How we built our Yardistry Gazebo from a kit, and all the tips and tricks we learned along the way.
‘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!
The Problem – Our Concrete Backyard
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 finally 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.
Final Thoughts on our Yardistry Gazebo
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
Here’s a quick reminder of how the space looked before:
And now here’s the after:
We are so happy with our gazebo, and all the shade it brings to our yard. I’m planning on some other fun upgrades to this space, so be sure to check back later in the summer for those projects!
In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions. I’m always happiest when our experiences can help someone else.
Get Out! Outdoor DIY Projects
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Monday 20th of June 2022
Just wondering what size pad to put under it. Do you recommend a large pad like your yard is , or perhaps the large pad holds water on rainy days.
What do you suggest as we are getting ready to put a pad in. Thanks in advance
Tuesday 12th of July 2022
We love our large pad, but we don't get much rain here in the dessert, so you may have a point about it holding water where you live. I would check with a local landscaper or builder for the answer.
Sunday 26th of December 2021
Just curious, what is the height measurement from the very edge of the corners?
Wednesday 29th of December 2021
Hi Joseph, do you mean the diagonal measurement? Or the length and width?
Saturday 9th of May 2020
Thanks for all the helpful info. We are about to start step 5 where we erect the 4 posts and connect them with the long beams. I wanted to ask when in the process you anchored your gazebo to the concrete. Did you wait till it was completely done or did you do it shortly after standing up the posts? Thanks!
Saturday 9th of May 2020
Great questing! Definitely wait till you're all done putting everything together. As you're connecting things, it will cause slight shifts. At the end you'll square everything up and then you can anchor your posts into the concrete.
Monday 29th of July 2019
Any issues with bolting it to the slab and weather conditions? I am planning on doing the same thing.
Wednesday 31st of July 2019
Hi Michael, we've had no problems with it. Bolting it to the concrete required a hammer drill, but with the right equipment it's no trouble. This thing is solid. You'll love it!
Saturday 15th of June 2019
Looks very nice. I am getting ready to install the same gazebo in my backyard. Did you anchor the posts to the concrete after it was all assembled? Did you run any electrical to it? I am thinking the posts are hollow and could have wire run through them, but it looks like they may be closed at the top of the post. Really good post, thanks for sharing.
Wednesday 19th of June 2019
Thanks Michael! Those are great questions. First, yes we anchored it after it was assembled. That was the last step in the process. We didn't run electrical, but I wish we had! You are correct, the posts are hollow, but closed at the top. It seems like it would be pretty easy to just drill a hole in the top of one to run your electrical through. Best of luck with your project - you'll love it!