Frame made from highly durable, rust-resistant powder-coated steel and aluminum. Features a vented canopy for stability in windy conditions. Extremely quick, easy assembly.
Side panels must be bought separately.
Pop-up assembly. Takes less than a minute to assemble. Well-made and designed to last. Features include reinforced corners and high-quality zippers. Canopy is both UV-resistant and water-resistant.
Not the most attractive option.
Easy to assemble. Powder-coated steel frame and UV-treated polyester canopy. Comes with mesh side panels to keep insects out.
Not sturdy enough to be left up all summer. Better for occasional use.
No assembly required. Gazebo frame and cover pop up, ready for use. Perfect for camping and picnicking. Made from heavy-duty water-resistant fabric with mesh sides to deter bugs. Well-ventilated.
A handful of users report receiving gazebo assembled inside out.
It's easy to feel like Goldilocks when you're trying to enjoy some time in your yard – it can be too hot, too cold, too wet, too windy. But a quality gazebo can help you feel just right no matter what the weather.
Offering shade, shelter from the wind and rain, or a bit of extra warmth, a gazebo is a versatile addition to your backyard that can be useful in all seasons. The only thing left to do is find a decent gazebo that won't rip, leak, or blow away and that fits in your yard and your budget. If you need some help selecting a gazebo, you're in luck.
If you’re ready to get more use out of your garden, read on for our full guide to gazebos.
These gazebos come with a set of poles you join together to make a frame, plus a fabric canopy (and sometime side panels) that fit onto it.
These gazebos are ideal for use in a yard or any place where you want to keep it up for a while.
Many of these gazebos come with side panels.
Many models are very inexpensive.
These gazebos generally aren't designed for year-round use.
Cheaper models can be quite flimsy.
Many of these gazebos are tricky or time consuming to assemble.
Pop-up soft top gazebos have specially designed frames that require no assembly.
Most pop-up gazebos can be set up by one person in under a minute.
These gazebos are ideal for taking on camping trips or picnics.
Pop-up gazebos are popular choices for use as temporary market stalls.
These gazebos are lightweight.
Pop-up gazebos aren't durable enough to be left outside year-round.
Some pop-up models aren't aesthetically appealing.
Hardtop gazebos are sturdy models with solid canopies that are generally designed to be permanent or semi-permanent fixtures in your yard.
Hardtop gazebos are designed to be left out in all weather.
These models are durable and can last for many years.
Some models come with walls and flooring, making them ideal for winter or summer use.
Many hardtop gazebos are extremely attractive.
These gazebos require assembly, and you may need help putting one together.
Hardtop gazebos are more expensive than soft top models.
Check the size of any gazebo you're considering to make sure it's large enough to fit your needs but not too large to fit in the spot where you intend to put it. A popular option is 100 square feet, which is large enough to comfortably fit a six-person patio table and chairs. However, you can find smaller gazebos, starting at around 42 square feet, and larger options up to 800 square feet or larger.
Gazebos come with a range of different canopy materials, depending on cost, purpose, and style. Here are some of the most common choices.
PVC: A common canopy material for soft top gazebos, PVC is hard wearing and completely waterproof, which means it's ideal for flea markets, art fairs, or anyone who wants to use a gazebo in wet weather. However, PVC isn’t the most attractive choice, and it can get hot inside since the fabric doesn’t breathe.
Polyester: Water-resistant (but not waterproof), lightweight, and durable polyester is commonly used for pop-up gazebos designed for recreational use.
Canvas: You'll often find canvas canopies on high-end soft top gazebos because the fabric looks attractive and can be waterproof if properly treated.
Metal: Many hardtop gazebos have a metal roof because it’s durable, long lasting, and impervious to water. However, it can feel a bit hot inside a gazebo with a metal canopy.
Vinyl or plastic: Although newer on the scene, many manufacturers are choosing vinyl or plastic for lower-end gazebos because it’s inexpensive, easy to mold into shape, and not as noisy as metal when rain falls on it.
Most gazebos have metal frames, usually either steel or aluminum, but some hardtop models have wooden or vinyl frames.
Aluminum: Lightweight aluminum is a common gazebo frame material, but it isn’t as durable as some other options.
Steel: Due to its strength, a steel frame is a good choice if you want a gazebo that will last. It’s heavy, though, so it isn’t ideal if you need to transport your gazebo from place to place.
Wood: A common choice for hardtop gazebos, wooden models have a classic look that can't be beat, but they do require a lot of maintenance if they’re to last for years.
Many gazebos come with side panels.
Some soft top gazebos have fabric panels that can be zipped into place as required or rolled up or removed when they're not. Other models have mesh curtains that keep bugs out but let the breeze through.
Hardtop gazebos sometimes have half-height rail sides, with or without mesh screens above. Some have curtains that you can tie back or pull closed as needed.
Gazebos can cost a little or a lot. You can expect to pay from about $60 to more than $5,000, depending on quality and materials.
Soft top gazebos
Basic soft top gazebos can be found for as little as $60 to $70, but these aren’t extremely durable. You can pay up to $3,000 for large, high-end models with sturdy frames designed to stay in place all year.
Small hardtop gazebos start at around $500 to $600. Larger, more elaborate models can cost $5,000 or more.
Choose the right type of gazebo for your needs. For example, if you want a gazebo to use all year, choose a sturdy hardtop model. If you want to take your gazebo camping, a pop-up model would be a better option.
Make sure the gazebo is durable enough. A very basic, inexpensive gazebo might be fine to use three or four times a year for a day or two each time, but it won't stand up to being left outside all summer.
Check that the gazebo is light enough to transport. If you choose a pop-up gazebo, it shouldn't be too heavy to carry to a camping spot or the park.
Q. Where should I position my gazebo?
A. Where you choose to set up your gazebo in your yard is up to you. If your chosen model is easy to move, it isn’t so important to find the perfect spot right away. If you buy a permanent or very heavy gazebo, choosing the correct position is essential. Ultimately, you should place it somewhere you like to sit, preferably on a fairly level plot. We wouldn't recommend placing it underneath a tree or you'll forever be cleaning fallen leaves and bird droppings off the canopy.
Q. Can I assemble my gazebo alone?
A. Some pop-up gazebos can be set up by one person, but many require a second person to pull out the opposite corner of the frame. Assembling any other type of gazebo is definitely a two-person job. Some basic models only require you to slot poles together, but others need screwing or bolting together. If you're not especially handy, you might want to employ a professional to assemble a more complex gazebo.
Q. Do gazebos offer UV protection?
A. Any structure that provides shade offers some degree of UV protection. Hardtop gazebos should provide total UV protection, assuming you're fully shaded, but most soft top models won't protect your skin from the sun's ray as effectively. That said, some soft top gazebos use special material treated to have a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF).
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