How to Build a Gazebo With a Canopy Top

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Build a gazebo with canopy using beams and canvas.
Build a gazebo with canopy using beams and canvas. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

A gazebo structure is typically open on the sides with a fabric canopy over top. The canopy usually resembles a tent to allow water or debris slide off. Gazebos can be built from concrete, brick or wood. But the most common -- and affordable -- is the type with wooden pole supports and a canopy top that can be changed or taken down during winter months when not in use.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden stake
  • String
  • Tape measure
  • Post hole digger
  • 4 pressure-treated wooden beams, 4-by-4-by-120-inches
  • 1 pressure-treated wooden beam, 4-by-4-by-144-inches
  • Shovel
  • 2 canvas tarps, 14-by-18-feet

Drive a stake into the ground where you want the center of the gazebo. Tie the end of a ball of string onto the stake. Stretch the string out 60 inches, as indicated on a tape measure. Walk around in a circle to determine the perimeter of the gazebo. Make four marks on the ground, evenly spaced around the perimeter of the circle.

Dig four holes, each 18 inches deep, using a post hole digger. Pull up the stake in the center, and dig one 18-inch hole there. Place one 110-inch pressure-treated beam vertically into each hole around the perimeter. Place the 144-inch beam into the hole in the center.

Fill the holes with dirt around the beams, with a shovel. Use a level to ensure that the poles are straight vertically. Tap the dirt down firmly around the beams, with the end of a shovel.

Toss one canvas tarp over the top of the poles. Throw the other tarp perpendicular over the first tarp. The sides will hang down. Create a curtain effect by rolling them up and securing them with twine just below the tops of the posts.

Tips & Warnings

  • This will provide curtains on two sides. For curtains on all four sides, reduce the sizes of the tarps and use four or more tarps over the top.
  • Place one octagon bench in the center around the beam. Place other benches around the perimeter of the gazebo.
  • Use only pressure-treated beams. Any other beam will rot when exposed to dirt or moisture.

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