An expert guide on how to build a kit gazebo from manufactured sections, taking you step-by-step through the kit gazebo construction process.
Building a gazebo with your own hands is a challenging project, requiring the ability to install a wooden floor, construct walls, lay roofing—not to mention the carpentry skills needed for decorative detailing. Add to this that many gazebos have geometric shapes that include compound angles and difficult joinery and you have probably entered territory beyond the skills of even accomplished do-it-yourselfers.
Today, however, many quality manufacturers produce gazebo kits that already have most of the cutting and joinery done, with the pieces marked to correspond to the instructions for assembly. Some kits even come partially assembled. This not only makes the job of building a gazebo from the ground up infinitely easier but it also makes it a lot less expensive. All you do is pour a simple foundation and follow the assembly directions.
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When deciding on a kit, look for a model that uses screws for all connections, which results in the finished product having a high level of integrity. Also ask about a company’s shipping policy as shipping costs can tack on a significant amount to the bottom line. Many companies offer free shipping within a certain radius, so it’s wise to look into local manufacturers or larger companies with regional outlets. If time is of the essence to you, also inquire about when your order will be shipped. Some companies are prepared to ship within a matter of days.
Before you begin assembling a kit gazebo, you will need to prepare a foundation according to the manufacturer’s directions. Though some kits are designed to sit on a concrete slab, most have wood floors supported by a system of concrete piers.
Proper layout of these foundation piers is crucial because the kit’s components are sized to fit this layout. You will also need to check with your local building department to make sure the foundation meet local codes.
One easy and sure way to accurately lay out the foundation is to do a “dry run” with the floor’s framing components. Start by creating a level pad for the gazebo and then spreading about 4 inches of sand over the area’s ground.
Next, loosely assemble the floor’s structural members. Once they are positioned, they will automatically indicate where the piers and posts must go.
Mark their placements with stakes, and then remove the flooring components and dig holes for the footings and piers. For more, please see How to Pour Footings and Piers.