My Assembly Experience 🔧 And A Few Tips
– Here’s a great assembly review from a customer in Spring, Texas!
Let’s get this out of the way first. I love my new 12 x 14 Wood Gazebo. It looks great, is solid and with the appropriate care, I expect it to last a very long time. I would buy it again without hesitation. Now, let me tell you what to expect.
IT IS HEAVY
The three boxes it comes in are each heavy on their own. I am a 60 year old guy (a young 60 by many other’s standards but had two back surgeries) and there was no way I was moving any of this stuff around safely by myself.
Plan for where this 600 pound project will go when you get it home. Also, there is A LOT of packing material, especially cardboard that needs to be dealt with. Well packed, well protected, but, a project almost in itself.
I had the help of three teenagers, (none of which really wanted to help) and my wife who had other projects to tend to. I built most of this by myself, and it took me about 30 hours of solid work/time spanning four days.
As you open the boxes, be sure to note the numbers on the pieces and organize them numerically in piles. This alone will save time. Also, get out the instructions and read through them. Once you are done reading them, go to the Yardistry website, the Costco website and YouTube, watch the videos and STUDY THEM the best you can. I would actually suggest you not even start the day you unbox. I promise, the more videos you watch, bookmark the most useful, the happier your construction time will go.
At the bottom of each page, there is a list of hardware you will need for each step. My suggestion is that you get lots of ziplock bags and pre-separate everything you need for each step and label the bag by page number. I did not do this and was lost in a world of little plastic bags filled with a thousand parts. You will thank me if you do this as looking for the right hardware probably accounted for much more time than necessary.
Have at least three extra people and three ladders for erecting the roof. A 10 1/2 foot 2×4 will help greatly save the arms of the center support person as a support prop for roof install and reduces the “panic” or urgency to get the first three up as quickly as possible. As with the frame, I made the bolts holding the panels together snug, but not tight, allowing for some play for the last roof section.
The roof sections are not heavy per se, but can be very awkward, especially with a breeze, to negotiate into place. Everything you read talks about the “dreaded last panel of the roof” and getting it into place. Mine went in with very little fiddling, though it is definitely the hardest part of the project.
I am VERY meticulous about putting any of these “kit projects” together, making sure everything is square and flush before fully tightening screws. I always tighten screws in a “skip one” rotation after getting them all in place and set in their place. I did not tighten any of the big bolts down all the way until it was all put together. I am sure this helped with a certain amount of “give” getting the roof on and in place. Keep EVERYTHING square and flush. Important… don’t be lazy about redoing a screw if it doesn’t look quite right. One isn’t a problem later on (usually), but 20 can throw the whole thing off.
Go slow and steady and you will save time by not having to go back and redo things later. Again. I watched a couple hours of videos the day before I started, so I almost felt like I had built one before. I went back and watched videos through the process and had my “roof crew” watch the video of the roof going up. The instructions are clear as mud. The illustrations are what you will use the most. The written instructions were in English, but I felt like a two year old listening to a lecture on quantum physics. It may have been just me with this set because others have said they are great.
I would have saved at least two hours or more if I had done the hardware by step ziplock bag strategy. This was maddening and felt like an unnecessary waste of time going through the myriad of baggies to find the right hardware, step by step. It will also reduce/eliminate errors related to using the wrong screws at the wrong time. I could have done it the night before in front of the TV and Would have been a lot less frustrated. Yes, there are that many parts! That, the nitrile gloves and building the roof panels one-by-one first are probably the biggest time savers I can point to.
1. I ordered the mosquito screen and it is FIVE STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
Very easy to install, took me less than an hour to do the “permanent” install myself. Excellent quality materials and clean mesh that doesn’t blur the surroundings when looking through it. Some bug screens make you feel like you are permanently squinting your eyes.
2. I also took the advice of a dude on YouTube and built a gutter for my gazebo. I noticed after the first heavy rain that the water comes down in sheets off the roof and hits the ground all around the perimeter. Probably because of the high roof, but everything underneath up to about two feet high off the ground got wet. Doing it alone and never doing gutter work before, it took me about 6 hours and under $200 in parts at Home Depot (roofing section). They sell pre-painted brown gutters that match the gazebo very well (see pics above). It was AMAZING how much they helped. We had a very heavy rain storm (Houston, TX area) and most of the area underneath stayed bone dry. This is well worth the extra investment in time and money. I especially love sitting under a gazebo during a rain (no lightning). Very peaceful.
Hope this helped! Enjoy your beautiful new gazebo!