Sitting outdoors in your own private gazebo is a wonderful way to spend time with friends or snuggled up with someone special. Depending on the size of gazebo you want to build, you can create a huge place with a roof that would be perfect for entertaining or if you want a place that is more intimate, a place where you can find some quiet time away from the busy day.
The best bet is to buy a gazebo kit, which typically includes the wood, hardware, design plans, and everything needed to make a magnificent gazebo. Generally, the main support will consist of two 2 x 8 pieces that are nailed securely together. Then, you would double 2 x 8 rim joists coupled with a number of 2 x 8 and 2 x 6 joists for the interior. Next, between the interior joists you would use short, diagonal pieces to create 90-degree nailing angles. For the roof, you want six posts for support, consisting of a single, short post located at the center, which would help provide support to the main girder.
The most important thing to remember when building a gazebo is that the ground must be completely level. To accomplish this, after you have located the center of the location, drive a stake into the ground to mark it. Next, on to of the stake, you want to drive a nail, leaving it to protrude about one inch to serve as a pivot point. You now want to cut a piece of lumber five feet long, drilling a hole into the end of each so they are 55 1/2-inches apart. One of these holes will be fitted over the protruding nail and then another nail will be secured face down into the other end. Now, you want to create a circle on the ground, by walking around your pivot point.
From here, you will position the posts, anchoring them into concrete tube footing, construct the steps, install two diagonal girder support pieces that will serve to keep the hangers for the main girder, work with the framing plan according to your specific kit, prepare the outer rim joists, lay the decking, and complete your roof.
Again, the specific directions will vary from one plan to the next and the instructions are very specific to each. Therefore, the best option is to determine first the purpose your gazebo will serve so you know the size needed as well as functionality. Obviously, if you want a place where you can place benches and tables, keep your barbecue grill, and perhaps have enough floor room to dance, then you are looking at a large gazebo while just a place with a swing would only require simple design.
Once you have your gazebo constructed, you can use your creativity to hang twinkling lights that create a romantic or whimsical atmosphere, plant beautiful flowers around the base, or perhaps add a fountain that could be enjoyed while sitting under the stars at night. Having your own gazebo makes a wonderful addition to any home. Just remember that this is a larger undertaking so if possible, gather a few friends to complete the job.