Adding a gazebo to your backyard this summer is one of many home improvements that can increase the enjoyment of your outdoor spaces and your property’s resale value. It’s a great alternative for homeowners who would like a deck but the only place to put one receives too much sun. A gazebo is a wonderful way to define your entertaining style while combining elegance and sophistication with comfort. Since gazebos come in all shapes and sizes, you’re sure to find one that suits you and your lifestyle.
Gazebo vs. Pergola
Both gazebos and pergolas are outdoor garden structures that create visual interest in a backyard. The three main differences between the two are structure, shape, and roof.
Used as a place to gather and relax, a gazebo can have “walls” or open “sides,” is traditionally octagonal or round, and has an enclosed roof.
A pergola, on the other hand, is a structure supported by posts or pillars, is usually rectangular or square, and has a slatted roof formed of cross beams. Placed over a garden, patio, walkway, or passageway, it is designed to provide both light and shade to the area.
Reasons to have a Gazebo
To make the most of your backyard: A gazebo provides an ideal place to rest and relax. Since it has a fully functional roof, it provides shelter from the elements, so it can be just as useful on a rainy summer day as it is when the sun is shining.
A stylish place to entertain: When you throw a party in your gazebo, it elevates the occasion. Add a touch of glamour or romance to an impromptu picnic, a birthday gathering, or an anniversary celebration.
A versatile accessory building: Gazebos are one of the most versatile accessory buildings you can build on your property. A gazebo can be a place to entertain guests or somewhere to read outdoors or enjoy a quiet space for meditation and reflection. It can also be incorporated into a deck, patio, or poolside space.
Increases resale value: A gazebo complements outdoor spaces. When selling your home in today’s competitive market, many potential homebuyers find a functional backyard a selling point.
Match the Gazebo to your Lifestyle
What is the purpose of your gazebo? Knowing why you want one and how it’s going to be utilized will help you match the gazebo to your lifestyle.
Portable gazebos are also referred to as mobile or pop-up. They typically have a soft top; can be moved from one location to another, and packed away when not in use. A portable gazebo is ideal for tailgate parties, backyard barbecues, and picnics on the beach.
A garden gazebo is typically a permanent installation and often integrated into a scenic part of the backyard, surrounded by flowerbeds, flowering shrubs, and trees, or a rock/waterfall feature. Whether a garden gazebo is used for entertaining, a meditation space, or an outdoor reading area, the focus is on enjoying the view.
If the main purpose of your gazebo is to shelter a hot tub, select one that is square or rectangular.
The pavilion gazebo, one of the larger types of permanent gazebos, is found more often in public gardens and parks. However, in the past several years, pavilion gazebos have become popular with homeowners who have the space large enough to accommodate them. Fairly simple in structure – open-sided with a roof – they are designed for larger outdoor gatherings and celebratory events.
Deciding on a Gazebo that’s Right for You
A gazebo allows you to enjoy your backyard and the outdoors in ways that are subtly different from a patio or deck. To get the most out of your gazebo things to consider include material, shape, and features.
Material: Gazebos are made from a number of materials including wood, vinyl, and metal. Choose wood if you want the gazebo to blend naturally into its surroundings; wrought iron to create an Old World charm; steel for a modern or contemporary sensibility.
Shape: Common shapes for gazebos are: hexagon, octagon, square, oval, rectangular, and dodecagonal.
Size: The purpose and how much room you have will be the two deciding factors in the size you select for your gazebo. If a gazebo meant for two and located in the far corner of the garden, it will be smaller in size than an octagonal gazebo intended for larger parties and gatherings.
Installation: The three basic installation options are hiring a contractor to custom-build the gazebo; make it one of your DIY projects; or purchase a gazebo kit. When adding a permanent gazebo to your backyard, the ground must be flat – if it isn’t going to a part of an existing patio, the gazebo will need to be placed on pavers or a concrete pad.
Features: What do you want the gazebo to look like? Details such as the type of roof, railings, spindles, and floor should work together to create a relaxing and charming space you can enjoy with family and friends. Think about additional features outdoor curtains, freestanding benches, and patio furniture. To make the space even more functional, install wiring, outlets, switches, and connections to accommodate lighting, a minibar, and music.