How to roof a gazebo

Updated February 21, 2017

A gazebo is a pavilion structure used as a garden or park element with various functions. They're often added to spacious back gardens and public parks. Gazebos are usually free-standing, octagonal and have a small roof above the posts. Because of their octagonal or round shape, gazebos are usually covered with roofing such as shingles, which come in a kit.

Measure the size and perimeter of your gazebo, using a tape measure. The most important dimensions are the length of the rafters and the horizontal boards that will connect them. The length of the horizontal boards is the distance between the posts, and the length of the rafters depends on the final height of the roof.

Place the roofing frame on the top of the horizontal boards connecting the posts. In every gazebo construction, horizontal elements connect the columns or posts. Those elements are a base for the roof construction. Arrange the rafters so they resemble an umbrella, with their bottom ends resting on the horizontal beams. Connect the roofing construction with screws and firmly tighten and secure them with a power drill.

Connect the ends of the rafters with thinner wooden boards to serve as a roof support band. Place the wooden boards between the rafters and attach both ends with screws. Use a power drill to make holes to place the screws in. Install both the screws and the washers and tighten the joint with the drill. This ring of roof beams will connect the rafters and prepare the base for a layer of plywood.

Cover the roof construction with plywood, cutting the pieces with a power saw so they reach from one rafter to another. Use a nailing gun and roofing nails to attach the plywood to the rafters once the pieces are cut to size. The roof surface must be flat and ready for the roofing material.

Place an underlayer over the plywood and attach it with a heavy-duty staple gun. Every manufacturer of roof shingles has a different requirement for the underlayer, so follow the instructions for your shingles.

Mount a drip edge around the bottom edge of the gazebo roof. Attach it to the wood with a nailing gun and roofing nails.

Lay the shingles on your gazebo roof, starting from the bottom edge. Install a base layer of shingles and then the final layer. Secure the shingles in their position with roofing nails and a nailing gun. Cut and trim the excess material with a utility knife.

Place all the special shingle elements such as ridge caps on the gazebo roof seams. Sometimes ready-made shingles are in the installation kit and sometimes you have to cut the shingles yourself, using a utility knife.

Install a peak cap in the centre of the gazebo roof, using screws and the drill.


If you are constructing a gazebo from a semi-finished PVC kit, follow the instructions to assemble the roofing frame and then stretch a canopy over it.


Be careful when using a nail gun and wear sturdy protective gloves and plastic protective eyewear at all times.

Things You'll Need

  • Installation kit
  • Tape measure
  • Rafters
  • Horizontal wooden beams
  • Power drill
  • Screws and washers
  • Nailing gun
  • Nails
  • Plywood
  • Underlayer
  • Staple gun
  • Utility knife
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About the Author

Adam Raphael has been writing technical and health-related articles for a variety of online sources for five years. His articles have appeared on a variety of popular blogs and other websites.