Gazebos and parasols both technically offer the same primary benefit: to provide shelter from the heat of the sun and from other natural elements. Both can also enhance the appearance of a garden or an outdoor area, adding style, beauty and functionality to a space. However, there are several differences between the two.
The first difference would be their structure. A parasol has a structure that looks like a big umbrella with a shaft in the middle holding the spokes which support the sheltering fabric. On the other hand, a gazebo has a larger structure which looks like an open-sided room with a roof and floor. Parasols are also generally smaller than gazebos.
Because they are structurally different, they differ in the ways they can be used. A parasol can usually be placed through a parasol hole on some outdoor table sets and furniture, providing shelter for a small area. Cantilever parasols or parasols which have a curved pole instead of a straight one could be a bit bigger and are usually positioned above outdoor furniture, providing that space with shelter. A gazebo offers more than just shelter for the people using it. Because it can technically be considered as a room outdoors, a gazebo can serve as a place where guests can be entertained during parties and other events. It can also be turned into a space for relaxation where a hot tub or a whirlpool can be set up or into a play area for young children. Tables, chairs and other outdoor furniture can be placed in the gazebo to provide comfort and function to those who would be using it.
Although both can be assembled without the needing a professional, parasols are generally easier to set up. Most of the garden parasols come with opening mechanisms such as crank handles and others which are easier to operate compared to the older versions which could be opened and closed like a regular umbrella. This is because parasols are designed to be set up whenever they are needed and put away when they are no longer being used. Gazebos are a bit harder to set up; however, they are usually meant to be a permanent garden or outdoor structure. Also, because they are larger than parasols, they come with more parts that need to be assembled to make the entire structure.
Parasols are also cheaper compared to gazebos since they have fewer parts, making them a good choice for homeowners who are just looking for a way to cover a certain area or table or furniture set or those who are on a budget. However, having a gazebo set up in your garden could prove to be a good investment in the long run, especially if you have the space for it, since they are more useful compared to having a parasol.
If you are looking for some good selections on parasols and gazebos for your garden, you could try searching online. A lot of websites and online stores offer great choices at reasonable prices, allowing you to save more compared to shopping offline.