There are many different types of garden gazebos. Some people will want a traditional Victorian style, while others prefer the more open appearance of an oriental pagoda style gazebo or even a gazebo that resembles a sunroom or pergola. Which type of gazebo is the one for you depends on the type of garden, the local environment, and your own personal tastes. This article will introduce you types of gazebos, hopefully providing enough information to help you make a decision as to the kind that best fits you.
The Victorian-styled garden gazebo is probably the most popular type in use today. It can be square or rectangular but the most common is round or octagonal. This style often features a domed roof with a weather vane or decorative spire at the peak. A Victorian-style gazebo tends to employ the most trim and decorative construction and has the honor of being considered a regal and romantic place for meeting, reading or simple introspection.
Another very popular style of outdoor gazebo is those built in classic Japanese style. In many ways an oriental gazebo is like a pergola with impressive wooden columns supporting thick timbers. The pagoda gazebo has a distinctive Japanese roof style, generally with a flared roof identified by high corner ridges. To recreate the classical style of Asian monasteries, one very popular accessory is a large brass gong. Decorate with bonsai trees or other Asian shrubs or flowers, and the atmosphere is complete.
Many people building gazebos from scratch construct a simple box-like gazebo. Rather plain when compared to Victorian or Oriental gazebos, these square versions often have one very important advantage--they are enclosed with screens or solid walls. Some models could technically be described as greenhouses because they are enclosed with glass or other translucent material, and are perhaps even heated for year-round comfort. Many people turn a boxed gazebo into an outdoor meeting place or a location for cookouts, parties, or family events.
Lastly, traditional pergolas are often thought of as a type of gazebo. By definition, a pergola is an open-roofed area, often used as an arbor. Similar to the oriental styles, a pergola is frequently characterized by columns supporting heavy wood beams, but differ by omitting a covered roof. Pergolas can be planted with all hanging plants or climbing wines, and are commonly used for wisteria or grape arbors, with roses decorating the outer columns.
All of the gazebos mentioned here are available as plans or kits from major hardware stores. Kits contain the plans and proprietary hardware for construction and may or may not include the basic building materials. Plans include a complete list of the tools and materials required but do not generally include any hardware. Additionally, some gazebo kits are for pre-fabricated designs using panels connected together. A pre-fab gazebo is one of the easiest to build but make sure you are satisfied with the materials involved before purchasing because this type of gazebo contains less common building materials, such as aluminum and molded vinyl or plastic.