how to build a gazebo

How to Build a Gazebo – Rectangular and Octagonal Design

Last Updated on January 10, 2023

A gazebo is a structure that makes it easier for you to enjoy the beautiful scenery in your home. You can build it in different places in your home; the garden or the yard. It is a nice structure that helps you relax while having a conversation with your family members or friends.

Since gazebos are available in different designs, you can easily learn how to build a gazebo at the comfort of your home. Not to mention, various websites offer you different plans with detailed diagrams that guide you while you building a gazebo. Choose a plan that is in accordance with your local building codes. Gazebos are also available in different shapes; octagonal shape and rectangular shape. In this post, we are going to show you to build a gazebo.

Step by Step Guide to Building a Rectangular Gazebo

Step 1: Look For a Nice Gazebo Plan/Design/Idea

Start off by looking for a garden gazebo design/plan for this DIY project. A good gazebo plan should have detailed diagrams and information that will guide you as you are building a gazebo in your garden/yard. Make sure that each and every part has the right measurements. While there are different websites that offer you gazebo plans and gazebo ideas, you can design DIY gazebo plans using computer software like Sketchup. You can also improve different ideas to come up with a better gazebo plan.

The design should be able to withstand weather conditions in your geographical area (wind, snow, and heavy rainfall). For instance, if you live in a place that snows heavily, you have to use sturdy and thick timber that can withstand snow.

The type of building materials might also differ based on the climatic conditions of your area. Not to mention, gazebo plans might have different shapes. Just make sure that there is enough space in your yard to accommodate a gazebo.

Step 2: Get the Material and Parts Needed to Build a Wooden Gazebo

Once you get a suitable design for your wooden gazebo, print it on a large piece of paper. After that, get the necessary materials that are required to build the gazebo in your garden. If you are using timber to build the gazebo in your garden, make sure that you cut all the pieces to match the dimensions that are in your gazebo design and plan.

You can take the design to a skilled woodwork professional, then ask him/her to cut wood pieces. While this might be more expensive than doing it on your own in the comfort of your home, it helps you save some time.

Getting all the required parts makes the whole building process easier.

Step 3: Build the Floor of the Wooden Gazebo

Since wooden gazebos have different designs, the floor of gazebos can be built from different materials. Concrete and wood are some of the most popular materials that are used to build the floor of a gazebo.

Whether you are planning to use a wooden floor or a concrete floor on your gazebo, you have to make sure that the floor lies on an even surface. In short, the base of a wooden gazebo has to lie on an even level in your backyard or front yard.

Before you start this procedure, you should clear the space/site that you are working on.

If you are using concrete, mark the area, then prepare it adequately. After that, pour the concrete on the designated spot. Level the surface of the concrete. Place wooden posts with metal supports on the concrete floor with concrete bolts. Make sure that you place the posts in the right spots. In the end, you should have four supports (wooden posts). Each support should be on each corner of the concrete floor.

If you notice any gap between the wooden post and the metal support, you can fill it with some silicone and tar. This prevents water from seeping through the gap. Fill in all the gaps that might be present on your wooden post. Once you finish fixing the wooden posts on the concrete floor, let the concrete cure.

Step 4: Place Traverses on the Wooden Supports

The next thing that you need to do is to fix a wooden traverse on the two supports. It should run from one support to another support along the shorter side. Also, the wooden traverse should be placed on the wooden supports in a strategic manner; the sides of the transverse should hang from the support at an equal distance.

Once you finish fixing the traverse on the right positions, fasten it to the wooden columns using screws. Make sure that the screws are long enough to hold different pieces of timber. You can also use corner brackets

Step 5: Place the Side Traverses in the Structure to Act as Beams

The side traverses should run along the longer side of the structure. Side traverses should be placed on the traverses that you had installed earlier on.

Follow the same procedure that you had used while installing the previous traverses. Once you place the traverses in the right position, use screws to fasten them on the adjacent traverses. The screws should be huge enough to hold those parts together.

Step 6: Add a Truss on Both Ends of the Wooden Gazebo

Place two trusses on both ends of the wooden gazebo. The trusses should run along the shorter side of the wooden gazebo. They should rest on the two traverses found on both ends of the wooden gazebo.

A truss distributes the weight of the roof evenly on all the wooden parts and holds the roof sturdily.

Step 7: Fix a Ridge Board in Between the Trusses

A ridge board runs from the apex of one truss to the apex of another truss. It also supports other parts of the roof. Place the ridge board on the trusses, then fasten it to the trusses using bolts.

Step 8: Install the Roof Supports

Once you finish installing the ridge board on your wooden gazebo, you have to add other roof supports. You can space out rafters in between the ridge board. A rafter is a triangular wooden structure that supports the roof. It can be placed on the ridge board.

The rafters should be spaced out (at least 60 cm). Fix the rafters to the gazebo using large bolts.

Step 9: Fix the Roofing Boards

Roofing boards are used to hold different parts of the roof. Roof boards should be placed in the rafters that you had fixed earlier. After that, place a waterproof layer on the roofing board; this will protect your gazebo from rain.

Install asphalt shingles on your roof. It will cover your roof and protect it from harsh conditions. You can also install a seating area, which has enough space to accommodate your friends and family.

How to Build a Gazebo With a Kit (Octagonal Gazebo)

If you prefer octagonal gazebos to rectangular gazebos, you can build one in your property by assembling pre-designed parts. While you can cut parts of an octagonal gazebo on your own, the whole process can be quite complicated and time-consuming. The best option would be to get a pre-designed kit and assemble it in your backyard. A gazebo kit features different pre-designed parts and makes a project to become less intensive. However, you have to take a look at different octagonal gazebo plans before you purchase a kit.

Step 1: Assemble the Frames That Make the Base

The first thing that you have to do is to assemble base frames to get an octagonal shape. Most frames are made from a 2″ x 6″ plank of wood. Use screws to fasten the joints of the frames. After that, raise the joints and insert the core wooden block. Secure joists to the core block using screws.

Step 2: Make Sure That the Base Is Level

Put a building block at the corner joints just under the joists. Make sure that the base is completely level. This makes it easier for you to fix the walls of the gazebo.

Step 3: Place the Deck Boards on the Right Spot

The next thing that you need to do is to lay the decking board that will act as the floor of the gazebo. Place the decking boards on the base that you created earlier on. Use deck screws to fasten the boards to the wooden base.

Step 4: Build the Walls

Fix the corner posts at the end of each wall railing. Use screws to fasten the corner posts to the railing.

Step 5: Install the Walls on the Gazebo

Once you finish assembling all the parts of the wall, you have to install it on the gazebo. Raise the wall section, then fasten it to the edge of the floor using screws. Use screws to fasten the joint where two walls meet. The wall of the gazebo should be installed one inch from the edge of the floor.


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Step 6: Install Wooden Beams

Beams are used to hold different parts of the roof. Raise the wooden beams, then place them on the corner posts. Use screws to fasten them to the corner posts.

Step 7: Fix the Roof Rafter

The roof rafter can be made from different wooden pieces that are joined at a certain point to create a firm and sturdy roof structure. Use a core block to create the rafter of the roof. Place two wooden planks around the core block, and incline them at a certain angle so that they can rest at the corners of the beams. After that, add more rafters until you get a complete roof.

Step 8: Install the Short Rafters

As the name hints, these are short rafters that are used to provide some extra support to the whole roof structure. A gazebo kit comes with pre-designed short rafters. You just have to install the rafters on the right spots. A short rafter should be placed on both sides of the corner rafter at a certain angle.

Step 9: Install the Fascia Boards

Once you finish installing the rafter, you have to fix fascia boards at the edge of the roof structure. If your fascia board doesn’t fit perfectly on the edge of the roof structure, you have to cut it to get the most preferred measurement.

Step 10: Fix the Battens

Battens are wooden boards, which are used to hold other parts of the roof. Fix the battens from the bottom part of your roof, then move towards the apex of your roof. After that, use Shingles to cover the roof of your gazebo.

Build Your Own Gazebo

Everyone loves to have a talk or relax in a beautiful environment. There are different gazebo designs in the market. When you know how to build a gazebo, you can easily make one in your home with the simple tools that you have. Not to mention, this is an easy project that can be completed after a few days. Make sure that you join all the parts properly.

Do you have a gazebo? How does it make your outdoors more beautiful? Let us know in the comments.

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