Robert Lamoureux | Framing the question on building a gazebo 

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux

Question: Dear Robert: I thoroughly enjoy reading your article and have for years. What a great resource for those of us who are eager to perform some of our own home improvements, and save money. Thank you for what you do.  

I’ve done many jobs on my home, utilizing YouTube and other online resources, to guide me. This one is a bit trickier, because I need guidance on not only how to do this work, but also, if I need to get permitted for it. I want to build a gazebo in my yard and I have an idea of the size I want but I know there are specific sizes of lumber needed based on overall size and design.  

The specifics to that, though, is what I am not sure of and how to go about finding it out and designing it so that it is structurally sound. I can work with lumber and tools just fine and if I have the basics on how this should be put together, I know I can execute it. Can you help on this, and let me know where to turn for proper information? Also, the other part, do I need permits for this? Thank you. 

— Sam C. 

Answer: Sam, great job looking into all of this prior to possibly building an unsound structure. First, I’d encourage you to look at some of the big box stores as well as online, to see if there are prefab options that suit you. In these cases, you are still performing the labor because you have to assemble them, but there are no permits needed.  

If this is not an option, then you will need to acquire drawings that have been engineered, and submit to the Building and Safety Department for permitting. I’d go with a professional who is well versed in this type of structure and the framing necessary. Best of luck. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].   

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