Design & Style
E-mail Article to a FriendPrint ArticleBookmark and Share

Gorgeous Gazebos

4 designs that allow enjoyment of outdoor living at its finest
By Mark R. Johnson
Published: March 1, 2012
Outdoor rooms are all the rage in cabin country, and we’re not surprised. Cabin living is all about cozying up to the great outdoors, and the ultimate outdoor room is a gazebo. Ron Mijal is Mr. Gazebo, if anyone deserves the moniker. His company, Heartland Gazebos, has built more than 1,000 of the mini retreats over 18 years.
Overwhelmingly, his clients report that their gazebo is “the most used improvement” they’ve ever made to their property, and 80 percent say, “We use it all the time.”
According to Ron, these are the top three ways his clients use their gazebos: Number one – a lunch spot; number two – an evening relaxation pad (“We hear all the time, ‘That’s where we enjoy our evening wine’ ”); number three – an alfresco breakfast nook. Well, we’ve found four gazebos – one of Ron’s, plus three others – that we’d be happy to visit, morning, noon, or night.

Scroll all the way down to read Mijal's expert tips for buying or building a gazebo.
View ThumbnailsView Full Screen
1 / 5PreviousNext
Photo by Roger Wade Studio,
Celebrating Fire & Water
Loveland, Colo., is home to this timber-frame gazebo that houses a fireplace and sits beside a man-made water feature. We love the fire-and-water combination. Don’t you feel relaxed just looking at this setting? The gazebo was designed by Mark Miller of Trail Ridge Timber Frames. A Korean pavilion he once saw inspired the framework, but the roof has a truss system more common to the American West. The cabin owners, the Herndon family, use the gazebo often for parties at their cabin; they like to host several every year.

Design: Trail Ridge Timber Frames,


Ron Mijal, owner of Heartland Gazebos, shares these expert tips for buying or building a gazebo for your cabin:

1 Believe it or not, location is not your first consideration; materials are. Be sure to build with durable materials. Ron recommends cedar because “It’s the longest lasting” (compared to pine or pressure-treated lumber).

2 Location is a close second for your top priority. Ron’s customers tell him, “The closer to the house, the better.” His rule of thumb is a maximum of 50 feet from the main home, for the convenience of easily transporting food and drink from cabin to gazebo.

3 A ceiling vent is critical. Be aware that universal building code requires roof-ridge-cap ventilation in homes and cabins but not in gazebos. So make sure your builder installs the proper venting in yours.

4 If you, like most of us, are in mosquito country, make sure you install high-quality fiberglass screens. (Nylon is very poor quality, and metal screens dent.)

5 To get multiseasonal use out of your gazebo, install a window system to keep chilly winds out.

Related Issues
Subscriber Only Content
Subscriber Only Content
Look for this icon. This denotes premium subscriber content.  Learn more »
Become a Member
Register online for access to more valuable resource information.
Don't miss your connection to the reader forums, projects, photo galleries, and more.
Subscriber and Member Login

Free Twice-Monthly E-Newsletter

Receive useful tips & inspiration from Cabin Life