Gazebos are fast becoming the must-have accessory for gardens. Practical, stylish, and transformative, they’re gracing everywhere from patios and lawns to beer gardens and wedding venues. A relatively quick and easy way to add structure to your outdoor space, gazebos can offer a shady place to relax and unwind, somewhere to sit and eat, or a home for the hot tub you’ve always wanted.
Available in a huge range of shapes and sizes, there are gazebos to suit all styles and budgets. An open structure, gazebos can be customised to provide as much privacy or shelter as you need.
What is the best gazebo to buy though? Let’s look at the different types of gazebo you can buy and which might be best for your space…
Most gazebos are freestanding, allowing them to be placed on a patio or lawn. Available in a range of materials, they can be permanent or temporary structures in your garden. Which material you choose really depends on your personal preference and whether you want to match your gazebo to existing garden furniture or tie it in with your style of home.
Lightweight and rustproof, aluminium is the most popular metal for gazebos. It won’t fade and requires virtually no maintenance. Offering a more contemporary look than wood, sleek aluminium gazebos can be coated in a range of paint finishes to match your home. Aluminium is a popular choice if you’re installing a gazebo on decking as its featherweight won’t damage the flooring.
If you love the look of old English country gardens or are a romantic at heart, a wrought iron gazebo may be for you. The most expensive gazebo material, dramatic-looking wrought iron gazebos are crafted and painted by hand and can weigh as much as a ton!
High in maintenance, wrought iron paintwork will need to be regularly touched up to prevent rusting. If you live in a coastal area or aren’t a fan of regularly painting and top coating your furniture, wrought iron may not be the most practical choice but it does look beautiful and if you want a real show-stopper for your garden, it’s worth considering.
If you love the rusticity of wood, you can’t beat a classic wood-framed gazebo. Always in style, wooden gazebos are beautiful structures, often constructed from oak or cedar. You can choose from different wood types and also paint or stain your gazebo, depending on the finish you prefer. Heavier than metal, sturdy wooden gazebos are less prone to wind damage and can easily be repaired should the need arise.
An ‘off the shelf’ wooden gazebo will probably be less expensive than a metal version but a made-to-measure green oak gazebo will carry a hefty price tag. Either way, a wooden gazebo will be a great investment for your garden.
More on this: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Gazebo?
If you’ve got the time and the skills, making your own wooden gazebo is a great, cost-effective option.
Pavilion style gazebo
Typically seen at parks and wedding venues, pavilion gazebos are roofed structures that often have built-in seating. Like a house without walls, pavilion gazebos typically have all sides open. Available in a range of shapes from hexagonal to round or oblong, you can add curtains for privacy and shade.
Lightweight and super practical, pop-up gazebos are the perfect solution when it comes to providing a temporary covered area for a party or event, or creating shelter from the sun. Not designed for permanent use, they are quick to put up and pack away and can be positioned wherever needed. Take care to carefully anchor pop-up gazebos to the ground as they can easily blow over in a gust of wind!
Depending on your needs, take into consideration the thickness of the metal frame; the thicker the struts, the sturdier your gazebo will be. Also consider whether you need sides to your gazebo or just a roof.
As the name suggests, this type of gazebo needs a wall to lean against and will usually have 2 pillars instead of 4. Similar to a conservatory, a lean-to gazebo can be fixed to the side of a house, providing a convenient extension to your living space.
Cheaper than a freestanding gazebo, lean-to gazebos are often constructed with a wooden frame and covered with polycarbonate roof sheets. This is a great option if you need something to fit a particular space as they can be custom made to measure.
Are pergolas and gazebos the same thing? Not quite! A gazebo usually has a covered roof, providing full shade or shelter whereas a pergola’s open structure allows sunlight to shine directly through. Plants aren’t usually grown over gazebos but you’ll often find grapevines and wisteria trailing over and under pergola roof slats.
Which is the best gazebo for your garden?
The type of gazebo you choose very much depends on the space you have available, where it can go and why you will use it. Is it going to sit on decking, be used for entertaining, as a shelter for a BBQ or to house a hot tub? Check out all of our gazebo ideas for inspiration.
If you have a modern home, you may prefer a sleek and simple aluminium framed gazebo while if you’re more traditional or love the look of wood, a timber-framed gazebo may be a better option.
If you’re short on space, a custom-built lean-to style is a good option whilst lighter aluminium or pop up versions are better suited to decking or artificial grass. Also consider the placement of your gazebo if you’re wanting privacy and think about installing sides or curtains if necessary.
Installing a gazebo will enable you to host family gatherings and parties and enjoy your garden long into the evening and beyond summer. Don’t forget to factor in heating!
Where to buy gazebos
You can buy gazebos online, in garden centres and DIY stores and if you want a custom-made version, there are a range of tradespeople happy to help. You could even build your own!
Things to consider
When choosing your gazebo, consider where it will go, the flooring that will be underneath it and which material is best for you.
You’ll probably want to decorate your gazebo so it ties in with your home or existing garden furniture and it’s essential that it delivers exactly what you need. Whichever design and material you choose, a gazebo will be a worthy investment for your garden that you will enjoy for years to come.