Gazebos have been around, in one form or another, since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians. It seems as though humans have always loved to sit outside and take in the view. Today, when we refer to gazebos, we mean a relatively moderately sized freestanding building with open, airy construction, and (sometimes elaborate) decorative elements. Gazebos are like an outdoor room, ready to be used for almost any purpose and in almost any type of weather. They fit in natural settings, structured gardens, small backyards, and grand estates alike.

Building A Gazebo

If you are handy with tools and have the patience for doing fairly complex construction projects, you can build your own gazebo. There are many sites on the Internet that offer free, fee-for-purchase, and customized gazebo plans for you to work from. Don't feel like starting from scratch? Look for gazebo kits, which include everything you need to build a gazebo; many of these can even be built in a weekend. Many manufacturers and contractors also offer custom design services to help you create the gazebo of your dreams. Expect to pay around $5,000 for a small gazebo kit, depending on your choice of building material and selected options. The three most popular materials used to construct gazebos are: pressure-treated Southern yellow pine, Western red cedar, and vinyl encased pressure-treated pine. Pressured treated pine is very strong, durable, and economical. Cedar offers natural beauty, resistance to insects and rot, and unmatched stability. Vinyl is economical, maintenance-free, and structurally strong.

Types of Gazebo

The basic gazebo is hexagonal and built flat to the ground with no windows or doors, a peaked roof, solid floor, and commonly in sizes ranging from 6' x 6' (1.83 m x 1.83 m) to 16' x 16' (4.88 m x 4.88 m). But why go basic when there are so many options? You can build a gazebo with functional windows, utilities, and almost any other household amenity to create a guest room or home office. Oval, square, and rectangular gazebos offer the opportunity to shape the gazebo to your needs, whether that includes enclosing a hot tub or creating the perfect space to host large garden parties. Roof types (domed, slatted, etc.) and treatments (shingles, shake, slate, etc.) come in countless varieties. Start adding little details like gingerbread trim, latticework, and carved railings, and the possibilities can become endless.

For more information on gazebo design and construction see the following article from Home Gazebos.