A gazebo might be a great addition to your backyard patio or lawn. You can escape the heat of summer or have protection from the rain. Unless you have a concrete slab that you can drill into, you may find it difficult to anchor a gazebo.
In high winds, the roof or covering on your gazebo can catch lift. It could then knock over your structure causing damage or harm to property or people around.
To anchor your gazebo without drilling into concrete, add heavy anchors to the corners of your gazebo. The added weight should prevent the upward force from heavy winds from carrying off your structure. An added weight, handing from the roof, can also help reduce the possibility of uplift.
We’ll explain further how to properly anchor your gazebo without drilling in different types of surfaces.
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Anchoring a Gazebo with Weighted Containers
While drilling and securing your gazebo with bolts into concrete is the most secure method, sometimes it’s not practical. You may want to damage the concrete slab or as a renter, you can’t make permanent changes. Whatever the reason, you need a way to securely fasten the gazebo.
During high winds, the wind may push against the structure, or even up under the roof. The gazebo may move horizontally, knocked over, or up and away. Not only will the structure be damaged, but so could other property. Someone could even be injured by your unsecured structure. There is a high chance that your structure could be irreparably damaged after the first storm.
Creating Gazebo Anchors
To create anchors for your gazebo, find a large pot, planter, or other container. Ideally, this container should match the design of your structure or yard. Fill the container with sand, dirt, or even concrete. Place one of these containers in each corner of your gazebo.
If you use concrete, make sure that if you need to move or replace the gazebo you can eventually move or get rid of the anchor. Using sand or dirt helps ensure that you have plenty of flexibility for future changes.
You should then fasten each leg or post to the container. You may be able to place the legs of your gazebo in the container before filling it. Alternatively, you may be able to screw the legs to the container. Pushing the container against the leg likely won’t give enough support to your gazebo unless the structure has a floor.
Ideally, the total weight of the anchors and the gazebo should be heavier than the total force wind might be able to exert. However, unless you have plenty of experience with physics or structural loads, you likely will need to guess. Most people find that 100-200 lbs per corner is heavy enough to keep the gazebo in place.
To add to you backyard decor, you could even turn the containers into planters for showy flowers or for cooking herbs!
Anchoring a Gazebo on Pavers with Footings
If you have pavers in your backyard to create an entertaining area, you may want a gazebo for shelter. However, since there’s no concrete slab to drill into, you may need to consider using heavy anchors for each leg.
Alternatively, if you have the ability, you could consider pouring small concrete footings for each leg or column in your gazebo. Just under your pavers, dig out a small 12” x 12” hole. Fill each hole with concrete and place a mounting bracket or anchor bolt into each footing. Pay careful attention to how high you pour the concrete so that you can lay pavers back over, if desired.
As the concrete sets, the anchor bolts or bracket will be permanently attached into place. The legs or columns of the gazebo can then be attached to the bracket or bolt.
Ways to Anchor a Gazebo in Grass with Stakes
When locating a gazebo in grass, you don’t have a concrete slab to drill into, even if you wanted to! You could use the heavy anchors in each corner, but there’s another method to try in grassy surfaces.
As long as the soil underneath your grass isn’t too rocky, you should be able to sink anchors into the ground. Similar to tent stakes, you want to make sure these anchors get enough grip on the dirt to be effective.
Gazebo stakes have barbs or bits at the end to help them get more friction against the soil. If your gazebo has holes in the base of the legs, you can pound or twist these anchors into the ground, similar to drilling a screw. Make sure you install them per the manufacturer’s instructions for the safest installation.
How to Anchor a Gazebo to a Deck with Straps
If you’re installing a gazebo on a wood or composite deck, you may have another attachment option to consider other than drilling or using heavy anchors. Depending on the spacing of your boards, there may be enough room to secure around the boards.
Your gazebo may have ways to attach a metal strap from the legs or posts of your gazebo. The metal strap can then be passed underneath the boards, and up to the same leg or next leg if you have enough length of strap.
In this scenario, you should make sure that the deck is in good condition and strong enough to withstand the force of wind pushing against the gazebo. Try to wrap the strap around as many as two or three boards per leg.
Wrapping the strap around just one deck board may cause the board to pull up in high winds rather than holding your gazebo down.
How to Prevent Your Gazebo from Blowing Away
No matter how you secure your gazebo, in especially strong weather there is a chance that the cover or structure of your gazebo could be damaged. If you install a gazebo without drilling into concrete, your structure is at a higher risk of moving during a storm.
Follow these recommendations in inclement weather:
- If your gazebo has side panels, close them if you know a storm is coming. The panels could prevent wind from blowing up under the roof, which can cause upward lift on the gazebo.
- If the cover of your gazebo can be removed, take it off before big storms. The structure of your gazebo will have less surface area and need less reinforcement to prevent movement.
- Move it. If your gazebo is light enough and not permanently attached, you can relocate your gazebo to a space that is more protected from the wind.
- Add additional weight. If your gazebo holds up during most normal storms, but you’re worried about heavy winds, add some additional weight with ropes and jugs of water, sandbags. Or, you can even tie it to adjacent trees or structures.
Gazebos are a great addition to your backyard to create a focal point of interest and shelter for outdoor entertaining. However, make sure you securely fasten your gazebo for the safety of yourself, your neighbors, and your property.
A few quick, easy to make, heavy anchors can help make sure that your gazebo stays exactly where it’s supposed to be! It’s much better to be over conservative and safe, rather than risking it.