As a good person, you go to all the block parties. You may only like half your neighbors, but you know you should show support, and it’s not just because you need to borrow their tools every now and then.
But, every time you go, you hear the same obnoxious voice taking control of each and every conversation. They talk about how handy they are, how they always mow their lawn in some fancy design, or how they built their own deck with nothing but a hammer, two nails and the tree their great-grandfather planted 100 years ago.

What to Learn About the Gazebo

(Pixabay / ellen258)

This time, that pesky neighbor Ron is gabbing on about his brand-new gazebo, built from wood he harvested on his trip to Africa last month where he built a school for orphans. But you know. You know the truth.

“I’m curious, Ron,” you say slyly. “How’d you make the cupola finial? I love the design! It’s so unique. What was the type of wood again?”

All he can do is stare. Blankly. You caught him. He moves his mouth now, but no words have the courage to come out. All the neighbors finally know he’s a phony. He’s never even been to Africa.

“And come to think of it, what’d you do to get the intermediate rafter to fit so snugly? I bet that wasn’t easy,” you’re just coating it on thick now. And it is so satisfying to finally put him in his place.

“Oh,” he says. “The, uh, immediate cannoli you say? Well, I just, you know, hammered it in. With my hammer.”

Finally, he’s shown his true colors.

Because you’re humble and you know the old saying, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive,” you never lied about hiring a custom gazebo company to come build your newest outdoor structure. But you’re smart, too, so you learned a gazebo’s anatomy, just so you can talk with the contractor about your plans, and so you’ll understand the builder when they talk with you.

  • Cupola Finial
    The cupola finial is the decorative top of a gazebo. It sits on the central hub, and its main purpose is to look good or die trying.
  • Central Hub
    The rafters radiate from the central hub. It sits right on the top, at the peak of the roof.
  • Ridge Caps
    The ridge caps are supposed to cover the crease in a roof. They seal the joint between two sides.
  • Shingles
    These are pretty obvious. They’re on almost all roofs.
  • Rafters
    There are several different, more specific types of rafters; however, they’re all used to support the roof. The different types are the intermediate rafter, which is the normal one; the short rafter, which is used in the valleys of the roof; and the corner rafter, used in the corner of a pitched roof.
  • Beam
    These are the main, load-bearing, horizontal members of a gazebo’s structure.
  • Ceiling Joist
    This is a horizontal beam that helps provide support to the ceiling. Their main purpose is to hold the diagonal rafters that hold the roof.
  • Post
    It’s the vertical structural piece that counts as one of the primary supports to the entire gazebo.
  • Knee Brace
    This isn’t for your dad’s bad knees that he still grumbles about. It’s a diagonal piece of lumber, often decorative but still with a purpose that helps hold up the frame of the structure.
  • Top Rail
    This is often the top part of a handrail, which can be nice to have when you need something to lean against.
  • Baluster
    This is the decorative pillar or column that is often attached to the rails.
  • Bottom Rail
    The same as the top rail, but on the bottom.
  • Skirt Board
    This is the same as a baseboard. These cover the gap between the walls and the floor.
  • Fascia
    A board covering for the ends of the rafters.
  • Floor
    You walk on it, unless you’re Spider-Man.
  • Post Anchor
    This is the bracket that helps keep the posts in place and stable.
  • Floor joist
    This is one of the primary pieces that supports the floor.
  • Ledger
    The ledger is a wood board that bolts onto the face of the concrete foundation. It helps support the floor of the gazebo.
  • Concrete Slab
    This is used to help build the floor and ceiling of the gazebo.
  • Concrete Pier
    The main load-bearing foundation. It’s a cylindrical shaft sunk into the ground, in a prepared hole. Most posts have these, whether it be the gazebo or a fence.
  • Carriage Bolt
    This is a round-headed bolt used to fasten wood panels down.

If you haven’t yet had a gazebo built, and are looking for a nice touch to your backyard, give it a try. SRI Decks is a trained, experienced, professional custom gazebo installer in Colorado, so if you want to enjoy the fresh air from your own yard, give us a call. Even if you haven’t learned the fancy gazebo terminology, we can help guide you along. But if you have, we’ll have fun talking shop—and you’ll be well-prepared to take the wind out of Ron at the next block party.


  • Nate Barrett

    As the President of SRI Decks, my greatest satisfaction comes from the immediate sense of fulfillment that our work brings. From the initial design discussions with our customers to the moment we capture the final project in photos, I feel an immense pride in my team for their dedicated efforts. My passion for hands-on work and outdoor projects is matched only by the joy I derive from seeing a delighted customer when we’ve successfully completed a job. Fun Facts: I like hot chocolate in my coffee. I’ve been with SRI for 12 years, prior to ownership. I have a daughter, 3 dogs and a loving girlfriend.

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