Hard Top vs Soft Top Gazebos – Backyard Discovery Canada
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Hard Top vs Soft Top Gazebos

Adding a gazebo to your yard or patio provides a covered space where you can set up an outdoor gathering area whether it be for grilling, entertainment or relaxing. Gazebos are traditionally open-air structures consisting of columns and a covered roof for shade and protection. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, and deciding on the one that fits your needs can be overwhelming.

One element of a gazebo that’s worth careful consideration is the roof. All gazebos have roofs, but a hard-top roof is very different from a soft-top one. Here are a few reasons why we recommend a hard-top roof for your gazebo.


hard top gazebo



Soft-top gazebo roofs are typically made from fabrics or canvases such as polyester. Hard-top gazebo roofs are usually made of metal, and all Backyard Discovery gazebos have a galvanized steel roof. Steel is an extremely strong material and can withstand many weather elements, notably snow and wind. Our gazebo roofs are PRO-TECT™ Tested and Proven to withstand up to 76 cm of snow and up to 100 mph winds.

In contrast, soft-top gazebo roofs are not designed to handle adverse weather conditions and can easily tear or collapse even with small amounts of precipitation or light wind.


Hard-top gazebo roofs have a much longer shelf life than soft-top roofs. The galvanized steel is corrosion-resistant, and it won’t bend, warp or buckle in harsh weather conditions. This allows it to last anywhere from 10-15 years, or longer.

Soft-top gazebo roofs aren’t nearly as strong as hard-tops. They will wear down with weather and eventually need to be replaced. The common consensus is that soft-top gazebos last 2-3 years, but it could be shorter if there is constant dis-assembly and reassembly, or if it’s left out in a bad storm.


Most hard-top gazebo roofs require little maintenance other than an occasional wash. At Backyard Discovery, we’ve powder-coated our steel roofs so that they’re corrosion-resistant. This allows them to stay up year-round and are designed to be virtually maintenance-free.

Soft-top gazebo roofs, on the other hand, require a heavy amount of maintenance. Not only will the fabric naturally get dirty and need to be cleaned consistently, but most soft-top gazebos aren’t designed to be left outdoors. You may hear that the allure of a soft-top gazebo is that you can dis-assemble and reassemble it depending on occasion and location, but that’s a lot of work. The reason for this is because it can’t be left outside in harsh weather conditions, but even if you protect it from rain, snow and wind, the constant wear and tear during the assembly/dis-assembly process shortens the shelf life and adds hours upon hours of labor.


Because a hard-top gazebo roof is designed to stay up all year, it opens up the possibilities for how you can use it. You can set up a seating area in your backyard, or perhaps a dining space on your patio. It could also be an option for grilling, or you can have some fun by building a hard-top gazebo over a fire pit or a hot tub. In all of these scenarios, you have the peace of mind of knowing that the hard-top gazebo roof will be durable enough to protect whatever is underneath it.

Because a soft-top gazebo roof will in all likelihood need to be dis-assembled after each use, it offers no protection for any permanent elements of your backyard or patio. This means your furniture, garden, grill, fire pit or hot tub is uncovered when not in use. Of course, you could leave your soft-top gazebo assembled, but one bad weather event may send it crashing down.

Enjoy Comfort and Peace Of Mind with a Hard-Top Gazebo

Hard-top gazebos have clear advantages over soft-top gazebos and are a more durable, longer-lasting option for your outdoor space. They also require less maintenance and offer infinitely better protection for whatever you have set up underneath.

At Backyard Discovery, all of our gazebos use galvanized steel roofs, offering superior strength and durability. We have three styles of steel roofs: hip, peak and slope. All are designed to give your gazebo a modern roof, and the choice really depends on your aesthetic and style. All come in a variety of sizes and can be purchased with either a cedar or steel structure. We also have grill gazebos, smaller gazebos designed to cover your grill and provide a grilling space free from the elements.

Ready to transform your outdoor living space? Browse our many gazebo options!

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