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How to build a wooden gazebo

Updated March 23, 2017

You have a garden and landscaping to be proud of, and now you need a spectacular way to share it with friends and family. A wooden gazebo is not only a nice place to relax with loved ones, but will make a beautiful addition to any garden landscape. You can purchase a gazebo kit or build from scratch. Plan for the job to take two to three days, round up some friends to help and use the following steps to guide you through the process.

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  1. Design your gazebo or acquire design plans through a provider. There are several websites online that offer free gazebo design plans). Make sure you determine the measurements for all of the wood pieces.

  2. Purchase wood precut from a local hardware store or cut it yourself. Most hardware stores will cut wood pieces for you if what they have available doesn't quite fit the measurements you need. Your measurements depend upon the design plan you're using.

  3. Determine where you will put the gazebo. Measure the area to match gazebo plans and mark the outer edge of the gazebo location with landscape marking paint. Clear the area of plants and large rocks. With a posthole auger, dig 30-inch holes where each of the posts will go. The number of posts you use will match the number of sides to your gazebo, which is typically six or eight.

  4. Place the wooden gazebo posts in the holes and set with premixed concrete. Use a level to make sure the posts are even and level. Brace the posts as necessary to make sure they stay in position. Allow the concrete to dry, which usually takes at least 24 hours, before proceeding.

  5. Install the gazebo deck. Begin by connecting the planks, using decking screws, to the outside of the posts for the frame of the deck. Make sure each plank is level. Install the centre deck post and then the joists from the centre to the outside planks for the base of the deck, making sure each joist is level and screwing them into the inside of the frame planks. Add cross supports between the joists and then install the deck floor. Check that it is level.

  6. Determine where you will put the steps for the gazebo, which can be on any side. Build a concrete slab to extend about 2 inches past the length and width of the stair case, and about 4 inches thick, where the base of the steps will be for support.

  7. Measure the distance from one post to the post on the opposite side of the gazebo octagon. Cut or purchase your roof rafters equal to half this distance. Add cap plates to the top of the gazebo posts. Nail two opposite rafters to the centre hub of the roof, forming a truss. Lift the truss to the top of the gazebo and, using ropes and help, position the truss in place and nail to the cap plates in the appropriate posts. Attach each of the remaining rafters to the hub and the corresponding posts. Nail fascia board to the exposed ends of the rafters.

  8. Climb up on the roof, once it's fully sturdy, and install tongue and groove sheathing on the rafters. Staple on the roofing felt. Install asphalt roofing shingles with short roofing nails.

  9. Attach the rail sections to the ground posts using screws for the outside of your gazebo. Install your stairway. Then admire your handy work.

  10. Tip

    Use wood that is optimal for outdoor use, such as redwood (which is decay resistant) or a wood treated to help prevent damage from the elements, such as cedar or pine. It's a good idea to mark and predrill screw holes in the wood before assembly. This will make the assembly process faster and easier.


    Basic woodworking and/or carpentry skills are a recommendation for building a wooden gazebo. If you cut the wood yourself, be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves and cut the wood carefully.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wood
  • Saw
  • Tape measure
  • Landscape marking paint
  • Post-hole auger
  • Concrete
  • Level
  • Decking screws
  • Joist hangers
  • Nails
  • Roofing nails
  • Hammer
  • Stapler
  • Roofing felt
  • Roofing shingles
  • Sheathing

About the Author

Michelle L. Cramer

Michelle Cramer has been writing/editing freelance since 2007, including the Small Business Buzz Blog and articles for Work.com. Cramer's current writing projects include articles for informational websites and several blogs. She has a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Missouri.

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