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Build a gazebo

Gazebos are charming. Their fanciful near-round form and peaked roof have a unique appeal that’s been popular for generations. In the Victorian age large elaborate gazebos were built in public parks and on the grounds of stately mansions. Today’s homeowners can enjoy smaller gazebos that have the same effect.

Backyard cottages & gazebos
by Josh Garskof and the editors of Sunset.
New York : Sunset Publishing : Oxmoor House, c2011.
This resource provides great ideas and expert advice on the design and construction of handsome backyard structures including home offices and studios, pool houses, boathouses, party spaces, playhouses, arbors, gazebos, greenhouses, and garden sheds.
     
The big book of gazebos, pergolas, and other backyard architecture
Tom Denlick, Tina Skinner.
Atglen, PA : Schiffer Pub. Ltd., c2009.
Here is a new book rich in visual choices for everyone planning to build in their backyard. Whether you're hoping to create a simple trellis to train roses or erect a pavillion to entertain the extended family, this is the perfect place to start. Over 400 photos illustrate an impressive quantity of architectural additions for the backyard, from arched gateways to grand gazebos, pretty pergolas, picture-perfect pagodas, and fascinating follies. An illustrated glossary gives you the language and historical reference to help you achieve a more interesting landscape. This will be a treasured reference for any landscaping professional, landscape architect, backyard shed builder, or homeowner aspiring beyond the average.
     
Towers, turrets, cupolas, & belvederes
Jo Cryder.
Atglen, PA : Schiffer Publishing, c2008.
     

The site plan for a gazebo is key. Gazebo means a “gazing room” where one sits to enjoy beautiful landscaping and scenery. Place it in the garden where handsome sight lines extend. Set it up on a long expanse of lawn with sweeping vistas on all sides. Or, build in a secluded, shady spot that makes a perfect place for an intimate talk. Gazebos lend themselves to varied settings.

Think about the purpose of your gazebo. How many people will use it at any one time? What furniture will it hold? Will you be barbequing there? These issues will determine the optimum size.  A variety of plans for gazebos of all sizes are available to do-it-yourself homeowners. Most gazebos are 6 or 8 sided structures but a round one is appropriate too.

Pre-made kits are available for those who can adapt an existing gazebo to their site.

The advantages of a kit are:

No planning necessary
Pre-sized materials are included
Price is fixed, not variable
Good for beginning builders

The materials and finish of the gazebo’s walls and roof will determine its style. Pressure treated wood with simple railing and wood shingles creates a rustic gazebo. Painted surfaces using lattice and turned balusters are classic. Gazebos decorated with friezes and slat railing in elaborate shapes evoke turn of the century lifestyles.

Gazebos add a winsome allure to a garden setting. Plan yours today!

More about gazebos

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff