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Heavy Duty Hardtop Gazebo – Timeless Beauty and Construction

It's getting harder and harder to find a quality heavy duty hardtop gazebo. Gazebo canopies and pop up tents abound, and can confuse potential buyers who want a substantial and protective structure for their lawn or garden. A canvas or vinyl canopy is nice to keep the sun off, at least until it degrades after a year or two, but really isn't something you'd want to be under in a rainstorm!

With a hardtop gazebo, you get a much more durable gazebo top that can stand up to the weather year round. Canopies need to be taken down for the winter and stored, where they often are attacked by rodents, rot, and mildew. The next summer when the homeowner pulls them out to reinstall, they may be beyond repair.

The owner of a heavy duty hardtop gazebo can be sure to have a place to rest and relax, and not have to worry about replacing the roof every year. Hard tops are also great for building screened gazebos to, as their sturdy frame makes for a stable place to attach screens. This means fewer bugs will sneak in through those gaps and seams where fabric covers snap to their side panels.

Common Sizes and Styles of Heavy Duty Gazebos

You might think that because of a more limited supply that you'd have trouble finding the right dimension of hard top for your gazebo. That's not the case though, as all the standard sizes are readily available, and even abnormal dimensions are not too hard to find.

Standard Sizes:

  • 8 x 8
  • 10 x 10
  • 12 x 12

Less Common Sizes:

  • 10 x 12
  • 8 x 12

Hard top gazebos come in a wider range of styles too. Since they don't rely simply on a canopy for the roof, it can vary in materials a lot more. Wooden shingles on a pagoda style roof are even possible.

Of course with a heavy duty gazebo you aren't going to find the lightweight and portable designs that you would with a gazebo canopy. Popup gazebos just don't have strong enough frames to support the heavier roofing. This is one area where hardtop gazebos take a back seat to their more lithe counterparts. On the plus side, you can be sure your heavy duty gazebo is waterproof and can stand up to whatever mother nature throws at it!

Hardtop Gazebo Building Methods

One of the more interesting possibilities with hardtop gazebos is how well they can be integrated into do-it-yourself gazebo projects. Canopies are a pain to build for, since they often have very subtle variations in dimensions and attachment methods. Also they tend to stretch over time, and so fitting them can be problematic.

With more heavy duty gazebo tops though, the dimensions are more stable. Once you have the measurements you can form your own plans, or even match the top to one of the readily assembled gazebo kits. This makes buying replacement parts easier as well, since you won't have to worry about the dimensions changing on you over time.

Hardtop gazebos tend to come in a wider array of materials than pop up gazebos and other lightweight canopies. Aluminum is generally used for both, but steel and other heavier metals like wrought iron are better suited for the substantial heavy duty builds. The same is true of wood, which is not used for gazebo canopies very often except in DIY builds where a custom canvas canopy can be easily stretched over a wooden frame.

One thing you want to be careful about with wood though is to make sure it's protected against the elements. Waterproof your wooden hardtop gazebo and you can be sure that it will last and remain beautiful for years to come.

Location, Location, Gazebo?

Given the heavier nature of a heavy duty hardtop gazebo, they are less suitable for moving around the yard. This means choosing a location for your gazebo is more critical than if you were placing a lighter gazebo canopy. While this may seem like a big drawback, the truth is you probably have a location in your yard that would be "best" for a gazebo anyways, and so keeping it there is in your best interests.

A patio makes a great location for a gazebo, though if you want to use your patio for other things like playing basketball, it's better to keep it open. The garden is another great location to put a gazebo, and likely one where you'd want to keep it in place for a long time. Any outdoor location will do of course, and often the best spot is dictated more by traffic flow and views of the yard in question.

Buying the Right Hardtop Gazebo

Perhaps the toughest decision when looking for a heavy duty gazebo is which manufacturer to go with. There are quite a few who build hardtop gazebos, though not quite as many as who sell the more common gazebo canopies. First Up, Sunjoy, and Living Home are just a few of the name brands you will run across.

That is in addition to any of the no-name models that tend to be for sale at the local hardware. These discount hardtop gazebos may seem like a deal at the time due their price, but that's often not all that's cheap about them. Poor quality components can mean your "heavy duty" gazebo is no such thing. Go this route and you may find yourself wishing you had gone for a more expensive, but undoubtedly higher quality, Sunjoy aluminum and steel hardtop gazebo instead.

In any case, as with any outdoor furniture or feature, it's advisable to read reviews on the makes and models that you are considering. This can save you from a lot of headaches later on, so research your choices carefully.