A gazebo not only adds a bit of elegance to your home—it also helps to increase its curb appeal. Whether it’s a small structure that you put together from a kit or it’s a huge addition that you have custom built, a gazebo can provide a homeowner with a covered outdoor space to have a barbecue, host special events or just a place to sit back and relax after a hard day’s work. But before you begin constructing a gazebo, use the following tips for maximizing your gazebo construction project.
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Kits or Custom
There are a wide variety of kits and custom-built plans available for constructing a gazebo. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both custom and kit gazebo projects. The main advantage with purchasing a kit is that half of the work is already done. Simply follow the provided directions and build the gazebo according to the plans. Its major disadvantage is that unlike a custom built gazebo, you don’t get to pick and choose what materials you’d like to use. Most gazebo kits require that a slab, patio or deck is already in place for the gazebo to rest on.
For custom-built gazebos, the possibilities are endless. You can create and design your gazebo to suit your needs, your home and the terrain that surrounds it. Limitations like materials, sizes and styles are all up to the homeowner. The disadvantages of custom building a gazebo are that a building permit is often required prior to construction. Custom built gazebos can also cost three times as much (or more) than a basic gazebo kit.
Careful consideration is required when choosing a place for the gazebo. A flat, level area with good drainage is a must-have for your gazebo. The drainage must be designed by a Foundation Drain Design professional to avoid flooding problems in the future. Low lying spots, hillsides and soggy ground are all places to avoid when choosing a location for your gazebo.
Before breaking ground, it’s wise to check and see what’s underground first. A quick call to your local utility company will let you know whether or not the area in your yard has underground wires, pipes or cables that could affect the placement of your gazebo. Areas near drain lines and over septic tanks are not an optimal location for your gazebo and can cause some serious problems if underground utilities need to be moved or worked on later on down the road.
It’s never a good idea to build a structure on your property without giving your local building department a heads up. In most states, you won’t need a permit for a kit-style gazebo—especially if it’s being placed on an existing patio or deck. The exception to the rule is when plumbing or electrical connections are installed in the gazebo.
Whether you’re building a custom designed gazebo or you’re putting together a gazebo from a kit, give your local building department a call to find out what steps you need to take in order to construct a gazebo in your yard.
Depending on where you live, you may have to deal with a homeowners association. An HOA may need to see blueprints of your gazebo first to ensure that it fits into the neighborhood construction guidelines. Shingle color, gazebo size and exterior design features are just a few of the items that your HOA may want to know about to ensure that your new gazebo fits in well with the rest of the neighborhoods design features.
Author Eric Brennan: Late one night on a cold evening in 2005, Eric started his writing career on a whim. Since then, he has written thousands of articles on everything home improvement. Eric has written for the DIY network, Huffington Post, DeWalt, AT&T and many others. Today, Eric is a featured writer for several home improvement websites around the world.