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Building A Gazebo: The Best Materials For This Project

If you would like to build a gazebo as a beautiful centerpiece to your botanical garden, there are several things to consider. Size and shape must be given thought, as well as what materials you will use to construct the gazebo. There are lots of choices when it comes to these materials, and choosing them may be somewhat confusing. Wood, metal and even wrought iron gazebo kits are sold readily, with each having their own purpose. Whether you like the rustic look of stained wood, the crisp look of white aluminum or the sturdiness of rigid steel, first consider your personal living environment, local weather and other factors that may influence your decision.

The most popular material for gazebo construction is treated soft wood such as pine or cedar. Soft woods are the most cost efficient and easily worked with. They are also the most tedious to maintain. Because of their nature, soft woods will need to be treated with a weather sealant as often as every other year, depending on local weather factors like humidity and frequency of precipitation. Soft woods will also need to be repainted every three to five years to keep them looking good and to maximize the life of the gazebo, again, depending on climate conditions.

Hard woods like cherry and oak are also a viable wood option. They are much more expensive than soft woods, but require slightly less maintenance. The wood planks will need to be weather sealant treated as the soft woods. Because most hard woods are rich in color, you may choose not to paint the gazebo but rather to simply stain it. If you purchase a good stain and weather sealant, you will probably only have to re-stain the gazebo once every five years or so.

Another good option is galvanized steel. Steel provides a sturdy construction that requires minimal maintenance. Once erected, a special outdoor paint that is formulated for steel can be applied directly to the gazebo and may only need touchup every ten to fifteen years. Cost wise, steel is more expensive than most woods.

Aluminum can be an extremely cost effective, viable choice as well. While it's not as sturdy as steel, aluminum can provide the same crisp look as steel at a fraction of the cost. Upkeep is also minimal as with steel.

Lastly, wrought iron is as beautiful as it is practical. Traditionally black, iron can be painted any color. It is extremely durable and works well with most landscapes. It will need practically no upkeep. Cost wise, iron is usually affordable on most budgets. If you choose wrought iron to build your gazebo, you may have to choose a different roofing material, unless you prefer to have pretty green ivy as your covering in between slats. For a dramatic look, a copper roof on a wrought iron structure can look majestic- especially when the copper has been weathered and displays the greenish-blue look of oxidation.

Whatever your material choice, a gazebo can bring many years of enjoyment and be the centerpiece of any beautiful garden.

By Leeann Teagno - Leeann Teagno is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. She writes for many national clients including AOL, HelloMetro, CBS Radio and Gannett, to name a few.  

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