Difference Between Awning and Pergola (With Table)

A number of infrastructural facilities need protective layers for their maintenance. Awning and Pergola are used as sheds or coverings in different structures in the surroundings to protect them from natural hazards or beautification purposes. These protective materials are often found on houses, gardens, sidewalks, and roadside shops. 

Awning vs Pergola

The main difference between Awning and Pergola is its use and materials comprised in it. Awning is used specifically as a shed for shops and stalls and is made from acrylic materials that are light and mobile. On the other hand, Pergola is a garden structure used for beautification purposes in recreational areas.

Awning is made from synthetic and light materials such as polyester, acrylic, and vinyl and is later attached to stronger materials such as iron or steel. They are often used on the entrances of residential areas or restaurants.  Information can also be printed or painted on the awning.

Pergola is an artificial structure created from plants and creepers, that looks like a frame or entrance in recreational areas or also as a green tunnel. They can also be created with the help of vinyl and fiberglass and other materials to give an artificial green look.

Comparison Table Between Awning and Pergola

Parameters of Comparison




Awning is a protective covering or a shed used to protect from harsh winds or sunlight 

Pergola is a garden frame or tunnel-like structure that provides shade

Wind and Heat Resistance

More resistance to wind and heat 

Less resistance to wind and heat

Prime Use

Covering or shed on house walls or roofs for restaurants and shops

Temporary shed for decor purposes or beautification


Can be easily retractable manually or automatically

Cannot be retractable due to being a fixed structure

Materials used

Metals, fiberglass, vinyl, acrylic, aluminum, and wood

Timber, PVC, wood, bricks, and stone

 What is Awning?

Awning became a popular practice during the Egyptian civilizations as a method to cover up food stalls and houses. One of the prime benefits of awning is weather control and protection of the area it covers. There are numerous types of awning based on the material used to make it such as aluminum, acrylic, wood, metal, and fiberglass. 

Today, with developments in modern technology, retractable awnings which are adjustable and more convenient to install are also available. It is a temporary substitute for a roof which if built properly can also help in permanent maintenance. The awning is set up either on the side panels of the house or as roofs. These can be controlled either manually or automatically according to the kind of technology present in the installed awning. 

Based on the type of building and its use, different kinds of awning can be developed as per the needs such as retractable, outdoor seatings, storefront, window shades, rolling shutters, louvered roofs, fixed awnings, and much more. As compared to cement roofs and other sheds, awnings prove to be a much more efficient solution for protection and covering. Information, advertisements, and hoardings can also be printed upon the awnings.

What is Pergola?

Pergolas first came into existence as garden frames and masonry pergolas during the Renaissance period in Italy in the late 16th century. They began as garden frames and tunnels that helped provide shade to people who walked around in parks or residential grounds. They were built as artificial gardens with the help of creeper plants.

Stones, bricks, and sticks were the prime materials used. In recent years pergolas have taken form on top of verandahs, swimming pool areas, or near the outer portions of the house. More strong materials such as timber, PVC, bricks are used to make the structure more sturdy. 

The prime objective of the pergola is to provide shade in sunny areas. The decorative pergolas made from artificial plants or leaves are used in parks or areas that need beautification. They are fixed structures that cannot be easily moved. The pillars used to build the structure can also help creeper plants to grow using them as a support. Some Pergolas are either free-standing near entrances or on sidewalks, whereas sometimes are attached to houses as well.

Main Differences Between Awning and Pergola

  1. Awning is used as a protective covering for buildings, stores, and houses whereas Pergola is used for decoration and beautification purposes.
  2. Awning is a shed or covering developed solely with the help of building materials or metals, whereas Pergola can be developed artificially or by living plants or growing creepers too.
  3. Awning proves to be much better protection from winds or sunlight, while a Pergola can only help in providing shade.
  4. Awning can be retractable and be used according to the weather and sunlight. A Pergola being a fixed structure cannot be moved as efficiently as the awning.
  5. Awning is comparatively stronger to handle harsh winds since they are connected to the building, but a Pergola may fall or lose its natural decor due to no support.


Awning and Pergola are both forms of coverings that help in providing shade and shelter from the winds to a certain extent. Awning is much sturdy and strong structure built with a good blend of acrylic as well as metallic materials. They are often installed on the sidewalls of restaurants, stalls, and shops. Awnings set up near the house can be retractable according to the climate. Over the period of time, newer technologies to control the awning automatically have improved the facilities.

Pergola is a beautiful frame or tunnel-like structure used in areas that need beautification or decor. A number of people use temporary pergolas as standing decor in events and celebrations too. They are less efficient in handling harsh winds and heat as compared to awnings. 


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960148103002878
  2. https://www.scientific.net/AMR.689.18