There’s a 99% chance you’ve seen at least one in your life, but if you still need to know what is a gazebo — we’re happy to explain. Whether you’re looking for a centerpiece of your garden or just a cozy shaded nook to seek the peace of mind on sunny days — a gazebo can be the perfect solution.
What is a Gazebo
A gazebo is a small structure placed in the garden, with flooring, a solid roof, and multiple columns. It can be used for a variety of purposes, but mostly it’s there to make your outdoor space more comfortable.
Gazebos are mostly found in the gardens of fancy houses, hotels, restaurants, and other expensive properties. However, you don’t need a lot of money to afford one.
The word “gazebo” comes from a combination of the word “gaze” and an old suffix “ebo” from the Latin language, which means something like “I should” or “I shall”. When we translate the “I shall gaze” into modern language and turn it into a noun — we get the gazebo’s main point: it’s a viewing pavilion, a place to relax in a shaded place and look at the surrounding area.
Gazebo vs Pergola?
Gazebos and pergolas are often confused with each other, especially since custom designs can eliminate the majority of differences. With classic pergolas and gazebos — the differences are easy to spot:
- The roof. A gazebo’s main purpose is to provide shade on a sunny day and a cover from the rain. It should have a fully closed roof with one, or, most of the time — multiple slopes. A pergola is supposed to be covered in vines and climbing plants, so the roof is usually made of rafters. You can hide from the sun or rain in a pergola;
- The foundation. A traditional pergola is much heavier than a gazebo. It can be made of stone, concrete, or — sometimes — even metal parts. A gazebo is a much more lightweight structure, the one that can be placed where you need it, with no need for excavation works. Note that it’s not a definitive distinction: people can order gazebos with a foundation as well;
- The floor. While a pergola can stand on the ground, its bare foundation, or on your patio, a gazebo will always require flooring. Most of the time — it’s a wooden floor, designed to fit in the structure.
In case you want something in between — building a pergola with a solid roof with no flooring will give you a traditional pavilion. It’s worth noting that modern styles wipe the majority of differences between the three styles, so when you try to decide, which one you need — think of functionality, not terms and names. For example, many websites suggest that hexagonal shape is one of the main distinctions of a gazebo, but in reality — it’s not true. In years of experience, we’ve seen and built gazebos of all shapes, not limited to just square or hexagonal ones.
Why do You Need a Gazebo?
Gazebos in modern landscaping can look completely different, serve multiple purposes or be just a decoration. Here are the benefits of the whole idea of having a gazebo:
- You have an extra roofed place in your garden. Whether it’s a cover from sun or rain — the dense roof of your gazebo will make it a perfect location to hide from the weather;
- You have an extra place to fit a lot of people. It might be someone’s birthday, a family reunion, or a party with your friends. With a gazebo, you don’t need to worry, about whether they all will fit in your kitchen or the hall. A traditional gazebo, unless you’ll decide to keep it small, is supposed to provide comfortable space for a dozen people;
- You have one more object to affect your garden style. From minimalistic modern gazebos, made with modern materials, to classic wooden structures with 4 columns — it’s an object large enough to set the tone for your whole garden and dominate the space with your preferred style;
- You can increase your property’s value. A high-quality, well-maintained gazebo is a benefit that buyers will notice and consider. While it’s a relatively cheap garden structure that the majority of homeowners can afford to build from scratch, a gazebo that will fit in the garden perfectly is definitely a reason to increase the price of your home, in case you’ll decide to sell it. You can also add a retaining wall for extra beauty and safety.
Other benefits depend on your unique situation. Maybe you like to work from home and desperately need an open space with all the perks of being protected from the weather. Or maybe you need a place for your kids to play so they can stay safe outdoors. The most important benefit of a gazebo is its flexibility.
How to Build a Gazebo
Today’s market gives you multiple options. You can buy a gazebo “build yourself” kit from any specialized store, like Costco or the Home Depot, build it from scratch with the available materials, or order one from a company that has experience in building custom gazebos (like Avanti Landscaping). Here are the benefits and downfalls of all the options:
How to build a gazebo from a store
Just follow the instructions on the package, and your gazebo is ready! Isn’t it a dream come true? Among the benefits you get:
- The price that starts from $250 and rarely goes over $1500;
- The simplicity of the structure (the kits are designed to be easy for anyone).
Unfortunately, ready-made gazebos have downfalls as well:
- Rarely last more than a season or two because of the quality;
- Are not made to withstand harsh weather;
- The cheapest options are made of plastic, which is not eco-friendly or tasteful at all;
- Doesn’t add any style to your garden, just the functionality, and rarely look truly beautiful.
In case you’re on a tight budget, but need to decorate your garden — a gazebo kit is an option for you. Just don’t expect miracles from something from the cheaper end of the scale.
How to do it yourself
There’s no definitive answer since it heavily depends on what exactly you see as your own hand-made gazebo: a simple wooden structure with 4 columns and a roof, or a stylish centerpiece of your garden, with stairs, fancy woodwork, and multiple colors?
Among the benefits you get:
- You can show your gazebo to guests, say that you build it yourself, and watch them fall in ave of your skills;
- You can choose the materials you want, from a source that you trust, and build it exactly as you want them to be.
The downsides of building your gazebo are pretty obvious:
- The price tag is pretty close to ordering a gazebo from a landscaping company (the costs of materials alone can go over several thousand dollars);
- Even the simplest minimalistic projects require sufficient skills in woodworking;
- It’s time-demanding, you can’t build a full-scale gazebo in one day.
We always encourage doing something on your own, but sometimes — it’s just not an option. Try to estimate your resources, time, and money, before starting the project: nothing looks more depressing than a half-made gazebo that the owner just can’t finish.
Gazebo construction from experts
Note that we’re talking about the whole market in general, not just our service. The benefits of this option are obvious anyway:
- You get a high-quality gazebo, made by professionals, most of the time — with a warranty;
- You get all the work done by professionals that know all the perks of the structure. and don’t need to waste your time on it;
- You can choose an existing design from multiple options or order a custom one, designed specifically for your garden.
The disadvantages are simple as well, but mostly related to the market — not the idea:
- The risk of the result looking not exactly as it is in the pictures (in case you work with a really bad contractor);
- The risk of hiring an unprofessional contractor (some companies, unfortunately, put money — not quality — first);
- The risk of extra expenses (not everyone o the market offers a fair price).
The market for gazebos is huge, and the best way to find a reliable contractor is to ask your neighbors, friends, or family for referrals.
Of all the options, we definitely recommend the second: to build your gazebo yourself. It can be a calming experience with great results, your little weekend project to enjoy when you’re done, and an opportunity to spend more time with the family, maybe even teach your kids some woodworking magic.
The Final Decision?
Unfortunately, we understand that not everyone has the time, resources, or skills, necessary for building your gazebo. Hiring Avanti Landscaping is another option. We’ll make sure that your gazebo will fit perfectly in your garden, add style and functionality, and will be a worthy centerpiece of your garden, season after season. We’re sure that the final decision, whether you need a gazebo or not, shall come from your heart and taste.