Hand drawn image depicting an ornate domed pavilion held aloft with Corinthian caped columns.

Garden Structures

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.

                                 

Types of Garden Structures

 

Woodcut style image on a parchment background depicting a modern shed with windows and a double door.
Shed

A small structure built for shelter or storage

Woodcut style image on a parchment background depicting heptagonal gazebo.
Gazebo

A roofed structure that is often an octagon but sometimes a hexagon.

Woodcut style image on a parchment background depicting a Pergola with rough sawn columns.
Pergola

A open roof structure consisting of columns and upper elements.

Woodcut style image on a parchment background depicting an covered outdoor pavilion style room with open walls.
Outdoor Room

Typically a covered living, service, or public area.

Woodcut style image on a parchment background depicting a arbor with dual arches and a cascading picket fence.
Arbor

A shady garden alcove or passageway

Woodcut style image on a parchment background depicting a glass greenhouse with optional ventilation windows in the roof and walls.
Green House

A glass or plastic building for protecting plants.

While the structures above represent a large segement of garden structures, there are numerous others, including; garages, carports, swingsets, tennis courts, and more. We will cover some of these in future iterations of this publication.


 

                                                               

SHEDS

Roof styles, types of construction & market availabilty

Roof Styles

Stick drawing depicting a Gambrel style roof for a shed.
Gambrel

The Gambrel or "Dutch" roof is often seen in pre-made structures popularized by the Amish.

Stick style drawing depicting a Gable style roof for a shed.
Gable

The classic gable roof design is seen in both pre-made shed markets as well as high quality site built structures.

Stick style drawing depicting a standard angled roof for a shed.
Shed

The shed roof is a typical outbuilding design with roots in agricultural buildings.

Stick style drawing depicting a Pyramid style roof for a shed.
Pyramid

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 double door gambrel roofed green shed.

Example of a shed with a Gambrel roof.

Example of a Gabel roofed shed painted sky blue with flowers in the windows and white lawn chairs beside.

Example of a shed with a Gabel roof.

Example of a standard sloped roofed shed painted blue with three large windows facing outwards.

Example of a standard shed roof.

Example of a pyramid style roof for a shed. This example is painted white with a red door with blacksmith forged accessories flanked by a white picket fence.

Example of shed with Pyramid roof.

 

Examples of Architectural Sheds or Outbuildings

 

A Garden house with a pyramid rood with windows, doors, siding, and detailing reflecting the principal residence on the property.

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.

A pool house with an open area with a pergola, Tuscan Columns, and finishes.

Poolhouse with Pergola

A poolhouse with pergola, Tuscan columns, and finishes to match the home nearby.

 

 

A garden house with a bell shaped roof modeled after  the privy at Mt Vernon.

Gardenhouse with Bell Roof

A gardenhouse modeled after the privy at Mt. Vernon. 

 

An ornate summerhouse decorated with Finials, dentil, pilasters, and Rossettes.

Ornate Summerhouse

An overstated summerhouse still looks great, but not for the average household!

SHED DESIGN 1
Courtesty of WRCLA

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SHED DESIGN 2
Courtesy of UT

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GAZEBOS

Styles, types of construction & market availabilty

    

Gazebo Styles

Stick drawing depicting a Gambrel style roof for a shed.
Common

The commonplace gazebo found at roadside markets, and popularized by the Amish.

Stick style drawing depicting a Gable style roof for a shed.
Upgraded

The Amish gazebo with tiered structure & more decoration.

 

Stick style drawing depicting a standard angled roof for a shed.
Architectural

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 constructed from wood with a shingle roof.

A common Gazebo

A more elaborate gazebo with stylized curved brackets and shingles.

An upgraded typical market Gazebo

An Architectural Gazebo or

An Architectural Gazebo "Pavilion"

GAZEBO DESIGN 1

Courtesy of WRC

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GAZEBO DESIGN 2

Courtesy of LSU

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PERGOLAS

Styles, types of construction & market availabilty

              

Pergola Styles

 

A rough edge rendering of a common pergola with exposed fasteners and low quality wood.
Common Internet Pergola

Mass Produced Wood Pergolas

 

A black and white rendering of a contemporary pergola with clean sharp lines.
Contemporary Pergola 

Available in metal & wood with fixed or movable louvers.

 

A black and white rendering of a vinyl pergola with no exposed fasteners and hollow lintels, rafters, and columns.
Vinyl Pergola

Vinyl pergolas built with the same technology as vinyl fencing.

A black and white rendering of a architectural pergola with Tuscan columns no exposed fasteners, ressauts, and carved ends on solid upper elements.
Architectural Pergola

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

A color rendering of a common pergola with exposed fasteners and low quality wood.

Market Wood Pergola

An image of a poolside contemporary pergola with crisp clean lines and louvered roof.

Contemporary Pergola

A nice white vinyl garden pergola with thin hollow columns and upper elements.

Market Vinyl Pergola

A large white architectural pergola with smooth Tuscan columns with ionic capitals. The structure has no exposed fasteners with carved ends on solid upper elements.

An Architectural Pergola

PERGOLA DESIGN 1

Courtesy of Western Red Cedar

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PERGOLA DESIGN 2

Courtesy of WRCLA

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PERGOLA DESIGN 3

Courtesy of Manly

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OUTDOOR ROOMS

Roof styles, types of construction & market availabilty

           

Styles

Black and white render of a outdoor room with a metal roof and open walls with posts.
Market Structures

Outdoor room structures made out of Cedar, or Painted metal available online and at Big Box retailers.

A timber framed style of outdoor room with curved brackets and a gabel style shingled roof.
Timber Frame Look

The classic gable roof design with Post & Beam appearance, now a commonplace offering.

Black and white rendering of a architectural outdoor room with Tuscan style columns, exposed beams brick fireplace, and a shingled gable roof.
Architectural

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

Color image of a simple outdoor room with wooden elements with exposed fasteners and a metal roof.

Example of a Market Outdoor Room

A more elaborate readily available metal framed outdoor room.

Example of a Metal Framed Market Shelter/Room

Outdoor room with a timber frame, curved brackets, and posts.

Example of a Timber Framed Room

A white architectural outdoor room with dental on the facia, double Tuscan columns with caps and bases, and a shingled roof with a cupola.

Example of an Architectural Outdoor Room

OUTDOOR ROOM DESIGN 1

Courtesy of LSU

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OUTDOOR ROOM DESIGN 2

Courtesy of LSU

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OUTDOOR ROOM DESIGN 3

Courtesy of TU

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ARBOR

Roof styles, types of construction & market availabilty

                           

Styles

A metal framed arbor with decorative filigree.
Metal
A vinyl arched arbor with trellis and capstones.
Vinyl with Arch
A vinyl arbor with flat elements with detailed ends.
Vinyl with Flat Elements
A architectural arched arbor with descending picket wings, gate, trellis, and wooden capstones all painted white.
Architectural

 

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

An elaborate arched metal arbor painted black.

Example of a Metal Arbor.

A white vinyl arched arbor with gate and trelliswork.

A Vinyl Arbor with Arches

A simplified wooden arbor with curved upper elements and decorative trelliswork.

Example of a Wood Arbor

Architectural arbor with flat upper elements with carved ends. diagonal trelliswork in-between the paneled square columns which rest upon two round stone planters.

Example of a Architectural Arbor.

ARBOR DESIGN 1

Courtesy of MSU

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ARBOR DESIGN 2

Courtesy of WRCLA

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ARBOR DESIGN 3

Courtesy of WRCLA

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ARBOR DESIGN 4

Courtesy of WRCLA

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Greenhouse

Roof styles, types of construction & market availabilty

                           

Greenhouse Styles

Black and white drawing of a wood framed greenhouse with ventilation windows.
Wood Framed

Wood framed structures typically come with plastic glazing. Prices are the lowest for wood framed structures.

Black and white drawing of aluminum framed greenhouse with open ventilation windows.
Aluminum Framed

Aluminum framed structures come with either glass or plastic glazing. Prices are often higher than wood framed, but vary widely.

Line drawing of a conservatory with decorative roof.
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

Wood framed greenhouse with opaque plastic glazing and ventilation window.

Example of a Wood Framed Greenhouse with Plastic Glazing

Aluminum framed greenhouse with clear glazing.

Example of an Aluminum framed Greenhouse with Clear Glazing

Aluminum framed greenhouse with opaque twinwall glazing.

Example of an Aluminum Framed Greenhouse with Twinwall Glazing

Example of a white painted conservatory with double doors and clear glass glazing.

Example of a Conservatory with Clear Glazing

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