Gazebos are often seen as summer structures, somewhere to shade from the sun, relax in the hot tub or sit and dine alfresco.
With the increasing popularity of gazebos, sales are reportedly 7 times higher this year than last, they’re a familiar fixture in many gardens, but can you use them all year round?
With the right heating and shelter, the answer is a resounding yes! Let’s take a look at the best ways to keep a gazebo warm in winter:
1. Heat it up
The easiest way to keep your gazebo snug in winter is to add a heating source. As long as your heater is away from the ceiling and walls of the structure, it’s perfectly safe to use a heater in a gazebo. There are a few different heating options to choose from but first, you’ll need to work out how much heat you’ll need…
How much heat do I need to keep my gazebo warm?
Outdoor heater output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). The best way to calculate how much heat your heater will need to generate to keep you toasty is by measuring the cubic footage of your gazebo and multiplying it by however many degrees you want to raise the temperature. You can find handly online calculators to help you with this step but you’ll need to measure the width, depth and height of your gazebo.
The higher the BTU, the more kW you’ll need to effectively heat your gazebo.
Electric gazebo heaters
For quick heat and minimal fuss, electric heaters are one of the best options for heating your gazebo. Safe, convenient and virtually maintenance-free, you’ll just need a suitable outdoor power source. Just make sure that the heater you choose has been made specifically for use in outdoor structures. The recommendations below are safe for heating gazebos:
Hanging electric heater
Infra-red, pendant heaters can easily be hung from the ceiling of your gazebo. With a range of options, some can kick out as much as 6kW of heat. They’re efficient to use and don’t produce any smell. You can also choose from short to medium wave versions, the latter producing a more gentle heat, ideal for enclosed areas.
Wall or ceiling mounted electric heater
These infra-red patio heaters are designed for mounting on a wall or ceiling and can also be attached to parasols for the ultimate in flexible gazebo heating. Some have remote controls and they come in a range of finishes to suit your style. More discreet than the pendant heaters, they still pack a punch when it comes to heat output.
Portable electric heater
Portable electric patio heaters are safe, convenient and you don’t need to worry about fixing them permanently to your gazebo. Many come with heat override options, meaning that they switch off when they reach a certain temperature. As they can be easily moved and stored in the summer, they’re a popular choice for heating gazebos. Just make sure they aren’t in direct contact with walls (or guests!)
Tabletop electric heater
Perfect for entertaining, tabletop heaters are easily moveable and can be placed on top of, or under a table for instant heat. Oscillating versions are available with many being waterproof and suitable for use both inside and out.
If you don’t want to buy an electric heater for use over the colder months or you just need something for a one-off event, you can hire gazebo heaters.
If you don’t have access to an outdoor electricity supply, a propane heater is a great option for warming your gazebo. Although more expensive to run than electric heaters, propane heaters have a host of benefits including no messy wires to trip over, attractive flames and a wide range of styles to choose from.
Unlike wood-burning heaters, there’s no smell and no mess to clean up afterwards. They’re also suitable for use in all weathers, unlike some electric options. If your gazebo has a roof, you’ll need to make sure there is adequate ceiling clearance to safely use a propane heater.
Suitable for use inside and out, bio-ethanol heaters provide the most eco-friendly way to heat your gazebo. Beautiful and practical, these heaters burn ethanol, a renewable source of energy made from fermenting the sugar and starch from plants like sugarcane and grains, with yeast.
The emissions produced are considered clean so you can heat your gazebo safely and do your bit for the planet too. These heaters are very safe, just take care not to overfill the burner as doing so could create large, unwieldy flames.
It is possible to install a permanent wood-burning stove in your gazebo but you’ll need a chimney to safely vent the fumes. Some can even be fitted with pizza stones, perfect for cooking up a delicious, warming evening meal.
2. Add a hot tub!
A little less conventional but for ultimate luxury all year round, adding a hot tub to your gazebo is a great way to keep warm! A hot tub provides somewhere to kick back and relax and warm up whatever the weather.
After all, what could be more relaxing than sitting in a bubbling hot tub, hot chocolate in hand, watching the snow falling around you?
Check out all of our garden hot tub ideas for relaxing in the open
3. Add a sturdy roof
Aside from effective heating, one of the best ways to keep the heat in your gazebo is to add a roof. Some gazebos come with sliding or fixed rooves but you can add your own using roof tiles or shingles, polycarbonate or glass.
The sturdier the roof, the better shelter it will provide. Although shade sales and fabric can provide adequate shade and shelter in the summer months, they aren’t recommended for use in the winter months in conjunction with heaters, particular if they aren’t watertight.
4. Add side panels
Another effective way to keep your gazebo warm is to fix half or full side panels. Available in sturdy canvas and PVC, you can buy ready-made or made to measure panels for the perfect fit. They will resist water and wind and keep you cosy on wintery days. Some panels have optional doors, windows and even cat flaps! They are easy to install and remove, making them a great option for warming your gazebo.
Thick curtains are another option for keeping the heat in, although they may not be as weather/windproof as fixed side panels.
Be careful to place any heaters well away from side panels or curtains.
5. Cosy up
Aside from wearing a thick jumper or coat, one of the easiest ways to add warmth to a winter gazebo is by adding warm throws and cushions. Layers of chunky throws on sofas are perfect for trapping heat and keeping you and your guests comfortable on chilly winter days and evenings.
There are so many ways to keep your gazebo warm and enjoy spending time outside all year round. Decorate your gazebo with a few fairy lights to create a magical atmosphere and enjoy whatever the winter brings!