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What Is a Porch Gazebo?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2016
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A porch is usually a raised platform on the front of a house on which guests can stand before entering a home, though many porches are quite large and offer seating areas or space for furniture. A gazebo is a structure, usually octagonal in shape, that offers cover and unobstructed views for leisure. A porch gazebo, therefore, is a structure built into a porch that is used for leisure and cover from the weather. The size, orientation, and specific shape of the porch gazebo can vary significantly according to the builder's specifications and the existing limitations on the porch space.

Very often the porch gazebo will be built into the corner of a wraparound porch, which is a porch area that extends across the front of the house and then turns a corner to run part of the length of the side of the house. Building the gazebo on the corner of the porch allows for more viewing area of surrounding areas. The porch gazebo can be built at any point along the length of the porch, however, as the gazebo can be constructed in such a way that it juts out away from the porch itself.

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Within the gazebo, it is likely that benches will be built to provide seating for guests. If no seating is built within the porch gazebo, the floor space will generally allow for furniture to be placed inside. The size of the gazebo will generally dictate what types of furniture can be placed inside and how many people can be accommodated within the structure. Sometimes furniture can be situated to extend outward onto the porch itself, though many gazebos tend to be elevated above the level of the porch, making this unfeasible. One or two steps may be built to make access to the gazebo much easier.

A porch gazebo may be enclosed or open-air. If the gazebo is enclosed, it will generally feature screens or windows that will protect inhabitants from the weather or from other debris. If it is open air, the gazebo will not offer any protection from the elements or from bugs, but the views from inside the structure are likely to be unobstructed and ventilation will be much improved. Some gazebos will feature lighting from overhead lights, while others may not. The complexity of the design will depend entirely on the builder's preferences and the homeowner's desires for a comfortable space.

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