Building A Gazebo: Assembling The Walls

The walls of the gazebo include sections, such as the frieze made of lattice and the railings, both top and bottom.

The materials needed to build the walls of a gazebo are eight decay-resistant redwood posts, 10' tall. At the top of each post a notch is cut measuring 6 3/8" deep by 1 ½" wide. These notches are used to attach the roof rafters. Now the posts are trimmed at the bottom to an overall length of 9'5". After trimming the posts, measure 5 1/5" from the bottom and cut a double bevel of 22 1/2*. The posts are now attached to the footings at each metal post anchor with 10d nails. The posts are offset toward the center of the gazebo and the beveled edges clear the sides of the post anchor, leaving room for the rim joists to be attached later. Finally, plumb and brace the posts.

Most gazebos have a decorative element along the top, down from the rafters, usually considered part of the wall. This decorative element is known as a frieze. The design of the frieze usually either matches the railings of the gazebo or a design element of the house located on the same property as the gazebo. The frieze does support some weight of the roof, so it is constructed with a combination head rail and top rail. These rails are premanufactored dadoed 2x4's. Each post -to- post section must be measured separately with all rails trimmed to 56" and having opposite 22 ½* angles to attach the rails to the 4x4 posts. These measurements are taken from the outside edges to ensure a correct fit. Bottom rails should have 3/8" drain holes drilled in them every 8" to prevent water damage from occurring. The head rail is secured to the top rail using four 2 ½" screws. These screws are driven from the top rail on both sides of the dado. The top sections of the gazebo walls are made out of redwood lattice panels attached to these rails. Trim eight ready-made 3/8" redwood lattice panels to measurements of 12" wide by 56"long. Attach these panels to the head rail and top rail dadoes of the frieze using 8d nails. The assembling of the frieze sections should be completed on the ground and against a straight edge in order to keep them square. After the assembly is complete, toenail the frieze sections to the 4x4 posts. The frieze is now completed using 4 trimmed-to-fit redwood boards. These boards are toenailed to the rails using finish nails.

The bottom portion of the gazebo walls are often constructed using custom railings and fillings. These custom railings and fills help give the gazebo a distinct design personality. There are many varieties of wood railings and fills from solid slat to cutout or from square baluster to turned balusters. When building these railings, use ready-made dadoed redwood 2x4 rails and nailing cleats to secure the slats. The railing height from the deck surface is 36 to 40" or will conform to the local building code. Trim the railing ends 22 ½* and drill ½" diameter drain holes every 8" in the bottom dadoed rails. 1x8 redwood slats are now cut 32 inches and the bottom rails are attached to the posts 4" above the decking using 10d nails or 3" screws. The slats are now inserted into the space between the railings and the railings are secured to the posts using 10d nails or 3" screws.

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