Monday, October 19, 2009

Gazebo Parts

A Victorian-style gazebo incorporates open fretwork.

A gazebo is an outdoor structure with a roof and open sides. Originally, gazebos were lanterns or towers on roofs, built to afford the best view of surrounding areas. This structural design translated to buildings called summerhouses, which were built on the ground. A gazebo has five, six or eight sides and is topped by a peaked roof. Ranging in style from Victorian to rustic, a gazebo is more than just a roof and sides. Does this Spark an idea?


A gazebo may be set on multiple footers or one continual footer.

A gazebo may have a poured concrete slab or a built-up floor that rests on a series of footings. Forming and pouring a concrete slab foundation is a quicker task that requires less specialized skill than building a wooden floor and putting in footers. A built-up wooden floor sits higher than a concrete slab, and appears more natural and attractive.


Rustic gazebo rails are usually straight boards between two straight rails.

The posts create the gazebo's vertical support and also support the roof. These posts are set on the gazebo's foundation with post anchors. The top of each post is affixed to the roof structure with metal brackets. The vertical posts may be stabilized by knee braces, which are pieces of wood attached near the top of the post at a 45-degree angle. A gazebo may or may not be screened in. A Victorian gazebo may have spandrels, which are decorative lengths of railing that create an arch running between the tops of two vertical posts. The gazebo may or may not have balusters or lower, porch-type railings.


A beachside gazebo looks great with a grass roof.

A gazebo roof may be open or solid. You can train vines to cover an open roof structure. A solid roof structure can be draped with waterproof, canvas material, or constructed from wood and shingles. The underside of the gazebo roof is usually left open to its peak, and is a great place to hang a ceiling fan or run string lights. Finish your gazebo roof with asphalt shingles that match the ones on your house, or try cedar shakes for a natural treatment.

Central Hub

A gazebo's central hub may be a small length of post material.

The central hub or uppermost peak on your gazebo roof can be a copper ball, a plain tip topped with a weather vane or a miniature structure that mimics the design of your gazebo. Attach a flag of your choice to the top of your gazebo's central hub.

Construction Materials

Cedar is a naturally insect-proof building material.

Gazebos are available in many different construction materials. Treated pine or cedar are the most prevalent materials used, whether painted white for a Victorian-style gazebo, or stained and sealed for a rustic structure that will blend in with the yard's landscape. A beachside gazebo can be constructed from bamboo with a grass roof, or made from vinyl and PVC, a composite material that mimics the look of white-painted wood. A gazebo may also be crafted from wrought iron, which is a pure form of iron with a low carbon content. Wrought iron is a very tough and durable material that is available in a wide span of decorative styles.

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