‘Tis the season to get outside!
This is the time of year it starts feeling like summer, even though officially it’s still spring. Which means it’s time to get outside before it gets too hot to enjoy it! I can’t wait to share this post with you today as part of Remodelaholic’s Get Out! Outdoor DIY Challenge.
We haven’t done much to our backyard since moving in two years ago, but this summer that’s all about to change. As much as I love interior decor, I also love to get outside and enjoy the amazing Albuquerque weather as often as possible. When you get about 300 days of sunshine a year and almost no bugs, you should take advantage of outdoor living!
This house has a good size yard, but it seems like the majority of it is covered with concrete. I wasn’t thrilled about that when we first saw the house, but in living here I’ve realized that we actually use that space more than I expected. It makes a great roller skating rink, and the perfect basketball court. Mind you, none of us are naturals with a basketball (especially me, at 5’2″), but it gives us something fun and active to do together.
To give the sprawling concrete jungle a little more definition, I decided to invest in a pergola. We chose one with a complete cover, which I think technically means it’s a gazebo. We wanted shade (did I mention 300 days of sun?), architectural interest, and colors that look natural and compliment our house.
I think we found exactly what we wanted with this 12′ by 14′ gazebo by Yardistry.
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Yardistry Gazebo Installation Tips
We found our kit at Costco, but you can also buy the same Yardistry 12×14 Gazebo on Amazon, if you don’t have a Costco near you.
I won’t try to reconstruct the instructions here (the manual is 57 pages long!) but I do want to share some of the helpful tips we learned while we were putting it together. This was one of the biggest builds we’ve ever attempted, and it took some time, but it wasn’t hard. I guess what I mean by that is, if you can read an instruction manual and follow the steps closely, they’ve engineered this thing really well and it’s totally do-able. I’ve had more frustrating experiences than this, putting together IKEA furniture. Take your time, have a buddy, and know that some day soon you’ll be sipping margaritas under your gazebo. Now let’s get started!
First things first.
In the instruction manual, they’ve provided a page to write down the numbers on your packaging. Take a minute to write them down in case you need to call customer service. Later in the process of putting the gazebo together, we found that two of our parts needed to be replaced (a stripped screw and a cracked piece of wood). Customer service was amazingly polite and helpful and we had our new parts in two days!
Inventory all your parts! This took us an extra hour, and our whole garage floor was covered with pieces and parts. It feels like an extra step at the time, but I promise you do not want to get halfway through this build and find out you’re missing one crucial part. (I forgot to take pictures of this step because I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of pieces, but I wish I could show you!) This is how the pieces looked about halfway through the process when most were already put together in chunks.
Read the instructions!
I was impressed with how clearly everything was labeled in the manual, and how thorough the instructions were. Plus, they seemed to be written by a person (or people) whose first language was English, which really helped with deciphering everything. My husband and I developed a system where we would read a few pages of instructions first, then refer back to them as we were doing that part of the project. Truth be told, he did most of the work, with me standing around rereading instructions to him.
Yardistry also included links to their tips video in the manual, which came in really handy at a couple of points, especially when we got ready to put the roof panels on. I’m linking to it here as well, in case you want to take a look before you get started.
They mean it when they say you’ll need 4 people for certain steps of construction. We actually used 6 at one point, and were glad we had all of them. So make a few good friends now, and offer them donuts and breakfast tacos when you call in that favor.
Putting the roof on the gazebo was definitely the trickiest part, between the ladders, the weight of the roof panels, and trying to maneuver 4-6 guys into the right place. The last panel is the toughest because it has to fit well against the other panels. The instruction manual recommends pushing up on the other panels to get the last panel to fit, and we found that to be the most helpful piece of advice. Everything came together and fit like a glove. Success!
Don’t forget to anchor your gazebo! This thing is heavy, but with the right (wrong) wind conditions it could definitely go airborne and wreak havoc on your yard, house, or neighbors. One thing we have plenty of in Albuquerque is wind, so we were not about to mess around. We used concrete anchors and a hammer drill to secure the gazebo to our slab. If you don’t have a slab, you may need to pour concrete footers first.
This is not really meant to be a review of the Yardistry gazebo, but since we’ve come this far, here are my final thoughts:
Overall Impression: Very well built, with well written and thorough instructions. Not a build for the faint of heart. Worth every penny and hour spent building it.
Takeaway: All our friends that helped us with the final build now want one of their own. Choose friends who have no room in their backyard, or you’ll have to return the favor multiple times.
Yardistry Gazebo Before and After
And now here’s the after:
In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions. I’m always happiest when our experiences can help someone else.
Also, be sure to check out the other bloggers in Remodelaholic’s Get Out! Outdoor Challenge for more inspiration and great tutorials. You can also add your own projects to share!
Get Out! Outdoor DIY Projects
DIY Outdoor Bench | Hertoolbelt
How to Build a Gazebo (from a Kit) | The Palette Muse
Sunroom Makeover | Lantern Lane Designs
DIY Solar Walkway Lights | Toolbox Divas
Wooden Welcome Sign Wreath | Lemon Thistle
DIY Washer Toss Game | Everyday Party Magazine
Backyard Hammock Area | North Country Nest
Easy Cinder Block Garden Planters | Our Crafty Mom
Funny DIY No Soliciting Sign | Leap of Faith Crafting
Simple DIY Tricks for a Covered Porch | Ugly Duckling House
Bistro Set Makeover | Practical & Pretty
Tiered Vertical Planter Garden | Creative Ramblings