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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Is it just another old house? or more to it?

Are you one of the guys who loves the idea of a 100 year old house not because of its appearance or character, but because of daydreams of tools you'll need and the work that has to be done? Would your last name be "Handyman" if you had had the choice? If you're smiling as you read those sentences because that description seems to fit you to a tee, then maybe you should hold off on buying that ancient house down the street. There might be another project that has your name on it. Have you ever considered building a gazebo?
Many gazebos come in kit form, particularly metal, vinyl, and PVC gazebos, which allows for an experienced handyman to be able to work on a major project, while not having the enormous hassle that would come with building from scratch. This is a double bonus. Not only do you get a chance to work on a major project, but you also have the security blanket of knowing that all the pieces are there, everything is measured correctly, and that all it needs is a good handyman to set it up . . . yet when the neighbors come over for a barbeque and ask about it, you can brag that you set it up and you will be telling the truth. If a kit seems to easy, there are many web sites online that will give detailed instructions on how to build various types of gazebos.

If you are very skilled, and feeling gutsy, you can set one up yourself.
There are several things to think about before you start building your gazebo. You will need some basic carpentry tools, such as a level and a screw gun. If you choose to build a wood gazebo, which many people do prefer, then you will also need a compound miter saw or sliding compound miter saw. These tools provide the angular cutting you will need when fashioning the various sections of the gazebo. The sliding version is best for larger pieces of wood. Or if that isn't quite your cup of tea, you can always build a metal or vinyl gazebo. This can be done via the previously aforementioned gazebo kits, which are easy to find from online providers. These come in sections for you to assemble using the included hardware.

A level and a screw gun are usually all that are needed. It is best to get some help from another handyman buddy or yours, especially for the roof sections. Always better safe than sorry.
Before you do any of this, however, make sure to check your local building codes to make sure it is allowed. If you live off a gravel road in the country somewhere, you are probably perfectly fine. If you live in town, then you never know. Either way, always make sure you are preparing the structure in an area that is free of dangerous wires or underground cables. Don't let the excitement of a major new project get in the way of safety and common sense. If you enjoy the outdoors, barbeques, or nature, take a serious look at building a gazebo. Not only is it a great handyman project, but it will also give you the type of structure you will actually use and appreciate afterwards, increasing the reward aspect that should come after major labor.

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