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Backyard Gazebo Designs – Wooden, Canopy, or Hardtop Gazebo?

Traditional wooden gazebo designs are lovely and sturdy, while more modern designs, even hardtop ones, are much more lightweight and portable. The traditional hexagonal gazebo is more often than not replaced with a simple rectangle design these days. This is to simplify the structure and allow for easier set-up.

With such a range of functionality it can be difficult to choose the one that's right for you. Understanding the different types of materials used in gazebo construction and how they impact the look and strength of the gazebo is an important step to sorting it all out. A gazebo can bring new life to your backyard landscaping designs. As a focal point both visually and as a gathering point, a gazebo can be the keystone feature of your lawn and garden. Combined with a deck or patio, this can be a great venue for holding parties or even wedding receptions.

You don't have to make it a busy place though. A garden gazebo tucked away behind some hedges can be your refuge from the hectic pace of modern life. It can also be a wonderful structure to build an arbor on so that climbing plants can use it as a trellis. Doing so not only creates a more productive garden, but also helps to add extra privacy and cooling to those naturally afforded by gazebo designs.

Hardtop or Canopy Design?

Perhaps the biggest choice that faces a prospective gazebo owner is which category of gazebo to go with. Heavy duty hardtop gazebos can be great for harsher weather conditions. Canopy gazebos tend to be much more lightweight, and some can even be taken with you on road trips or for a day at the beach. Then there are a whole range of options in between.

There are some subtle differences in how these gazebos function as well. Hardtop gazebo designs end up trapping more heat underneath the roof, as the materials they are made of aren't as breathable. A heavy-duty canvas canopy on the other hand can allow air to pass through easily, taking the heat with it.

On the other hand, a hardtop gazebo can hold up to heavy winds, rains, and even snow. A fabric cover for your gazebo can be ripped or torn by these forces, and so aren't as good an option for leaving out in the yard permanently. If you do go for a fabric cover, make sure it's a waterproof one. Many times "weatherproof" gazebo canopies are not really up to the task of keeping the moisture out, so be careful when choosing a specific product.

Material Ideas for Gazebos

It's not just with the cover or roof that gazebos can differ. Often the framing of the structure is designed from different materials as well. Lightweight aluminum frames are used in many modern gazebos, whereas custom gazebo designs tend to opt more for wood or even wrought iron. Both have benefits and drawbacks, and which is most suitable is highly situational.

Timber gazebos look great out in the garden or even on a patio. The main problem with wood is that it can rot. This makes it important to protect your gazebo by keeping it sealed and using rot resistant wood. Cedar, redwood, and teak gazebos can stand up to the weather even when not sealed, though you're still better off protecting the wood.

Wrought iron gazebos also have a fantastic look that works well in natural settings. Rather than rot, rust is the main enemy of wrought iron. Again, it's important to protect your gazebo from the effects of weathering by keeping the finish well maintained.

Some materials are more well suited for the environmental factors, but may not bring the aesthetics with them. Aluminum for instance is strong, lightweight, and won't rust or corrode. This makes it an excellent material for gazebo designs. In fact you can create unique gazebos with aluminum because of it's high strength to weight ratio. Other materials like wood or wrought iron simply can't match it in this regard.

However aluminum often leaves much to be desired in styling, especially outdoors. This doesn't have to be the case though, as wrought aluminum can attest to. With the look of wrought iron, but the weatherproof nature of aluminum, it's a hard combination to beat.

Barbeques have Never been so Delicious

With the right design, a gazebo can be a great place to house your grill. This way it can serve as the focal point for your barbecues, keeping the hot sun or rain off even if the weather isn't just right. This can make throwing a weekend BBQ a lot more consistent when you don't have to worry about the weather interrupting.

Grill gazebos are those designed specifically for this purpose. Sometimes referred to as grillzebos, these structures tend to be rather minimal and open, with a simple metal roof. You can find more well accessorized ones that include slate counter-tops though.

When using a grill under a gazebo, it's important to understand that the heat coming off of the grill can damage the roof. This is why grillzebos use metal roofs. While the heat generally isn't enough to catch fire to a cloth canopy or wooden roof, it is enough to damage the weatherproofing that has been applied, or in some cases melt some types of cloth fibers. Also it can be a pain to clean up soot off of these materials given all the little pores, nooks, and crannies.

Hot Gazebo Designs for Your Spa

One of the more interesting and unconventional gazebo designs is to build one around your hot tub. This serves to protect the hot tub against the elements. It also gives you a platform for accessorizing your spa with lights, decks, and places to hold your towels and clothes while you soak in the tub.

When designing a hot tub gazebo it's important to know which specific spa you will be using with the gazebo. This is because even if the dimensions are listed the same, there are subtle differences that could interfere with things fitting together right. If you are unsure, there are hot tub gazebo kits that are designed with a specific model of hot tub in mind.

Given how important that can be, bear this in mind when shopping for a hot tub. Knowing that if you choose to add a gazebo in the future there will be a good match can be a big factor in getting the right spa.