I had a friend whose backyard garden was his pride and joy. He had quite the green thumb and a little bit of everything growing back there. But he had a problem. He had a lot of plants that couldn’t handle constant sunlight and needed shade. He decided that he wanted to build a small garden gazebo to hold them. That’s where he ran into problems, because try as he might, he couldn’t quite nail building a square gazebo roof.
If he hadn’t already made up his mind to do a gazebo, I probably would have told him to go with a pergola instead. A square gazebo roof is by no means a beginner’s project. There are lots of cuts and a fair bit of work involved. However, if done right, a gazebo can be the perfect way to set off a backyard garden. It creates an interesting focal point and a good way to shelter more delicate plants. If you’re looking for tips on how to build a square gazebo roof, we’ve got them for you.
Probably the easiest way to build a square gazebo roof is to go flat. That’s the first thing I recommended to my friend, because he was a beginner builder. A flat roof requires less construction and cutting, along with less measuring. However, most of the people I talk to, including my friend, just think the pitched roof looks better, and my friend made the point that a flat, square gazebo is essentially a pergola, just with a full roof rather than rafters. (If you’re trying to decide between building a pergola vs a gazebo, take a look at our post on just this subject.) I can’t argue with that, and a pitched roof also has some benefits to consider, including:
Now, it’s certainly not the case that a flat gazebo roof is never a good choice. However, if you’re trying to dress up a backyard garden, a simple flat gazebo can sometimes look out of place. If you’re willing to do the work, creating a pitched roof is a completely doable project that just requires a little know-how.
A pitched square gazebo roof is one built in layers. You start with simple rafters and then build on top of them. The posts (or walls) and base of the gazebo are the easy part. It’s the roof that requires a bit more time and technique. The easiest way to create a pitched roof is through pyramid roof framing, which involves building a pyramid of rafters, the ends of which will meet at the center beam. This is something that requires careful planning and measuring and will involve the following components:
Of course, these are just the basics that go into creating a square roof for a small gazebo. The larger your gazebo, the more complex your plan needs to be to make the roof’s internal structure support sound. For my friend’s purposes, he was only looking to create a small gazebo to provide shade to some of his plants, so a plan that covered the basics served his purposes just fine.
When it comes to building a square gazebo, keep in mind this is not a simple project. It requires well thought out plans and powerful hardware to keep it all together. When I was helping with my friend’s garden gazebo, I recommended using OZCO wood ties and post anchors as they’re both durable and attractive, so you don’t need to hide or paint over them. A project like this is really all about the hardware, which is why OZCO’s powder coated options work perfectly. They’re super tough against moisture and UV, but they don’t have that industrial, shiny, unfinished silver look, either. OZCO even offers a unique timber bolt with an internal screw mechanism so you don’t have to worry about bolt ends sticking out. And if you haven’t chosen a plan for your project yet, they’ve got a bunch of project plans, as well as the option to create custom plans.