Grilling is a year-round cooking option in many areas of the country, but since it is a task that must take place outdoors, you may want to protect yourself from the elements. A small and basic gazebo is a great way to keep you out of direct sun in the summer and rain in the winter. Plus, it’s a task most DIYers can tackle.
Step 1 - Collect Supplies
Your project will come together much faster if you can cut out the emergency trips to the home improvement center just as you begin to make progress. Make sure you have all the proper amount of lumber and roofing materials by taking careful measurements during the planning stages. Also check your saws, power drills, and other tools to make sure you have everything you need. This includes any drill bits, saw blades, and ladders. Plus, make sure you have enough hardware so you don’t have to make a special trip for more screws. You can either collect supplies at the store or place on online order and have everything delivered to your home.
Step 2 - Work From the Ground up
You will need to decide what type of flooring you need, if any. Of course you can keep a grass or dirt ground, but you will deal with messy shoes while grilling. Instead, consider gravel, paver stones, concrete, or simply build over an existing area, such as a patio. You could also create a simple frame after Step 4 that connects each of the corners with 2x4s, attach flat cross supports, and then attach cedar fence planks or plywood to make a wood floor.
Step 3 - Perform a Stakeout
Using your blueprint, map out the four corners of the gazebo and drive a stake into the ground at each location. Run a thin rope between the stakes to ensure your lines.
Step 4 - Plant Your Supports
Grab a post hole digger and dig holes at least three feet deep for each corner post. Be sure to select pressure-treated lumber or add a treatment to the portion of the 4x4 or 4x6 that is underground. This will keep your post from rotting. Place your posts into the holes and add temporary cross beam supports to hold them plumb while you add concrete to the hole and allow it to completely dry.
Step 5 - Add Cross Beams
Attach the tops of the four posts with cross beams. Make sure they are flush with the tops of the posts and are level all the way across.
Step 6 - Build the Rafters
You will need a basic roof for your gazebo and the process is the same as it would be for an entire house on a much smaller scale. Start by calculating the angles for your pitch. You will have a cross support and three or more pitched board lengths mounted to it. Create the same design for the other side and connect the two roof sides at the top. Cut and attach plywood to each side of the roof.
Step 7 - Dress it up
At this point, you may want to add cedar around the outside edges of the roofline and underneath the roof. This adds thickness so the roofing nails don’t show through to the underside, but also provides a finished look for the inside of the gazebo.
Step 8 - Add Roofing Materials
Roll out your roofing underlayment paper and install it in strips using roofing nails. Overlap the seams slightly for strong protection against water leaks. Then apply your shingles to the top of the roof. Install them one row at a time using roofing nails, overlapping the row below it as you work. Alternatively, you could use metal roofing instead.
Step 9 - Personalize the Sides
With the roof attached, your gazebo is technically done. However, you may want to add some additional features to make your grilling space better suited to your needs. For example, you could add privacy screening or lattice to one or more sides. If you plan to serve directly from your gazebo you can frame in a window and add a shelf at countertop height. This will allow you a place to set down platters and pass food to guests. You may also want to add nails or hooks for your grilling spatula and apron. A wall-mount shelf is another nice addition so you have a space to set bbq sauce, lighter fluid, and other grilling supplies.