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Wood vs. Vinyl Gazebo

Updated: Mar 20

The Pros and Cons of a Wood vs. Vinyl Gazebo

After scrolling Pinterest, surveying your backyard or business location, and checking to see the options in your area, you may have decided that the gazebo is the outdoor building of your dreams. We congratulate you! It’s not easy to decide on a large feature like a gazebo, but we feel that the return on how much enjoyment you will get out of it is amazing. There might be one question, though, that you just can’t seem to settle.

Do I want a wood or vinyl gazebo?

For this one it doesn’t make a difference whether you’re running the options by the board, your husband or wife, or sifting through options for yourself, there are a good amount of pros and cons to consider.

Haven’t decided whether you want a pergola, gazebo, or pavilion? Here are some quick links to get you started.

  1. What is a Pergola?

  2. What is a Pavilion?

  3. What is a Gazebo?

Back to gazebos. For your convenience we’ve gathered a few Q’s & A’s we’ve gathered to help simplify the process.

Skim the pros and cons

  1. Will a wood or vinyl gazebo last longer?

  2. What is the maintenance schedule for wood vs. vinyl gazebos?

  3. Could the vinyl on a gazebo crack or blow off in the wind?

  4. How long will paint on a gazebo last? Will it crack or chip?

  5. Design & Style: making the choice for a wood vs. vinyl gazebo.

Will a Wood or Vinyl Gazebo last longer?

They both have approximately a lifetime of use with proper maintenance. The vinyl takes less major maintenance, though it can crack or become brittle with age and may be a harder fix if certain sections need to be replaced. Wood can withstand a little more in regards to being hit with stray objects, such as a rock thrown up by a lawn mower, but will need to be repainted or stained periodically.

Takeaway: Both wood and vinyl have a lifetime of use with good maintenance.

What is the maintenance schedule for wood vs. vinyl gazebos?

It’s mostly in the type of care needed. As we mentioned above, wood will need periodic repainting or staining, whereas vinyl usually only requires a good power washing.  Vinyl takes less major maintenance, but needs it more often, especially in humid climates such as we have on the east coast. Mold grows easily here and it means we have to keep after our buildings a little more often than say, a place like Arizona.

Takeaway: What maintenance schedule works for you? Do you prefer a large project less often, or a smaller maintenance every 1-3 years?

Could the vinyl on a gazebo crack or blow off in the wind?

It could, but it is quite resilient, especially when it is still new. Over the years it can become more brittle and a fugitive stone from a mower blade can damage it. It isn’t likely to blow off in winds if it has been installed well, and the storm would need to be extreme to harm it.

We recommend going with a manufacturer that uses top notch material for gazebos. The cost may be a little higher initially, but the return you will see in the quality product will benefit you for much longer than an average building would. For example, with Ulrich’s gazebos we know firsthand that when top-quality materials are selected and buildings are built with strength and durability in mind, they go easier on your wallet and time in the long run.

How long will paint on a gazebo last? Will it crack or chip?

The same sun in Arizona that inhibits mold growth on siding will also quickly wear down a paint job, and a building in the east may not need refinished as quickly as out west for that reason. The fact of the matter in any climate though, is that to keep a gazebo in tip top shape it will need periodic care. This is especially the case when cheap wood and paint is used.

Top quality wood on a gazebo can make the world of a difference when comparing it to the lifetime of a gazebo built with subpar wood. For example, for Ulrich’s gazebos we use pressure-treated southern yellow pine, which is highly moisture and rot resistant and can easily last a lifetime with a proper refinish every 7-10 years. In the end analysis, we find that using cheaper products simply won’t hold out for your wallet or lifetime use in gazebos that have to stand up against the weather.

Design & Style: making the choice for a wood vs. vinyl gazebo

Now it comes down to the freedom of choice. Which one will you decide is best for lifestyle, maintenance, and design? Design is a biggie. You want to know how much it might cost and that a gazebo will stand the test of time, but when it comes down to it you have to decide what is going to match the current style of your property.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  1. What is the current siding material on my home or business property?

  2. What is the main color scheme?

  3. Which style is going to look best: traditional, contemporary, modern, or classic?

It’s a fascinating lot of questions, and exciting to figure out. Style boards on Pinterest can help, but in the end the biggest help is going to be to get out there and start looking at the options available. We’d be glad to help you at any time with our experience and resources–click here to contact us.  In the meantime, happy shopping!

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