What is a Gazebo
A gazebo is a luxurious addition to a backyard, garden, or deck. Much like pergolas and shade sails, these quaint, open-air shelters provide cover from the sun, rain, wind, and even pesky insects, creating a comfortable outdoor living space.
The best gazebo is sturdy and protective, and it looks lovely on your deck or in your garden. With a wide range of styles and sizes available, there’s an elegant outdoor gazebo for any space. Read on to learn more about features to look for in a suitable gazebo and explore some top picks for relaxing outdoors.
Before you buy a Gazebo
Installing a gazebo starts with thorough planning. When selecting an outdoor gazebo, consider the intended location and installation process. Step one is choosing where it will go, an important factor in identifying the appropriate size. Also ensure the area can be cleared of any obstructions like shrubs, branches, and other greenery. Make sure the ground is flat and that any roots, rocks, and other debris can be removed.
Make sure to have the necessary permits or permissions to install the gazebo. While most areas don’t require a permit for smaller structures, it is a good idea to check with governing bodies or homeowners associations.
Consider whether the gazebo will require building flooring, or select a gazebo that comes with a floor included. For those choosing to build a floor (or installing the gazebo directly onto a lawn), consider its anchoring method. Bolts, screws, or strap systems are appropriate for concrete floors, foundations, or decks, while ground stakes are suitable for installing into grass or dirt.
In short, consider the following steps before buying a gazebo:
- Choose the gazebo location. Measure and clear the area to decide the suitable gazebo type and size.
- Keep in mind that many gazebos do not include a floor, and consider the necessary planning if the floor needs to be built or installed separately.
- Consider the flooring surface and anchoring options to ensure safe installation.
- Make sure to check for any necessary permits or permissions needed to install the chosen gazebo.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Gazebo
Gazebos come in a range of styles and sizes, and choosing the right one depends on its intended use. Those looking for a year-round feature should consider a permanent gazebo, while those looking for a shady spot for a dinner party may prefer a pop-up option. When picking a gazebo, consider its design, size, materials, durability, and installation process.
It’s best to choose a gazebo that fits in the yard or patio without obstructing or overwhelming the outdoor space. It’s also important to make sure the gazebo is large enough for its intended use, whether to seat a couple of friends or to house a large dining setup. Expect pop-up gazebos to come in smaller sizes, whereas permanent structures are typically larger.
Gazebos can be hexagonal, octagonal, round, square, or rectangular. The ideal shape depends on personal preference and, again, intended use. Hexagonal, octagonal, and round structures have the classic gazebo look, but square and rectangular models tend to be more common for at-home installation kits.
Gazebos come in a wide range of sizes, with small ones measuring about 6 feet across and larger models measuring up to 12 feet by 20 feet long. Round and square gazebos tend to be small or medium-size and are a great pick for covering a patio set, seating area, or hot tub. Rectangular gazebos come in larger options, excellent for covering a long outdoor dining table, for example.
Material and Styles
Gazebos come in a range of styles, built from different materials to give them a different purpose. Chosen materials are either naturally weather resistant or are treated to be waterproof and fade resistant to withstand the elements—and look great while doing so.
Wood and metal are common frame materials since they are sturdy and long lasting in outdoor conditions. Hard-top gazebos feature hard roofs made of wood, metal, or polycarbonate shingles or panels. Soft-top gazebos have canopies made of weather-resistant and tear-resistant materials like polyester or polyethylene, or acrylic materials like Sunbrella.
Hard-top and soft-top gazebos can come in permanent designs for year-round use. Some soft-top gazebos have removable canopies that allow for removing the canopy in the off-season.
Pop-up, portable gazebos are designed for convenience and usually come in soft-top designs for easy transport and storage. They are made of foldable or collapsible materials like powder coated steel that can easily assemble and disassemble for a pool day or dinner party. Portable or pop-up gazebos are generally made with lighter materials, like metal framing and fabric canopies so they may not be suitable for areas with heavy winds.
Gazebos can include a range of features to make them more pleasant to use. Insect netting, curtains, and double-roof designs offer comfort and protection.
Some gazebos include built-in insect netting. This netting protects from mosquitoes, moths, and other bugs without blocking the view or the breeze. Other models have optional hanging rods or hooks to install netting or curtains.
Curtains can help block the elements, like rain and UV rays, as well as bugs. Plus, they can also turn the gazebo into a private space. When open, curtains can be tied back to cover the poles, giving the gazebo a more luxurious look. Keep in mind that extras like curtains or netting may need to be taken down during or after wet or windy weather to prevent damage, dampness, or mildewing.
A double-roof design allows for better airflow without sacrificing protection. These gazebos feature a roof with a small gap at the top to allow fresh air to enter. A second rooftop section overlaps over the main roof to prevent rain and snow from coming into the gazebo.
Stability and Construction
Stability is one of the most important safety features when it comes to choosing a gazebo. While all gazebos are designed for outdoor use, some types are sturdier than others. Permanent structures are stronger than pop-up options. Made to move around with ease, pop-up gazebos tend to be the least stable option. They usually aren’t suitable for windy conditions, but the trade-off is their ease of use and simple assembly.
Hard-top gazebos tend to be sturdier than soft-top gazebos. Their hard metal roofs are more durable than fabric options. Hard-top gazebos also don’t run the risk of sagging or dropping with heavy rain or snow.
Gazebos include a range of features to maintain their sturdy construction. Features like air vents allow gusts of wind to flow through without rattling the roof or canopy. Built-in gutters and sloped designs direct water off the gazebo. For extra stability, most models come with spikes, bolts, or stakes to anchor the gazebo to the ground.
Type of Assembly
Gazebos are available as installed, permanent structures or portable pop-up options. Permanent options often take longer to install but also last much longer. Many DIY installation options include ready-to-install kits with precut and predrilled pieces for easy assembly. Consider your skill level and available help—while many of these sets are made for home installers, they will take two or more people to put together. Consider hiring a professional installer if needed.
Pop-up gazebos are easy to assemble and disassemble, coming together with a little bit of elbow grease. They usually have a metal frame that pulls apart or clicks into place, then the soft canopy straps over the top. Some options include storage bags for portability.
BEFORE YOU BUY A GAZEBO
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING THE BEST GAZEBO
MATERIAL AND STYLES
STABILITY AND CONSTRUCTION
TYPE OF ASSEMBLY