How Many Sides Does A Gazebo Have?

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How many sides does a gazebo have? It’s not a tricky question but it does require some explanation. Like so many questions that we get at GazeboSpot, the answer depends on a few variables.  

There are many different types of gazebos to choose from, and they all have different styles and features. The shape and design of a gazebo will determine its number of sides and best uses. The world of gazebos has something for everyone so let’s dive into which option might be right for you.   

Short Answer: How Many Sides Does a Gazebo Have?

The number of sides that a gazebo has depends on its shape. The 4 most common shapes for a gazebo are hexagon, octagon, square, and rectangle. 

A hexagonal gazebo has 6 sides. An octagonal gazebo has 8 sides. Both a square and a rectangular gazebo has 4 sides. 

There are also square and rectangular wall-mounted gazebos that attach to the exterior of your home. We consider those gazebos to have 3 sides. 

Hexagonal Gazebos Have 6 Sides

What does honeycomb, soap bubbles, and gazebos have in common? The hexagon! The hexagon is one of the three strongest shapes in nature.

Along with the equilateral triangle and square, you can pack the most identically-shaped and identically-sized cells into a hexagon when laid on a flat surface. Think of it like a perfect game of Tetris but played on a round screen. Once your screen is filled with no gaps, you’ve created a strong, solid wall of mass. 

The hexagon has one advantage over the triangle and square: efficiency. The sides of the 6-sided hexagon are shorter than those of the 3-sided triangle or 4-sided square. Shorter sides means that it takes less energy to make a hexagon than a triangle or square. And you don’t have to sacrifice strength to do it. 

Hexagonal Gazebo has 6 sides

Hexagonal gazebos are common to purchase as a gazebo kit and to build from DIY plans. Along with octagonal gazebos, they are an older, more traditional gazebo shape. Like the earliest public gazebos in Europe and America, hexagonal gazebos were commonplace in public squares and civic spaces. 

Modern hexagonal gazebos typically have raised built-in floors, and their frames and roofs are usually made of wood or vinyl. The size of the gazebo doesn’t impact the number of sides that it has. A standard assortment of sizes for hexagonal models include 8, 10, and 12 foot versions. 

Octagonal Gazebos Have 8 Sides

When you’re talking about the strength of a gazebo, you’re talking about wind and storm resistance. While there are many after-market ways to strengthen a gazebo, the best way to ensure that your investment will withstand year-round outdoor use is to purchase/build a hardtop gazebo. While they may not be the easiest gazebos to put up, they are the strongest. 

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The fact that your hardtop gazebo has 6 sides like a hexagon or 8 sides like an octagon doesn’t really matter. As long as the model that you’re purchasing has a frame and roof made of wood, vinyl, aluminum, or steel the number of sides is a moot point. 

When it comes to choosing an octagonal over a hexagon shape, the choice is really only one of design preference. Standing next to each other, a hexagonal structure will appear boxier because it’s only 2 sides shy of a square. People who prefer a rounder-looking gazebo will opt for an octagon. 

Octagonal gazebos come in the same standard sizes as hexagons (8’, 10’, 12’), and the kit or DIY plans also tend to include a raised, built-in floor. All things being equal (and they really are when it comes to octagonal and hexagonal gazebos), your choice between 6 and 8 sides is purely one of design preference.  

Can a Gazebo Be Square?

A gazebo can absolutely be square, and also, rectangular. In fact, most hardtop gazebo kits that you purchase today have 4 sides. Square or rectangle is also the most common shape of soft top gazebos and pop-up/camp gazebos (aka gazebo tents)

Square Gazebo has 4 sides

Square and rectangular gazebos are more likely than octagonal or hexagonal models to be made of aluminum and/or steel. Wood and vinyl are reserved for the rounder shapes. 12’ x 12’ and 10’ x 12’ are standard sizes for gazebos with 4 sides. 

More often than not, these gazebos do not have raised, built-in floors like octagons and hexagons. This could be because the point of the gazebo kit assembly method is the (relatively) easy set-up process. A built-in floor not only adds significant time to the assembly process, it also adds significant weight to the shipping package.     

Wall-mounted Gazebos Have 3 Sides

Wall-mounted gazebos that attach to (or sit flush against) an exterior wall of the home is an exception to any discussion of how many sides a gazebo has. While all wall-mounted gazebos are either square or rectangular, we consider them 3-sided models because the 4th side is your house. 

If you’re looking to install electricity in your gazebo or are looking for an option that acts more like a screened porch, wall-mounted gazebos are great options. Their cost is comparable to other freestanding hardtop gazebos and you essentially get an extra indoor/outdoor room. 

Final Thoughts

No matter how many sides your gazebo has, it will always provide a place to relax in the outdoors with family and friends. Once you find the right shape and the perfect design, you’ll have countless options to customize it to fit your needs, surroundings, and lifestyle.

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