It was really rainy and windy at a friend’s wedding a few years back – and one of the gazebos in the bride’s garden blew away. I’m not kidding, it just straight up took off – which was a little bit funny after a few glasses of champagne if I’m being honest. Anyway, you guessed it – what they needed was some gazebo weights.
Gazebo weights work effectively at anchoring a popup gazebo to decking, a patio or grass. You can buy stackable weight plates and wraparound weights from stores, or go the homemade route with concrete blocks, PVC pipe weights, sand buckets, plant pots, or dumbbells to stop your gazebo blowing away.
To avoid your next event turning into a ‘look there’s a gazebo flying away’ type nightmare – let’s discover more about your gazebo anchor weight options before it’s too late.
How Do Gazebo Weights Work?
It’s not always possible to install a gazebo by fixing posts in the ground – and if you have a pop-up gazebo, you definitely don’t want a permanent fitting. Gazebo weights are the ideal solution in these cases. They keep your gazebo safely in place without the need for any structural work.
There are different ways to anchor your gazebo’s legs to the ground. You can buy sets of drum or disc weights online, or have a go at making your own weights (and we’ll give you some ideas about this later). They all work in the same way: they anchor your gazebo to the ground using their own weight and gravity rather than by attaching it.
When & Where Do I Need Gazebo Weights?
You’ll need to use gazebo weights if you’re fixing your gazebo to the decking, patio, or grass. Naturally, in the case of decking and a concrete patio, you don’t want to drill any holes. The same goes for patios with pavers, as drilling into these would become an epic job.
They’re also a great and easy way to secure a pop-up gazebo. Don’t ever think that a temporary gazebo doesn’t need weighing down, as a sudden gust of wind or even someone tripping up could be an absolute disaster. If it’s on grass, you can also use anchors (pegs driven into the ground).
How Much Weight is Needed To Hold Down a Canopy?
The weight needed to hold down a gazebo depends on its size. The first rule is to weigh down every leg: you’ll soon see the canopy start to strain in the wind at the unweighted point. The weights we’re about to give are per leg, not the total.
The recommended minimum seems to be around 24 pounds per leg. For a standard 10 x 10 gazebo, 40 pounds per leg is a good weight to aim for to be extra safe. Don’t worry if this sounds incredibly heavy, as there are ways of creating a heavy weight without taking up too much space.
Always take into consideration how load-bearing your decking is, and place the weights on structural joists, not just on the boards.
What Types of Store Bought Gazebo Weights Are There?
There are plenty of different types of weights available to buy. We’ll rephrase that: there are lots of different types of weight containers to buy, and it’s usually up to the purchaser to fill them with sand or gravel.
Lowe’s sells the wrap-around weight type, which consists of smallish bags that attach around the legs using Velcro. An alternative to this is the weight bag. These come in a range of sizes, which you fill yourself with heavy materials (dry materials, never water. Imagine).
If you have a larger gazebo (20 feet long or above), Amazon stocks mighty weight bags with a 50-pound capacity; and that’s per bag. Lowe’s also stocks disc weights which are already filled with cement (sorry, mailman). The advantage of these is that you can stack them until you reach the desired weight per leg.
Stackable Canopy Weights:
As we mentioned, Lowe’s sells stackable weights. These are neat little discs that come ready filled with heavy material. They slip over the legs and slide to the ground. Because they are flat, you can stack several on top of each other until you reach the right weight. It’s like adding weights to a lifting bar, only vertically.
They come in different sizes and look out for weights that come in bags for easy storage. Unlike weighted bags, you don’t have to get your own spade out, and there’s no fear of them ripping and covering your decking in the sand. They’re also a pleasingly neat design and don’t cause a tripping hazard.
Wrap Around Canopy Weights
These look like sticks of dynamite from kids’ cartoons. Basically, they are slim, cylindrical bags filled with heavy material, and they sit right up next to the leg. You attach these bags (two or more) to the leg with tough Velcro.
These can be a better solution than a classic weight bag as the gazebo’s four feet are firmly on the floor, not planted in bags. This removes the problem of getting all four legs even. It’s also easier to attach weights to the leg than lift the gazebo up and into four separate bags. Wrap-around weights are a one-person job.
What Types of Homemade Gazebo Weights Are There?
You can also make your own gazebo weights, and there are all sorts of ways to do this. These tend not to look as smart or be as neatly sized as commercial versions, but they do the job and they won’t cost you much. Here are a few ideas for homemade gazebo weights.
1. Homemade Concrete Blocks
Larger gazebos (like 20 by 20 sizes) are often weighed down by concrete blocks, which you’d normally have delivered by a building supplier. You can make your own using a wooden frame that you pour the mix into. When it’s set, remove the frame, and you’re left with a seriously weighty block.
It’s certainly an effective way of holding your gazebo in place, but it’s not an easy task, and you do end up with large slabs of concrete around your canopy. You also need to take into account how much weight your decking can actually take if that’s where your gazebo is going.
2. PVC Pipe Weights
This is a neat solution if you want to use guy ropes to secure your gazebo. Take four sections of PVC pipe and fill them with concrete (you can choose how heavy you want them to be by how long the pipe section is). Stick end caps on both ends, and attach an eye bolt to the top one. There you have it: instant posts.
Choose a bright color so the pipe weights stand out, and always make sure that your guys are visible.
3. Large Plant Pots
This is the best-looking DIY solution. Choose four, heavy-duty plants and partially fill the base with smashed-up bricks. Slip the gazebo legs between the bricks to steady it. Then, fill the planter to the top with potting compost.
Anyone who’s ever carried a bag home from Lowe’s can tell you that compost is weighty stuff! If you use potting compost, you can also pop some bedding plants in the top for an attractive finish.
4. Big Buckets of Sand
This is the less-attractive version of the above. Get four matching buckets (they must be big enough to hold up to 40 pounds of sand), get them in place under the legs, and fill them with sand. You can always add artificial plants to the top to make them look prettier.
Or, try wrapping the buckets with battery-powered string lights. Not only will this add some glamor to a rather ugly necessity, but they’ll light up the buckets and prevent them from becoming a tripping hazard.
The good thing about dumbbells is that you know exactly what wait you’re getting, and you don’t need to mess about with sand or cement. They work the same way as commercial stacking weights, but don’t have that handy gap, so are a lot more fiddly to fit.
If you want to secure a temporary or pop-up gazebo to your decking, patio or even the grass – and you don’t want to drill any holes to stop it blowing away – then you’re going to need some gazebo weights.
Our preference is for the store-bought stackable weight discs or the wraparound weights, purely as they look best.
However, if you don’t want to fork out any more greenbacks then you could opt for a do-it-yourself version; namely dumbbells, sand buckets/bags, or large plant pots.
And if you want to go the whole hog yourself, you can always make your own concrete anchor weights (which is what my dad did with a wooden mold), or fashion a set of PVC pipe weights. Ultimately they’ll all achieve the same thing.