What can a gazebo be used for?
Gazebos are pretty versatile so that you can use them for a variety of things. They create a shady spot to sit under and relax, whether you’re alone or with family and friends. They also help protect you from rain, so you can still sit outside even if the weather is damp. You can place a patio set inside and turn it into a gathering area.
Gazebos with netting can also be used to create a bug-free zone for your family to enjoy. And if there are side panels, they can block the wind, so even on those breezy days you can play cards or read without everything blowing around.
Features to consider while choosing a gazebo
Not all gazebos are created equal, so it’s a good idea to check out all their features, so you know what you’re buying. The following details are a right place to start.
As you may have noticed, all of the products we’ve reviewed here used polyester for the canopy material. This is a popular choice, because polyester is durable and lightweight, plus it resists water.
But you may find canvas on the high-end gazebos since it is easier to treat with waterproof coatings, plus it looks great. Of course, it also costs quite a bit more, so this isn’t the best choice for those on a budget.
The cheapest gazebos on the market use vinyl or plastic for their canopies because it is cheap and easy to mold into the right shape. Unfortunately, these types of gazebos don’t last very long.
There are a few different choices when it comes to frame materials. The Great Deal Furniture Sonoma Outdoor Iron Gazebo uses steel, which is the strongest. But this metal is also pretty heavy, so you likely won’t be moving the gazebo around after you’ve put it together.
Iron is another good option. It is quite durable, though not quite as strong as steel, and heavy enough to keep your gazebo from blowing around in all but the strongest winds.
Aluminum is the lightest of all the frame materials. It isn’t very durable and can bend easily if mishandled. If a gazebo is going to use aluminum, they’ll combine it with other metals, like on the Sunjoy 10 x 12 Chatham Steel Hardtop Gazebo.
Weight and dimensions
The weight of the gazebo is vital for a few reasons. First, are you planning on setting it up and leaving it, or do you want one that you can take with you camping or the lake? The heavier it is, the harder it will be to move. But heavier ones also won’t blow away on windy days, so are better for stability if you plan on leaving it up all summer long.
If you have a ton of space to put up your gazebo, the dimensions won’t be an issue. But for those with limited space, you need to be extra careful which one you buy.
Where you’re putting it also matters. Is your deck square or rectangle? Or can you fit a hexagonal one up there? Measure carefully, then buy the deck with the dimensions that fit the space.
Some gazebos come with netting around the sides. Though not necessary, this can be handy for those who live in areas where annoying bugs are common. The netting can be closed to keep mosquitos, black flies, and other biting insects out so you can enjoy the outdoors in peace. Of course, not all gazebos come with nets, but you may be able to add some mesh panels if the frame has room for some hooks or other hanging materials.
There are some extra features you can check out as well. Though not necessary for the gazebo to function, they are handy to have. One of such features is the safety bars. These go around the sides of the gazebo, connecting the poles. The only ones that don’t have safety bars are the doorways. These help keep little ones or pets inside, plus make it easy to find the door if you want to leave the gazebo.
The mesh screens sometimes have Velcro or ties to close them. But these don’t keep all the insects out. Zippers offer much more protection and are better for full closure on your screens.
Some gazebos also have fabric panels on the side, which are great for privacy or blocking the wind. They also give you a bit more shade as the sun shifts lower in the sky.
Gazebos need tools to be assembled, which is why models like the Great Deal Furniture Sonoma Outdoor Iron Gazebo come with the tools you need to set it up.
One more important thing to look at when buying a new gazebo is the warranty. If the warranty only lasts a month or two, you may not be covered when you actually need it. So, try to find a gazebo with a warranty that lasts for at least the entire season.