Gazebos have been used in gardens around the world for hundreds of years. The classic type that we see most often in modern times is a six sided structure which has a wood shake or asphalt shingle roof. The main components of most gazebos that you see in many town squares are painted up in bright white. The most typical wood used on gazebos has been cedar yet a good alternative is pressure treated lumber. Lately some folks are using composite lumber to construct their gazebo but I personally do not like either the look or feel of composite on a showcase structure like a classy gazebo.
Most often a garden themed gazebo will have six or eight sides, but more recent designs have been designed in many different shapes including square and rectangular shaped structures. Choosing the type of structure you would like to build would typically be based on the style of home you own plus the setting in your property that it was built upon. If your house is situated in an open area with very few trees a gazebo could be the only shelter nearby that can provide shade in the summer. Based on this alone you will want to make sure that it is large enough to handle more than a few people with chairs. If your property is more wooded then you may choose to have something built that is even more open than a standard design which would allow for better flow through and also give your guests plenty of room to spread out. In this last case you may opt for a rectangular shape to maximize the useful space under the gazebo roof.
For a simpler and low cost method of situating a gazebo many people will place them on top of some cement blocks which have been leveled onto sand and a layer of gravel set into the dirt. Next on top of these blocks they will rest the floor joists then the floor decking of the gazebo and then they build up the railings, posts, walls, and finally the roof will be installed on top of this wood structure. A really solid way to set up your gazebo would be to set a permanent concrete pad for the gazebo to be built directly on top of. This last construction method is probably the best for a permanent long term installation. If you do set up a concrete pad you will need to dig a foundation around the perimeter of the area you intend to pour your pad into. This pad will be the foundation of your gazebo so making sure that it is level and that it is the correct size will go a long way towards having a simple installation.
Once you have selected the lumber and the pad is figured out you will need to decide what kind of roofing to use and most will use standard asphalt or composite shingle roofs for this size and type of roofing project. I feel that the newer metal roofs are a much better choice since they are easy to install and they stay nice looking for many years in fact they are typically rated for 30 to 50 years and this is way more than most people realize! Metal roofs can be tailored to meet almost any shaped gazebo style. You may need to custom cut some of the metal panels using a special metal cutting circular saw blade that is made just for cutting sheet type metals like this metal roofing and siding.
Once you have the gazebo you have always dreamed of building it is time to dress it up properly. If it is large enough you can run electricity to it and then install some nice lighting and a ceiling fan. You may choose to screen it in so that the bugs can be kept outside. You can put in a small outdoor fireplace if there is enough room to fit this comfortably. Lastly you can dress up the upper panels of the openings with stained glass panels to catch the sunlight in a myriad of beautiful colors. Best thing you can do is be creative and enjoy the product and the project!
The cheapest easiest and fastest way to get a nice gazebo built on your property is to do it yourself. There are literally hundreds of places you can go on the Internet to purchase plans for your gazebo, and there are many that will send you a complete kit with assembly and installation instructions included. The public library might be one of the simplest ways to get a lot of free yet useful information on gazebo kits that you can purchase or just to help you figure out what kind of gazebo is right for you. They will have a number of books on this topic and unlike the Internet there should not be anyone there who is trying to sell you something!
There is nothing more pleasing to a true “Do It Yourself” homeowner than sitting on your newly completed gazebo watching a beautiful sunset with a cold iced tea.