Replacing Your Outdoor Gazebo Replacing Your Outdoor Gazebo

What You'll Need
Sledge Hammer
Claw Hammer
Crow Bar
Reciprocal Saw (Optional)
Assorted Wrenches
Flat Head Shovel

If you have an old outdoor gazebo that is becoming unsteady, you may want to tear it down and replace it with a lightweight gazebo. A portable gazebo has the advantage of being able to be moved from one location to another, and generally cost many times less than the materials required for building a replacement wooden gazebo.

Step 1 - Demolition

Start with the roof of the existing gazebo, and tear it off. Remove the shingles first by sliding the shovel beneath a tile and prying it upward, popping it loose. Next, remove the roof decking with the crow bar and hammer. The remaining demolition is best done with a reciprocal saw, cutting out manageable sections one at a time and removing them. If the gazebo pedestal is still in good shape, you may want to consider using it as the base for the the new gazebo. Otherwise, take it apart and remove it as well.

Step 2 - Gazebo Kits

Pick one of the many gazebo kits available. If a simple pop up gazebo is all you need, there are many style and types available, and most require nothing more complicated than a wrench or screwdriver to assemble. Aside from being portable, a canopy gazebo offers you other advantages, such as eliminating the need for permits and city or county inspections. In general, temporary structures do not require permits, but any permanent structures have to be built according to local codes, and must have permits filed with the local code enforcement agency.

Step 3 - Plans and Planning

Major hardware stores have plans detailing how to build a gazebo, if you would rather have a permanent structure. You can either select a set of plans and purchase the materials separately, or buy an entire kit that can be taken home and put together. As mentioned, permanent structures often require permitting. Failure to acquire the proper permits can result in huge fines until the project is brought into compliance with local building laws.

Step 4 - Assembling the Kit

Before you begin to assemble the gazebo, make sure that you have all the necessary parts, and a complete set of instructions. If you are using a pop up gazebo, make sure that you have all of the connectors required, as these may be proprietary, or only available by special order. If you have all of the parts, assemble the gazebo as instructed.

Step 5 - Level the Gazebo

Even if you are installing the gazebo on a deck or concrete slab, some leveling is probably going to be required. Some kits included leveling devices, but others leave that up to you. For gaps up to about 2 inches, paving stones or thin blocks of wood may be used as support blocks. If you have gaps smaller than 1 inch, wooden shims can be used. For instances were there is a large gap, such as extending beyond a set of steps, use container filled with sand or finely crushed gravel as the post supports. This method can also be used to raise the gazebo up, providing more head room if necessary.

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