Types of Shade Structures

Don’t let the sun’s heat cause you to spend less time outside. Shade structures installed around your yard provide oases from the harsh rays of the sun, letting you seek a cool spot without giving up your time in the fresh air. With a variety of designs for these structures, you’ll need help from a professional landscape architect to find the right types of shade providers for your yard.


Pergolas are shade structures that work well throughout the seasons. The open-roof design is ideal for using it as a support for vines to offer dappled shade. During the summer, when the vines are in full leaf, they provide the most shade and cool off the space. In the winter, when the vines are not flourishing as much, the sun can shine through to warm the area under the pergola.

The pergola can also remain without plants growing over it. When left in its natural state, the slats creating the open roof can provide some shade without blocking out all the light. One example of this type of pergola is near this outdoor pool in Orange County.

Gazebos or Pavilions

Gazebos and pavilions are two full shade structures. Often, gazebos have a built-in floor whereas pavilions stand directly on the ground or patio. Occasionally, gazebos have a round or octagonal design and pavilions are square or rectangular in shape. But some gazebos might be square, too. Often, these structures serve as seating areas or to provide full shade and cover for outdoor dining or living spots. For instance, this pavilion offers a shady spot for relaxing by the resort-style pool.


A portico provides shade to your porch or over a doorway. These often accent the entry and have columns to support them at the sides and along the front.


Arbors are similar to pergolas in that they have open, slatted roofs. However, where a pergola can cover an entire seating area, an arbor acts as a doorway to create a boundary between areas of the yard. As with a pergola, they can have vines over them or remain open.

Let Mark Scott Associates Help You Find the Best Shade Structures for Your Home

Get the best type of shade structures for your home’s design and your landscape. Contact Mark Scott Associates to start on the journey to making your yard more beautiful and comfortable all year long.