Outdoor shelters are great for backyard parties, but temporary pop-up tents can be a hassle. Putting them up and taking them down is time-consuming and the rental costs quickly adds up.
Many smart homeowners are choosing to skip portable tents altogether and opt for a permanent outdoor canopy instead. An outdoor permanent gazebo or pergola is a great investment! Installing one on your property can save you time and money and increase your property value.
However, before you commit to any type of permanent structure, it pays to do your research. The following guide will provide you with everything you need to know, from the many benefits of outdoor canopies to tips for choosing the right structure and how to prepare your property.
Benefits of Installing a Permanent Outdoor Canopy
If you frequently entertain in your backyard, then installing a permanent outdoor canopy is a great idea. Not only is it an aesthetically pleasing addition, but it will also protect you from the elements, making your backyard gatherings much more pleasant.
While this is a huge advantage, the benefits don’t stop there. Permanent outdoor canopies are versatile, convenient, and cost-effective. Here's a closer look at some of the reasons why adding a pergola or gazebo could be the best thing you do this year.
In addition to creating a comfortable space for parties, there are many other ways to use your outdoor permanent gazebo or pergola. Consider adding one near your pool to create a shaded lounging area. Place a table and some chairs under a patio gazebo to easily create a covered dining space.
Want to give your home a resort-style vibe? Try mounting a large swing or even a swinging bed under a pergola or using a gazebo or a pergola to cover your hot tub or create an outdoor bar.
When it gets too cold to spend time outdoors, you can also use your covered space to store your outdoor furniture, lawn equipment, pool floats, and more.
Outdoor permanent gazebos and pergolas are designed to stand up to foul weather. Since they’re intended for long-term outdoor use, you won’t have to deal with taking them down or finding a safe place to store them. They require little to no maintenance and are durable enough to last for years.
On average, renting a small pop-up tent that can accommodate about 10 people costs around $150 a day. If you want a tent large enough for 20 or more people, you’ll pay closer to $200 to $300 a day.
If you rent a tent at least once or twice a year, buying your own permanent structure is a good investment. Even if you choose a high-end gazebo, it will certainly pay for itself during the duration of ownership, and it'll look much nicer, too.
Improved Property Value
There are many different pergola and gazebo styles to choose from. If you choose wisely, your new addition will add to the aesthetic appeal of your space and increase your property value. Permanent outdoor canopies add a unique appeal and architectural interest to your home. They also provide a functional outdoor space, which many buyers find appealing. While the ROI on your investment will vary depending on factors like the size of your structure and where you live, improving your outdoor space is always a smart idea.
When choosing a permanent outdoor canopy, you’ll need to decide whether you prefer a gazebo or a pergola. What’s the difference? We’re glad you asked!
A gazebo is a large octagonal or square structure with a solid roof. They’re typically open on all sizes, although some are screened in, offering additional protection from wind, rain, and insects.
A pergola is made of pillars or posts with supported crossbeams that create an open lattice. They're often used for a sitting area, passageway, or shaded walkway.
Some people prefer the full shade a gazebo offers while others enjoy the filtered sun that comes through a pergola. If you want to accent a patio or deck, you’ll probably prefer a pergola. A gazebo is usually the best choice for those who want a structure placed at the end of a path or incorporated into a garden area, although wall-mounted gazebos are a popular option as well. No matter which type of structure you choose, you’ll find that it creates a comfortable space for you and your family to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
Planning for Your New Permanent Outdoor Canopy
Once you’ve decided on the type of permanent outdoor canopy you want to install, it’s time to choose your model and prepare your property. The following tips will help you get started.
Choose the Best Location
Begin by thinking about how you’ll use your permanent outdoor canopy. This is the first step to choosing the best location. If you plan to use your gazebo as a quiet retreat, you may want to choose a far corner of your yard. However, if it’s going to be an entertainment space, putting it closer to the house makes more sense.
You’ll also want to choose a space where the ground is level and there aren’t too many trees, plants, or other landscaping in the way. Also, don’t forget to look up. Power lines and other overhead structures could cause a problem with your installation.
Finally, it's important to consider aesthetics. You don’t want to squeeze a giant structure into a tiny space or place a smaller canopy in a huge, open area.
Measure Your Space
Once you have a general idea of where you would like to place your structure, it’s time to take measurements. This will help you choose the exact installation location.
When measuring the area, don’t forget to leave some extra space around it. You'll thank yourself in the future when you need to make repairs or do maintenance. Pay attention to your landscaping and make sure to plan for pathways if necessary.
Square gazebos are great because they offer more elbow room and floor space than their octagonal counterparts. They’re also easy to measure. In this case, simply determine the maximum length and width your space can accommodate, taking the tips above into account.
As a rule of thumb, a 12 x 12 gazebo is ideal for a family of four with up to six guests. For larger crowds, consider a 14 x 14 gazebo, which can comfortably hold 13 to 15 people, or an 18 x 18, which is great for larger gatherings of up to 20 guests. In general, it’s a good idea to choose a structure that’s a bit larger than you think you need. It’s very rare that a homeowner regrets choosing a larger structure, and doing so will give you room to grow.
Before you measure for your pergola, you'll need to decide whether you’ll leave it freestanding or attach it to another structure. When deciding on the proper size, consider how much space you want inside the posts and how much roof cover you need.
When shopping for a pergola, the size is listed using the rafter length (also called depth, or projection) and beam length (width). You’ll also need to account for the width of the posts and extra space for the overhang. If you're not sure how much space you need, it's a great idea to contact the manufacturer to confirm.
Prepare Your Property
If you’ve made it this far, you’re in the home stretch. Before you order your permanent outdoor canopy, though, there’s one more thing you need to do. Since municipal rules differ, it’s important to check building codes and other regulations to ensure you won’t have any problems once your structure arrives. If you live in an HOA, you’ll need to check their rules as well.
Once you’ve confirmed that the structure you want won’t violate any regulations, you’re free to place your order. This is also a good time to decide whether you’re comfortable assembling your permanent outdoor canopy on your own or if you’re better off hiring a contractor.
While you wait for your structure to arrive, you can begin preparing the installation site. This will ensure your structure is stable and will perform well for many years. When installing a gazebo or a pergola, you’ll need a pad made of concrete or crushed stone, a wood-planked deck or patio, or a patio made of paver stones to use as a foundation. If you plan to place a gazebo or pergola on an existing patio or deck, then you are a step ahead of the game.
Explore Outdoor Permanent Gazebos and Pergolas Today!
Adding a permanent outdoor canopy to your backyard space will give you and your guests years of enjoyment. It’s a cost-effective solution that’s easy to install and well worth the investment. If you’re ready to upgrade your backyard, you’re in the right place!