If you want to add something extra special to your garden, consider building a gazebo to your own design. These are very attractive platforms from which to view the rest of the world, or to contemplate nature, or just to laze away a spare afternoon with a good book and a glass of wine. A DIY gazebo is a seriously good idea, and here’s why.
There are so many custom gazebo designs from which to choose. Some are square, some are round, many are hexagonal or octagonal in plan view. Because a gazebo is often seen as an architectural feature it can have a style that is perhaps a little zany, quirky or individual. That’s one of the main reasons for building a gazebo yourself – you get to choose exactly the style or design that you want.
Buying a readymade example off the shelf does not afford you this luxury. Saving money by doing it yourself and, at the same time, getting exactly what you want seems like a win-win situation to me!
Keep in mind that, unless your gazebo is going to be sited well away from your house, it should have a good visual link with the main building – the same roofing materials, perhaps, or a color scheme in the same palette and tone as the house.
Having said that, you can still include a wide range of options in the design. Will it be painted in a gorgeous eau-de-nilor simply treated with a protective stain? Plain white? Clapboard or shingle, or open-sided with elaborate railings? The roof can be made of corrugated iron, I suppose, but you are more likely to select some lovely cedar shingles or reclaimed tiles.
If you want to have electrical power and the gazebo is some way from your house, why not think about installing solar panels? You can make those yourself, too! It would probably work out considerably cheaper than the cost of laying cable from the domestic mains.
There are so many exciting options if you decide to build your own gazebo. But there are some practical design considerations as well. Here are a few that leap to mind:
- foundations – it is better to anchor the gazebo on concrete piles situated at each corner and in the middle.
- insulation – the floor will probably be decking or timber sheeting of some sort, but it is a good idea to have insulation under it to keep out damp, drafts and (hopefully) ants!
- weather – consider the strength and direction of the prevailing wind and, even if the gazebo is intended to be open-sided, perhaps include at least one side filled in with exterior grade plywood to provide protection. I guarantee that you will still want to use your gazebo even in bad weather! And remember to treat all exposed wood surfaces as soon as possible after assembling your gazebo, too.
- building regulations – a gazebo is not a residential building so there should not be any onerous regulations that might be applied to its construction. However, it’s better to check before you start building. Ask any neighbors who have gazebos – they’ll be sure to have all the information you might need.
- planning rules – again, like building regulations, there should not be too many restrictions about building a gazebo in your garden. All the same, check to make sure that the gazebo building plans comply with any local planning rules.
- added value – a gazebo will definitely add value to your property, provided that its design is in keeping with the overall sense and proportions of the backyard or garden. Worth giving this some thought when finalizing the gazebo plans.
So that’s it. Gazebos are fun, beautiful, peaceful. Spare rooms, teenage dens, meditation spaces, bedrooms for those steamy summer nights, party places, reading rooms or all of the above. Have fun with the planning and design, get a few pals to help you assemble all the pieces in the right order, then sit back and admire your handiwork. Your family and friends certainly will!