Philip Agutu, is a Building Construction Engineer and a devoted writer on DIY articles. He has been on HubPages since 2017.
How do you Make an Outdoor Gazebo?
How to Set up a Gazebo
What is a Gazebo?
A gazebo is a small building constructed in the garden of a house that gives a wide view of the surrounding area. It can be free-standing or attached to a garden wall, roofed, and open on all sides. You may construct a gazebo to provide shade, shelter, ornamental features in a landscape, and a place to rest. Gazebos can be of various sizes depending on the number of persons to be sheltered. While a 2mx2m gazebo is enough to host a small family, a larger gazebo can come in handy when relatives and friends visit you.
The best place to put your stylish gazebo should be in an area away from plants and trees. Since the sole purpose of a gazebo is to provide shade, placing it close to trees will not make a whole lot of sense. The best place should be where you can have a wide view of the surrounding area.
A well-designed gazebo should be cost-effective, use eco-friendliest materials, be of sufficient measurements to host the intended persons, and should also be easy to build but stylish and aesthetically appealing.
In this how-to article, we will build an octagonal-shaped gazebo of 1.5 x 1.5m sizes. By assuming each person will use an area of a 1.5-meter square; this should host around 9 people.
What Materials Do I Need to Build an Octagonal Shaped Gazebo?
To begin this do-it-yourself gazebo construction, the things you will need are as follows:
- 8 no. 150 mm diameter Teak round poles.
- A mason’s square
- A mason’s line
- Plumb bob
- Mason hammer
- Claw hammer
- Round poles for pegs
- 3”x2” timber for profile boards
Other things needed are explained under each sub-heading below.
The Steps Involved in Constructing a 1.5 x 1.5 m Sides Gazebo
- Setting out the gazebo plan on the ground.
- Excavating the holes for the round poles.
- Planting the round poles in the holes and concreting them to make them permanent.
- Oversite slab concreting.
- Construction of the roof structure.
- Gazebo side panels.
- Finishes and paintwork.
1. Setting-Out the Gazebo Plan on the Ground.
This is done in order to clearly define the outline of the excavation and the centerline of the foundation walling and the round poles so that the gazebo can be carried out exactly according to the plan. Setting out the gazebo plan on the ground involves the following steps as shown in FIGURE 1:
- The gazebo will be within the 4mx4m boundary, so the profile board should be set at least 0.5 meters away from the 4-meter mark (in our case it’s 542 mm). Begin by Driving PEG A to the ground, measure the distance to point B and drive PEG B to the ground, leaving it about 450 mm above the ground level
- Tie the mason’s line on PEG A to PEG B internally, and using a mason’s square, hold the mason’s twine to point C while maintaining a 90 degrees angle at point B.
- Drive the PEG C to the ground when the angle at B (formed by the mason’s line) is 90 degrees.
- Repeat the process to drive PEG D, and the mason’s line should end at PEG A.
- While holding a measuring tape from PEG A to PEG C and from PEG B to PEG D, confirm the diagonals. They should be the same.
Can One Person Set Up a Gazebo?
- Drive pegs for holding the profile boards at the corners while tracing the mason’s line to ensure the profile boards are at 90 degrees. The pegs should be level and the profile boards long enough to cover the whole perimeter.
- Measure 542 mm from the profile A and B intersection points and drive a 3” nail at point A and B on the profile board. Using the mason’s line and the masons square at points 4, 3, and 2, nail the respective nails on the profile and the mason’s line should end at the starting point on profile A.
Octagonal Gazebo Design Plan.
Can't read building plans? Check this out!
- How To Interpret Building Plans Correctly
Anyone, irrespective of their careers, can have the necessary skills needed to read and interpret a building drawing or plan correctly. This article brings to focus the main things to consider to be able to interpret architectural blue prints as inte
2. Excavating the Holes for the Round Poles
Mark the exact points on the ground where the holes to host your round poles will be. To do this, drive nails at 1250 mm from both sides of points 1, 2, 3, and 4 on the profile board. Tie the mason’s line on the new driven nails and by holding a plumb bob by its rope at intersection points j, k, l, m, n, o, and p, and vertically release it to transfer the respective points on the ground.
3. Planting and Concreting the Round Poles on the Ground to Make Them Permanent
- Excavate the 8 No. 300 mm diameter holes on the ground at a depth of approximately 450 mm deep. To ensure levelness, use the mason’s line tied to the leveled profile boards and measure the 450 mm depth on each excavated hole. The excavation can be done manually using a digging bar, an auger, or a post-hole digger.
- Place the 150 mm diameter round poles on the holes and concrete them using a mass concrete mix ratio of 1:3:6, that is, 1 part cement, 3 parts sand, and 6 parts ballast or gravel. Considering the diameter and depth of the holes, the cement can be calculated as follows:
1.2 bags (50 kg bags)
0.204 Tonnes or 1.6 wheelbarrows.
0.356 Tonnes or 2.8 wheelbarrows.
- Reduce the 1250 mm distance by 75 mm (radius of the poles) and place new nails. Tie the mason’s line at the new nails for locating the round poles externally. Use a plumb bob to make sure that the round poles are straight. You should also measure the distance between each pole to ensure they are almost the same.
- Pour a little water on the holes and place the concrete while compacting it using a metal or wooden rod of about 50 mm thick.
- Allow curing (pour water on the concrete daily) for at least seven days to ensure the concrete hardens as required.
4. Oversite Slab Concreting
As the concrete used to hold the round poles are going through the curing process, you can continue with the gazebo base construction.
- The simple base design will be to dig a trench 450 mm deep and 450 mm wide around the octagonal-shaped gazebo (350 mm from the poles) while ensuring the levelness of the trench base. Next, place a 100 mm thick mass concrete mix of 1:3:6 on the strip. The quantity of material used will be as follows:
1.7 bags (50 kg bags)
0.294 Tonnes or 2.4 wheelbarrows.
0.514 Tonnes or 4 wheelbarrows.
- After concreting the strip footing, you can construct a walling of suitable material to act as a retaining wall of the sand backfill. The height of the wall above the ground should be at least 150 mm high.
- When the walling has gone through the curing process, place a backfill of sand and any loose materials such as debris to raise the floor level of the gazebo. Make sure you compact at 150 mm thickness to ensure a firm base.
- Place timber formwork of 100 mm high around the walling and pour in the concrete of mix 1:2:4. The materials quantity will be as follows:
7 bags (50 kg bags)
0.882 Tonnes or 7 wheelbarrows.
1.544 Tonnes or 8 wheelbarrows.
- Continue with the curing process while you go ahead with the roofing construction.
Is it Cheaper to Build your Gazebo?
5. Construction of the Roof Structure
Things you will need in the roof construction will include:
4”x2” cypress timber in wall plates
4”x2” cypress timber in rafters and tie-beam
8”x1” treated cypress timber in fascia board
3”x2” cypress timber in struts and ties and purlins
3-meter Roofing sheets
Matching Ridge cap
- Using a miter joint, join all the wall plates on top of the round poles using the 4” nails to secure them firmly on the poles. You can use the maximum number of nails as long as you don’t tear the poles.
- Take the exact measurements of the rafters, tie beam, king post, and the struts and ties from the drawing and construct the trusses on the ground. You should use the miter joint to join the apex of the rafters.
- Raise the trusses to the wall plates and fix them to the wall plates using the 4” nails while ensuring that they rest on top of the round poles.
- Measure the purlins and fix them on the rafters using the nails.
- Place the roofing sheets onto the purlins and tear them appropriately. Do this with each piece of sheet.
- Nail the ridge caps and fold them at the bottom edges of the rafters.
- Give the fascia boards an undercoat of paint and fix them to the vertical or sloping edges of the rafters.
Which is the Best Gazebo Side Panels?
6. Gazebo Side Panels
You can use wooden side panels or metal side panels depending on your needs. However, to maintain a natural-looking gazebo to match with the wooden round poles, consider using a framework of well-treated high-quality timber. You can assemble them in any pattern you want such as horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, at the bottom and top of the side openings.
7. Finishes and Paint Works
- Decide on the type of floor you want. You can use terrazzo floor finish, tiles floor finish, wooden floor finish, etc.
- Plaster the plinth area of your foundation walling paint as required.
- Paint the fascia boards, round poles, and side panels to paint the color of your like. To make the round poles weatherproof, use linseed or Tung to create a beautiful and protective hand-rubbed finish.
Finally, after going through the above steps correctly, you should have a simple but well-designed outdoor gazebo, which will add some aesthetic touches to your compound and also provide shade. The embedded video is also useful when constructing your octagonal-shaped Gazebo.
This article is from the author's knowledge and experience in architecture and building construction and technology. It's therefore true and accurate from a professional perspective.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Philip Agutu