Building a gazebo is not as difficult as one might think – – especially if you purchase a kit or a partially constructed gazebo. However, even if you purchase a gazebo kit, there are certain things you must take into consideration before you even begin to take the pieces out of their boxes. Gazebos are a wonderful home improvement that will add value to your home and enhance your enjoyment of your backyard or lakefront property. With a little planning, and the right tips, you can construct a gazebo in a weekend or two.
Before beginning any construction project, including building a gazebo, you should check with your local government office for any required building permits. The fines for building without a permit could be quite steep and are easily avoided with a telephone call to your local Building and Codes Enforcement Office.
Once you have determined whether you need a building permit, the next step is to choose the site for your gazebo. Gazebos are often used as a focal point for a garden or a gathering spot beside a lake or in a backyard. How you are planning to use your gazebo will help you determine the placement. Take into consider existing structures and the size of your gazebo when planning the location. It is a good idea to use some stakes and string to physically stake out your gazebo to see how the location and size of the gazebo will work. The size of your gazebo is another factor in the location – – a good rule of thumb is an eight-foot gazebo will comfortably hold two people, two chairs and a small table. With every two-foot addition to the size of the gazebo, you can add two people to the count.
Once you have established the size and location of your gazebo, you must determine what building materials to use in the construction. Wood is the most popular building material; however, there are gazebo kits available in vinyl. Vinyl will last a very long time and does not need to be repainted or weatherproofed. I prefer wood for gazebos because of the aesthetic value.
There are several excellent choices of wood for gazebos:
- Cedar is the best wood for gazebos because it is lightweight, naturally repels insects and resists warping, splitting and cupping. In addition, cedar is beautiful and weathers extremely well.
- Redwood is another good choice for material because it resists decay and repels insects. However, redwood is more expensive than cedar and can significantly increase the cost of your gazebo.
- Pine is an inexpensive but good choice for gazebos. It is easy to work with; however, you will need to treat the wood and do more maintenance because pine tends to not weather as well as cedar or redwood.
Browse the selection of gazebo kits and plans available from The Gazebo Factory and Summerwood Designs.