What do singer Meghan Trainor and gazebos have in common? Both are all about that bass…(Ba dum tss!)

Get it? Bass vs. base? Funny, right?! Okay, maybe cornier than anything, but when a pun comes to mind, sometimes you just can’t resist.

Hey, it may not have been funny, but it was…punny!

Okay, enough with the jokes–we promise. We really do have some helpful information in this month’s blog. Can you guess what it’s about? It’s all about that base…for your gazebo.

Thank you, folks; your custom gazebo builders are here all week! You’ve been a lovely audience, and don’t forget to tip your waiter!

Gazebos and Meghan Trainor Have This in Common

(Paul Silvan/Unsplash)

Foundation Fundamentals

Before your grand gazebo is installed, you or your hired professional must install a foundation or footings to support its frame and distribute its weight.

If you currently have a patio, there’s a chance you can attach a gazebo to it without any additional prep work. Otherwise, you’ll need to clear your chosen area of debris, such as rocks, tree roots, grass, and gravel, to prepare for the foundation, adding four additional feet of cleared space to its perimeter. For example, clear a 16’x16’ area if your gazebo and foundation are 12’x12’. Your location should be level and allow for proper drainage.

A gazebo’s foundation (base) must be made of strong, sturdy material to support and distribute the weight of the structural load. Let’s look over some basic information, the pros, and cons of some of the most popular alternatives.

Wood Decking

The beauty of wood decking is that there are so many options to fit a multitude of budgets and styles. Using this option, you can make your wooden base match that of your wooden gazebo. With many aesthetically pleasing looks that suit different style preferences at various price points, hardness ratings, and eco-friendliness rankings, wood is our number-one choice for gazebo bases.

Slab

Slab foundations are popular and highly recommended for their long-lasting durability. Made of poured concrete, they are the most permanent of bases. Concrete can be smoothed and coated, painted, stained, stamped, or marked to imitate stone or tile, doubling as the gazebo’s foundation and its finished flooring.

Slab bases must be 3 to 4 inches thick and poured over 4-inch thick crushed rock or gravel. As a rule of thumb, an 8’x10’ area would use about one cubic yard of premixed concrete. The drying time before installing a gazebo is seven to ten days.

Brick Pavers

Brick paver patio stones can work for gazebo bases under a certain size. The recommended size of stones used in building these bases is 12” x 24” with a thickness of 1.5″ to 2”. Brick pavers make a good option for gazebos less than 14 feet in length and width. A pre-existing patio that meets these requirements is a great candidate for a gazebo base.

When Your Base Needs a Leg to Stand On

Sometimes, it’s preferable to set up a gazebo base on posts. Situations like elevating it above ground to offer additional protection from moisture, mounting it on an incline or uneven terrain, or lifting it to the height of another adjoining structure call for secure, below-grade footings or piers.

You’ll likely want professional help if you need to establish footings, as they require digging, heavy-duty equipment, and expertise. Remember, it’s necessary to call your local utilities-locating service before digging, secure proper permits, and excavate below frost level to prevent upheaval. Ensuring the safety and integrity of the structure is serious business.

Concrete Footings

Post-hole footings stand in poured concrete within narrow but deep holes underground. Footings must be deep enough to sit below the frost line in the ground to prevent settling or heaving.

Similar to post-hole footings, tubular footings can help elevate your structure. The difference between a post-hole footing and a tubular one is that tubular footings come in various materials, at pre-set dimensions, and extend several inches out of the ground, offering structures extra protection from ground moisture.

Concrete footings are a great choice on uneven ground and where building permits dictate. They also allow bases to be built at an incline when needed but are a more expensive option.

Cast Concrete Piers

These solid, trapezoid concrete blocks have a broad base that tapers towards the top. The bottom of the pier rests on or in the ground, and flooring or framing materials are secured directly to the top, as with a post-hole footing. Check with a contractor about using these. They must meet local building codes before they can be used, and there are mixed reviews as to their stability and frost heave resistance.

For Your Consideration

There’s more than meets the eye when deciding on a gazebo for your space. Call a professional custom gazebo company in Denver, like SRI Decks. We can assist you with everything from planning to installation. We make building beautiful and safe outdoor living spaces our business.