Gazebo Vs. Cabana {What’s The Difference?}

Do you have some extra room on your property for a gazebo or a cabana? Which one should you get? What’s the difference?

In this article, we’ll go through, in and around these two structures to figure out which one is best for you.

Gazebo Vs. Cabana: A cabana has 3 walls or enclosures with one side completely open while a gazebo is open on all sides. Both provide shade and rain protection while helping to increase your property value. 

Where Should I Put A Cabana?

The word cabana is Spanish for cabin or hut. A cabana is very commonly facing a pool. You can find cabanas on the beach, at parties and luxurious homes or hotels. The three covered sides add privacy and make it more appealing if you wish to have more coverage and only one opening. The opening faces the action poolside or is directed towards a focal point like a waterfront.

A cabana could be adjacent to a building or act as pool house. It could be portable, movable or permanently placed where you want it. You can place curtains or a screen in front for added privacy to change in and out of swimwear.

Where Should I Put A Gazebo?

A gazebo is very commonly noticed in parks and public spaces. Playgrounds, picnic grounds and plenty of backyards display gazebos that are inviting and personable. Everyone can flow through a gazebo to say hello and rest for a while. A gazebo feels more welcoming because all sides are open while the top is covered to keep you dry and protected from the sun’s rays

Is It Cheaper To Build A Gazebo or Cabana?

When considering pricing and budget options, let’s start from the bottom and work our way up. Your cheapest option is going to be a pre-built structure or a kit. You could buy a pre-owned gazebo or cabana for the thriftiest of options.

A medium sized gazebo on average costs about $5,000. A kit or pre-built gazebo could be as cheap as $1,000. A large gazebo could run a buyer about $8,000-$9,000.

A cabana is going to cost more because you have to cover three sides with walls. More materials means more labor and more cost to the buyer. Expect to have a budget at about $10,000 for a medium to large size cabana that is built on your premises. It will be harder to find a cabana kit or pre-owned cabanas to save money.

What Is The Difference Between A Pool House And A Cabana?

A pool house is more official with power and electricity built within the structure. It requires more detailed building permits and could easily be turned down by the city in your backyard. You can live in a pool house with heating, locked doors and all the comforts of a home.

A cabana is not officially a pool house because one side is open. Most cabanas are frames without any utilities hooked up. Is isn’t insulated and could be approved with or without a building permit in many locations.

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Does A Gazebo Add Value To A Home?

A cabana would add more value, but it could be harder to get approved by your local municipality if you need a building permit. You will spend more money for it and it will boost your property value more.

A gazebo creates a great overall outdoor atmosphere to your backyard and building one is more approachable and approvable. Your property value will increase because you’re creating more space to enjoy and use. The design of a gazebo makes your property more attractive and valuable.

How Long Do Gazebos Last?

It’s important to distinguish between hard top and fabric top gazebos when determining how long they can last.

A hard top gazebo is more likely to be permanently fastened to the ground and remain there for all seasons. They are reliable and can last over a decade without much maintenance. Covering a gazebo with a tarp would be wise in cold winters.

A fabric covered gazebo has metal poles and is usually portable. They are cheaper to buy and lighter overall. You can place them over a grill or outdoor patio setting and move them during the winter. The wear and tear could cause this type of gazebo to degrade faster. Less than 10 years is where most fabric gazebos last, but you can keep yours longer with proper care.

Can A Cabana Be A Tent?

If you’re thinking about temporary cabanas or the ones on the beach with lightweight fabric, then you can mistake them for beach tents. Cabanas don’t need to be covered by metal or wood walls and a roof.

The Spanish word “cabaña” could mean hut or cabin. If you think a hut is close to a tent or interchangeably used, then it’s easy to assume that we can substitute the word cabana instead when thinking of only lightweight fabric coverings.

What Can I Use A Cabana For?

Cabanas are multifunctional and can come in many varieties from tough, permanent structures to soft, fabric, private enclosures that are temporary. You can use them for many reasons like the ones below:

  • Rent one at the beach
  • Build one by your pool
  • Changing room
  • Upscale umbrella substitute 
  • Outdoor napping space
  • Children’s play area
  • Covered concert stage
  • Private parties
  • Romantic dinners

What Can I Use A Gazebo For?

A gazebo is like a pavilion. It’s classically used in many cultures with the word deriving from Latin and these structures are found in the Far East to all corners of the world for centuries. They can be used in multiple places for various reasons including:

  • Events
  • Concerts
  • BBQs
  • Parties
  • Picnics
  • Gardens
  • Ponds
  • Park
  • Playgrounds
  • Beaches 

How Do I Choose Between A Cabana Or A Gazebo?

The two most important options rest on two factors:

  • Function
  • Budget

Functions For A Cabana

What are you looking to do with a cabana? Are you looking for more privacy or luxury? A cabana could be very impressive. A well-built permanent cabana made of metal or wood with a nice, airy opening is a head turner. They are not as common to find in backyards and will garner attention, envy or praise.

It isn’t easy to build a cabana of this grandeur, but you can definitely expect your property value to increase higher with a solid cabana. If you are thinking of something like a hut that resembles a tent made completely of fabric, you can still call that a cabana. This type of cabana is easier to set up and can be taken down after the summer season.

Budget For A Cabana

If you can spare up to $10,000, you should spring for a cabana. The open side of this permanent structure is multifunctional and sturdy enough to place a screen or curtain and turn it into a livable space throughout most of the year.

If you only have $300-$500 to spend, go with the hut style option and set up a cabana for the summer with a durable fabric and metal poles. This is commonly seen in beaches across Asia where people aren’t interested in getting a suntan. Poolside cabanas in hotels or parties also showcase good looking cabanas that are made of fabric and not as expensive.

Functions For A Gazebo

You love hosting people and grilling for family and friends. You want people to feel welcome and enjoy the space you’ve created for many to enjoy. The gazebo becomes your best option here. You can set one up near the kid’s playground and keep an eye on them without get sunburnt.

You can read a book under a gazebo even when it’s raining. The world is open to you and you welcome it with open arms. The gazebo is the social option and a great place to enjoy the view all around you and not just what you see in front like a cabana.

Budget For A Gazebo

This is where a high-end gazebo option comes in cheaper than a high-end cabana. You have added value to your property while keeping all sides open for company while remaining versatile for many uses. Go with the gazebo and save money. You will only regret it if you wanted more privacy and don’t care about the full 360° view.

A cheap gazebo from a warehouse retailer made of wood can range from $1,000-1,500. This is wood, not fabric. A fabric covered gazebo will only cost you several hundred dollars instead. A wooden cabana is going to cost much more. The money works better for a gazebo. This is where you can stretch your dollar more.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Big Is A Gazebo?

Is gazebo for a family or backyard is about 12 feet by 12 feet. Larger gazebos are located in public spaces or for businesses. A 12′ x 12′ gazebo can fit a dining table, patio furniture or a grill station very comfortably.

Is A Gazebo a Pagoda?

A gazebo is commonly referred to as a structure that is open on all sides. Pagodas can also mean the same thing, but they come in more varieties and intricate details. A pagoda is commonly seen in Asia near temples, parks and mountain tops. There could be tiered roofs and religious practices involve pagodas more than gazebos.

Is A Pergola The Same As A Gazebo?

A pergola doesn’t usually have a fully covered roof. If the pergola is covered completely, they can be referred to as a pavilion or even a gazebo. They are similar to each other, but it’s common to name a structure with latticework or slatted roof a pergola instead of a gazebo.

We hope you enjoy your cabana or gazebo and maybe one day you could send us an invite for an upcoming party!