Design plans for gazebos are available for the more commonly found square, rectangular and octagonal shaped structures, as well as for specialty models that can have up to 12 sides. Custom designed plans are also an option.
Gazebos have solid roofs or canopies, partial walls and are usually made of wood, vinyl or aluminum. Roof shapes can be flat, sloped, single or double tiered, but the roof must be a solid covering. Putting a slatted roof on a gazebo turns it into a pergola. The latter usually has open sides with the roof supported by large corner posts.
The octagon gazebo has eight equal sides. Designs for Victorian-era gazebos usually have double tiered roofs, sometimes with an ornate third mini tier at the top. These traditional gazebos often have intricately carved partial walls, posts and roof accents.
Multi-sided gazebos are also used in Asian garden settings. Octagons are popular, as are the six-sided hexagons. The roof is sloped, sometimes with flared ends at the posts. Almost always made of wood, the partial sides are clean-lined and simple. Oriental lattice screens are sometimes used as accents.
Designs for the square and the rectangular gazebos can be ornate or simple. For example, a cedar square gazebo could have a wood shake roof with a small crown and elaborately carved posts and trim, similar to the Victorian octagon. A simple design option could be a square gazebo with a canopy roof over a vinyl frame.