Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Building a Gazebo 101

Have you always wanted a gazebo in your backyard but were concerned you might not be able to build one yourself? Would you like the elegance and functionality that a gazebo would provide?

Even if you only consider yourself a basic handyperson, you can build a gazebo from scratch. Here are some ideas to get you started.

You have a few options when it comes to building your own gazebo.

Find gazebo plans free of charge online or in your local library. While this can be an inexpensive option, it will be more difficult for someone with little experience in building. With the gazebo plans, you will have to source all of the materials, cut all the pieces correctly and then assemble.

Purchase architectural blueprints. These blueprints will have more details, but they are usually for designs that are more complicated. Generally, unless you have a great deal of building experience, homeowners will contract out the assembly of this type of gazebo to contractor.

Purchase a gazebo kit. Gazebo kits are an excellent option for a homeowner willing to tackle building their own gazebo. Gazebo kits come with the prefabricated parts and screws for you to assemble. Typically, in a weekend, you can put together your gazebo with basic supplies like a screw gun, level and hammer.

Your gazebo can be placed anywhere on your yard. Some homeowners choose to bolt their gazebo to an existing wood floor or to a concrete slab. Most homeowners choose to build a gazebo with a built in floor. Since you will need to secure your gazebo with posts underground, be sure to call your local utility company to have them indicate if there are any underground pipes or cables you need to avoid.

Another decision you will have to make for your gazebo is the type of wood or other material to use. Your main choices are:

Pine – Although inexpensive and easy to work with, pine decomposes rather quickly so you will have to replace your gazebo sooner. Depending on your weather conditions, pine may not be your best choice.

Cedar – An excellent option for its beauty, cedar is also lightweight, dimensionally stable and naturally resistant to cupping, warping and splitting. Its biggest benefit is that cedar remains flat and straight and will stay beautiful for many years.

Redwood – Another good option, redwood is naturally decay and insect resistant so pressure treating isn’t required like it is with pine. Redwood can be quite expensive but it is beautiful and ages well.

Vinyl – If you have decided on a gazebo kit, they are available in vinyl. Vinyl is a good option because of its longevity and it is maintenance free because it doesn’t need to be weatherproofed or repainted.

No comments: