Is It Cheaper To DIY A Backyard Gazebo, Buy A Kit, Or Go Completely Custom?

A gazebo allows you to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air in the comfort of your home's backyard. These structures can provide a small sitting or dining area, giving you a space to unwind without being directly in the sun. Accented with flowers or plants, a gazebo can refresh your backyard landscaping and make it look straight out of a fairytale. If you're considering a gazebo for your backyard, the question of whether you should DIY one yourself, buy a kit, or have a custom one built arises, along with how much each option will cost. In most cases, building a completely custom gazebo will be the most expensive option, costing between $8,600 and $14,400. Gazebo kits are the next less expensive on average, priced at $3,600 to $8,600. DIY can be the cheapest option, costing between $2,000 and $8,500.

Custom gazebos tend to be the most expensive option because you have to pay for labor and materials. DIY building a gazebo tends to be the least expensive option because you're saving on labor costs. Gazebo kits can fall somewhere in the middle because they can have some aspects of both. They can be put together yourself or by professionals and can be custom or pre-designed. Other factors, such as size, style, material, and construction can affect the final cost of all three types. But, if you're looking for a budget-friendly way to add a gazebo to your backyard, DIYing or purchasing a kit are the best options.

Costs to consider when DIYing, choosing a kit, or custom-building a gazebo

While a custom gazebo is generally the most expensive, all three types may come with some costs that homeowners may not initially consider. You may have to acquire a building permit before beginning construction, which can vary by area but usually costs a few hundred dollars. A gazebo may also require professional drawings, which can be between $100 to $200, as well as construction such as excavating the ground and laying a concrete foundation and footings, which can cost up to thousands of dollars.

Gazebo kits are like a hybrid option. Kits come with everything you need to build the gazebo, including the pre-cut pieces, the hardware, and the instructions. Yard Craft, for example, sells kits that range from $4,000 to almost $7,000 that can be assembled yourself or by professionals. Most handy homeowners will be able to assemble the kit themselves over a couple of days or a weekend. There is also the option to design a gazebo that will come in a kit, which allows you to customize a gazebo based on pre-selected factors that you can then build yourself. 

DIYing a gazebo from scratch is often the least expensive option but will require more time and basic carpentry knowledge. The materials to build a 12-foot by 12-foot gazebo, on average, cost $1,200. You'll also need building materials like asphalt shingles, decking boards, and roofing nails as well as tools like a drill and posthole digger.

Gazebo design affects the price

Whether you have a professional build a custom gazebo, DIY one yourself, or choose a kit, the design details of the structure will affect the cost. Even the details of a custom kit will change the price. One of the biggest cost factors is the material. For example, building a wood gazebo is more expensive than a brick one, costing $4,000 to $8,000 and $2,000 and $3,600 to build on average, respectively. Larger gazebos, of course, will cost more than smaller versions. Prices can range between $75 and $100 per square foot on average, making a 10-foot by 10-foot gazebo about $7,500 to $10,500 or a 14-foot by 20-foot gazebo about $21,000 to $28,000.

The shape will also play a role in the final price. Round and rectangular gazebos are usually the most inexpensive, ranging from $1,500 to $8,000 and $2,000 to $12,000, respectively. More sides and more complicated shapes can increase the price. Hexagonal and octagonal gazebos range between $3,000 and $8,000, while 12-sided gazebos cost the most. In the case of building an outdoor kitchen or adding lighting, upgraded features like running electricity and plumbing lines to the gazebo will come at another cost and may also need their own permits approved. Whether you build a gazebo yourself or have a contractor tackle the job for you, there are many ways to have the gazebo of your dreams fit within your budget.