How to build a DIY wooden gazebo

Your relaxation station in the garden

Inspirations / Evergreen tips


Estimated reading time 5 minutes

Have you been thinking how good a gazebo would look in your garden? An outdoor gazebo embellishes the garden, creates a shaded area perfect for relaxing, dining with family and friends, and child’s play; and, if necessary, it can even be converted into a carport. So why not spend a bit of time building one during the holiday?

The gazebo can be freestanding or attached to the wall of your house, and can have a square, rectangular, polygonal or circular shape. It can be large or small, depending on the available space. You can opt for a fixed structure in wood or metal, or if you prefer, a folding gazebo that you can assemble at the start of summer and store away in the garage when autumn arrives.

You can’t go wrong with wood. It goes well with all styles of home, both classic and modern, and you have the added satisfaction of being able to build the gazebo with your own hands. So today, we explain how to build a simple wooden gazebo with a freestanding, fixed structure, a square roof and 4 open sides.

Making a DIY wooden gazebo: what you need

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: every DIY project should start with the design. So, after deciding where in the garden to place the gazebo, measure up the area and check that there are no obstacles: an outdoor gazebo should not interfere with the house, surrounding vegetation (think ahead and determine how much it might grow), underground pipelines etc.

Visit your local council offices to find out which outdoor structures—gazebos, pergolas, sheds etc.—are allowed; the construction characteristics they are required to have; the maximum permissible dimensions and the minimum distances that must be maintained with respect to houses, garden fences and roads; whether or not planning permission is needed, and so on. At this point, you have all the information you need to design your DIY wooden gazebo: if you don't know where to start, you can look for inspiration on the Internet. One aspect not to be overlooked is the style of your garden, which your gazebo should be compatible with.

Speaking of designs, gardens and styles, here are our suggestions on how to design a DIY garden and how to create a zen garden.

Once the design is finished, you can prepare the precise list of materials that you need to build the wooden gazebo, complete with measurements and quantities, which will enable you to calculate the costs. Depending on your DIY ability and how much free time you want to spend building your wooden garden gazebo, you can buy treated wood pre-cut to the required dimensions; buy raw materials that you cut and varnish yourself according to your needs; or use recycled materials (such as pallets). The quickest alternative is to buy everything you need to build your DIY wooden gazebo as a ready-to-assemble kit.

Do you want to build a wooden gazebo starting with raw materials, i.e. a tree trunk? To chop it up you can follow our instructions on how to make planks from a tree trunk.

Here's what you need to buy in order to build a 3x3 m DIY wooden gazebo measuring about 2.5 m high:

  • 4 uprights measuring 9x9x240 cm for the vertical structure.

  • 4 planks measuring 4.5x12x300 cm for the load-bearing roof elements.

  • 5 battens measuring 4.5x9x300 cm as secondary elements on which the roof will rest.

  • Galvanised metal brackets for fixing to the concrete floor (or alternatively, brackets for burying deep in the ground).

  • Galvanised hardware: anchor bolts to fasten the brackets to the concrete, bolts with nuts and washers to secure the uprights to the brackets and to fasten the main roof elements to the uprights, and screws to fasten the secondary roof elements.

To clad the roof of your wooden garden gazebo, you can lay purlins coated with waterproofing sheathing, polycarbonate or plexiglass sheets, PVC tarpaulin, a light protection made of cane matting, or you can grow a leafy canopy of climbing plants.

The equipment you will need are a pencil, a metre stick, carpenter's square, a spirit level; a power drill with masonry and wood drill bits, a screwdriver, a hammer, a spanner, bar clamps; a stepladder and utility gloves. You can use a chainsaw to cut the wood: the ideal types for DIY projects are electric chainsaws, battery-powered models, compact petrol engine chainsaws or an entry-level chainsaw like the Efco MTH 5100.

How do you transport all the materials and equipment you need to build your wooden gazebo? Bulky and heavy loads are no longer a problem with a transporter such as the TN 3400 K model for hobbyists, which has a platform expandable to 90x106 cm and a maximum load capacity of 350 kg.

Build your own wooden garden gazebo

Once you have gathered together all the construction materials and equipment you need for your wooden garden gazebo, it’s time to prepare the work area. You can use a brushcutter to get rid of grass and a blower to quickly clear away the clippings.

If, instead of building the gazebo directly on the ground, you have decided to build it on a specially prepared base to which the upright brackets are anchored, you can make a concrete cast that is slightly larger than the footprint of the gazebo (3x3 m in this case) or 4 small corner casts.

Once the brackets are fixed to the concrete base (or driven into the ground), assemble the vertical and horizontal framework of the wooden gazebo:

  • Fix each upright to its bracket by drilling it and securing with through-bolts.

  • Secure the planks in pairs at the top end of the uprights, on opposite sides, again with through-bolts.

  • Place the battens on top of the planks and screw them into place: the distances between each panel should be the same (in this case around 70 cm).

Your brand-new wooden garden gazebo is complete! If you prefer an enclosed wooden gazebo, instead of leaving the four sides open, you can partially or completely surround it with a simple fence or trellis, which you can buy off-the-shelf.

If you've read this far, you’re probably a dedicated DIY enthusiast. In that case, why not also build a DIY wooden bench for your garden?

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