Planning a Gazebo for Your Backyard

A beautifully designed wood or metal gazebo elevates the aesthetics of your outdoor space and offers protection from the weather so you can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors no matter the season. 

Considering what type and size gazebo is best for your space will ensure that you feel wonderful about your investment for years to come. You may be wondering, “What do I need to consider before purchasing my gazebo?” We’re here to help. 

Five common and important considerations are:

  • Size (large, medium, small)
  • Strength and durability
  • Material (wood or metal)
  • Power source (for hanging lights, etc.)

Consider What Size Gazebo is Best for You 

Gazebos come in a variety of sizes. Measuring your space is important prior to purchase. Also consider how you plan to use your gazebo, because that will influence how much space you’ll need under the roof. 

With so many sizes available, let’s break it down by large, medium, and small to start the narrowing process. 

Large Gazebos

Large gazebos are great if you have large open space, want a visual statement piece, and want the maximum amount of space under the gazebo. Here are some common uses for a large gazebo — but use your imagination because there are endless ways to get creative with your gazebo! 

  • Use a large gazebo as a carport or garage alternative. Large gazebos such as the Norwood 20x12 Gazebo/Carport can provide roof coverage for a vehicle, boat, trailer, or a collection of smaller equipment such as mowers, golf carts, and bikes. Since your gazebo will be protecting your valuables, look for a hardtop gazebo with a strong steel roof and one that can withstand high winds. This will ensure your property is protected in the harshest weather conditions and you won’t have a roof collapse in heavy ice or snow. We recommend a gazebo that is certified to withstand up to 100 mph wind and up to 50 lbs per square feet (or 30” of snow.) 
boat parked under carport


  • Create an al fresco dining experience or seating area for a larger group. If your desire is to expand your living space into your backyard and create an inviting dining or seating area for several people, a large gazebo will accommodate this wonderfully. Measure the furniture or table seating that you plan to put under the gazebo, allowing for ample walking space. That will help you determine what size gazebo will be best.

  • Host small parties or events under a large gazebo. If you love to entertain or have a special event you’re planning, large gazebos make the perfect structure to host a small party with friends and family. They offer an open-air environment with a roof that creates a defined space. The floor space under the gazebo can serve as seating for guests, a dance floor, or creating a special focal point seating area for the wedding party, a special graduate, or birthday boy/girl. With plenty of room under the gazebo, you can add decorations and accommodate space for food and beverages. 

Medium-Sized Gazebos

Medium-size gazebos such as the 12x9.5 Stonebridge Gazebo are a popular choice if you want a gazebo that accommodates a few people with a comfortable seating or dining options. A medium-size gazebo can be a great extension to an existing outdoor space such as a patio, pool, or garden area. 

Here are some ways to enjoy a medium gazebo:

  • Create poolside shade with your gazebo. Medium-size gazebos are a beautiful and functional way to create shaded seating next to your pool. In the summer months the gazebo offers a break from the sun and in the cooler months it offers protection from the weather, while expanding the number of days you can enjoy the ambiance of your pool even when you’re not swimming. 
  • Outdoor family dining. Similar to the large gazebo, a medium-size gazebo works great for a single family dining experience. With plenty of space for a patio table and chairs or comfortable lounge seating, you can comfortably enjoy al fresco dining right in your backyard.
12x9.5 Stonebridge Gazebo

Small Gazebos

Craving the beauty or functionality of a gazebo but limited on space? A small gazebo such as the Saxony Grill Gazebo offers the beauty and protection of a gazebo in a smaller size. Common uses for a small gazebo are:

  • Cover and protect your grill with a grill gazebo. Not only do you want your grill to last a long time, you probably also want to keep it looking good. Snow, rain, ice, and sun can do a number on the appearance of your grill. A small gazebo protects your grill to keep it looking new. 
  • Grill in any weather. It’s great to grill on beautiful 70-degree days, but if you like to grill all season, a grill gazebo offers a strong, durable roof that protects you from the elements and offers shade so that you can enjoy your delicious food and your grilling experience. 
saxony grill gazebo

Consider the Strength and Durability of a Gazebo

As you consider adding a gazebo to enhance the value of your home, you want one that is beautiful and functional, as well as long-lasting and able withstand the harshest elements that mother nature throws at it. 

There are a variety of gazebos on the market at a range of quality and price points. Not all are engineered to the same quality standards or certified to withstand high winds and heavy snow or ice. That’s why it’s important to research the fine details of a gazebo before making a purchase. 

Here are some quality standards you’ll want to consider:

  • Roof strength. Make sure your gazebo has been tested to hold snow and ice that can damage or destroy many gazebos. Galvanized steel roofs are engineered to last longer than weaker aluminum roofs. Look for a gazebo that has been tested and certified to hold up to 50 lbs per square foot, which translates to 30” of snow. Beware of weaker options on the market as illustrated in this roof strength test video. 
  • Wind strength. Some gazebos are lightweight, constructed of low quality materials with inadequate footing, and can blow away or tip over in moderately high winds. Watch for a gazebo that has been wind tested and certified to withstand winds up to 100 mph
  • Warranty. You’re making an investment in your gazebo and you want to feel confident that the manufacturer supports their products. This is a testament to their confidence and promise on the quality of the structure. We recommend looking for a 5-year warranty, and be sure the manufacturer has customer service you can call or email if you run into any issues. 


Consider if You Prefer a Wood or Metal Gazebo

Wood and metal gazebos are equally strong and durable, so you can’t go wrong with either choice. The decision is usually one of preference and aesthetics. 

A 100% cedar wood gazebo such as the 12x9.5 Arcadia Gazebo is a beautiful traditional option. Cedar wood is naturally resistant to insects, decay, and rot and is lightweight, easy to work with, and appealing to those seeking a natural, warm look. Cedar gazebos come in a variety of roof lines including a hip roof, peak roof, and slope roof. 

Alternatively, a galvanized and powder-coated steel gazebo such as the Rockport XL Steel Grill Gazebo offers a striking modern look. This sleek, weather resistant gazebo is easy to clean and great for those seeking a contemporary style. 

wood vs metal gazebos

Consider Your Electrical and Power Outlet Needs

Most gazebo owners need a power outlet directly in the gazebo. This makes it easy and convenient to hang lights, play music from an ipad or phone while charging, or plug in a blender to mix your favorite drink concoction without having to hire an electrician or run long extension cords. 

Consider a gazebo that offers electrical and USB outlets that are movable so that you can attach the power outlet on any leg post of the gazebo without restricting the configuration of your furniture or lighting. 

gazebo powerport

Planning the Best Gazebo for You

You’re well on your way to enjoying the beauty and benefits of a strong, quality gazebo that will be long-lasting and offer years of enjoyment. As you consider size, strength, material, and power options, we’ve created a hub of content and information to help educate you throughout this process. Check it out below:

gazebo content hub cta


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