A Guide to Gazebos

A Guide to Gazebos

Outdoor Additions
Additions and Remodels
Decoration and Design
By Mateos Glen Hayes December 30, 2021

Gazebos are great additions to any backyard. They give you a spot to hang out with friends and enjoy summer night breezes with all the creature comforts. Some gazebos are barebones, but there are plenty of more luxurious options to choose from instead. They aren’t prohibitive in cost, can be quickly installed, and can greatly increase the appeal of your backyard.

If you want a place for friendly get-togethers in the outdoors that looks nice and has plenty of space for extras, the gazebo is about as good as it gets. Some of us may prefer to bring the outdoors inside, but enjoying your existing garden is a lot less work. Most gazebos can hold about eight to twelve people, which means there’s enough room for the whole family, and a few buddies as well. Because they are roofed in, gazebos also offer some protection from rainy weather, so you won’t have to worry about nature raining on your parade. If you’re in the market for a gazebo, here are some popular categories to check out.

Types

Wooden Gazebo

Victorian Wood Gazebos Are Perfect Eco-Friendly Options

Victorian Wood Gazebos Are Perfect Eco-Friendly Options

Price: $4,000 - $7,000

Wooden gazebos tend to be the most affordable and have a pleasing visual appeal. With its nice texture and natural hues, you could say those good aesthetics come naturally for this eco-friendly material.

You can opt for pine if you want the most affordable option, although cedar is better for those who prefer a premium material. Cedar is not only stronger, but it is also naturally more durable as it is famously rot-resistant and insect repelling. For a really sturdy material, redwood is another premium option worth considering for your gazebo.

Of course, for a truly unique aesthetic, you can’t go wrong with a bamboo wood gazebo. In addition to its incredible strength, it is pretty inexpensive and one of the most environmentally friendly wood materials out there.

Brick

Brick Gazebos Offer Unparalleled Style

Brick Gazebos Offer Unparalleled Style

Price: $2,000 - $3,500

Brick isn’t a common choice for gazebos, but it definitely adds a unique aesthetic that will make your outdoor sanctuary stand out. A mason-built gazebo is also worth considering if you live in a colder part of the country since brick can retain heat and help keep you warm. Brick will also give your gazebo an appearance that is both classic and timeless at the same time.

This makes a brick gazebo stand out from other more common wooden variants. However, we advise against building this type of gazebo if you live in an earthquake-prone part of the world since it won’t stand up well to earthquakes and can actually be quite dangerous.

Plastic And Pre-assembled Gazebos

Plastic Pre-assembled Gazebos Can Be Made to Imitate Wood

Plastic Pre-assembled Gazebos Can Be Made to Imitate Wood

Price: $4,000 - $7,500

The big thing that plastic gazebos have going for them is maintenance. They are not as maintenance-intensive as most other gazebo materials, which means you don’t have to worry as much about regular servicing. The only thing to worry about is cleaning off mold growth, especially if you live in a humid climate.

Pop-up gazebos are typically made from plastic or vinyl since this keeps costs low. Alternatively, you can also find many wooden gazebos for a more atmospheric outdoor experience that natural materials can provide. There are also many different pop-up gazebo designs to choose from, including classic Victorian gazebos, modern gazebos, and even gazebos that are basically small cottages.

Metal Gazebo

Metal Gazebos Are the Perfect Option for Sturdy Durability

Metal Gazebos Are the Perfect Option for Sturdy Durability

Price: $3,000 - $8,500

Steel, aluminum, and wrought iron are the metals of choice for gazebos. The biggest advantage of metal gazebos is that they last forever. Wooden gazebos and plastic gazebos both have a shelf life, but metal gazebos are much less vulnerable to the elements. The biggest potential problem is rust, but that takes a while before it causes major problems. The only downside of choosing metal gazebos is that you’ll get fewer choices for roofing and decorative styles.

Pros

Gazebos Come With a Set of Compelling Benefits

Gazebos Come With a Set of Compelling Benefits

Customizability

One huge pro of all gazebo types is that they are very customizable. A classic gazebo is good enough for seating a large number of people together, but what if you want some music, or wanna watch the game? Better yet, what if you get together at night and you’d like to see what you're eating or drinking? What if the nights are chilly and long in your neck of the woods?

Because gazebos are open-air structures, there’s lots of room for additions and upgrades. Electrifying a gazebo is no problem, and once it’s done, installing goodies like a tv, sound system, or even some heating elements for winter is a breeze. For nighttime fun, LED lighting provides a cheap and easy solution for brightening things up in a rainbow of colors. Consider adding some screening to your gazebo as well so the mosquitos can’t join your party.

All-Weather is Better

You could just make do with a picnic table in the backyard, but that would mean that any hint of rain would bring all the fun to an end. With a gazebo, there’s no reason to head indoors because of a sprinkling, and you’ll stay dry and warm, which is always good if you want a fun party, not a short one

During sunnier days the gazebo will also protect you and your guests from the punishing rays of the summer sun, so you can stay cool even if things heat up.

Easy Install

Portable gazebos have another ace up their sleeve because they can be placed almost anywhere as long as it is secured properly. Even more permanent installations can be placed anywhere so long as a concrete slab is put under them. This means that you have a lot of flexibility as opposed to a porch or deck which is limited to only a few spots on the side of your house. Experienced DIYers will find a gazebo kit relatively easy to install given the right tools and equipment. To top it all off, gazebos can also be easily customized with a personalized gazebo kit so that all the colors and decorative elements are exactly as you want them.

Cons 

There Are Also a Few Cons of Gazebo Ownership That Are Worth Taking Into Account

There Are Also a Few Cons of Gazebo Ownership That Are Worth Taking Into Account

Cost

For the most part, gazebos tend to be on the higher side as far as the expense is concerned. This includes purchasing a pop-up gazebo or having the thing assembled from scratch. While it is indeed possible for you to build a gazebo by yourself, it can get technical at some points so it's not a DIY job for everyone.

What that means is that you will almost certainly end up having to hire someone to build it for you, which of course adds to the cost. Because most gazebos are barebones as far as luxury features are concerned, you’ll have to add those in as well on top of the purchasing and installation costs. In general, gazebos end up being costlier than similar outdoor setups such as decks or patios, but of course, you get a lot more for that money than most decks can muster.

Upkeep

Maintenance is another challenge. Much like your home, a gazebo is a wood-framed structure, which means it is vulnerable to the elements. Over time, water will cause the growth of lichen and mold and will cause wooden gazebos to rot. This means that you’ll have to practice regular maintenance in order to keep your gazebo in good shape.

Otherwise, expensive damage could result if your gazebo is neglected. You can of course choose different materials such as metal, but this comes with its own downsides. A metal gazebo will get a lot hotter in the summer for instance. Some prefabricated gazebos have the low build quality, so be sure to avoid those so you don’t have to contend with excessive maintenance.

Space

Gazebos tend to be fairly significant in size, and this combined with the fact that most models require a concrete pad to sit on means they will take up some space in your yard. For this reason, it might be a bit difficult to find an optimal place for it, since you’ll want to put it somewhere easily accessible but not where it is causing obstructions. 

This isn’t an issue per se, but you’ll feel that it takes up room if you have limited space in your yard, to begin with. Also, a big gazebo may look a bit out of place if you have a smaller yard. Porch gazebos do exist, but modern gazebos generally are meant to be set away from fencing to allow for a full open-air setup.

MG

Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes

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