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Where Can I Learn How To Build a Gazebo?

Follow these instructions to build your own relaxing and beautiful gazebo.

Putting the final touches on a new gazebo. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Putting the final touches on a new gazebo.

A gazebo can add a relaxing covered space to a yard, become a focal point of a home's landscape design, or even develop into an outdoor room that gets as much use in season as the rooms inside the house. But what does it take to learn how to build a gazebo? Consider the following tips, which can help homeowners in their quest to build a peaceful and welcoming gazebo.

Gazebo Site

The first step in planning a gazebo is to assess the yard to determine the best site for building a structure. Stay away from low-lying areas or any place where water can collect. Higher areas have the benefit of better drainage and also can provide a better view. When choosing a site, it's also important to consider the function of the gazebo. This special space can be a spot for a hot tub or spa; homeowners can add plumbing, lighting, a sound system or high-speed Internet; or the gazebo might simply be a quiet space to relax and admire nature. Whatever the function, keep in mind that the gazebo will need to be in a site that allows for connectivity with the necessary utilities.

Gazebo Size

The size of the gazebo is an important factor. One major point to consider is that many jurisdictions determine the need for a building permit based on size. It's important to check local zoning regulations and find out ahead of time whether a building permit is needed to construct the desired type of gazebo. A homeowner's locality may also have restrictions for the amount of space necessary between buildings in the yard.

When planning the size of the gazebo, it's important to again consider the way it will be used. If the area will only be housing a few benches or chairs, an 8-foot gazebo may provide all the necessary space. If, however, plans include other elements, such as tables, chairs, other furniture or even a hot tub, make sure that the gazebo is big enough to comfortably meet those needs. Larger gazebos will also need a more substantial foundation than smaller structures, so be sure that the chosen site chosen can accommodate the gazebo's size and foundation.

Gazebo Material

While gazebos are traditionally made of wood, they can also be constructed from metal, stone, concrete, vinyl or other materials. Roofing can be done in the same variety of materials that is available for home roofing; in fact, homeowners may even choose their gazebo roofing to coordinate with that of their house.

Gazebo Plans

Homeowners should choose a gazebo style that meets their needs and suits their taste. They can achieve this in a number of different ways. An experienced woodworker or builder can draw up his or her own plans. There are also many plans available online or at hardware stores. Homeowners can even purchase a gazebo that comes in an easy-to-assemble kit. Another option is to commission an original design from a licensed contractor. This last option, while the most costly, may also result in a gazebo that is specifically tailored to meet the customer's needs.

Gazebo Building

With thorough preparation and assembly of the materials, it's possible to build a gazebo in just a couple of days. Again, there are options. Those who feel comfortable with their level of building experience can build the gazebo themselves or with the assistance of friends and family. Or, hire builders to erect the gazebo, which may cost an extra $500 or more.

Whatever path is chosen, once it's built, gazebo owners will be able to enjoy the results of their planning and hard work in a new gazebo for years to come.

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