How Big Can A Gazebo Be?

Gazebos are often built for outdoor enjoyment in yards, patios, parks, and other open spaces. When gazebos are placed on private property, they become an essential addition because they can improve the aesthetics of the residence and make it look more inviting.

But what if there will be a legal dispute over a gazebo?

In this particular post, we’re talking about the potential maximum gazebo size, so it’s less of a safety issue and more of a legal one (and a questionable life decision to boot). Gazebos can be built pretty much anywhere, but their height and size are restricted.

The size of a gazebo is limited by the space you have available, but the size is typically determined by the number of people you want to fit under it at one time. Gazebos can be as intimate as a small pergola that just shelters a small group of people from the sun, or as large as a much larger structure that can hold half a dozen tables and chairs.

Do You Need Planning Permission For A Large Gazebo?

Considered as permitted development, garden buildings like a Gazebo do not need planning permission as long as it follows the general guidelines. The total floor area should not exceed 15m2. It should not be built more than 2 meters from the property’s boundary. But if you place it within 2 meters of the boundary fence, the Gazebo should not be greater than 2.5 meters tall. The Gazebo should also have no antenna and not be used as a sleeping area or as living accommodation.

However, there are certain circumstances in which these conditions can be overridden. Generally, if you own a listed building or in areas of natural interest or beauty, the Gazebo will be subjected to much stricter criteria. In this case, you will most probably need planning permission to build the gazebo.

What Size Gazebo Should I Build or Buy?

There are several things that you need to consider when deciding how large or small your Gazebo should be. These are the size of your location, shape, and reason you want to build one.

The most important thing that should be taken into consideration is the size of your location. You need a Gazebo that would fit in your yard with a comfortable floor area. Making it too small will give you trouble putting all your furniture under it without getting wet when it rains. On the other hand, it should not be too big that it would look overwhelmingly disproportionate and to the point that would make the navigation to your outdoor space difficult.

The shape of the Gazebo also matters somehow, especially if you would want to buy a prefabricated one. Shapes can limit the available sizes. The most common shapes of a Gazebo would be square, circle, oval, and octagon, which means more sizes that were made beforehand are available for these. Nevertheless, asking for a certain shape and set of dimensions to be customized is also possible.

The future purpose of the Gazebo should also be noted. For example, will it be used to hold a large number of people or just for a smaller, intimate setting? Knowing this will help you determine the right size to build or buy.

Different Gazebo Sizes

Gazebos come in different sizes. It ranges from a single person occupancy to a stand-alone party Gazebo. In fact, you can customize them to create a perfect fit in your deck/yard. But for prefab Gazebos, most of them are found in standard sizes, which may limit your choices.

For a typical backyard, the standard is 12×12 feet. This would be the best for customers who want to allot more space to entertain guests. The smaller 10×10 is best for adding aesthetics in gardens and could also be used for picnics and family get together. For a limited yard space, 8×8 is the best choice which is perfect for intimate and small gatherings.

How To Measure Your Gazebo
Hexagons and octagons are often found in gazebos. These aspects make it more difficult to measure both hexagons and octagons than a square. It is very easy to calculate size, for example, of TV screen. When you want to repair the flooring or cover it with a new one, knowing the space within the hexagons or octagons can require math. To not buy too little or too much stuff, you want to get the right number.

Step. 1
Measure the length of the right-angled diagonals of the hexagonal or octagonal gazebo. Measure the gap between the two vertices—the meeting point between the two sides.

Step. 2
To find the circumference of the gazebo, multiply the length of one side times the number of sides. Assuming that each side is 4 feet, then multiply 4 times 8 to find the perimeter. For the hexagon, multiply by 4 feet by 6 to get a 24-foot perimeter.

Step. 3
Label one of the sides. If we measure 4 feet per hand, make a mark at 2 feet. . Repeat this on the hexagon or octagon with the side directly opposite.

Step. 4
Measure around the very middle of the gazebo from one side to the other side. To find the circumference of a hexagon or octagon, divide the measurement of each side by 2. If the gazebo stretches 20 feet long, it has an apothem of 10 regardless of shape.

Step. 5
To know the area of the gazebo, multiply the perimeter times the apothem. Using the same example figures as for measuring the perimeter: 32 square feet for an octagon, 24 feet for a hexagon and 10 square feet for an apothem results in 160 square feet for octagonal gazebo; 120 square feet for the hexagonal gazebo.

Step. 6
Determine the height of the gazebo from the floor to the top of one of the vertical supports. Measure from the middle of the gazebo and deduct the roof of the gazebo from the calculation.

Step. 7
In order to find the overall volume of the gazebo, multiply the area or square footage by the height.  The gazebo is technically a shape of an octagonal or hexagonal cube. Assume, for instance, that the gazebo is 10 feet high from the floor to the top edge of one side and use the previous examples for the area. To get a total of 1,200 cubic feet for the hexagonal gazebo, multiply 120 by 10 and get 120 cubic feet. Multiply 160 times 10 = 1,600 cubic feet for the octagonal gazebo.


A gazebo is an excellent choice for an outdoor structure because they are easily the most versatile type of outdoor living structure. Gazebos can be small and intimate, or large enough for half a dozen tables and chairs under their roof. Gazebos can be elaborate or as simple as a hexagonal-shaped structure with a pointed roof. They can be made from many different materials such as wood, stone, brick, fiberglass, metal, or concrete.