Create a Romantic Gazebo Create a Romantic Gazebo
Amidst the stress of the modern world, nostalgic redwood gazebos are an increasingly popular addition to a deck, garden or backyard setting. A gazebo is a delightful place to retreat from the world, enjoy your garden, read a book or entertain friends. The sensation of being in an open, but sheltering structure is soothing and relaxing.
By definition, a gazebo is meant to be a "gazing room," an isolated structure intended to offer a panoramic view of the surrounding area. Gazebos were at their most popular in the Victorian and Edwardian ages. Some of the first to appreciate the luxury of a small structure in the midst of their gardens, however, were the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. In China as far back as 4000 BC, the Taoist religion revered beauty, and garden structures were natural and essential components. By the start of the Renaissance, no proper garden could be complete without its own outdoor structure.
When creating a modern-day redwood gazebo, there are three ways to go. Talented do-it-yourselfers build their own structures. There are a variety of plans available in how-to books, magazines and from building material suppliers. Another option is to assemble a pre-fabricated gazebo from a kit. Many manufacturers offer these kits. The third choice is to find a designer/builder to come up with a custom structure tailored to your tastes and needs.
Whichever method you choose, be sure to use quality materials. Redwood is popular for gazebos because of its natural, built-in beauty, durability and decay- and insect-resistance. Do-it-yourselfers and building professionals both enjoy using it because it is lightweight and easy to saw, shape and nail.
When building redwood outdoor structures, always use stainless steel, aluminum or top-quality hot-dipped galvanized nails, fasteners and hardware. Redwood gazebos will look and perform best with the application of a transparent, semi-transparent or opaque finish. Choose a finish that contains a water-repellent, a mildewcide and an UV ray inhibitor.
The site you choose for your outdoor structure is perhaps the most important design decision you'll make. You can show off the redwood gazebo, making it a focal point in the overall plan of your grounds. Perhaps you’ll want to plan your garden around the gazebo, planting shrubs and flowers to enhance and highlight the beauty of the site. Or you can position your gazebo as a secluded retreat.
Do you plan to eat and/or cook frequently in your redwood gazebo? If so, you'll want to consider placing the structure near the kitchen. And you'll want to make the structure big enough to accommodate the tables, chairs and supplies that accompany eating and drinking.
If you want climbing plants or vines to eventually envelop your project, you must position the structure on a site that provides at least four hours of direct sunlight daily. Southern and eastern exposures are the most desirable. Including lattice on the sides of your project and encouraging plants to climb up is an excellent way to create a shady spot. Lattice and slat-style roofing are also effective ways of diffusing excess heat while still letting you enjoy the sun.
Architect: Roger F. Hooper, AIA
A four-sided redwood gazebo/pavilion defines the entry to a front yard. The open slat roof design offers a pleasant combination of sun and shade. The gazebo blends with its lush surroundings of carefully chosen plants and flowers and provides an inviting retreat for reading and contemplation. Redwood was chosen for this project because of its beauty, durability and weatherability.
Designer/Builder: Homecrafters of California
Octagonal redwood gazebo is built with economical knot-textured Construction Heart, one of the garden grades of redwood. Airy criss-crossed redwood lattice provides shade and privacy. Plans for this gazebo are available.
An airy redwood gazebo features louvered doors which can screen or frame backyard views. A sharply pitched open lattice roof permits comfortable filtered light and soft breezes. Redwood deck floor raises the structure off the ground and drains rainwater quickly. Redwood was chosen for its beauty, durability and stability.
Designer/Builder: MR DECK
An appealing redwood gazebo features an open octagonal design made up of four alternating 10-foot sides and four 5-foot sides. The structure incorporates a cupola with a pyramidal cap. The primary material is lacy redwood lattice. The gazebo was finished with bleaching oil, which creates a silvery driftwood gray effect. Redwood’s beauty, durability and exceptional dimensional stability make it a good choice for intricately crafted outdoor applications like this one.
Courtesy of the California Redwood Association