’re looking for a classy way to upgrade the outdoor living space in your backyard, you may want to look into building a backyard pavilion.

Pavilions are known for giving the feeling of luxury to a backyard area. Because yard pavilions have a sturdy roof over the top and are constructed with load-bearing beams or columns without walls, they offer protection from the elements while still allowing an open, natural feel at the same time.

Since pavilions have no walls, the roof must be supported by something else. In most cases, roofs are supported by posts or columns. The house itself can also be used as a support point. This is especially helpful for owners that want to move directly from inside the house to outside without worrying about Mother Nature.

However, backyard pavilions are most often free-standing structures located on the property but away from the house itself. The structure needs to have a strong foundation, preferably constructed out of paver bricks, concrete, or even wood. Essentially, they are like a disconnected patio with a roof over the top.

Pavilions are often confused with other similar types of outdoor structures, such as gazebos, pergolas, and arbors. They are all wonderful additions to your outdoor space but each have subtle differences that make them unique.

Here’s a quick definition of each:

Pavilions – Backyard pavilions are built to have open sides without walls. The top is covered by a weather-proof roof, which provides protection from the sun, rain, or other weather-related issues. Having open sides allows for the airy feeling of being outdoors without the discomfort of weather or sun exposure.

Gazebos – Many people think of a gazebo as a structure shaped like an octagon. This is true for many gazebos, but not all. An octagon shape is not a requirement for a gazebo… These structures may be built in a rectangular, square, or oval shape as well. What sets a gazebo apart is that a gazebo looks like its own open-sided building with a solid roof and built-in floor area. Gazebos are not attached to the house and are the focal point in a backyard.

Pergolas – A pergola is similar to a pavilion in that they offer a wall-less airy atmosphere to relax in. They are built with posts to hold up the roof, but what makes pergolas different from pavilions is that they have a roof structure that allows sunlight and elements through by design. The top is often constructed using slats, beams, or even lattice. This also means that rain, snow, and even leaves can come through the top as well.

Arbors – An arbor is a freestanding structure that looks somewhat like a doorway to cross through in order to get to a garden or other inclusive area. Arbors are built with posts for the structure, but the top or roof is not designed to be solid or to keep out sun or elements. The top can be rounded or squared off. Many people use an arbor as a support for garden plants and vines to climb, which creates a natural accent to the space. *Please note that American Landscape Structures does not build Arbors.

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Backyard Pavilion Ideas

There are endless ways to build and decorate a backyard pavilion, all of which add class and value to your home. Take a look at some of our ideas for additions to a pavilion that can turn a drab backyard into a functional living area.

Upgrade Your Backyard with a Garden Pavilion

Adding a garden pavilion to your backyard is a great way to upgrade your blah yard to a comfortable, relaxing oasis. A garden pavilion doesn’t need to be attached to the house… as a matter of fact, being free-standing and located away from the house is often a better option to give the airy feeling to the space. When the pavilion is located in the garden, however, the beauty of nature can organically add to the appeal.

Add a Kitchen to Your Pavilion

By adding a grill, oven, stovetop, smoker, or griddle to your pavilion, you can add a new layer of functionality to your comfortable space. What’s better than having a snack while relaxing in your pavilion? A cooking area is an excellent way to add even more appeal to your backyard.

Add Some Shade to Your Pavilion

A backyard pavilion already has a solid roof, but what do you do when the sun is rising or setting and not directly over the top of your pavilion? This is a situation that is not unheard of for people that own pavilions. Those same people have come up with ideas to combat this problem, including:

  • Add an optional curtain or drapery on a rod that is able to be pulled from one post to another to block out the sun
  • Add flowing shears on a rod that are tied to each post when not in use. If necessary, they can be slid out to diffuse the sunlight. When they aren’t being used to shield the sun, they can be a decorative element to your pavilion.
  • There are many different types of privacy sails and screens on the market that can be easily attached to the posts of your pavilion to create not only a sun block but a privacy block as well.

Cool Off with a Pool Side Pavilion

If you are the owner of an in-ground pool, a pool side pavilion could be the perfect spot to add beauty and functionality to your backyard. Pool side backyard pavilions don’t only give you or your guests a comfortable place to rest, but also offers a spot out of the sun when the sun is at its peak. A pool side pavilion could be looked at as being your “sunburn safe” area.

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Relax by Adding a Hammock to Your Pavilion

Adding a backyard pavilion to your yard is an amazing upgrade to your space. Want to move the dial up a notch? Add a hammock that is safely secured between your posts of the pavilion. This is a great way to take relaxation to the next level. Be warned though, you may have to wait to get your turn in the hammock… they are an excellent napping spot.

Add Privacy to Your Pavilion with Blinds

Adding blinds that can be optionally closed or rolled down when desired will also dial your pavilion up a notch. Adding privacy and shade to your yard pavilion will always be a plus. If you have neighbors that are located close to your property, privacy may be a very important issue to address. Blinds, either vertical or horizontal, are an easy and inexpensive addition to your pavilion area but can have a profound effect on your comfort level.

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