Garden Gazebo – a refuge from mosquitoes!

This is what I wanted. It costs roughly $7,000 give or take. That does not include assembly.

My dream for the back yard.

This is what we got!

Alvantor pop up 12 x 12 ft gazebo About $349

The reason we started with a pop up structure, like this 12 x 12 ft Alvantor is we wanted to see if we’d use it, if we liked sitting outside in our shade garden without being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Since I don’t like to spray insecticides in my landscape, most of the anti-mosquito options were off the table. We considered spending $500 or so for one of those propane operated mosquito catchers. But we heard mixed results about them.

We tried to make the pop up work. It is meant to be a take down and pop up when-needed procedure. And on that score, it is easy to put up and take down, and it is a perfect weekend solution. We wanted something to last at least the season. There was no roof support, so after a heavy rain, the roof would dip down from the weight of the water load. We bought the flooring accessory, but after a rain of any significance we were sweeping out mud. But we liked the idea of having a screen structure here and decided to look at obtaining something more permanent. We easily sold the tent for half its price to a local camper.

At the close of 2019, lumber prices began to soar. I reached out to purchase Amish made kits and was astonished that a 10 x 10 ft gazebo would run about $7,000 for a basic model! We knew we were going to have to replace our roof in a few years and had begun saving up for that. We could not justify spending that kind of money for a gazebo we would use four months out of the year.

We decided on this Roth and Allen semi-permanent gazebo. We saw it in person at Lowes and decided to make the investment for approximately $900.
We took DEEP breaths when we unpacked the delivery. Only a gazillion pieces!!

“We’re in no rush,” I told my husband. “Directions say four people, two days. So we’re two people, four days right? If it takes us a week or even two weeks, so what?” We put on our brave faces and set out to build our outdoor oasis.

A sampling of the alphabet soup that are the directions.It is easy to skip or miss a step. These ought to come with QR codes connected to step-by-step video instructions.

We also consulted YouTube. A few people put up Time Lapse videos showing how two people erected something similar to our purchase. These videos are inspiring and did indeed encourage us to take this project on, but they are not the least bit helpful when putting all of this together.

A whole booklet of this.
I chronicled our progress on my Instagram. Getting the main frame up was easy peasy. The roof structure not so much!

With the two of us out there, we were at a complete standstill, even after we bought a large ladder. No way two people can raise this, hold it steady and reach across a span of 7 feet to bolt a corner in place. I don’t what it is about men, but they don’t like to ask for directions, or admit they need help. Finally he called in his friend Gardner who stood on the ladder holding the roof frame up in place while Steve and I bolted the corner pieces. Gardner, if you are reading this, we are forever in your debt!

It was a ladder extravaganza! We had to purchase a tall one so we could attach the canvas roof.
Stretching the canvas over the roof frame. Roth and Allen also sell a metal roof version for about $500 more. I wish we had bought that one!
Stretching this puppy was the second hardest thing. Four people, two hours? Try two people 12 hours and counting!

It’s a good thing we have a lot of trees to buffer the sounds coming out of my mouth. My mother would be shocked to hear such foul vocabulary coming from her daughter. I beat out Linda Blair from the Exorcist for sure! Hey, a contractor has to vent, right?

Eventually we were on to the screening. This is about day five, but we saw the end in sight!
I exclaimed our triumph on Instagram!
For our hard-earned efforts we treated ourselves to an outdoor rug, and later in August, we got an outside fan which is suspended from inside the cupola, made especially for the gazebo. We had some spare stone so we put a walkway up to the entrance. The only thing this is missing is a frame for a door. A screen door frame would be perfect! We have to zip to enter and leave. A small annoyance.
When we get word of a storm approaching, we close the curtains and we haven’t had too many issues with water and storms. Because it is placed under evergreens and conifers, the roof didn’t take on too much snow when we received 14” in January of this year.

For the winter, we pulled back the curtains and screens, and stored away the furniture and rug. We are toying with the idea of putting in a table and chairs instead of two loungers. It is nice to have options. We’ve enjoyed watching birds and listening to the pond without having to dose ourselves with DEET. When I started working from home, we relocated our router to this end of the house, so we get good wireless out here too!

This option was an affordable one for us. But if something happens to this…if a N’oreaster were to come in and blow it away, I would save up for the real thing. But saving $6,000 sure does buy a lot of pollinator plants and more hydrangeas!