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Friday, February 11, 2011

The Gazebo Quest

There are 6 people in this house, with some, including myself, approaching adulthood, which means it can seem a little crowded. Although I do intend to build on, branching outdoors is a great solution, and I have a lot of space to utilize for that, including my beloved patio, which is protected on three sides by walls of the house. I bought my first iron and canvas gazebo for it at Target 7 years ago for $199, and it stood even through hurricanes for 4 years. I bought another one, a different model mind you, thinking I'd get the same wear out of it. Nope. It stood for a year and collapsed. By now I had a huge collection of orchids, and those babies do not like full sun, so I dragged Sam with me to Big Lots days before the Fire of oh nine, 
and we got this:
It was half off the half off end of the season slashed to $70, and I figured I had one heck of a bargain.
And yes, this is actually my patio and my furniture, pre-spray paint mania.
 Unfortunately, because it was in the box and there wasn't a display model standing, we had to wait until we got home for the lovely surprise that the construction was mostly plastic. Oh, and the joints didn't snap or screw together, they just slid into each other, so on a breezy day you'd find me putting the roof struts back together. I bought a roll of clear duct tape when I got really sick of doing that. The canopy itself was of equal high quality and started to rip, calling for more clear duct tape. 
By the time we had to take it down to put in the french doors during major construction, I'd had enough and made the executive decision to haul the plastic carcass of that white trash nightmare out to the curb.
See ya!
About that time, I decided to expand out to the lower garden with another sitting area while the patio was unusable. I'd been using the first gazebo's frame as a plant hanger and was just allowing the bougainvillea to stand in as shade, but it was time for something with a little rain protection.
Because I'm weird and like to sit out in the rain.
 So we tore that apart...
 ...well, what wasn't already TORN apart...
 ...dragged it to the curb...
(My house is an excellent place to go dumpster diving if you're ever in the neighborhood.)
 ...and put up the Tivoli Gazebo, $99 on sale at Target.
 We liked it for a while.
It looks okay, right?
 Four months later, it looked like this.
I called about the one year warranty, and was told that was void due to improper use. 
Evidently, you're supposed to take the canopy off if it rains or it's windy.
My online product review was never published, probably because of excessive profanity.
And I'm not sorry.
Now sure, what I really need is something along these lines, but I kinda need it tomorrow before my orchids all burn, so let's do some shopping for something reasonable and sturdy to stand in for the time being.
 Wish list:
Vented canopy
Double roof supports
90 degree corner supports, with plant shelves if possible
Rain vents in the canvas
Mosquito netting
A roof peak strong enough to hold my salvaged outdoor chandelier
Under $300

Wilson & Fisher™ 10' x 12' Bay Window Gazebo With Arrow Panel


Gazebo includes a mosquito screen to keep bugs out!
  • Weather-resistant, 100% polyester canopy features vented double roof
  • Polyester mesh screen keeps bugs out
  • Zippered access on all 4 sides
  • Durable, powder-coated finish resists rust, corrosion and chipping
  • Spring clips make assembly quick and easy
  • Covers 120 sq. ft.
Not bad, but the corner supports are flat, there's no shelves, and I'd have to see the roof supports. I need doubles to hang the orchids.

Essential Garden 10 x 10 Arrow Gazebo

Reg Price: $249.99
Savings: $20.00
Too small for starters, and I can see that the roof support is single, but I'm diggin' the plant shelves on the corner supports

Outdoor Patio Parisienne Gazebo Collection

$29.00 - $279.00 List: $34.00 - $354.00

Wrong size, but it WILL hold a chandelier...let's keep looking.

 Has anyone out there seen what I'm in the market for?


Michelle L. said...

Good luck on gazebo safari! Thanks for the heads up on the Tar-jay special - ha!

Unknown said...

Yikes. I looked at gazebos for awhile thinking one would be nice over our patio for some shade, but after reading that you're supposed to take the canvas top off if it rains or is windy (and it's almost always windy here!) completely changed my mind. What's the point of it as a permanent structure if you're always taking off/putting on the top? That's way too much work!

Good luck in your gazebo hunt!


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Sounds like a nightmare. Good luck on the hunt. Hugs, Marty

Sherri B. said...

We have one like the ones above but it didn't survive one of our coastal wind storms and it cost too much to replace the canvas top but the structure is very sturdy and I am now trying to grow kiwi on it...Good luck on your search.

Life in Rehab said...

That's something I forgot to add to the list- MUST have replacement canopies available at a resonable price.

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

1. LOVE the new background / design look here!
2. More proof that we need to hang in person - Ryan and i both LOVE sitting in the rain. With cover.
3. YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO REMOVE THE TOP OF THE GAZEBO FOR RAIN!??????? No comment. Because expletives aren't nice in blog comments.
4. I honestly think you guys need to build something. Perhaps buy a cheaper one with a good top, and then reinforce with steel pipes or something? Like a 1/2 buy and 1/2 DIY? Because you definitely need storm-proof, and I fear many of the affordable ones just aren't.

Meg said...

Ughh, that totally bites! I love these things but they do not last! It's really ridiculous. I've watched my neighbors go through 3 of them in 3 summers. Each time they thought they bought a better quality one, the last one they had fit all your criteria, they all suck. Can you swing one from Sam's Club or Costco?? They're quite a bit more initially, but they APPEAR to be built better. $300 for 4 months use is a lot of money in the end. The other style I saw last year at target that might work was flat top pergola style that had strips of canvas that you could pull back and forth like roman shades. Good luck!

Michelle @ Dream Home DIY said...

Wow, you guys have some seriously bad luck in the gazebo department. I really hate that you have to take the tops off in the rain or snow. Who really wants to put them up and down that often??

Unknown said...

Maybe it's the exact same as the ones above, but I like the look of the JCPenney ones. They come with mosquito netting and also have replacement canopies. Try here.

lisbonlioness said...

'scuse me? Improper use? Like, you were supposed to put it up in your basement, go back upstairs and lock the door behind you?
If I had a gazebo (or room or reason to have a gazebo, for that matter), I would have to be darn quick to rip it down every time it rains. I thought the whole point of an outdoor feature was that it survives, well, being outdoors?

La Vie Quotidienne said...

My husband built the most wonderful gazebo for our daughters wedding and now it really is in bad you I am trying to decide what to do, repair, new, or something completely different. I did see something at Costco but that was a few years ago...maybe it is too early in the season to find what you want. Ihope you come up with a wonderful solution so I can copy you. (-:

Heather said...

I would probably take a look at Costco. They should be getting their spring/gardening stuff in soon. Have you considered getting your minions to build one for you?

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

I think you're looking for a carpenter, eh? haha

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

Wow you could write a book on gazebos! I want to live under that bougainvillea!! So gorgeous!! I have some experience with gazebos. One came w/ our house but we also made the mistake of leaving up the canvas in winter (who knew?) and a big heavy snow storm made it buckle and bent all of the metal on the roof. We found another one at Walmart the next year and that's been holding up fairly well but we do take the canvas down now in the winter. Lesson learned.

gazebo said...

If you need style and comfort for your garden or your lawn, you can just get yourself a gazebo hut. It will serve as your perfect hideout during sunny days and will keep you warn on a rainy day.