Buying a Gazebo Guide


Gazebos are practical, attractive garden features which provide shade from the sun and shelter from showers.

Suitable for private or commercial use, a garden gazebo is the perfect environment for outdoor entertainment, alfresco dining or simply relaxing in the garden. They are a super investment for the garden and will last for decades when chosen and maintained well.

As a wide range of gazebos are available, you may need help you choosing the best garden gazebo for your outdoor area. Our guide covers all you need to know.

This guide will cover the topics below. Click a topic to go straight to the information you need.

Step One: Choosing the Size

Step Two: Choosing the Material

Step Three: Open Gazebo vs Gazebo with Sides

Step Four: Gazebo Shape

Step Five: Roof Information

Step Six: Gazebo Accessories

Gazebo Base Information

Gazebo Delivery

Gazebo Installation

Contacting Us


Step One: Choosing the Size

The gazebo’s size will be determined by your available garden space, the intended use and your budget. Firstly, find the best location for the gazebo. Pay attention to whether this spot will provide shade, sun or a mixture of the two throughout the day.

Measure the location and mark it out. Check this against the gazebo’s detailed specification, shown on our website. Remember to include 1-2 feet of space around the perimeter of the gazebo for any treatment and maintenance which may be required.

Decide what the gazebo will be used for and how many people it should accommodate.

Calculate your budget. Consider the cost of the gazebo itself, installation, any base materials and furnishings.

Having determined location, use and budget, the size of gazebo required should be clearer.

Step Two: Choosing the Material

Gazebos are usually built from wood, polycarbonate with an aluminium frame, or a combination of metal and fabric.

Wooden Gazebos

A wooden gazebo will complement the other natural features in a garden. As wooden gazebos are designed to remain outdoors throughout the year, consider how the wood has been treated before buying.

Dip-treated timber has a surface coating of preservative. This provides it with protection against rot and fungal decay. A dip-treated gazebo often comes a 10-year guarantee, which will be dependent on annual retreatment.

Pressure treated timber has preservative forced deep into the wood for enhanced protection. A pressure treated wooden gazebo could well include a 15-year guarantee. Some manufacturers stipulate that annual retreatment is required, so please check individual guarantees.

A wooden gazebo can be painted for personalisation. Be aware that pressure treated timber will need a few months to settle before painting as any patches of excess preservative may resist the paint.

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Polycarbonate Gazebos

Polycarbonate gazebos usually come with aluminium frames. This strong, long-lasting combination requires minimal maintenance and looks exceptionally attractive in a modern garden.

The polycarbonate panels transmit natural light but block harmful UV rays, providing an environment which is beautifully light without becoming uncomfortably bright. Light transmission rates vary according to each gazebo’s specification.

Many enclosed polycarbonate gazebos use acrylic side panels to complement the polycarbonate roof. This is not a bad thing as the roof is the part of the gazebo exposed to UV rays, while acrylic is both scratch resistant and crystal clear – ideal for side panels.

The warranty on polycarbonate gazebos can vary widely, from 1 to 10 years.

Metal and Fabric Garden Gazebos

Metal and fabric combinations are the cheapest gazebos, come with the shortest guarantees and are invariably open sided with curtains for shelter. They are only designed for use during the warmer months and should be put into garden storage over winter.

Look for a fabric gazebo with an aluminium or heavy-duty steel frame, which will provide reliable support for the canopy.

PVC makes an excellent material for the canopy itself, being hardwearing, water resistant and fire retardant. Polyester is a cheaper alternative but can still be reasonably tough.

Step Three: Open Gazebo vs Gazebo with Sides


Open-sided gazebos consist of a roof with supporting columns. Gazebos with sides, as the name suggests, are fully enclosed.

An open-sided gazebo is primarily for use during more pleasant weather, while an enclosed gazebo with sides can be used for most of the year as it provides increased shelter.

The former are great for garden parties or to provide hospitality venues with sheltered outdoor areas, while the latter can be viewed as something akin to a conservatory.

Open Wooden Gazebos

Although they sometimes include trellis panels and low railings, wooden gazebos are usually open sided. That said, they are still permanent garden structures which are left in place the whole year round. They make the perfect gazebo for pubs, restaurants and similar businesses, who are looking to provide outdoor seating for their customers.

Open Metal and Fabric Gazebos

Metal and fabric combination gazebos are also open sided, but should not be regarded as permanent outdoor structures, as they are designed to be folded up and put into garden storage when the summer’s over and they’re not in use. Curtains usually form the sides of this option.

Open and Enclosed Polycarbonate Gazebos

Polycarbonate gazebos can be either open sided or enclosed. Open-sided polycarbonate gazebos are usually suitable to leave in the garden the whole year round but always check the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure. Polycarbonate gazebos with sides are permanent structures and look stunning in a modern outdoor area. At home, they can be used to extend living space.

Step Four: Gazebo Shape

Wooden Gazebos

There are no set rules on shape, particularly concerning wooden gazebos. We stock square, rectangular, circular, hexagonal and octagonal models to accommodate every taste.

Polycarbonate Gazebos

For those without sides, polycarbonate gazebos tend to be square or rectangular, although a range of different roof styles are available.

Metal and Fabric Gazebos

As these gazebos are always open sided and supported by columns, they will inevitably be square or rectangular. Again, different roof styles give models their own individual look.

Step Five: Roof Information (Forest Garden brand only)

Forest Garden’s range of premium gazebos are amongst our most popular. They come with a choice of three roof styles:

Traditional Timber Roof

The thick 28mm traditional timber roof is built from premium tongue and groove. It has a pyramid-shaped design and comes with a Tricoya® lining for complete weatherproof protection.

The timber roof option gives this gazebo a smart, traditional appearance that will complement the rest of the garden beautifully.

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Cedar Roof

The New England cedar roof has an incredibly attractive design. From a distance, the reddish timber resembles brickwork or tiles, and are finished to the highest standard.

The cedar roof also comes with Tricoya® lining to keep out the rain and protect the interior.

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Country Thatch Roof

The thatched roof gives these gazebos an authentic country feel. They simply ooze charm.

This doesn’t mean they’re a less effective option, either. Once again, this gazebo roof includes a Tricoya® lining to keep the interior dry.

Shop thatch roof gazebos

Step Six: Gazebo Accessories


Fully Furnished Gazebos

More expensive gazebos, designed to be permanent garden structures, sometimes come fully furnished, including various combinations of a table, seating, cushions and curtains. Purchase a fully-furnished gazebo and you have a readymade luxurious garden shelter.

If the gazebo comes unfurnished, you can customise it to your own personal taste, whether that be with an outdoor dining set or simply a pair of reclining garden chairs. The choice is yours.


Garden Lighting

Outdoor lighting is a particularly popular accessory, allowing your garden parties to stretch well into the evening.

Remember, solar outdoor lights do not need connecting to the mains and provide free, attractive, eco-friendly lighting for your garden gazebo.

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Gazebo Base Information

All gazebos should be assembled on a firm, level base, even when they come with wooden flooring. Many gazebos are supplied with anchor kits to securely fasten the supporting columns to the base.

If using an existing base, such as a patio, decking or similar hard surface, ensure it is level and reliable before the gazebo is installed.

Installing onto Grass

If installing a new base onto grass, the ground must be suitably prepared to make sure it is level with no more than a 65mm gradient across the area. All rocks, tree roots and other obstructions must be removed.

A damp-proof membrane should be used if the gazebo includes a wooden floor.

Concrete Slabs

A concrete base can either be poured into a frame or consist of multiple concrete slabs. Both options benefit from the use of a damp-poof membrane. If using slabs, ensure that there are no gaps between them. Both a poured and a slab base should sit on a dressing of hardcore and sharp sand to allow for drainage. The resulting base should be level.

Wooden Bases

A wooden base can be solid, acting as a floor, or a frame of pressure treated joists which protect a wooden gazebo’s integral floor from contact with the ground. Both of these options should be installed on level ground, preferably on a dressing of hardcore and sharp sand covered in damp-proof membrane.

Gazebo Delivery


The lead time listed on the product page indicates when a gazebo will be available for dispatch. During that time period, the manufacturer will contact you directly to arrange the delivery date.

Any changes made to an order can cause the delivery date to change. Check you have included everything before ordering.

Delivery is included with the vast majority of Shedstore’s garden gazebos. However, some remote postcodes will incur a surcharge. Use the postcode checker on the product page to check if surcharges will apply to your delivery.

Gazebo Installation


A no-hassle, professional installation service is available from some of our gazebo manufacturers. Check the full description on the product page for more details. A suitable base, as described above, must be ready prior to the installation team’s visit.

For gazebos where this service is not available, all of our manufacturers provide clear assembly instructions and comprehensive customer support.

Contacting Us

Our friendly, UK-based customer service team are available to help answer any questions. Call the team on 0333 003 0518 or use the Live Chat option onsite.

Take a look at our bestselling garden gazebos below or view all our gazebos here.