We all know a gazebo is an attractive addition to any garden – you may have even put one up on your patio too. But can gazebos go on decks, and does this risk damaging them?
Both temporary pop up gazebos and permanent hard top ones can definitely go on your decking. You can secure them to the deck without damaging it by simply screwing down each leg, or weighting them down with tied metal straps, small concrete blocks or dug into large, heavy plant pots.
In this article we’ll look at why gazebos can go on decks, how to install them without damaging your decking boards – and consider the best types of gazebos to go on your decking. Lastly, we’ll also discover whether a gazebo can be attached to both your decking and your house.
Can I Put My Gazebo On The Deck Without Damaging it?
Yes, you can put up a gazebo on your deck, and this applies to both fixed and pop-up structures. A deck makes an attractive floor for your gazebo, and with a bit of planning, you can secure it without messing up your boards.
Using your existing deck saves you the cost and effort of installing a floor for your gazebo. It also keeps the floor at one level, which reduces the risk of tripping. But how can you attach a gazebo securely to the ground without the risk of damaging the deck?
Happily, there are plenty of ways to fasten a gazebo to the deck, even if it’s a fixed structure. We’ll take you through several options, including bolts, clock anchors, and even plant pots, then you can decide which is the most appropriate for your set up.
We’d also add that if you’re installing a grill gazebo, you’ll need to protect the deck from heat, oil and flying sparks. You can get special fire-resistant mats for fire pits and grills that stand on your wooden or Trex-type decking.
Can Fixed Hardtop Gazebos Be Screwed To My Deck?
Yes, you can screw a hardtop gazebo into your deck, but it’s a job that requires caution. You’ll need to make sure you attach the screws to the joists and not just the boards otherwise it won’t be stable and could cause damage to the deck.
Each metal foot should have a screw hole already in it, then you’ll need to make small pilot holes with your drill in the decking (having made sure you’re over the joists, of course). Use durable, galvanised screws that are several inches long. This method will do the least damage to the deck.
We’re also asked about using bolts. Bolting your hardtop gazebo onto the deck is a great way to ensure it’s secure. If the decking area is exposed to the wind, you’ll definitely need a robust fixing method and bolts are ideal.
Sometimes, folks can be a bit reluctant to use bolts. They just seem such a permanent solution, and they’re seriously tricky to remove. If you’re going to use this method (and if there’s a chance of strong winds toppling your gazebo, we wholeheartedly advise it), make sure you decide exactly where you want things to go. You can change your mind later, but it’ll be hard work. If in doubt about any of these tasks, engage a handyman or builder to help you. It’s worth doing it properly.
How Do I Attach a Pop Up or Temporary Gazebo To My Deck Without Drilling?
If you’re just installing a gazebo temporarily, for example for a party, you really don’t want to screw it into your decking. So, how can you make sure it’s secure and stable?
There are a few ways to attach your pop up or temporary gazebo to your deck that don’t involve drilling any holes. Here are some suggestions.
Heavy Plant Pots
Yes, you heard us right: stick the gazebo legs into large, solid plant pots full of earth. This is a tried-and-tested method, and works really well.
It actually looks good, too. Choose four matching pots that work with your wood or Trex-type composite deck. Put bricks in the base around the leg, then top the pot up with soil and compost. You can plant herbs or bedding plants at the top of the soil for an attractive effect, or maybe use it to hold the stakes for your solar-powered lanterns.
A note of caution: we’re talking very heavy pots here to provide a firm anchor. If you can lift it by yourself, it’s not heavy enough! So, again, you’ll need to find the joists to stand the legs on, otherwise the weight of the pots could buckle the boards.
Small Concrete Block Anchors
Again, these will hold your gazebo’s feet firmly in place with no need for any drilling. You can easily buy these small concrete blocks in DIY stores or online, and you simply stand the legs in them (you may need a cap that goes into the block, into which you insert the leg).
It’s an easy and inexpensive solution, although it isn’t the prettiest. Disguise the blocks with plant pots or garlands (which will also prevent people tripping over any sticking-out portions).
This is a bit more complicated, but you may prefer this method if you don’t want such visible anchorage. You’re basically tying it down, but using a metal strap and your deck boards, rather than ropes and earth.
You’ll need to attach a metal strap to the gazebo’s legs, then pass it under the deck boards and up again. Try to wrap the strap around two or three boards per leg, as a strong wind could lift a single board.
Another way to use metal straps is to screw them over the gazebo’s feet (provided it has flat feet). Think of it as like the strap on a sandal. There’ll be screw holes in the deck but nothing major.
What Are The Best Types of Gazebo For My Deck?
Do you want a permanent gazebo, or is this simply to create extra party space? Gazebos come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, but the first decision really has to be: is it permanent or temporary?
If it’s the former, a hardtop metal gazebo will last you for years. These come in cast iron, stainless steel and aluminum. We tend to favor the last one, as aluminum is lightweight to go on a deck, and is rust and water-resistant. A good one should last for at least ten to fifteen years. Go for one with a vented roof, then you have the option of using a grill or fire pit inside it (provided you protect the deck from heat).
If you’re looking for a temporary gazebo, choose one that is easy to assemble and disassemble. We’re big fans of the pop-up gazebo, which can be put up and stored away without too much effort. Again, an aluminum frame is light to work with and won’t weigh down your deck. Take your pick from a range of colourful canvas canopies.
Can a Gazebo Be Attached To My Decking & The House?
You can use a gazebo to create a porch, by attaching it to both your deck and your house wall. This can be a great way to gain some extra seating or dining space, and to create a stylish indoor-outdoor room. Also, if you have a modest-sized yard, this is a great way of fitting in a gazebo.
We’d definitely suggest hiring some professional help for this job, as if it’s a permanent structure, you’ll need to secure the gazebo to the wall of your house as well as to the decking. You’ll need to ensure you have suitable guttering in place so you don’t create a build-up of rainwater close to the house wall.
If you’re putting a pop-up gazebo next to your home for a party or extra summer dining space, you won’t need to fix it to the house, provided it’s securely fastened to the ground. Again, if it’s up during wet weather, you’ll need to prevent water gathering (and potentially tipping out just as you walk underneath…). You can purchase fabric gutters that fasten on to pop-up gazebos.
If you’re looking for a decorative rather than a practical extension, go for a pergola. These are designed for light shade rather than full shelter, and a wooden pergola looks charming on a wooden deck. You can grow flowers or vines up a pergola, creating an inviting, leafy porch. Pergola kits are easy to put up, and readily available online.
Gazebos are remarkably versatile outdoor structures – and as well as being a mainstay in the garden and on the lawn – both pop up and permanent models can also be put on decking and even attached to your house when doing so.
If you don’t fancy screwing down the feet of your gazebo to the rafters of your deck (which will only cause minimal damage), then you can also consider using tied metal straps, heavy plants pots or small concrete blocks (the latter being perhaps the least attractive option).
Whatever you decide, your proposed gazebo usage will determine both what type of gazebo you have (pop up or permanent), and how you choose to attach it to your decking.