The Perfect Backyard Gazebo

by Rachel Laurendeau on August 14, 2012

I love the idea of having a covered porch attached to my house. Unfortunately, my home and property are just not suited to this type of addition. Instead, in a few years, we’ll be building a gazebo in the backyard to enjoy all of those warms summer days and nights.

What exactly is a gazebo?
Gazebos are freestanding roofed structures with open walls to allow an uninterrupted view of the surroundings. Traditionally, gazebos were 6 or 8-sided or sometimes round. Today, they are found in all shapes and sizes, with the simplest ones being four-sided. Typically, gazebos are garden structures and are often seen in public parks as well as backyards to offer shade, shelter, privacy and a place to entertain in addition to being ornamental landscape structures. They are becoming quite common around backyard pools as well as a type of poolside cabana.

While they typically have open walls, you can have your gazebo screened in to keep the bugs out or you can hang outdoor fabric that can be drawn for privacy and shade.

Building the perfect gazebo

  • You can build your own gazebo if you are so inclined. Your options are limitless: design it yourself, buy a DIY kit or find plans in do-it-yourself books, magazines or on-line.
  • Alternatively, you can hire a deck builder or carpenter to build your gazebo. As with any project, make sure they are experienced, understand exactly what you are looking for and be sure to get a quote ahead of time.
  • Your third option is to buy a gazebo from a home improvement store that you simply assemble yourself. These are usually powder-coated steel frames that fit together to form the structure and a fabric roof and curtains. This is the least expensive option but also the least permanent. They can usually be set up in the lawn or on a patio.

Finishing Touches
As with any home improvement project, your gazebo can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. When adding the finishing touches, let your gazebo reflect your personality and that of your garden.

• For entertaining, you will certainly want to include comfortable furnishings covered in water-resistant fabrics. If you plan on using your gazebo for family games nights or for dining, you will need a table and chairs as well. Personally, I love to read so my gazebo will have a couple of big cozy chairs to curl up in. I’ve also seen gazebos furnished with daybeds and hammocks. Talk about relaxation!

• Your gazebo will likely already have a floor that it is built on or a deck that it has been affixed to but you can also add outdoor area rugs to make it even more inviting.

• There is no need for your gazebo to be plain or dull. You can add color and pattern with seat cushions, tablecloths, throws or even draperies that billow in the wind.

• When constructing your gazebo, you can have your deck builders run electricity to the structure for lights or a ceiling fan.

• If your structure is closed in, pet doors are great so you don’t constantly have to get up to let your pet in and out.

• Another nice touch, for those who enjoy gazing at the night sky would be to place a skylight in the roof of your gazebo.

Gazebos are a perfect added touch to your backyard providing a wonderful place to rest, entertain and enjoy the outdoors.

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