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Building a Gazebo: Hire a Contractor or DIY?

Building a Gazebo: Hire a Contractor or DIY?

Your experience, schedule, and physical strength will all factor into whether your should choose to undertake building your own gazebo or hire a contractor. The first step is to be absolutely honest with yourself—it’s better to remove ego from the equation than to do a poor job, face delays, or perhaps even injure yourself during the process.

Why You *Might* Want to Hire a Professional…

If you don’t have the experience or motivation to complete a building an outdoor project, you should consider hiring a professional. Manual labor is tough work, especially during intense weather of the summer or winter. Without the proper tools, knowledge, and dedication you may end up spending a lot of money for a project that you never complete, or you may even end up hiring a professional to complete the project, which will cost even more money.

“Depending on the size, complexity, or artistry, it may be outside of the capabilities of even the most experienced do it yourselfer,” says forensic architect Gilad Livingstone. “In more complex cases, building a gazebo may require special tools, knowledge, or artistic ability, and depending on the specifications, may require a building permit with architectural renderings. Failure to take the appropriate steps may result in an unsafe gazebo and/or fines.”

A qualified contractor will typically have the experience and tools to build your gazebo, as well as the professional contacts to obtain any necessary architectural renderings and building permits.

When is a Contractor the Best Choice for Building Your Gazebo?

If this is your first time building a gazebo, then at the very least, you should consult a contractor so you are at least aware of what you should and shouldn’t do. As mentioned earlier, a contractor will be able to tell you exactly what you need in order to complete the project to legal specifications. Other specialty contractors may be valuable as well, for example, a landscaper will be able to tell you which plants work best in your area to improve the appearance of your gazebo while helping to reduce pests, while a licensed electrical contractor will ensure that any electrical work is safe and up to code. If you are adding special amenities to your gazebo, such as a stone fireplace, kitchen, or even an outdoor entertainment system, you should definitely hire the appropriate contractor to avoid costly mistakes. Screening contractors can also install privacy screen, which will transform your view and help prevent birds, insects, and rodents from invading your gazebo.

If you do end up hiring a contractor, it’s important to make sure they are licensed, bonded, insured, and that they drug test their employees. David Bell, CEO of USA Mobile Drug Testing, tells us that according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the construction industry has the second highest drug use compared to all other industries in America.

When Should You Build Your Gazebo Yourself?

If your project only entails building a gazebo from a standard DIY kit, then you’re probably safe to build it yourself. The tools, materials, and construction plans you will need to complete a gazebo kit are fairly basic, and it’s also relatively easy to research any laws regarding building codes, permits, and anything else you’ll need to ensure your new gazebo will be safe, last a long time, and improve your property value. However, if you still want to consult with a professional to make sure—that never hurts. If you have the time and motivation necessary to handle your gazebo project, you will typically end up saving up to 50% of the cost since you won’t have to pay for manual labor or other additional expenses that will come with hiring professionals.

You’ll also develop a sense of pride and accomplishment once the project is done.


Decision Time…

Now that you have the knowledge you need to decide whether you should hire a contractor to build your gazebo, or do it yourself, which do you choose?