The Grillzebo: A DIY Grill Gazebo

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Last Updated on June 11, 2021
Doug Stephen

A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.  

Doug is a hardcore barbeque enthusiast and connoisseur. While he spends most of his time on editing and research, he sometimes moonlights as a product tester for particularly interesting things he comes across.

diy grill gazebo

Photo Credit: Andrew Almeter

A grill gazebo (more affectionately known as the grillzebo) is a wonderful way to combine your creativity with a practical outcome – a sheltered home for your beloved grill. Making a gazebo may sound complicated, but in fact, it’s a pretty simple process that requires a few days and basic woodworking skills.

Erecting a shelter for your grill is more than just making an inviting space for your outdoor kitchen; it’s also about protecting it from the elements. A grillzebo will prolong the longevity of your grill, keeping it free from hail, snow, sun, and debris. And not only that, but it also protects the griller from the weather as well.

1. Materials for a Grill Gazebo

This is more than just an afternoon’s project; building a grill gazebo will most likely take a few days, a friend, some sturdy tools, and a little know-how. An intermediate woodworking level is sufficient for this project.

As to where to get everything, you can buy it piecemeal at a hardware store, or you can buy a kit in which everything is bundled into one DIY grill gazebo package. If you opt for the former, be sure to purchase the items carefully as you need to be precise.

Wood

Look for pressure-treated lumber like pine or red-faced cedar that’s resistant to rot and insect infestation. Most DIY grill gazebos include a metal roof, which is long-lasting and sustainable, or asphalt shingles. Here’s the lumber you need to get started:

  • 4 pieces of 4x4 pressure-treated lumber, 84” long, for the posts
  • 4 pieces of 4x4, 96” long, for the top plates
  • 8 pieces of 4x4, 24” long, for the braces
  • 8 pieces of 2x4, 65” long, for the rafters
  • 2 pieces of ¾” plywood, 48” x 96”, and 2 roof sheets, 17” x 96”
  • 3 pieces of ¾” plywood
  • 10 pieces 8’ long 4x4 lumber
  • 4 pieces 12’ long 2x4 lumber
  • 2 pieces 12’ long 1x6 lumber
  • 1 piece ½” plywood, 4’ x 4’
  • 4 pieces of 1x6 lumber, 65 ⅜” long, for the trims
  • 110 ft2 asphalt shingles, 110 ft2 of tar paper for the roof, or Metal roofing

With the lumber, you need the essential tools with which you’ll construct your DIY gazebo grill or grillzebo.

Tools

Luckily, your tool won't be as long as your supply list. Here are the essential tools you’ll need to put up a grill gazebo in a few short days.

  • Miter saw
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Framing square
  • Screwdriver
  • Sander
  • Safety gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Drill machinery
  • Posthole digger

You will also need the hardware to make it all stick together, along with the tools and materials.

2. Steps to Build a Grillzebo

When you’re ready to start construction, pick a spot that suits your grill. You want it close enough to the kitchen to make transportation of plates, cutlery, and food; within shouting distance is perfect.

grillzebo

Photo Credit: Andrew Almeter

Your grill gazebo should be out of the way and isn’t too close to anything flammable, like plastic siding. Finally, check building codes in your area to make sure you’re not going against any ordinances.

Step 1: Plant your posts

You can either plant your gazebo posts in existing concrete or dig 3’ footings and use post anchors. The most laborious choice of all is to pour a slab of concrete for your new structure.

Using a batter board and string, lay out the dimensions of your gazebo and the location of each post. The 3-4-5 rule can help you make sharp corners and perfect diagonals.

Step 2: Gash and assemble the lumber

The level area on which your final construction will sit is the perfect place to work measuring and cutting your lumber. As you line up the top chords with the bottom truss chord and attach them, you will start to see the assembled end of your gazebo (but make sure you finish one whole side before moving onto the other end).

Step 3: Cut top chords

Making the roof with a slope of 4½, which means that the roof will rise 4” for every 12”. To get the proper angle, line up the outer edge of your framing square with the 12” and 4” marks.

Cutting this long angle can be delicate, but if you mess up, move over and try again. Once you cut all the top chords with your miter saw at a 20˚ angle, line them up to mark the purlins with gaps of 20⅝” between each.

Step 4: Build trusses

The way to do this task is to fasten the top to bottom chords with 6” screws and cut webbing boards at a 20˚ angle, leaving them a bit long. Put the webbing boards on the middle of the bottom chords and mark where they should be cut by lining them up on the top chord. Fasten the trusses onto the lumber.

Step 5: Install bases for posts

Cut 2 2x4s to 72” and line them up with the outside post lines, attaching them with wood screws. Now you should have a wooden frame that’s 72” x 87”; center it and mark the post locations. Depending on which method you use – pouring a slab, using post holes, or metal braces – install the base for your posts and set them.

Step 6: Raising the ends

Using temporary braces and stakes, raise one end and set the post in its metal braces; make sure to plumb all sides with your level to make sure everything is even, adjusting the temporary braces as you go.

Step 7: Build the rafters and gussets

Using 2x4 lumber, a circular saw, and a miter saw, create rafters to support the roof of your gazebo using gussets at each junction to hold everything steady. The rafters will span across the top of your gazebo and support the roof and trusses.

Step 8: Attach trusses and roofing

The trusses hold up the plywood that supports the asphalt shingles or metal roofing, or whichever type of roofing you’ve chosen. Trusses are equally spaced and held to the roof with rafter ties.

Step 9: Roofing as the final touch

Once the trusses and rafters are up and all secure, lay plywood across the trusses, then the tar paper, and then the asphalt shingles. Nail the trim on both ends with 2” nails for the finishing touches.

Doug Stephen

Doug Stephen

The Last Step

It’s possible to do outdoor grilling on rainy days, but if you build a backyard grillzebo it wouldn’t be much of a problem. A grillzebo is ideal for protecting your grill and making the grilling experience drier and altogether more enjoyable.
Now, building a grill gazebo isn’t too difficult for an intermediate woodworker to accomplish within a weekend, although for raising the rafters, you will need someone else to help you. After building your gazebo, new opportunities will pop up. Your next project can be making an outdoor DIY grill table or possibly install a DIY outdoor grill vent hood on your gazebo.