Create a Great Summer Space with an Outdoor Gazebo!
Create a Great Space!
I love being outdoors. I love to garden and grow herbs, flowers and vegetables. I love summer bar-b-ques and picnics! I do not love getting sunburned - or ants, pests, or the company of other insects that seem to be drawn to me.
I do have a large deck but with temperatures reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit it is impossible to stay outside for very long. I had a table with an umbrella but it always seemed kind of silly, everyone all crunched up together hiding under that little circle of shade.
I have a concrete patio that was a terrific use of otherwise empty space. The previous owner added it and had patio furniture on display. I used the space for the first few years as a spot for a 3 foot pool for my little girls. They have outgrown the pool so this year, I knew that space would be perfect for one of the outdoor gazebos. All I had to do was convince my husband that this was a good idea.
My husband works a zillion hours a week so I knew this "project" was going to sound like a huge hassel to his ears. With a little gentle pushing and a tiny bit of manipulation I knew I could convince him this was going to be easy!
Why Add an Outdoor Gazebo?
I liked the idea of using empty space for something useful. I looked at different canopy/gazebo's that were on sale. I went to all the home improvement stores and dragged my husband, casually pointing out all the displays.
"Wow! Now, that would really look good on that concrete patio space in the back, don't you think Dave?" I asked as if I'd just thought of it.
"Umm, in back of what?" he says slowly, as if he senses a trap.
"The patio we used to keep the pool on?" I say in question form, to jog his memory.
"Oh, yeah. Well, I have no idea what size that patio is. It is nice though." He says as if that is the end of the conversation.
"Well, I noticed, when the guy was working on our deck, he used pieces of wood that were 12 feet long. They just fit inside the edges of the patio across both ways so I am guessing that means it is about 12 x 12?" I say as if I am not sure. (I don't want him to think I am being too smart.) I try not to laugh but I totally screwed up. So here's where old Dave realizes he is being set up.
"I see. The picture is getting clearer now. You just 'happened' to notice the dimensions of the patio?" he asks me, smiling that knowing smile. "How are we going to secure it? Drill holes in the patio?"
"I don't know that much yet! I assume we can get the handyman over to drill holes in the concrete? Other people have them so it's totally possible!" I say all excited.
"Well lets just wait and see, I can't do it this weekend anyway," he insisted, but I knew I had him!
I explained how nice it would be to have a space where I could keep my outdoor plants partially shaded, we could add a screen so the kids could eat outside without being attacked by insects. The days are hot here but in the evening we have had little humidity so it has been gorgeous. Perfect weather for sitting outside if the mosquitoes can't dine on your flesh.
I also like the idea of making the space more attractive. Patio furniture looked nice there but kind of blah.
Actual Project Cost
Patio Furniture Set
So easy - even a girl can do it!
I shopped around town going to all the home improvement stores. I looked for quality but reasonable prices. I did not go to one spot for everything. I manged to build the entire thing for just under $500.00 american dollars.
My husband and I have gotten into the habit of going outside to enjoy the evening every night. It's really peaceful and it's been really great to have a quiet spot to chat. Last night as we sat there Dave admitted he was really glad I was so persistent and added the canopy. "It is really like having an extra room on the house," he admitted.
I love it! Every morning I have had my coffee outside. Even if it rains, the screens keep me perfectly dry. It is close enough that I can take my laptop and the wifi works. I love reading or just watching the birds while I wake up each day. It is so pleasant. I added a portable green house and it is the perfect spot for using this as a work space for my seedlings and flowers.
The kids love this new space also. They like to have their friends over and it is a great spot for them to socialize after dark. All of them have been very excited to have a new hang out. For just a few hundred dollars this has been an awesome addition to our home. The outdoor gazebos are very reasonably priced, durable and so easy to assemble - I slapped this together myself!
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