Gazebo Guide

Gazebo Guide

Vanette Mendoza

Celebrate the UK’s warmer days and nights with the best gazebos on the market. Garden gazebos are a great way to make use of any free space you may have in your garden and can be used for various purposes.

They can be used to eat and drink in the summer evenings, spending some time reading on a sunny afternoon or building around a hot tub. Gazebos can also help provide you with protection from those unexpected showers that seem to come out of nowhere during the summer months!

What is a gazebo?

Before you buy a gazebo, it’s essential to understand precisely what this type of structure is. A gazebo is an outdoor shelter with sides and, in some cases, a roof.

They usually have four posts and are designed for providing shade in gardens or on patios. A gazebo may be open or have walls, and there are also ’round’ versions available which can help maximize shade in a specific area.


Gazebos come in four primary styles;





Bow top



Add shade and shelter to the garden with a gazebo.

You’re likely going to want a gazebo for your outdoor space that can comfortably hold up to a large family. Think about how much green space you have to work with, then think about the size you’ll need. Gazeboes are available in various styles, sizes, and colours, enabling customers to find one that perfectly fits their garden environment.

Get a neutral or green shade to integrate into many garden settings. Walls will give a more comfy atmosphere after sunset, which will keep mosquitoes and similar bugs away. Most gazebos are entirely waterproof, so there is no need to worry about light showers (assuming the gazebo has a roof).


What to know when buying a gazebo

Before you buy a gazebo, think about what you need your gazebo for. If it’s only to provide shade over an area of the garden, then a freestanding or lean-to design should be perfect.

A popup gazebo is an ideal solution for an easy way to provide shade in the garden, BBQs or parties and people who may want to take it out and about. Gazebo tents are another lightweight option and will be much easier to transport than other gazebo types.


Size of the gazebo

Once you know what type of gazebo you need, it’s time to think about the size. A freestanding gazebo typically has a width slightly less than its depth – depending on the design, it can be between 1.5-2 metres wide.

Lean-to gazebos are usually around three metres wide, but if space is limited, you could consider a different design perfect for small patios and seating areas. Gazebos with straight or curved roofs will also vary in size depending on the model.

Covered or uncovered?

Some people prefer a gazebo with covered sides giving more protection from the wind and potential rain whereas a covered one can give it more of a scheduled room type of feel.

It is possible to buy one that’s uncovered and then add your own fabric (or whatever material you choose) covers you want.

The material it’s made from

Some gazebo types may need more regular upkeep than others, depending on the material. If you want a more permanent structure, a wood or metal frame is the best option, whereas a lighter could be used in multiple places.


Types of gazebo


Lean-to gazebos

A lean-to gazebo is a type of freestanding gazebo that doesn’t use posts but leans against an existing structure such as a wall—an excellent choice for providing shade over patios and seats. Gazebos can be bought with straight or curved roofs.

Freestanding gazebos

A freestanding gazebo doesn’t need to be fixed to any structures but is usually quite heavy because of this. They are great for creating a shady area in the garden away from other structures.

Pop up gazebos

A popup gazebo is a very lightweight design made from fabric and light poles. They are simple to assemble and portable – ideal for use at outdoor events such as parties, weddings or camping trips.

Gazebo tents

Gazebo tents, also known as gazebo canopies, are an alternative to freestanding or pop up gazebos. They use the same sturdy steel frame but with a canopy of fabric instead. These are also portable and perfect for events where you need temporary shade at outdoor gatherings.


Gazebo with sides

If you are looking for a primarily shady spot to relax, this type of gazebo will help block out most of the sun. This type is great if you have pets that want to be outdoors but don’t appreciate being in direct sunlight. You can add some flowers or other decorations on the inside and outside of your gazebo with four walls, and it will look beautiful!

Gazebo with no sides

This type of gazebo is excellent when you want better circulation in your yard. It also looks beautiful in full bloom gardens and flower beds near it. However, remember that this is an open-air gazebo, so you need to bring everything inside at nightfall or during the winter months. If you’re planning to put it up in an area that doesn’t have strong winds, then this type of gazebo will be perfect for your needs during most seasons.

Gazebo with no roof

If you want to enjoy an open view of the sky and breathe fresh air all day long, this is the best type of gazebo for you! These can also be great for putting a hot tub in and looking up to the stars.  

What materials are used?


Metal frame gazebos

Metal frame gazebos have a modern style and are tough, hard-wearing and stable. Often they come with a fabric canopy. These types of gazebos are more expensive than others but with high quality.

Steel frames are lightweight with short poles that can be fitted into one another to create the structure. Sturdy and lightweight steel frames can provide support and shelter in high winds due to their rigid design.

With a hollow steel frame, this type of frame is usually covered by polyethene, providing it with weatherproofing.

Wooden frame Gazebos

A wooden gazebo is a classic garden structure and adds a touch of traditional elegance. These gazebos tend to be at the higher end of the price range, but they’re also solid and can last for many years if properly maintained.

Wooden gazebos made from hardwood (such as pine or cedar) can withstand high winds and rainfall, though, like metal frame gazebos, they will need repainting every few years – you could opt for a pressure-treated wooden frame that is more resistant to rot.


Polyethene Gazebos

Polyethene gazebos are low maintenance and waterproof, so great if you’re looking for a garden gazebo to use in rainy weather. It’s possible to leave them out all year round, but exposure to the sun can cause fading.

Fabric Gazebos

Gazebo tents or canopies made from fabric are an alternative way to provide shade – they’re lightweight and easy to move around, perfect for outdoor events.

Fabric is absorbent, so it will need more regular cleaning than polyethene gazebos, especially if rainwater pools on top of the canopy. If the protective coating has been washed away by rainwater, leaks will likely occur.

Tent gazebos are also often made of polyethene as it’s a waterproof and economical material.

Polyester Gazebos

Polyester gazebos are rugged and attractive – they’re a good choice if you want your gazebo to complement the décor of an existing outdoor building.

This material is weather-resistant and durable, but it will also fade over time when exposed to UV rays in sunlight. They also tend to be more expensive.


Additional features Gazebos come with

Gazebos can come with a range of features that make them more appealing and add to their functionality, such as:


Canopies and curtains can be attached in various ways and help protect your furniture from the elements. Curtains allow you to close off your gazebo at night or when it’s raining, while a canopy provides shade during the summer.

Doors and windows: provide good ventilation; zippable panels let in the fresh air, whereas fixed glass panels keep out the wind if closed. If you want privacy, pick up some plain fabric that can be tied to the frame with bungee cords.

Shelves: are usually made from planks screwed onto wooden frames or metal bars that run down the length of each side. They’re ideal for storing outdoor cushions and can be painted to match the rest of the gazebo. Also great for storing accessories for outdoor hot tubs.

Cladding: comes in various wood, plastic, or rattan styles and is often used on PVC gazebos. As well as adding to the look of your structure, it also protects the frame from sun damage.

Retractable canopies: can be rolled away for open-air dining and protect from light rain.

Legs: that telescope down at each corner – make your gazebo even more stable and can withstand windy conditions.

Leg weight bags: add extra security to your garden gazebos with leg weight bags that provide more protection, allowing you to relax without the gazebo flying off!

Church style windows: Some gazebos come with church style windows to add more privacy whilst still allowing sunlight to come in.


How to maintain your gazebo

Clean your gazebo at least once a year, ideally before winter sets in, to remove any mould or algae that might have grown over the summer.

Metal gazebos:

Clean and repaint the frame to keep it looking good as new, and touch up chipped paint. For aluminium frames, you can use spray-on masonry paint.

Wooden gazebos:

Repair any splits or cracks in the wood with an epoxy resin filler, sand down the surface before painting with preservative oil or exterior wood stain/paint. You can also apply a transparent penetrating oil finish to protect your wooden frame from the elements. Also, as the years’ pass, you can use a waterproof sealant to help it last longer.

PVC Gazebos:

PVC is a low maintenance material, and no special care is required if they’re kept clean and dry. They’re lightweight and weather-resistant with a long lifespan – typical PVC fabric lasts for around ten years.


A gazebo vs a pergola vs awnings

Both gazebos and pergolas are designed to provide shade but with a few differences.


What is a pergola?

A pergola is made of wood and sometimes metal beams. They are usually covered in flowers which provide shade for days out on the town.

Pergolas also allow extra space for growing plants, making them the perfect spot to hang potted orchids or other exotic shrubberies, which you can purchase at any local garden store! A pergola is a good idea for those who love nature and want to bring floral beauty into their backyard oasis.

What is an awning?

Awnings attached to buildings like a house or a shop are a great way to provide some cover from the sun on scorching days or the rain on damp days. They are made from various materials and can be mounted onto either a metal or wood frame with many beams to drape the fabric over.


Can you put lights in a gazebo?

Yes, you can’t go wrong with adding lights to any of your backyard spaces! String lights along the top beams will provide party attendees with some extra light and decoration as they walk around. If there’s space, you can also add hanging plants and flowers on both sides for a more romantic look if that’s what you’re going for.

There are many options available, including solar-powered lights.


Tips for assembling a garden gazebo

How to mount your gazebo will depend on what makes and model it is. If speed and ease of set-up are essential for you, you’ll want to check out the best pop up gazebos.

Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. There are a few assembly tricks applicable to most gazebos for the garden as a general rule.


What’s the best gazebo for you?

If you know you’re going to be using it a lot, then it’s OK to go for a more expensive gazebo. You want something that’s going to fit in with your current decor. But if you’re not sure or it’s just for one time use, you may find that a tent/pop up gazebo is more suitable for your needs. If you want something more fixed, you should look at wooden or steel gazebos.