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Patio question: Gazebo or giant offset umbrella pros & cons

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  • May 6th, 2013 11:37 pm
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[OP]
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Patio question: Gazebo or giant offset umbrella pros & cons

We 're trying to decide between a gazebo and one of those giant offset umbrellas. A gazebo would somewhat block our view from our dining area for the summer months, while we're unsure of the effectiveness and longevity of an umbrella. We're not looking to buy the cheapest thing we can find, but we're also not looking to break the bank.

Any opinions?
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Lucky
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Jan 5, 2003
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When it was time to replace my cheapo umbrella that sits in the middle of my patio table, I contemplated the same thing.

- Gazebos are more work to put up and take down. On the other hand, you only do that at the beginning and end of the season. Offset umbrellas should be retracted each time when you're not using them, otherwise the constant vibration caused by the wind may end up loosening something.
- Most gazebos have bug screens. I've seen these on offset umbrellas as well, but it looks like an afterthought.
- Offset umbrellas can be moved/tilted to maximize shadow. If you're going to be doing that often, you'll need an expensive umbrella. The cheapest ones I've seen don't have hardware that can take that much abuse.
- The footprint of a gazebo frame is minimal. An offset umbrella usually has a base that requires a couple of 1x1 concrete slabs to anchor it, so you're losing at bit of floorspace.

In the end, I selected a gazebo because every time we try to eat outside, we're bothered by bees and wasps a lot in my backyard. The gazebo's bug screen keeps them out and we spend a lot more time in it. However, it's mildly annoying to zip and unzip the bug screen's opening every time you want to run into the house to get something.

There's also tons of places selling gazebos in all price ranges, and lots of discounts at the end of the summer, but very few retailers carry offset umbrellas.
Jr. Member
Mar 8, 2012
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Ive done both the umbrella and the gazebo thing. Hands down I love the gazebo. With the umbrella, it felt like I had no privacy, and it didnt protect from the wind. With the gazebo, I also hung rollup bamboo blinds for privacy, added an outdoor area carpet, plants, small chandelier for lighting, and made it into an awesome dining/ entertaining area. We pretty much hang out there most summer nights.
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Feb 20, 2012
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What about an awning? Have you considered putting one instead?
[OP]
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We considered an awning, but our window is too tall, it wouldn't provide much coverage.
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
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Aug 13, 2002
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We had an offset umbrella and eventually went to gazebo. The offset umbrella would blow all over the place when fully opened. So, we found that on 50% of days we couldn't even open it.
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Gazebo for sure. We have had umbrellas for years and just last summer decided to buy new patio furniture but go with a gazebo. We love it, give you a cozy "room" outside. With ours, you can tie back all four sides to the post or close any side you wish. Ours also came with screen meshing for bugs.

We left the frame up and just took the canvas down over the winter. With a few extra hands it really was no trouble at all.
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May 21, 2008
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Bumping for more thoughts as I was leaning toward an umbrella... We are looking for something to put pool-side. Our backyard isn't that big, and I feel like the legs of the gazebo would make our backyard feel even smaller.
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L_Mo wrote:
Apr 20th, 2013 4:41 pm
Bumping for more thoughts as I was leaning toward an umbrella... We are looking for something to put pool-side. Our backyard isn't that big, and I feel like the legs of the gazebo would make our backyard feel even smaller.
We had an umbrella 2 years ago and bought a gazebo last year. The gazebo is far and away a better thing. the umbrella had to be set up all the time. It became a parachute in winds and it really did not shade or protect anything. The gazebo protected you from the sun and rain and, if get the curtains with it, keeps the wind and sun off you. We got a hard top one with polycarbonate panels, if I was to do it again, I would get the metal roof panel one....and get them to set it up for you....that will be money well spent LOL. In the winter, get one of those big blue tarps from Canadian Tire and cover the gazebo, the snow will just slide off the plastic tarp.
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we have the same dilemma...

what gazebo did you buy?

I was looking at CrappyTire gazebos....a lot of people are not happy with the quality of frame and canopy...
we can spend the money but I don't want to break the bank either....

Can anybody point me to a good gazebo?
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Sep 17, 2002
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Depending on the size of your backyard, you may want to look into Timber frame gazebo or pergola - it's not your little stick or off the shelf type.

Also, what size do you want 10x10, etc as you may require a permit.

We just had a pergola installed and let's say it quiet impressive from a far and close up. Well worth the $ if you have the space.
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Sep 17, 2002
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For standard wooden gazebo, check out Garrick (spelling?) on Trafalger and Britannia in Oakville/milton area. That's all they do.

They don't do timber frame though.

For prefab, check out some US sites, always cheaper there but shipping will be expensive unless you can pick it up.
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edkate wrote:
Apr 30th, 2013 12:19 pm
we have the same dilemma...

what gazebo did you buy?

I was looking at CrappyTire gazebos....a lot of people are not happy with the quality of frame and canopy...
we can spend the money but I don't want to break the bank either....

Can anybody point me to a good gazebo?
We shopped around quite a bit and really, they are pretty well all the same. The ones at Canadian tire are the same as the ones at Costco or Lowes or Home Depot as far as the quality and types of materials are concerned. Many are made by the same company in Quebec (I forget which one it is) for all the retailers. Some come from China. i cannot say which is better.
If you are getting one, I suggest one with a metal roof and that it has as few roof panels as possible. The more panels, the more likely the panel falls out and the polycarbonate panels get badly damaged when they do fall out.
As I said before, they are a serious PIA to put together.
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Stay away from fabric gazebos indeed. Or if you do decided to get one, purchase a replacement top at the same time.
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Wooden gazebo is not an option at this moment but I would really love one though ;)
iwells wrote:
Apr 30th, 2013 9:51 pm
For standard wooden gazebo, check out Garrick (spelling?) on Trafalger and Britannia in Oakville/milton area. That's all they do.

They don't do timber frame though.

For prefab, check out some US sites, always cheaper there but shipping will be expensive unless you can pick it up.

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