Review of Gazebos Large Retailers Are Rolling Out For 2012

by Charmaine Ferrer

Though this winter has not felt like a “real” winter, as some meteorologists have described, it is still the winter season. Still, that hasn’t stopped homeowners from trimming the bushes, raking the leaves and preparing for spring and summer outdoor entertaining. Once the yard is ready to go, now what? Something seems to be missing. The tree branches and bushes are trimmed, the flower garden is free of weeds, and the leaves are packed into garbage bags for next week’s garbage collection. What is missing? In a corner of the yard, that is free of debris, appears to be prime real estate for an outdoor gazebo. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to entertain family, friends, and guests outdoors underneath a gazebo?

As gazebos are rolling out for spring 2012, Garden Winds will provide an overview of the types of gazebos retail chain stores are releasing within the next few weeks. The notion of gazebo as a wooden, permanent is no longer the case, as gazebos are now thought of as metal structures designed to decorate a backyard and/or to provide entertainment and enjoyment.

Pop-Up vs. Permanent Gazebos

Just like the interior design of a home, style is always evolving. With gazebo styles changing, so is where it can be placed in the yard. This year, there are a lot of pop-up gazebos available this spring at retail outlets. The attractiveness with pop-up gazebos is that they are portable, meaning they are not relegated to one area of the backyard. Most of the pop-ups stores are selling allows set up and take down easily and may be used at a park, when camping, or for any outdoor activity.

The shape of the pop-up gazebos available is not always the traditional square size, either. A few of the pop-up gazebos offered at the national chain stores come in a rectangle, round, and even hexagon shape. The availability of these different shapes offers the gazebo buyer the opportunity the versatility and variety when choosing the gazebo that will best suit their needs.

Of course, the stand alone, permanent gazebos may still be preference to those that want the gazebo to a permanent fixture for their backyard. The rollout of gazebos for spring 2012 offers a lot of different styles, shapes, and sizes. Some of the shapes available this year are: square, rectangle, round, hexagon, and octagon. The sizes that are also available are: 10 x 10, 10 x 12, 10 x 13, 10 x 14, and 12 x 16.

The offering of the standard 10 x 10 square gazebo is seen at many chain stores, and may be the economical option, as the 10 x 10 square gazebos fits nicely into any area of the yard. But the offering of the various shapes and sizes are causing some customers to be conscious of their decision to buy a gazebo, and will give it a little more thought as to how a gazebo will fit into their outdoor décor. It all depends on the yard space and the decorating involved around the gazebo.

Light it up

One major retail chain is taking great strides in improving the overall look and functionality of its gazebo offering by providing state of the art LED lights as a fixture onto its gazebo frame. The lights also make the gazebo look warm, and inviting and functional. Some of the lights attached to the gazebo posts are solar, and have a small solar panel. Though these lighted gazebos are on the high end in terms of price, the addition of these lights allows for evening entertaining, providing ambiance when it is dinner for two, or for an outdoor gathering with family and friends.

Relaxing Under the Stars

Most of the gazebos reviewed for spring 2012 have the fabric canopy top to attach onto the frame, but hardtop gazebos are now available as well. Last spring, new gazebos also emerged with the hardtop rooftop, made out of either aluminum or polycarbonate, a type of plastic. The hardtop roof panels are tinted, allowing sun in, but protect from UV rays, will not discolor and are waterproof.

A new feature a retailer for a gazebo is one in which its roof is retractable. One can truly gaze up at the night sky and count the stars by adjusting the roof. In the day time, control the amount of exposure to the sun for a comfortable afternoon. The retractable awning is a welcoming alternative to enjoying an evening under the stars

Fancy Tops and Fancy Structures

With hardtop roofs and retractable roof awnings, the gazebos, aside from functional, have to hold an attractive quality as well. As gazebos are becoming more of a long-term investment for homeowners, gazebo manufacturers are pulling out the bells and whistles when it comes to gazebo design. The gazebos that retailers are offering have canopy tops that are two-toned in color, usually a combination of beige and/or dark brown. The main portion of the canopy is a solid color, while the trim, around the perimeter of the canopy is a contrasting color. The hem of some of the canopies has a scalloped edging, as well as curved edging, which gives the gazebo a designer look. The dome top style roof is a welcoming difference to the variety of gazebo designs available. The attention to detail for the fabric canopy top may give the impression that a gazebo is an extension to the home, another room that people can relax in.

As gazebo canopy tops are becoming more detailed in color and design, the gazebo structures themselves also offer details and designs that are more prominent than in gazebos sold over the past several years. The built in lights into the corner posts, arch designs, the addition of two extra posts and geometric designs gives these outdoor gazebos their own personality. For the gazebos that round and/or hexagon, even octagon, offer a side bar table. The fencing around those gazebo structures offer unique vertical bar designs that makes them truly one of a kind. A crown mold edging design around the perimeter of the frame is found on a few of the gazebos for this spring.

One thing that has remained the same in the design of the gazebo is the finial ornaments that attach either on the top of the roof or at the corners. The finial ball ornament and the finial arrow ornament remain a staple in the aesthetic look of the gazebo.

The pergolas that will be sold this spring do not have just a square frame. Some of the offerings of pergolas have the overhead structure as curved, or some of them are constructed like a gazebo, just without the top roof design. In addition, the corner posts have geometric designs that make it more than just an outdoor structure, but another part of the home.

So Many Gazebos

With a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes of gazebos and pergolas available this spring 2012, it is difficult to choose which one will work best for the backyard. Though the standard square size is offered, larger, room styles gazebos seem to be the more prominent frames that will appear on every national chain stores’ floor displays. Round and hexagon shaped gazebos are entering the fray of square and rectangle sizes as well. Pop up gazebos are also another type of gazebo that can be transported from one yard to another and is an alternative to permanent gazebo structures.

If searching for the perfect gazebo, pay attention to the details, as they can make the difference in the buying decision. If LED lights and retractable roof awnings are attractive, then consider the purchase of a gazebo as a big investment. If something simple is what appeals, stick to the tried and true four post structure and create an outdoor entertainment center around it.

The purchase of a gazebo is designed to provide outdoor enjoyment for those that come to visit. As an extension of the home, it is intended to have many years of use, whether it is for simple relaxation on a summer afternoon, or for entertaining guests. As the structure remains sound and solid, the canopy may not always be, as it is an outdoor fabric. Trust Garden Winds as a source to provide a replacement canopy for the gazebo frame and extend the life of the gazebo and many hours of outdoor fun.




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