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Building A Gazebo

SQUARED GAZEBO BUILDING PLANS

MATERIALS LIST

  • 18 2×8 x 10′ Above Ground pressure treated spruce: joists, beams, trimmers, storage box headers, bridging
  • 4 6x6x 10′ Ground Contact pressure treated posts (length may vary according to terrain)
  • 21 3/ 4 x 6 x 10′ Above Ground pressure treated lumber: deck 280 sq. ft. of 1×4: roof sheathing
  • 8 2×4 x 8′ Above Ground pressure treated: side panels
  • 12 2×4 x 10′ Above Ground pressure treated: top plates, molding, corner brackets and nailers
  • 12 2×6 x 10′ Above Ground pressure treated: common and jack rafters
  • 8 2×6 x 12′ Above Ground pressure treated: corner braces, hip rafters
  • 8 2×8 x 10′ Above Ground pressure treated: headers
  • 1 2×10 x 12′ spruce: plinth blocks
  • 1 1×4 x 10′ pine: cupola corners
  • 2 1×6 x 12′ pine: collar ties 160 lin. ft. 1×6 tongue and groove pine: side panels, cupola
  • 3 ¾” x 4×8 sheets of spruce plywood: storage box, cupola
  • 12 bundles #2 cedar shingles
gazebo
gazebo

HARDWARE LIST

  • All hardware that comes in contact with pressure treated lumber must be hot dipped galvanized or stainless steel, or have an ACQ rated coating.
  • 4 6×6 post saddles
  • 8 #/8” x 10” galvanized carriage bolts, washers, and nuts
  • 6½ lbs 1 ½” galvanized nails for shingles
  • 50 #8 x 1½” stainless steel or galvanized deck screws
  • 50 #8 x 2” galvanized screws
  • 750 #8 x 3” stainless steel or galvanized deck screws
  • 300 #10 x 3½” stainless steel or galvanized deck screws
  • 1 roll of roofing membrane (a.k.a. ice and water shield)
  • 2 recessed handles
  • 4 hinges
  • 6′ light chain
  • Weatherproof wood glue epoxy anchoring adhesive
  • 100 sq. ft. of fiberglass screen under decking (optional)
gazebo

MATERIALS LIST

  • 18 2×8 x 10′ Above Ground pressure treated spruce: joists, beams, trimmers, storage box headers, bridging
  • 4 6x6x 10′ Ground Contact pressure treated posts (length may vary according to terrain)
  • 21 3/ 4 x 6 x 10′ Above Ground pressure treated lumber: deck 280 sq. ft. of 1×4: roof sheathing
  • 8 2×4 x 8′ Above Ground pressure treated: side panels
  • 12 2×4 x 10′ Above Ground pressure treated: top plates, molding, corner brackets and nailers
  • 12 2×6 x 10′ Above Ground pressure treated: common and jack rafters
  • 8 2×6 x 12′ Above Ground pressure treated: corner braces, hip rafters
  • 8 2×8 x 10′ Above Ground pressure treated: headers
  • 1 2×10 x 12′ spruce: plinth blocks
  • 1 1×4 x 10′ pine: cupola corners
  • 2 1×6 x 12′ pine: collar ties 160 lin. ft. 1×6 tongue and groove pine: side panels, cupola
  • 3 ¾” x 4×8 sheets of spruce plywood: storage box, cupola
  • 12 bundles #2 cedar shingles
gazebo

HARDWARE LIST

  • All hardware that comes in contact with pressure treated lumber must be hot dipped galvanized or stainless steel, or have an ACQ rated coating.
  • 4 6×6 post saddles
  • 8 #/8” x 10” galvanized carriage bolts, washers, and nuts
  • 6½ lbs 1 ½” galvanized nails for shingles
  • 50 #8 x 1½” stainless steel or galvanized deck screws
  • 50 #8 x 2” galvanized screws
  • 750 #8 x 3” stainless steel or galvanized deck screws
  • 300 #10 x 3½” stainless steel or galvanized deck screws
  • 1 roll of roofing membrane (a.k.a. ice and water shield)
  • 2 recessed handles
  • 4 hinges
  • 6′ light chain
  • Weatherproof wood glue epoxy anchoring adhesive
  • 100 sq. ft. of fiberglass screen under decking (optional)

PLANNING THE STRUCTURE

Prepping the site for the gazebo is reasonably straightforward. If possible, choose a flat spot to simplify the build. With its hip roof, building your own gazebo involves much work that’s not at ground level—you may want to rent scaffolding to make the job safer and faster. As well, when you’re working on the roof, a helper or two on the ground is really essential. Safety first.

  1. Dig holes so that the posts seat in concrete filled 10” concrete tubes and below the frost line. Position the saddles accurately (before you epoxy them,) so they’re plumb and square.
  2. Adjust the posts for plumb and square. The easiest way to do this is by doing a test run with short pieces of 6×6 in the saddles, in most cases, you can use the off cuts from the posts. Ensure to calculate for a margin of error (leaving an extra 6 inches on the post until the fitting stage). Check your own situation carefully before cutting. Shift the short pieces in the saddles as needed to get everything square and plumb, and then replace with the full-length posts, duplicating the adjustments made with the short stubs.
  3. Add temporary diagonal braces to hold the gazebo posts in place (keeping the bottom 2′ clear to allow room for the floor).
  4. Start building the gazebo floor structure by trimming the 2×8 beams and joists to 10′ and cutting the optional scalloped end detail (see figure 1C) It’s simply a 4 1/2” radius quarter circle, easily made with a jigsaw. If you intend to stain or paint the beams and joists, this is the time. It’s much easier to do this now rather than after the gazebo is built.
  5. Clamp the beams to the posts so their tops are about 9” above grade (see note below). Level and drill 3/ 8” holes to bolt the beams through the posts. For each pair of beams, screw or nail three short pieces of bridging in place (see figure 2).
    Note: If the beams are more than 2′ above ground, a railing is needed around it to conform to the Local Building Code. If on a sloped site, use longer posts and a railing on the downhill sides to prevent persons from failing.
  6. Cut the 3/4” plywood parts for the storage box and screw together (see figures 2 and 3). Before cutting, check that the box bottom does not touch the ground; adjust its depth if needed.
  7. Set the storage box framing joists on the beams and toenail in place. With a helper, position the box between the joists so that the top is 3/4” below the top edges of the joists and screw in place (see figures 2 and 3). (Hint: Place the box near the most accessible side of the gazebo, adjust the location so that the gap is between the deck boards and it aligns with the middle of the headers.) Screw the headers and the trimmers to the joists, then the storage box to the headers. Secure the short joists to the headers and the beams. Place the uncut lid on the storage box.
  8. Fasten joists to the outside and inside of the posts with #10 x 3” screws. Be sure to use galvanized or steel screws approved for pressure treated wood. Position the remaining two joists on the beams and toenail in place. Cut bridging to length and nail or screw in place: three pieces between the joists straddling the posts and two between the others.
  9. If you plan to enclose the gazebo with screen or mosquito netting, staple fiberglass screen over the joists, cutting out the opening for the storage box.
  10. Attach the 5/4 x 6 deck boards to the joists with #8 x 3” deck screws. Note that you’ll have to trim deck boards to fit the posts. As well, the deck boards covering the storage box will need to be cut to allow the lid to open.
  11. Once the boards are cut, screw the appropriate pieces to the lid, with #8 x 1” deck screws. Remove the lid assembly and cut the plywood through one of the deck board gaps to split the lid into two manageable pieces. Install the handles and hinges, recessing the hardware. Two short lengths of light chain stop the lid halves from opening more than about 120°; if the lids open all the way they’ll tear out the hinges.
  12. From the off cuts of the boards that fit between the posts, cut four 6” pieces to project out on either side of the posts— where, without a lot of support, they need a solid connection. Drill two clearance holes in each piece and screw to the joists (the plinth blocks, to come, will add strength from above).
  13. Measure 91” up from the deck and cut the posts off at this length. I also used the jig to cut out the 1” deep notches for the headers (see figure 2b).
  14. Cut the 2×8 outer headers to length, as in figure 2, mitering the ends. Set them in the notches and screw to the posts with three #10 x 3” deck screws on each end. Cut the inner headers, then screw or nail to the outer headers, followed by the 2×4 corner brace nailers (see figures 1b and 2).
  15. Cut the 2×4 top plates to length, mark the location of the gazebo rafters (figure 14), and nail or screw to the headers, flush to the outside face.
  16. Cut molding strips for the headers by ripping 10′ lengths of 2×4 to 1½” by 1½” (2×2 finger jointed spruce is a good choice, too). Rout a suitable profile, cut to length (mitering the ends), and nail to the header face.
gazebo
gazebo
gazebo
gazebo

BRACKETS AND BRACES

  1. From 2x4s ripped to 3” wide, cut 16 bracket pieces, eight 32” long and eight 27” long. Cut eight corner braces from 2x6s, using the gazebo design shown or customizing your own. Note the miter angles in figure 1a—they’re not all 45°. If you like, rout the inside and outside edges, excluding the ends. Glue (with weatherproof glue) and screw (#10 x 3½” screws) the assemblies together.
  2. Drill clearance holes and, using six #10 x 3½” screws, secure the bracket assemblies to the gazebo structure.
  3. At this point, you can remove the temporary diagonal braces holding the posts and paint or stain the basic gazebo structure.
brackets
rafters

RAFTERS

A hip roof can be a real challenge to lay out, cut, and assemble. A lot of the work is in the calculating and measuring. While a majority of the calculations are completed that part, be careful to ensure that all of the cuts are correct, as it is easy to cut something backwards. Review the rafter measurements and angles in the plans. Each rafter has the same basic cuts — an angled end at the peak and a bird’s mouth where it hooks over the top plate (the hip rafters also have angled cuts at the tail end) — some key measurements differ with each type of rafter. The plans give you those specs. One trick to speed your work and improve accuracy: Each rafter tail and bird’s mouth is identical for all the common and jack rafters, so cut one piece and use it as a pattern. Also, the four hip rafters match one another. Work step by step, cutting and installing the common rafters and hips, and then cutting the jacks. Stain or paint the pieces before you install them.

brackets

BRACKETS AND BRACES

  1. From 2x4s ripped to 3” wide, cut 16 bracket pieces, eight 32” long and eight 27” long. Cut eight corner braces from 2x6s, using the gazebo design shown or customizing your own. Note the miter angles in figure 1a—they’re not all 45°. If you like, rout the inside and outside edges, excluding the ends. Glue (with weatherproof glue) and screw (#10 x 3½” screws) the assemblies together.
  2. Drill clearance holes and, using six #10 x 3½” screws, secure the bracket assemblies to the gazebo structure.
  3. At this point, you can remove the temporary diagonal braces holding the posts and paint or stain the basic gazebo structure.
rafters

RAFTERS

A hip roof can be a real challenge to lay out, cut, and assemble. A lot of the work is in the calculating and measuring. While a majority of the calculations are completed that part, be careful to ensure that all of the cuts are correct, as it is easy to cut something backwards. Review the rafter measurements and angles in the plans. Each rafter has the same basic cuts — an angled end at the peak and a bird’s mouth where it hooks over the top plate (the hip rafters also have angled cuts at the tail end) — some key measurements differ with each type of rafter. The plans give you those specs. One trick to speed your work and improve accuracy: Each rafter tail and bird’s mouth is identical for all the common and jack rafters, so cut one piece and use it as a pattern. Also, the four hip rafters match one another. Work step by step, cutting and installing the common rafters and hips, and then cutting the jacks. Stain or paint the pieces before you install them.

Construction

  1. Start by cutting the four common roof rafters, as these are the simplest. Note: That two are shorter by ¾” (half the thickness of a 2×6,) at the peak end, because they butt up against the first two at the peak (see figure 14a). Use your framing square to lay out the bird’s mouth cut.
  2. Cut the flared tails on the rafters (figure 11). Screw the diagonal piece, making the saw cut from the corner of the tail end to the corner of the bird’s mouth, as shown. Put a screw through the rafter to hold it down while you saw. Number to cut pieces so that they match later.
  3. Hip rafters have the peaks tucked into the corner which is formed by the common rafters, they will need a double compound angle, (made by cutting from one side and then the other). For aesthetics, there’s a double compound cut on the tail end too. Ensure that you adjust your jig before cutting, as the pieces will need to be longer. Install the tail pieces on the hip rafters by gluing and screwing them to the top edge as in figure 10.
  4. Begin rafter installation with the two longer common rafters by toenailing them to the center of the top plate and screw together at the peak. Add the two shorter common rafters (note the position of their top edges, figure 14a) and then the hip rafters, adjusting them as needed to fit by trimming at the peak end.
  5. Cut the jack rafters, remembering that peaks for corresponding pairs must be reversed.
  6. When installing the jacks, keep a long, straight board handy to check that their top edges are flush with the tops of the commons and the corners of the hips.
  7. For the flared tails, snap a chalk line from the end of one hip rafter to another, atop the jack and common rafters. Glue and screw the remaining tail pieces, aligned with the chalk line, then trim the little pointed ends that stick out.
  8. About halfway up the common rafters, measure across for collar ties. Cut two (with or without the decorative bottom notch) from 1×6 pine and install with #8 x 2” screws. Measure, cut, and install the other two. See figure 14.
  9. Installing the 1×4 spruce roof boards will go faster if a helper on the ground cuts while you measure and nail. Start at the bend at the top of the flared eaves, work down to the rafter tails, then up to the peak. Miter the boards at the hip rafters. Note: The miter angle changes slightly on either side of the bend rafters.

SHINGLING

Cedar shingles make the gazebo look great, but are expensive and time consuming. To save time and money, cedar shingles can be substituted with asphalt shingles. Ensure to apply the ice and water shield (a waterproof membrane) under shingles. Remember to cut each strip of underlay about 6” longer than needed so you can wrap the ends over the ridges.

  1. Start at the eaves with a double layer of shingles, off set so no gaps align, and no nail heads are exposed. Leave a ¼” gap between shingles and use two 1½” galvanized nails, about ½” to ¾” in from the sides and about 8” up from the bottom on each; nail heads should be driven flat to the surface.
  2. With a cedar shingle roof of this pitch, each course should have 6” exposed. To keep courses straight, snap a chalk line for each, measuring from the first course every time to prevent creep. Asphalt shingles do not need a chalk line, as they have reference tabs built in.
  3. lightly damped shingles are more flexible which makes them ideal for the bend that is formed by the flared eaves. Note: If you are adding a cupola, you don’t need to shingle all the way to the apex of the roof.
  4. Once the field of the roof is shingled, cover the ridges with a strip of shingles. One edge of each shingle is ripped at a 27° bevel, so the edges butt tightly. Note: The butt seams alternate from one side of the ridge to the other. Prefabricated ridge caps will save your time as they are cut, assembled, and ready to nail down. Don’t nail down the last three or four courses of ridge shingles until the cupola is in place.

Panels and plinths

  1. To make the panel frames, rip eight 8’long 2x4s to 1½” by 1½”. To cut the dadoes in each piece, as in figure 4a, you can make multiple passes on your table saw, or use a router.
  2. From these pieces, cut 16 stiles to fit between the deck surface and header (about 84”, but measure your structure). From the off cuts, cut 16 rails 9” long.
  3. Sight along the stiles, pulling out any that aren’t straight (there are bound to be a few). Plan to use these against the posts, where you can straighten them out.
  4. Cut 136 10” pieces of the 1×6 tongue and groove pine. Assemble the panels by gluing and screwing a bottom rail between two stiles, drilling a clearance hole first for #8 x 3” screws. Slide the pine into the dadoes, ripping the last piece to fit. Glue and screw the top rail to the stiles.
  5. Add a routered profile to the outside edges of the stile that’s not attached to the post. Sand, stain, or paint as desired.
  6. Drill clearance holes along the panel’s inside perimeter (the wider edge): three in the post side stile and one in each rail. Screw in place with #10 x 3½” screws.
  7. A simple plinth block will dress up the base of each post, using 2×10 boards with a 45° bevel ripped along the top edge. You can rout an optional chamfer detail along the outside corners of the posts, starting about 4′ from the floor and finishing 3” below the header.

Cupola

The cupola is optional as it serves no functional purpose.

  1. Cut the ¾” plywood sides for the base, beveling top and bottom edges to 40°, and glue and screw together. Cut and install two scrap pieces inside the box (see figure 12), aligned with the top edge. These will make it easier to screw the top securely to the box. Cut eight corner trim pieces from pine 1x4s, again with an angled 40° cut at top and bottom, and a 45° bevel on one side where they’ll meet at the corners. Attach so the edges are flush with the beveled edges of the box.
  2. Cut 1×6 tongue and groove as siding to fit between the corner trim and nail to the box, positioning it so the pieces do not project beyond the beveled edges.
  3. Cut four plywood triangles to make the pyramidal top and four 20” long backer blocks out of scrap 2×4 ripped in half with a bevel of 36°. Assemble the top, screwing through the sides (#8 x 1½” screws) and into the blocks. Shingle the pyramid as you did the main roof and stain or paint.
  4. Note: The cupola goes on the roof in two pieces due to being heavy. Using a helper, carefully lift the box up onto the roof. Position, level, and screw it down through the sides into the roof deck.
  5. Lift the pyramid top in place. level it, and screw through to the scraps you installed earlier. Use colored caulking to hide and seal screw heads.
  6. Complete the main roof ridge cap up to the cupola.

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