Which hardtop gazebo is best?
It’s frustrating when you want to spend more time outdoors but the weather won’t allow it. Shading you from the sun and protecting you from precipitation, hardtop gazebos let you get more use from your yard.
This type of gazebo is a sizable investment, so it’s important you get one that fits the bill. If you’re looking for something that’s durable, versatile and available in a range of sizes, the Purple Leaf Outdoor Hardtop Gazebo is an ideal choice.
What to know before you buy a hardtop gazebo
Hardtop gazebos can be made from a variety of materials, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. Common materials include aluminum, steel, wood and vinyl.
- Aluminum: Lightweight and affordable, aluminum is a common choice for gazebos. However, it can feel slightly flimsy, so you may find frames made from aluminum alloys or with some steel parts.
- Steel: Steel is extremely strong but it’s heavy, so although it makes a sturdy gazebo, it can be tough to assemble an all-steel gazebo.
- Wood: Although it isn’t the most common choice of material, wooden gazebos have a classic look and are extremely durable if you remember to treat the wood annually. Wooden gazebos often have steel or vinyl roofs.
- Vinyl: You can find some gazebos made from a strong yet lightweight vinyl that looks like wood but is weatherproof so it doesn’t require treating. This is an expensive material, but it looks great and is low-maintenance.
Most gazebos are either square or rectangular. These are easy shapes to assemble, as they need just four corner posts and have simple four-sided roofs. However, you can also find a handful of hexagonal and octagonal gazebos. Some buyers greatly prefer this shape, but it’s worth remembering it takes a greater number of corner posts and more complex roof assembly.
You can find hardtop gazebos in a range of sizes, from around 9 by 9 feet to 16 by 20 feet, so there’s an option to suit most yards. If you need a specific size of gazebo — for instance, to cover a hot tub — check whether the dimensions are measured from the posts or the widest part of the roof, as a small discrepancy could make a difference.
What to look for in a quality hardtop gazebo
You can find a range of colors and finishes, though most are fairly muted, such as dark green, brown, black and copper.
Although you can find a small number of gazebos with removable hard sides, most feature soft curtain-style sides that you can pull around the edges when needed. These can be made of sheer mosquito-net material or waterproof material.
A vented roof allows more airflow to keep you cooler on hot days. It also reduces the amount of wind resistance the roof has, so the structure is less likely to be buffeted around or blown away in strong winds.
How much you can expect to spend on a hardtop gazebo
Small, basic hardtop gazebos start at around $700-$900, while large, elaborate ones can cost as much as $3,000-$5,000.
Hardtop gazebo FAQ
Can you use a gazebo year-round?
A. Yes, as long as your gazebo is durable and securely fixed in place, you can keep using it all year, enjoying your yard in all weathers. This makes hardtop models particularly well-suited to year-round use, as their solid canopies are far more durable than those on soft-top gazebos.
Where can I anchor a hardtop gazebo?
A. You can anchor your gazebo on your lawn or other soft ground using pegs, or into a hard standing such as concrete or patio paving using the right type of screws. It’s also possible to permanently fix a gazebo in place by concreting the posts into the ground, but check local zoning laws before you do so.
Are hardtop gazebos difficult to assemble?
A. This is relative — people with construction experience or who are heavily into DIY are likely to find this type of gazebo fairly straightforward to assemble, while those who’ve never assembled anything more than a flat-pack wardrobe may struggle.
Set aside a full day and enlist several helpers to get the job done. Alternatively, if you have little to no DIY experience, it’s best to hire professionals to do the assembly for you.
What’s the best hardtop gazebo to buy?
Top hardtop gazebo
What you need to know: Made from aluminum and galvanized steel, this gazebo is built to last.
What you’ll love: The drainage system directs rainwater so it doesn’t simply flow off the side of the roof, while the vented roof reduces wind resistance and increases airflow. It comes in five sizes between 10 by 12 feet and 12 by 20 feet.
What you should consider: The assembly instructions are unclear, and after-purchase customer service could be improved.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top hardtop gazebo for the money
What you need to know: You can choose from plenty of options with this gazebo, including a range of roof materials and roof designs.
What you’ll love: The frame is made from a tough aluminum alloy and you can choose between a polycarbonate or an aluminum roof. There are several size options between 10 by 12 feet and 12 by 16 feet.
What you should consider: The roof panels feel somewhat flimsy compared to those on more expensive gazebos.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This highly durable gazebo is made from steel and aluminum.
What you’ll love: The mosquito netting curtains help keep bugs at bay while still allowing airflow on warm days. It has a vented roof to help keep you cool in the summer and to reduce wind resistance on blustery days.
What you should consider: It measures 10 by 12 feet, which is too small for some buyers.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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