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How to build a gazebo: 5 free plans to create the ultimate backyard retreat

Gazebos are often romanticized because of their traditional aesthetic and unique beauty, so having a gazebo in your yard can seem like a dream! Plus, turning that dream into a reality may be easier than you think.

Building a gazebo can be simple with basic carpentry knowledge and a free weekend or two. And the project becomes even easier when it’s all planned out for you. To get you started, we’ve compiled some of our favorite gazebo plans below, covering a variety of different style structures and materials. And the best part is that they’re all free! So, how do you make a homemade gazebo? Keep reading to find out more.

Wooden gazebo surrounded by flowers and trees

Reasons to build a gazebo in your yard

A gazebo can be a fantastic addition to any home, adding both style and function to your outdoor space. It can provide a private spot to relax on your patio furniture or a designated area for outdoor entertaining. The structure offers shade on hot, sunny days and a place to get out of the rain during passing storms. A gazebo can also improve the aesthetics of your backyard, creating a focal point and tying your lawn design together. In some cases, a gazebo can even increase your property value.

People sitting in poolside gazebo with a grill

Top 5 free gazebo plans

How do you make a gazebo step by step? Check out these five free tutorials to get started.

Square wooden gazebo

If you don’t have a ton of space in your yard, this free gazebo plan may be the perfect option for you. The instructions from How To Specialist provide a detailed required list of materials and tools along with comprehensive diagrams and helpful tips.

Grill gazebo

Take your backyard parties to the next level with Family Handyman’s “grillzebo.” The free plan for the ultimate outdoor entertaining space provides everything you need to start building, including a step-by-step guide with photos. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to party! All that’s missing are the patio lights.

Open-sided gazebo

Though this open-sided gazebo from The Classic Archives may be small, its gorgeous design makes it an impactful addition to any property. Detailed diagrams, instructions, and images are all included with the free plan.

Octagonal gazebo

BuildEazy provides an incredibly comprehensive guide to building an eight-sided gazebo. The plans for the octagonal gazebo are broken down into smaller, easy-to-follow sections with both U.S. and metric measurements.

Screened-in gazebo

Enjoy the great outdoors without any pesky pests with a screened gazebo. The free guide from My Outdoor Plans provides instructions for building the structure, roof, and even the screens.

DIY backyard wooden gazebo

How to build a gazebo FAQs

Is it hard to build your own gazebo?

Building a DIY gazebo isn’t as difficult as it seems at first glance. While it is a big job, the structure is not overly complex. If you take your time and follow the instructions provided, you’ll be able to complete the project within a couple of days.

Do you need a permit to build a gazebo?

Typically, homeowners are required to obtain a permit when building an outdoor structure. However, building codes and regulations vary in different areas. To be safe and potentially avoid a fine, ask about the local rules at the building permit office before starting your project.

How can I decide where to put the structure?

When choosing a location for your new gazebo,  first check for underground pipes and wires. Call 811 to request a property inspection. The utility companies in your area will dispatch locators to mark buried lines. Once all the utility companies have responded, you can build the gazebo where it’s safe to dig.

What do I need to make a wooden gazebo?

Each of the free plans above will tell you exactly what materials you need to build a wooden gazebo. In addition to lumber, screws, and nails, you may also need cement, sand, and gravel to make the base. For tools, the plan may call for a saw, hammer, level, ladder, and more.

Are you ready to begin building your backyard gazebo? There are so many different styles of structure to choose from, so you’re free to create a structure that’s perfect for entertaining guests or one that’s ideal for relaxing on summer days. No matter which style you select, any one of these five free plans can give you all the information you need to start construction. And in no time, your hard work will pay off when you’re finally able to lay back in your gazebo and unwind in your beautiful backyard.

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