Gazebos can be placed anywhere, either as a distant outdoor getaway or a nearby extension of the home.
A gazebo provides the perfect place for dinner parties and weddings. It can function as a protected outdoor playroom for children or an area for adult socializing; even function as a retreat for quiet outdoor meditation.
A good size for couples is a 10′ diameter (hexagon) while 12′ and up (octagon) are better suited to whole families. For an all-season effect, doors and windows can be added; however, most gazebos remain open or screened for bugs.
If you choose to build a gazebo from the ground up, it is best to start by getting your hands on a good plan of a design you like. Most good plans will include lumber sizes, dimensions and a cut list, along with other helpful information for angles and compound cuts. This would be a great place to start.
As most gazebos are placed in freestanding positions, a concrete base is not essential. Many gazebos have integrated wooden floors for comfort. A 3-4″ crushed gravel base is often sufficient as foundation.
Two tier roofs are simple to add and have a great deal of curb appeal. Aim for a maximum of 2/3 coverage on the second tear roof while 3/12 is a good pitch. Cupolas, while intricate, can add another level of detail.
Fasteners: Using a good all weather construction adhesive in addition to coated wood screws will enhance lateral stability.
Layout: For flooring and roofing on hexagon or octagon structures, work from the outside in, one complete course at a time. Double check cross over measurements before you start. Misalignment at the start will affect the entire build.
Assembly: Starting with a hexagon or octagon core block can greatly simply your starting positions for both floor joists and hip rafter assembly.
Roof: Cutting a birds-mouth on each rafter where it mounts onto the plate will enhance accuracy in positioning and help anchor rafters more securely.
Lumber Care: Once you start construction, keep your wood building materials covered with a tarp, especially on hot sunny days. This makes a huge difference as it keeps your lumber straight & true!
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