Backyard America Outdoor StructuresGazebos make a great addition to any backyard landscape. Placed poolside, in a corner of the garden, or on the patio, these attractive stand-alone structures define the perfect spot for relaxing or entertaining outdoors while offering shade from the sun and shelter from the rain. Gazebos come in a range of sizes, shapes, and materials. Consider these factors to help decide the best gazebo design for your outdoor space.  

Use – Some people use a gazebo as a place to relax and enjoy a beautiful day with their loved ones, while others use it as a dining area for entertaining outdoors. A gazebo can also be used as a shelter for a hot tub or serve a purely ornamental purpose as a focal point in the landscape. Knowing how you plan to use the gazebo will help determine what size and shape to look for. 

Location – The location will also decide how big of a structure—and possibly what shape—you can accommodate. It’s important to place the gazebo where it will best suit your needs. If using the gazebo for outdoor dining, you may want to consider a location near the house for easy access to the kitchen. For quiet relaxation, an open spot in the back of the yard may be a better choice. 

Style – A gazebo is as much a decorative item as it is a functional item, so it’s important that its design blends with the rest of your home and landscape. To complement the simplicity and clean lines of a contemporary style home and garden, select a square gazebo with minimal adornments. A traditional hexagon-shaped gazebo with a cupola and intricate detailing on the railings and arches will match the Old World elegance and architectural style of a Colonial or Victorian home. 

Maintenance – Some types of gazebos will require more upkeep than others. Wood, for instance, requires staining every couple years while wrought-iron needs a protective coating to prevent rust. Vinyl is nearly maintenance-free, needing only a periodical spray with a hose.

­Photo courtesy of Backyard America Outdoor Structures