Planning and Preparing for Your Gazebo
Beachfront gazebo, raised off the ground to provide an excellent view seaward, is made of vinyl to provide excellent durability in the salt spray oceanfront atmosphere.
Be sure to measure and walk off the area where you plan to locate the gazebo. Check to be sure that there are no trees, electric boxes, fences, or other structures to get in the way of construction. Inspect all shrubs and trees nearby to decide if they're too close to the gazebo. Also check for installed sprinkler heads or other underground systems to be sure the gazebo installation won't interfere with them.
The Gazebo Base
A hard, compact foundation is recommended for you gazebo, to provide proper support and sufficient drainage and keep it from settling badly. You can use a concrete pad, patio stones, concrete blocks, or crushed gravel. If you use stones, it is recommended that you extent the stone perimeter about 1 foot outside the perimeter of the gazebo itself, in order to keep out moisture and weeds. If you use concrete blocks, it is recommended that you dig the blocks into the ground so that they extend no more than 6" out of the ground.
The foundation should be leveled from side to side — a foundation that's not leveled properly will result in a leaning gazebo, which not only looks bad but places additional stress on the supports and joints.
If you elect to raise your gazebo off the ground, proper elevation support is critical. A good contractor can assist with proper placement of anchors and posts to ensure the structural integrity of the supporting framework.
If you plan to run electricity to your gazebo, you should consider hiring a professional electrical contractor, unless you have experience working with electricity. Many gazebos are available with hidden wiring packages to conceal the electrical wiring inside the gazebo.
Zoning, Building Permits and Homeowners Associations Requirements
Be sure to check with your local codes and zoning offices to make sure you meet all local requirements for size and placement of your gazebo, and don't forget to check your homeowners association rules, as well. Many HOAs require that you submit your plans for HOA approval before beginning construction.