Veranda vs Pergola: The Ultimate Guide to Transforming Your Outdoor Space

Veranda vs Pergola: The Ultimate Guide to Transforming Your Outdoor Space

Are you thinking of adding an outdoor structure to your garden but don’t know the difference between a veranda vs pergola? Many homeowners grapple with this question when designing their perfect outdoor space. Bring your outdoor vision to life with Harbour Lifestyle and our range of award-winning pergolas and garden accessories. We’re here to clear things up once and for all with our ultimate guide on veranda and pergola differences and similarities. We’ll also dive into some ideas on how to maximise your outdoor space to make the most of these beautiful garden features that are surging in popularity. Whether you want to create a more enclosed and sheltered space for relaxing or an open area for gatherings with family and friends, we’ll help you make an informed decision that complements your space, taste and needs. 


Veranda vs pergola definitions

What is a veranda?

Gaining popularity in Western countries in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, verandas are roofed or open-air platforms that extend outside the home and are attached to it. Verandas originated from colonial architecture and were popular in warmer climates, providing a shaded outdoor space to relax. They’re typically fully or partly enclosed by a railing and resemble a covered porch. 

What is a pergola?

A pergola is an outdoor structure typically consisting of four posts and a flat lattice roof. Designed to support climbing plants and flowers that eventually provide a shaded canopy, the pergola can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where it was used to provide shade and grow figs and house vines. Many modern pergolas come with louvre or closed roofs providing protection from the elements. They can be freestanding or attached to the home to create an outdoor space to relax, dine or entertain.

What are the similarities between a veranda vs a pergola?

While these two structures undoubtedly have significant differences, they also have several similarities, which can cause some people to get confused between the two, including:


  • Both are designed to extend the home's living space, offering a transitional area to relax and spend time outdoors.
  • Each structure typically has a flat roof, which offers shade on sunny days and various levels of protection from the elements.
  • Both enhance the home's aesthetic appeal and can increase a property's value.
  • Pergolas and verandas can both be adapted to suit various functions, whether that's a cosy lounge area or an al fresco dining space. 


What is the difference between a veranda and a pergola?

Now let's take a look at what makes a veranda and a pergola different from each other:

  • Verandas are attached to the house, while pergolas can be freestanding or wall-mounted, providing greater flexibility in terms of location.
  • Traditionally, pergolas have an open lattice or cross-beam roof ideal for climbing plants and partial shade. Verandas tend to have solid roofs, providing complete coverage against sun and rain.
  • As an extension of the house, verandas usually complement the property's style with the option to install glass side panels for year-round use. Pergolas come in various styles, sizes and materials, typically wood or aluminium, and can include features like built-in lighting, heating or drainage systems.
  • Verandas offer an enclosed, room-like outdoor space, while pergolas are more open and less enclosed — perfect for making the most of the garden.


Should you choose a veranda or a pergola?

Now that you know what's what, it's time for that all-important question: veranda or pergola? 

Your choice between a ​​veranda vs a pergola will likely depend on your design preferences, budget and how you plan on using your outdoor space. Let's break down some of the key aspects to take into consideration:





Attached as an extension to the house

Both — you can opt for freestanding or wall-mounted options 


More enclosed with panels or a flat full roof for complete shade 

More open design, lattice or louvre roof for flexible shade options


More complex construction making it less DIY friendly

Simpler construction &  DIY friendly, options for pergola kits 


More expensive, ranging from £3,500-£6,000+

More budget friendly, on average £2,500


The cost-effective choice

PergoSTET 3m x 3m Steel Square Pergola in Grey - £1,429.00

Thanks to their simpler construction, pergolas are the more budget-friendly option out of the two. The average cost of building a pergola in the UK is around £2,500, whereas £3,500 covers only the initial design of a glass veranda. Depending on the design and materials, an average-sized veranda with a glass roof can cost around £6,000 or more.

Creating a luxury feel 

Source - Pinterest 

Verandas are a great choice for creating a luxurious home extension. They exude traditional old-world charm, especially with added features like intricate wall panels or decorative wrought iron columns. 

Going for a modern look 

PergoSTET 4m x 4m Square Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in White - £4,999.00

If you're going for something more minimal and sleek, a modern aluminium pergola with built-in LED lighting and drop sides is probably your best bet, perfectly blending into any contemporary-style garden.

Going for a traditional look 

Source - Pinterest 

Pergolas are traditionally made of wood and adorned with climbing plants for a natural-feeling outdoor space, suiting those who prefer more rustic gardens and aesthetics. 

Wall-mounted options  

PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Wall Mounted Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in Grey - £3,799.00

Verandas are characterised by being attached to the house, forming a seamless extension and cohesive look with your property. Pergolas, on the other hand, can be freestanding or wall-mounted, extending the home's living space and allowing you to create an outdoor room.

Standing the test of time 

PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting with Wood Effect - £4,299


Whatever your choice, you won’t have to worry about replacing your garden pergola or veranda anytime soon. Both are durable garden structures, but material choice, like aluminium, is key to longevity.

Protection from the elements 

PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in Grey - £3,999

Verandas traditionally offer more protection from all types of weather thanks to their solid roofs and often enclosed wall panels. However, many new pergola designs now come with louvre roofs, which can be opened to let in the sun or closed alongside drop sides for complete protection from the elements.

DIY veranda and pergolas

PergoSTET 3m x 3m Square Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in Grey - £3,499

As verandas are attached to the home, they tend to be more complex constructions compared to pergolas, which are more DIY-friendly. You can even buy handy pergola kits with materials and instructions for easy assembling. 

Optimising for shade 

PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in White - £3,999


Thanks to their full roofs and partly enclosed construction, verandas provide constant shade and shelter. However, pergolas are more versatile and can offer either complete shade, dappled shade or no shade at all, depending on your needs. 

If you're interested in a pergola with a traditional lattice roof, climbing flowers and vines can provide shade via its natural canopy.

Veranda vs pergola ideas


Extend your living space outdoors

    Luna Outdoor Fabric Rectangular Corner Dining Set with Rising Table in Oyster Grey (Right Hand)

    Both a veranda and a wall-mounted pergola have the power to transform your outdoor area into an inviting extension of your home. Simply furnish them with a comfortable sofa or lounge set for quiet daytime chilling or a beautiful dining set for al fresco dining and family meals.

    Enjoy natural light 

    Source - Pinterest 

    Enjoy dappled sunlight in a comfy, plush chair surrounded by scatter cushions under the roof of your pergola or in the diffused natural light under your veranda, perfect for relaxing with your favourite read.

    Enhance your garden with modern décor

    Bob Large Table Light in Charcoal - £69.99


    Add sleek modern furniture and accessories under your pergola or veranda to create a stylish outdoor lounge. Incorporate contemporary outdoor art and luxe outdoor lighting for a minimal Scandinavian-chic style or take it to the next level with an aluminium pergola in stylish black.

    Add a touch of romance with climbing plants 

      Source - Pinterest 

      With its open lattice roofs, a pergola is the perfect choice for anyone who loves basking in natural light. Decorate with hanging baskets and climbing plants to create a stunning garden focal piece.

      Create a cosy corner nook with outdoor sofas and textiles 

        Monterrey 3 Seat Rope Sofa Set with Ceramic Table in Grey - £1,799.00

        Furnish your outdoor nook with a versatile corner sofa, snuggly throw blankets and soft outdoor rugs to create a cosy, inviting space to unwind, relax or socialise after long days.

        Add a fire pit to keep warm year-round

        Luna Outdoor Fabric Corner Group Set with Firepit Coffee Table in Oyster Grey - £3,999

        A stylish fire pit will turn your veranda or pergola into a year-round destination for outdoor dining and soirées. Add some wooden furniture and a few cosy blankets and cushions for a rustic style that'll get you excited to spend your evenings snuggled up outdoors.

        Design a covered outdoor kitchen 

        Napoleon Freestyle 425 Gas Barbecue - £645.00

        Make the most of the cover of your veranda or pergola and design your very own outdoor kitchen, complete with a barbeque, pizza oven, outdoor fridge and bar area for al fresco dining and entertaining. 

        Cover a hot tub 

        Source - Pinterest

        You can use your hot tub all year round thanks to the cover and privacy of a pergola or veranda. Accessories with twinkly fairy lights and outdoor lanterns for evening ambience and treat yourself to a sleek outdoor heater to keep you toasty and warm when you get out while you're at it.

        Protect yourself from the rain 

        Source - Pinterest 

        Beat the rainy British weather with a fully enclosed veranda. Furnish with a stylish sofa set and coffee table, and wrap up under a cosy blanket with a cup of tea while you relax, listening to the meditative sounds of the rain.

        Explore rustic garden furniture options 

        Kalama 8 Seat Rectangular Dining Set with Teak Table in Latte - £2,549


        If rustic is more your style, opt for warm and natural wooden furniture and accessories that blend with your garden's natural surroundings. Add fire lanterns and blankets in heritage colours and prints to create the ultimate countryside-inspired outdoor space.

        Add a bar for hosting garden parties 

        PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in Grey - £3,999.00

        Grab your cocktail shaker and create a dedicated bar area complete with bar stools, atmospheric outdoor lighting and your favourite mixers, spirits and mocktails. Perfect for hosting garden parties, it'll make evening entertainment a breeze. 

        Create your ideal outdoor sanctuary with Harbour Lifestyle 

        Pergolas and verandas make great garden additions — creating an outdoor area for relaxation, socialising and dining — and are worthwhile investments. But whether you choose a veranda vs a pergola will depend on your needs and the style of your home. 

        Verandas offer a more intimate, enclosed extension of your living space, resembling a porch, which is perfect for creating a year-round retreat. With their open and more versatile structures, pergolas are better suited for garden lovers who want to make the most of being outdoors in a shaded but more natural environment. 

        If the allure of a pergola has caught your imagination, explore Harbour Lifestyle's range of state-of-the-art pergolas. Elegant yet functional, our award-winning designs come in classic colours to suit any space. They will instantly transform the look and feel of your garden, ensuring that it's not just an extension of your home but a reflection of your lifestyle. Leaning more towards a veranda? Furnish and accessorise it up to the nines with our wide range of garden furniture and accessories to complete your garden's transformation. 


        Veranda vs pergola FAQs


        What are the disadvantages of verandas?

        If your veranda isn’t fully enclosed, it will only be partially waterproof, meaning rain can still be blown in during colder months. 

        If you opt for a glass veranda, you'll probably need to invest in ventilation, a retractable roof or adjustable glass panels to avoid overheating, which can become uncomfortable during the summer. 


        Does a veranda add value to a house?

        A stylish and well-built veranda can be a great investment, adding value to your home ranging anywhere from 5% to 15%.

        Why is it called a veranda?

        The word ‘veranda’ comes from the Hindi ‘veranda’, but is also related to the Spanish word ‘baranda’, which means railing, and Portuguese ‘veranda’, meaning long balcony or terrace