Ideas for Decks & Gazebos

Written by erik devaney
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Ideas for Decks & Gazebos
Wooden decks and gazebos have natural appearances, which mesh well with trees and other organic landscape features. (gazebo image by Bryan Crisp from

In addition to being functional additions to a home's landscape -- providing spaces for relaxing outdoors and for entertaining guests -- decks and gazebos can be aesthetically-pleasing landscape additions. Provided you put care and consideration into deck and gazebo design and layout, decks and gazebos can also help increase the resale value of your home. If you are thinking of undertaking a deck and gazebo project, there are several ideas that can help.

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Deck and Gazebo Location

The placement of a deck and gazebo will have a substantial impact on both functionality and style. When installing a deck, the most popular option is to position the structure directly adjacent to the back or side of a home, so that you can easily walk from your home out on to the deck's surface. However, if you have a pool in your yard, installing a deck adjacent to -- or around the perimeter of -- the pool is also a highly functional option. With gazebos, the ideal location will depend on the size of your outdoor space. For example, a gazebo positioned at the centre of a small yard will likely overpower other landscaping elements and give the space a cluttered appearance. In contrast, a gazebo positioned at the centre of a large yard can serve as a centrepiece and help tie the space together.

Integrated Deck and Gazebo

If you want to couple the open, more expansive style of a deck with the covered, more intimate style of a gazebo, installing a gazebo on top of a deck may be an option to consider. While you could use the primary deck space of an integrated deck and gazebo structure as a lounge or sunbathing area, you could use the covered gazebo space as a dining or bar service area. For best results, position the gazebo in the corner of a deck, so it does not awkwardly divide your deck space.

Matching Materials

To bring cohesion to your home's landscape, try constructing a deck and gazebo from the same building material. The most popular building materials for decks include natural lumbers, such as cedar and redwood, and treated lumbers, such as treated Douglas fir and southern yellow pine. While cedar and redwood are typically more expensive than treated lumbers, they also have warmer, reddish colours and have natural resistances to moisture-induced cracking, warping and rotting. Less expensive treated lumbers, in comparison, contain chemical preservatives for increasing resistance and typically have whitish, bleached appearances.

Similar Shapes

Another deck and gazebo idea that can help you visually tie a landscape together is to build a deck and gazebo that have similar shapes or outlines. For example, if you use a deck with a standard rectangular shape, you can build a gazebo with a square shape, which will reiterate the perpendicular angles. Alternatively, if you use a semicircular deck, a circular gazebo will reiterate the deck's natural curvature.

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