Making some additions to your home can increase the value of your property. One such addition is a gazebo on your lawn. A gazebo is a pavilion structure that is made out of different materials such as wood and metal. It can be round, oval-shaped, or 4-12 corners with windows, roof, and curtains.
Many people are confused about whether to make a gazebo for their home or buy a manufactured one and install or outsource the project. If you are looking to make a gazebo yourself and want to delve into the size, type, cost, and installation details, this is the right guide for you. Before we go into the cost and installation details, let’s look at the different types of gazebos.
Gazebos – Size, Types, Cost and Installation Guide for Beginners
Gazebos have been around since the early 18th century and have been used all across Europe to add to the scenic beauty of lawns. In the U.S, gazebos started gaining popularity after the 1930s and then became a symbol of a lush lifestyle and acted as a retreat place from the boredom of the internal house. According to history and the design, a gazebo is divided into 5 categories.
- Folly Gazebo
Based on the construction material and costing structure, gazebos are divided into 3 categories.
- Steel Gazebos
- Wood Gazebos
- Brick Gazebos
- Vinyl Gazebos
Size and Cost
The size, material, and cost of the gazebo have a direct relationship. Regardless of the material, as the size increases, the cost also goes up. The national average for building a gazebo is around $7000, whereas the typical range is $3000-$10,000. Some low-end gazebos can also cost you as low as a thousand bucks, whereas high-end designs with the best materials may cost up to 30,000 dollars.
Based on the materials being used in the Gazebo construction, an estimated cost analysis, the benefits, and disadvantages of each are given below.
Steel (Metallic) Gazebos
A gazebo made out of metal will cost somewhere around $3500 and $8000. You can choose from the following metals.
Aluminum: It is a low-cost option with high durability. However, external environmental conditions are always a concern when building metallic structures in open areas.
Steel: Steel is very powerful when it comes to making independent structures like a gazebo. It is also costlier than aluminum and iron. However, it is prone to rust and corrosion but it can be dealt with by coating steel with anti-rust materials.
Iron: Another inexpensive option; iron is a hard metal. Molding iron in different designs is a bit difficult due to its toughness. It is also prone to rust and corrosion.
The average for a standard-sized wood gazebo is around $5000 to $8000. The following types of woods can be utilized to make gazebos on your lawn.
Pine: It is the cheapest of all options. However, it is less durable, and the maintenance needs are also high.
Bamboo: Bamboo is another option to be used as a gazebo material. It is cheap and not highly reliable. Bamboo gazebos are prone to structural problems.
Tropical: Tropical wood is the most durable material for making wooden gazebos. It is costly and needs less maintenance after installation.
Cedar Wood: Gazebos made from cedar wood is durable but also needs a lot of maintenance. The best thing about cedar wood is that it adds aroma and makes the environment pleasant.
Brick gazebos are pocket friendly and highly durable, and reliable. They will cost you around $2000-$4000, and you can make a design according to your liking. Brick gazebos are unreliable in earthquake-prone areas. Their maintenance needs are less as compared to wooden and metallic gazebos. You can paint/decorate the brick gazebos according to your choice.
Vinyl gazebos are at the top in terms of price. The estimated cost based on the design and shape is around $5000-$8000. It is a versatile material, and you can choose the outlook to make it appear like wood, metal, or brick gazebos. Generally, vinyl gazebos don’t need much maintenance but are difficult to repair once they start troubling you. Vinyl is also susceptible to mold development in humid environments, so you need to keep them clean in such areas.
Other Factors to Consider in the Costing Process
A breakdown of the above costs includes different costs, such as buying a gazebo kit or ordering a pre-assembled gazebo and then just installing it yourself or hiring a pro to do it for you. Let’s look at the details for each of the costs.
Gazebo Kit/Pre-Assembled Gazebo Costs
If you order a gazebo kit, the unit price can range from $1300 to $4500. When the shipping, assembly, and installation costs are included, the price will go up to $5000. For a pre-assembled gazebo, the price can vary from $1800 to $8000, including the shipping, assembly, and installation cost.
The shape of the gazebo you are going to choose also impacts the total price. A fully round gazebo is the cheapest as less material and effort are needed to install it. As you keep on adding the corners and sides to a gazebo, the price goes high. A fully round gazebo can cost you as lower as $1800, oval ranges between $2000-$8000, square or rectangular can be somewhere between $2500-$10,000, hexagonal $2500-$7500, octagonal $4000-$9000, and for a 12-sided gazebo, expect to pay in between $7000 and $10000.
The size of the gazebo has a direct relationship with the price. As the size increases, the cost goes up. Commercial gazebos can cost as much as 40,000 dollars, but that is not meant for private properties. For homes, ranches, and private lawns, a maximum size of 10 x 10 feet is perfect. If you are making an 8 by 8 feet gazebo, you will have to pay around $2000-$6000. For 10 by 10, the price will range from $2500-$6500. For 10 x 12 feet: $3000-$7000, and for 12 x 12 feet, the average price will be $3500-$8000.
You will have to also buy a gazebo plan before building one. Standard gazebo plans are easily available online, or you can buy one at a local hardware store. For a customized gazebo, you will need to hire an architect. The architect fee varies from one plan to another plan but is usually 5-10% of the total project fee. Secondly, you will also need to check with the local authorities about getting approval. Some states don’t allow building structures like gazebos without approval owing to the structural safety and the safety of people using them.
The roof installation will also vary based on the size and the type of material you choose for roofing. You can go for asphalt shingles, wood shakes, slate or tile. The pricing for the roof installation will be the same as standard roof pricing. You can also go for cement and brick roofing.
Some Other Costs
Some other costs for building a gazebo include land preparation. Land preparation is needed to provide support and stability to the gazebo pillars. If the land is not prepared properly, the gazebo pillars will not be very stable, and it will not be structurally stable. If you are not aware of the building laws and details, make sure you hire an architect to look after this. An improperly installed gazebo can act as a safety hazard. The price will also include side screens. You can also go for an open gazebo, which will save you some money; however, it will not stop rainwater and winds from entering the structure. If you want to include wiring, benches, swings, or chairs, the price will increase accordingly.
Now that we know about the size and costing of a gazebo, it is time to learn about beginners’ DIY installation guide.
Installation Guide for Beginners
We will be explaining the steps for a wooden gazebo as it is the easiest to install. The tools needed for each step are mentioned in the details of each step. You must go through all the steps before starting to work and ensure that you have all the tools and materials ready.
Step 1: Building the Corner Posts
First of all, select a gazebo installation place. Now mark the area you need to cover. If you are going for a rectangular gazebo, an 8 by 8 size is perfect. It means that the height and covered area of the gazebo will be 8 square feet. The poles will be 8 feet apart from each other. Once the area has been selected, and the poles’ marks have been made, dig a hole for installing the poles. Around 4 feet length of each pole will go inside the ground. Therefore you must buy 4 by 4 inches, 12 feet tall beams. Once you are done digging the holes, insert the pole, make sure they remain straight and don’t fall. Around 2/3 of every hole will be filled with cement, and the rest will be covered with sand and dirt. The poles must remain straight, and the height must be equal. The success of the entire process depends on keeping the height of all the poles the same. If you are using more than 4 beams, the digging and the installation process will be the same. However, the design will vary.
Step 2: Bracing the Installed Beams
The next step will be to brace the beams by adding 2 perpendicular beams on the 3 sides you want to close for the gazebo. Measure the distance between the poles and get yourself six 4 by 4 beams with a length of 8 feet. You will need 2-3 people for this step as lifting the beams and keeping them straight and steady is not an individual’s work. 2 people will hold the beams, and 1 will connect them to the erected beams. You will need to drill the holes before adding the beams. Use long and high-quality screws for making the connections as they will be holding a lot of weight. If you intend to add windows to the structure, you must decide on the windows’ size before adding the brace beams. Take measurements of the windows you wish to add and install the beams with the exact distance in between them. Just a pro tip: the windows must not be too large. For an 8 by 8 feet gazebo, 2 by 2 windows are best as they will not interfere with the beams’ balance and stability, and the weight will be equally divided on all the bracing beams. Read step 3 for the window installation process.
Step 3: Window Installation
If you plan to make the windows yourself, you would need wood and glass and then fix them together. Once the windows are ready or delivered to your place, make a frame for the windows in the beams. The frame should be the same size as the window and the allocated distance between the beams. Use glue and nails to fix the windows on the beams.
Step 4: Roof Base Beams Installation
Once the windows are installed, you would need to make the base for the roof. You will need 4 beams with dimensions of 2 by 2 and 8 feet in length for this purpose. To connect the beams to the vertical beams, you will need to make squares on both sides of the beam. These cuts must be made on the same side of the beam, and it will act as the internal side of the beam. If you are using the same length material as we have discussed here, the size of the cuts will be 3.5 by 3.5 by 0.75 inches. Once the cuts have been made, the top beams will fix on the vertical beams and will come parallel to the perpendicular beams. You will need at least 6 inches long bolts to hold the beams together. You can also use glue before adding the bolts. It will give additional support and stability. Make sure there are no empty spaces in between the beams.
Step 5: Making the Roof
Once you are done with installing the roof base beams, the next up is making the roof. You will need 4 beams with a width and breadth of 4 by 4 inches and a length of 6 feet for this purpose. You will also need one beam with the same width and breadth but a length of 8 feet. Start by making a groove of 45 degrees with the same dimensions as you did in the above step. After making the grooves, connect the 4 beams in a diagonal shape with each other. The roof beams will act as a base for them. The flat side will be bolted to the rood base beams, and the angled side will be bolted with each other. Once the 4 beams have been bolted, you will now need to connect the larger beam with them. Remember, you don’t need to make any grooves on this beam. The bolt to connect this beam with the diagonal beams will be 8 inches long and go in from the outer side.
Step 6: Making Roof Windows
If you want to make roof widows, then go through this step. Otherwise, skip to the next one. To install the roof windows, you will need to measure the distance between the roof base beam and the diagonal beams connected with each other at the top. Prepare a beam for this and get the window ready. Install in the same way as you installed the big windows.
Step 7: Making a Roof Covering
Here you have a choice; you can choose between aluminum, fiberglass, glass ceiling, and simple curtains or add a movable canvas to create a unique and different look. A movable canvas is one of the best options as it can save your gazebo from rain and sunshine and at the same time allow you to enjoy an open-air experience when the weather is pleasant. No matter what you choose, each one has a different outlook and different cost.
After adding the rood, a basic gazebo structure is ready. You can now add different things to personalize the internal space. Let’s look at the different options available.
Curtain Walls: You can add curtain walls to increase the privacy of your gazebo. The cost and process will be the same as installing curtains inside your home. However, you can choose soft or bright colors according to your mood.
Benches/Chairs/Tables: You always have the option to go for chairs and tables or make fixed benches from wood or cement inside the gazebo. Fixed benches and tables will be permanent, and you won’t be able to change the gazebo’s internal look without spending too much on it. Therefore it is best to buy patio styled chairs or garden chairs and a table for your gazebo.
Flooring: Some people go for a floored gazebo. Wooden or tiled flooring gives a unique look to the gazebo and makes them appear spacious. Grass floor gazebos are difficult to maintain as regular mowing is needed.
Lighting: If you want lighting in your gazebo, you will have to make electrical connections. A small lamp in the gazebo sets the mood while sitting in it. Mingled with the moonlight or the dark of the night, it creates a lovely effect.
Now that we know everything a beginner needs to know about gazebo types, size, cost, and installation process, you can easily decide about making a personal gazebo for you. We suggest that you check the state laws before beginning the work and contact a professional architect if you have any ambiguity.