Here you can learn about structures outside of the home, not necessarily in a garden, but with a garden influence, if you will. Summerhouses, pavilions, gardenhouse, what's the difference? Also, learn about the difference between an Architectural Garden Structure and everything else, as well as the terms used in connection with these structures.
Roof styles, types of construction & market availabilty
The Gambrel or "Dutch" roof is often seen in pre-made structures popularized by the Amish.
The classic gable roof design is seen in both pre-made shed markets as well as high quality site built structures.
The shed roof is a typical outbuilding design with roots in agricultural buildings.
The pyramid roof is often custom built and found on more sophisticated sites.
Shed Construction & Market Notes
- Pre-built sheds are typically available at roadside markets & big box retailers. These sheds are most often built to a lesser standard than other residential construction.
- Some sheds are displayed as pre-built but are delivered as pre-fabricated kits, assembled onsite by trained installers.
- A foundation is most often not considered with these pre-built structures as they are often built on 4x4 skids to easily slide off the truck that delivers them.
- The highest quality sheds are often built onsite by owners or professionals. The construction is similar to building a home with footings and all of the associated details reflecting accepted home building practices and materials.
Examples of Shed Styles
Example of a shed with a Gambrel roof.
Example of a shed with a Gabel roof.
Example of a standard shed roof.
Example of shed with Pyramid roof.
Examples of Architectural Sheds or Outbuildings
Gardenhouse with Pyramid Roof
A gardenhouse with cedar shakes on a pyramid roof with windows, doors, siding, and detailing reflecting the principal residence on the the property.
Poolhouse with Pergola
A poolhouse with pergola, Tuscan columns, and finishes to match the home nearby.
Gardenhouse with Bell Roof
A gardenhouse modeled after the privy at Mt. Vernon.
An overstated summerhouse still looks great, but not for the average household!
The commonplace gazebo found at roadside markets, and popularized by the Amish.
The Amish gazebo with tiered structure & more decoration.
Architectural gazebos or pavilions usually professionally designed & built, offer the highest quality.
Gazebo Construction & Market Notes
- Pre-built gazebos are typically available at roadside markets & big box retailers. These structures are most often built to a lesser standard than other residential construction.
- Some gazebos are displayed as pre-built but are delivered as pre-fabricated kits, assembled onsite by trained installers or the homeowner.
- A foundation is most often not considered with these pre-built structures as they are often built on 4x4 skids to easily slide off the truck that delivers them. These structures should be set on pier footings equal to residential construction requirements for homes.
- The highest quality gazebos or pavilions are often built onsite by owners or professionals. The construction is similar to building a home with footings and all of the associated details reflecting accepted home building practices and materials.
- The life expectancy of gazebos from roadside markets will be considerably less than an architectural structure, in addition to having higher maintenance expenses.
Examples of Gazebo Styles
A common Gazebo
An upgraded typical market Gazebo
An Architectural Gazebo "Pavilion"
Common Internet Pergola
Mass Produced Wood Pergolas
Available in metal & wood with fixed or movable louvers.
Vinyl pergolas built with the same technology as vinyl fencing.
A range of styles built with long lasting materials & good design influences
Pergola Construction & Market Notes
- Pre-manufactured pergolas available online, at big box stores, and at roadside markets, are often built with pressure treated lumber. These structures are most often built to a lesser standard than other residential construction.
- Vinyl pergolas built with the same rigid and hollow PVC profiles as PVC fencing, only come in a limited range of sizes and are not easily customized. Although these structures, like their fence cousins, come with an impressive gaurantee, the impact resisitance after 10 years of UV radiation is questionable.
- Pergolas are most often delivered as pre-cut kits, assembled onsite by others.
- The connection of pergola posts to a patio, deck or foundation is an important installation step that should not be take lightly, The pergola is a top heavy structure, subject to wind loads like all structures, but the post to base connection becomes more critical.
- The highest quality pergolas are often built by millwork shops and erected onsite by professionals. There are only a few manufacturers of high quality pergolas that ship architectural pergolas nationwide, including FineHouse.
Different Pergola Styles
Market Wood Pergola
Market Vinyl Pergola
An Architectural Pergola
Outdoor room structures made out of Cedar, or Painted metal available online and at Big Box retailers.
Timber Frame Look
The classic gable roof design with Post & Beam appearance, now a commonplace offering.
Architectural structures built onsite by professionals and available in pre-manufactured kits.
Outdoor Room Construction & Market Notes
- Pre-cut outdoor rooms are typically available at Big Box retailers, and online. These structures should be considered semi-permanent as the expected lifetime is considerably less than architectural structure. The maintainence can also be more demanding.
- The materials used in Market Structures is of much lesser quality than the materials used in the home or a residentaial garage for example.
- A good foundation should be considered for all outdoor rooms, where any degree of life expectancy is desired.
- The highest quality Outdoor Rooms are often built onsite by owners or professionals. The construction is similar to building a home with footings and all of the associated details reflecting accepted home building practices and materials.
Examples of Outdoor Room Styles
Example of a Market Outdoor Room
Example of a Metal Framed Market Shelter/Room
Example of a Timber Framed Room
Example of an Architectural Outdoor Room
Vinyl with Arch
Vinyl with Flat Elements
Arbor Construction & Market Notes
- Arbors are available at roadside markets, online, and at big box retailers. These arbors are most often built of either pressure treated lumber or vinyl, and separately metal.
- Arbors are most often displayed, or shown as pre-built, but are almost always delivered as pre-fabricated kits, to be assembled onsite by the homeowner.
- A foundation is less important than with other garden structures, as it is lighter and easier to adjust for any changes over time. A good 12" gravel base at each post is helpful. For long term stability use gravel or concrete footings.
- The highest quality arbors are often designed by a landscape architect or other professional, and built onsite by a skilled carpenter. Architectural arbors are available from firms such as FineHouse, delivered to the site as a pre-manufactured kit.
Examples of Arbor Styles
Example of a Metal Arbor.
A Vinyl Arbor with Arches
Example of a Wood Arbor
Example of a Architectural Arbor.
Wood framed structures typically come with plastic glazing. Prices are the lowest for wood framed structures.
Aluminum framed structures come with either glass or plastic glazing. Prices are often higher than wood framed, but vary widely.
Conservatory in Wood or Aluminum
The stylish conservatory can be the most expensive greenhouse style, with numerous options for framing, glazing, and decoration.
Greenhouse Construction & Market Notes
- Pre-built greenhouses are typically available from specialty online sellers, and more recently from big box retailers.
- Quality & prices vary widely from one manufacturer to another, so diligent research is advised to understand the specific specifications, and materials that are included for a given price.
- A foundation is well advised with a greenhouse, though not an absolute necessity with less expensive structures that utilize plastic glazing. If glass is used as the principal glazing material, whether laminated or tempered, a foundation is highly recommended to avoid settling, and movement over time.
- An important consideration dependent on the region a greenhouse is built is the use of single or double glazing. Heating costs can be reduced significantly and plant health can benefit as well from the use of double glazing in many regions. Check with your local extension office or the local nursery for advice in your area.
Examples of Greenhouse Styles
Example of a Wood Framed Greenhouse with Plastic Glazing
Example of an Aluminum framed Greenhouse with Clear Glazing
Example of an Aluminum Framed Greenhouse with Twinwall Glazing
Example of a Conservatory with Clear Glazing