What is a gazebo? | WSYR

Which gazebos are the best?

You may have heard people talking about it or maybe you have seen them, but you still wonder, what is a gazebo? Or maybe you know the basics but would like to learn more.

A gazebo is an outdoor structure that provides shade and protection from the elements. You can buy them in a range of styles, shapes and sizes. Once you know more about them, it’s easier to find the right one for you.

What is a gazebo?

A gazebo is a freestanding garden structure that is open, rather than having fixed walls or sides like a shed or summer house. The main function of a gazebo is to provide shade and shelter when you are outdoors.

Although they are often square or rectangular, you can find hexagonal, octagonal gazebos and other similar shapes. They come in two main varieties: hardtop and soft-top.

Hard top gazebos

As the name suggests, hardtop gazebos have roofs made of hard materials. Most often, their awnings are made from metal or some type of hard plastic, such as vinyl. They are sturdier than the soft top varieties, but they are also much more expensive.

Gazebos of this type take a long time to set up and take down, so they are designed to be permanent or semi-permanent. They can either be concreted into the ground as a permanent structure or anchored with dowels or screws if you wish to be able to move them.

Soft top gazebos

Soft top gazebos have canopies made from sturdy UV resistant fabric that is naturally waterproof or has a waterproof coating. They are more affordable than the hardtop versions, but not as durable.

They are usually meant for temporary use, either for a day or a week at a time or all summer long. Some soft-top gazebos have collapsible frames, making them even quicker and easier to set up and take down.

What are gazebos used for?

Now you know what gazebos are, but you may still be wondering what they are for. These are some of the most common ways to use gazebos.

  • Shadow: If your garden does not have much natural shade, you will be able to sit more comfortably and longer in the shade of a gazebo.
  • Shelter from the rain: It’s frustrating when it’s warm enough to enjoy your garden but it’s raining. However, with a gazebo, you can enjoy the fresh air while staying dry.
  • Avoid bugs: Many gazebos have mosquito nets, so you can spend time outdoors without worrying about insects.
  • Grill under: With their open sides, gazebos can be safely grilled and can be used on rainy days or to provide shade in hot weather.
  • Jacuzzi: Gazebos are ideal covers for hot tubs, providing shade and shelter from rain or snow.

How to choose the right gazebo

Consider the size

You can choose from a wide range of sizes, ranging from under 10 feet by 10 feet to over 14 feet by 20 feet. Consider how many people you want to fit under your gazebo and the size of your outdoor space. You don’t want a gazebo to absolutely overshadow a small yard or look comically small in a large yard.

Decide if you want a permanent or temporary structure

Do you want shelter just for the summer months or are you looking for something more permanent that you can enjoy all year round? Your answer to this question will determine which type of gazebo is right for you: hard top for permanent or long-term use or soft top for short-term use.

Think about the materials

Gazebos usually have metal frames, although some inexpensive models have plastic frames and some high-end versions have wooden frames. Roofs can be fabric, metal, plastic, or even wood shingles. Choose durable materials if you want your gazebo to last for years to come.

Watch out for the side panels

Although gazebos do not have fixed sides, some have removable side panels or curtains that can be drawn around the edges. Some curtains are made from mesh to keep bugs out while maintaining airflow, while others are made from stronger fabric to help block wind and rain.

Best gazebos

Best Choice Products Hardtop Gazebo

Lightweight yet durable, it’s made with an aluminum frame and a UV-resistant tinted plastic roof. It measures 10 feet by 10 feet, which is large enough to accommodate a group without overwhelming your yard. Sold by Amazon

Purple Leaf Hardtop Permanent Gazebo

Purple Leaf Hardtop Permanent Gazebo

This sturdy hardtop gazebo is intended to be concreted into the ground as a permanent garden structure. It is available in four sizes between 10 feet by 14 feet and 12 feet by 18 feet. Sold by Amazon

Kozyard Alexander Hardtop Aluminum Permanent Gazebo

Kozyard Alexander Hardtop Aluminum Permanent Gazebo

With an aluminum frame and steel top, this is a very durable gazebo choice available in sizes between 10ft by 12ft and 12ft by 20ft. Double curtains have a mosquito net layer that you can use independently of the opaque fabric layer. Sold by Amazon

Best Choice Products Outdoor Portable Pop Up Gazebo

Best Choice Products Outdoor Portable Pop Up Gazebo

Taking just minutes to pop up and set, it’s a great choice for occasional use or impromptu garden get-togethers. It folds up relatively small so you can take it camping or on a day trip. Sold by Amazon

Instant Pop-Up Cool Spot Gazebo Tent

Instant Pop-Up Cool Spot Gazebo Tent

This stylish pop-up gazebo has a vented roof and mosquito net curtains to keep insects at bay. It is available in six colors, including beige, blue and red. Sold by Amazon

Large terrace gazebo

Large terrace gazebo

Measuring 10 feet by 13 feet, it’s relatively spacious for a soft-top gazebo. The sturdy frame is made of iron and the canopy and curtains are made of high quality fabric. Sold by Amazon

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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