Effortlessly Building a Gazebo

Despite the funny name, you do have a huge point when you choose to build a gazebo by yourself. That space on your property must be used, and a calming gazebo can comfortably sit in there. You like the privacy it provides and as it’s a perfect spot for relaxation, it’s also particularly suit for bonding with your family and friends.

Put some speakers on the walls and create a romantic tone if you’re with your partner. Or a ‘welcome home’ tone if some friends are over after a hard day at work. Heck, if you have enough space near your house to accommodate it, it’s the perfect eating spot. You just have to get some curtains if you’re eating lunch.

Despite the potential, gazebos are too expensive, but that doesn’t mean you’re left with nothing to. In fact, you’re left with everything to do, since you’ll be the one handling it all. Though, you’ll get a lot bragging rights over your neighbors and even family.

And all you require are the necessary tools, some fine DIY skills, and a bit of time depending if you want to make your own modifications. What you luckily won’t be handling is the enormous fee that comes attached. Sweet, isn’t it?


Materials You Need for Building a Gazebo

You’re going to need some materials for building a gazebo. Obviously the most important is the type of wood. We recommend redwood or cedar because of their durability and since you won’t need to worry about insects and the weather. You’re essentially building a fortress outside with this beauties.

Other things you’ll use to work with the wood are;

  • One more pair of hands (it sped up our pace)
  • A driver
  • Concrete pavers
  • Wood screws
  • Ground tamper
  • A ladder
  • Shingles for the roof
  • Decorative gravel


So, let’s get started.


Section 1

We divided building a gazebo into two sections. This is for the base.


Step 1: Excavating

We’re teaching you how to build a gazebo in the form of a pentagon. We prefer it since it does look better than a plain square gazebo. The first thing to do is to find a free area in your backyard that looks perfect to take the space you want. Let’s say each angle of the pentagon is marked with some paint for clearer measurement (you decide the length here).

After that, you excavate the inner area of all stones, debris, grass, and completely even it out to a depth of about 4″. Don’t worry, you’ll definitely notice how balanced this will make the final product feel. Now set out 2″ x 6″ boards and join them together to form a pentagon. They’ll act as boundaries later on.


Step 2: Installing the Posts

You can start by digging out the soil in each corner (5 angles) to a depth of about 4′, and set in 13′ long notched posts into the holes. Just find somewhere to purchase that or manually make them yourself. Non are bad, to be honest with you. That said, you can, of course, choose any length you want. Just make sure it accommodates you.

Now, use quick cement to firmly secure the posts in place. Keep them straight while you do this though, as an error like this may cause problems later on.


Step 3: Paving the Gazebo Floor

Now, it’s time to use that concrete paver that we mentioned above. Buy any design that you prefer, but before that, pour in crushed stones to act as a base for the paving.

Next up! Use a ground tamper to compact the stones you’ve poured inside. Any excess, simply put it aside to be used for any later project you have planned.

So then, start out from a corner and arrange the pavers that you created outward. Watch out for the posts though, and you can use something smaller so as to get a clean look. Use jointing sand to lock the pavers together and then wet it, and you’re done with this step. That alone should drastically improve the look.


Section 2

We discuss how you roof the gazebo here.


Step 1: Setting the Rafters

Set the notched headers into the allocated space and screw them in. After that, a wood core will be needed. It’s simple to build one or you can just buy it too. Though before that, you’re going to need rafters for the roof. There will be two types that you’ll use here. Both will have a bird’s mouth cut into them to easily join them to the headers.

That said, the first type of rafter will be attached at one end to the headers (bird’s mouth) while you’ll have to screw the other end to core block. It’ll act as the core for all of the long rafters that you’ll be joining to it in this step.


Step 2: Join the Short Rafters

After that, you join two short rafters to each main one from the headers. This will help build a stronger base for the synthetic wood shakes later on. We could use shingles, but we personally prefer the look of synthetic wood shakes. Just go for something you like.


Step 3: Screw in the Fascia Boards

You can now attach fascia boards to the exposed edges of all the rafters to give a clean look. You can follow that up with sheets of plywood and then move your way up. When you’ve screwed everything in place, we can then move on to creating a foundation for the synthetic wood shakes.


Step 4: Laying the Shakes Underlayment

Before installing the shakes, we want you to apply the underlayment. This option isn’t necessary, but we like it since it’ll give an added protection against weather. So, screw it in evenly across the roof, but not too close to each other. You can avoid wasting screws this way too.


Step 5: Finally, Installing the Shades

Start at the fascia boards and once again, move up arranging the synthetic wood shakes. With every piece, you lay down, screw it in, and move on to the next one. When you get to the ridges, screw the ridge cap shakes in to cover them. Make sure it’s after you’ve screwed in the ordinary shakes.


Frequently Asked Questions about Building Gazebos

To help out a little more (it’s a question of why not), we decided to include a small section on the different questions that you might be curious of. So do read them before you start building your own gazebo.


How to calculate how many shakes I need?

Hopefully, you have a friend or someone close by who will continue the work with you calculating the number of shingles your gazebo roof will need is simple.

All the five sections of the gazebo roof, measure their length and width in feet—then multiply both dimensions together for individual sections. You get the surface area this way.

Now, you add all the surface area together and then divide the total you get by 100. Since you know have the number of squares the gazebo roof equals to, you can easily calculate the number of shingles you need to buy.

What are the decorating ideas for my Gazebo?

  1. Install some Curtains!

The first thing that can even increase your privacy, especially if you’re having dinner is to install some curtains. Just secure them to the posts when they’re not in use, and in the night, let them down. Oh yes! Before we forget, you should get some curtain weights so that the air won’t be disrupting the floor of things. We know you would rather avoid the curtain getting into your dinner.


  1. Next up is Lighting

Since you’ll most likely be relaxing there at night and also because having a dinner there will be really fresh, you should put some lighting in that space. We recommend a combination of string lights and led lights (any color of your choice) to really bring out the design you used.


  1. Some Potted Plants

Simple right? You can just find a few plants (one per post) and place them around your gazebo.


  1. Buy some Figurines

Some figurines light up at night, and we recommend them. If not, you can still choose other ones (a gnome maybe?).


  1. Make Use of Gravel and Rope Lights

Around the gazebo, pour out some gravel and if you can, make a path with it that connects to your house. Keep in mind that it’s best if the gazebo isn’t too far away. Especially if you’re not interested in running gravel paths in your lawn. After you’ve created a path, use rope lights to illuminate it at night.


Which kind of nails to use for the shingles?

If the shingles are 3/8″, we recommend using a 1″ nails. If the shingles are 1/2″, 1″ nails won’t fully penetrate them. So, for that, you should use more than 1″ (1.3, 1.4, 1.5 are good).


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