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What are the Different Types of Gazebos?

By B. Turner
Updated: May 16, 2024

Gazebos provide protection from sun and rain while allowing users to enjoy outdoor views and fresh air. These structures serve as the perfect setting for family gatherings, and can provide additional living space in a crowded home. With many types of gazebos to choose from, buyers should evaluate material and design options to find the best model for each setting. Gazebos may be made of wood, plastic, or metal and while some types are easy to assemble and install, other types are heavy and require machinery and special tools.

Wood is the most common material used in both commercial and residential gazebos. Wooden gazebos offer natural beauty and many design and finish options. Builders often use cedar or redwood to construct gazebos and pergolas because of the natural moisture resistance and durability of these materials. Wooden gazebos are fairly easy for most users to construct and maintain, and are designed to last for many years before they must be taken down or replaced.

Vinyl gazebos are made of thermoplastic composites, which offer a high strength-to-weight ratio. This means that a vinyl gazebo is easy for even novice builders to install, but the structure will still last for years with little maintenance. Vinyl units often come in easy-to-assemble kits that are designed to be taken down and reassembled each year. Some vinyl units are embossed with texture to resemble wood grain, while others are painted to look like steel or other materials.

Aluminum gazebos provide a lightweight, affordable alternative to traditional wooden units. These do-it-yourself gazebo kits are designed for homeowners to install without the use of special tools or equipment. They often feature a canvas canopy, though some may provide a standard metal roof. Aluminum can be painted in a variety of shades, or left unfinished for those who enjoy the natural polished finish of this metal.

Steel gazebos are the most expensive type of gazebo available. The steel components used to build these structures are very heavy, which means that special lifts or cranes may be required during erection. The high cost and heavy weight of these units makes the steel gazebo best suited to commercial applications, such as parks and other public areas. Their size and durability mean it's harder for vandals to damage a steel gazebo, and the unit is typically able to stand up against years of heavy use.

A steel gazebo may be designed to resemble traditional ironwork, or may incorporate both wood and steel. For example, the gazebo may feature a wooden floor surrounded by a steel frame and roof. Steel provides a great deal of versatility in terms of design, and the unit can be repainted frequently to give it a fresh new look.

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