Crappy Fabric Gazebo Tops

spiritual_gardnerAugust 28, 2008

Surely I am not the only one who has bought a fabric type gazebo form Target (or someplace else) and had to deal the replacing the top.

I bought the thing 4 years ago, it has a very nice looking sturdy frame. The original top was a heavy duty type of fabric that lasted two years (I'm in Maryland, the fabric comes off in winter, frame stays up).

My first replacement two years ago was of a lower quality, but did the job for one season. This year, I had to replace it again, worse quality, it will not last another season.

I've researched companies and they all seem to offer tops etc. made in China, where my crappy stuff comes from. I'd like to find an alternate solution, even if it means having a custom top made. I'd also like to alter what I'm getting a bit, I've noticed other tops that go over the upper edge (mine uses hooks around the upper edge, a real pain to secure).

I'm tired of going through this every season and not getting a quality top that won't leak. I use my gazebo at least 8 months out of the year, entertain, etc. It is a very functional thing that people enjoy.

Any suggestions about how to deal with this would be appreciated!



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Thanks for your reply. I guess I am practically the only one with this problem since no one else has responded.

No, the problem is not that the fabric is becoming dry and brittle and leaking.

The problem is the quality of the fabric. The original top I got about 4 years ago was a heavy type fabric that lasted two seasons. The last season, we had record rain (14 inches in just a few days), then record heat, and it didn't leak. I had to get rid of it because started to look really bad from mold etc.

The past two tops have been of poor quality. The last one I got this spring, I had to use super glue to secure the grommets (it would have ripped without it).

I'm now looking for an alternative that will work plus eliminate poor design (IÂd like the top to spill over the sides eliminating a gutter type problem that collects leaves etc).

Any ideas????



    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 3:22PM
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emagineer(z5 CO)

When I bought mine I knew the fabric was questionable. But I also sew and do upholstery. Figured when this one goes I will make one with fabric similar to sunsetter.

Depending upon the price you paid for the original gazebo, it may be worth looking for a marine store/business that makes boat covers/shades and see how much they would charge for one. They're used to sewing this type of application and use heavy duty fabrics for extreme weather.

Weatherizing wasn't something I had thought of. Think I'll do that and see how well it does this year...through snow and ice which was fine last winter. I really don't want to remove the top, patio furniture is stored under there.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 10:35AM
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Thanks for the advice!!!

I also do some sewing, I am thinking that I could use the old top for a pattern and alter it the way I want it. I will also look into a company that makes boat covers etc.

I bought the gazebo 5 years ago, could pay half now what I did then, but that's history. I really do like the thing, it looks very nice, and guests really enjoy being entertained there in my nice garden.

I take down the top and sides but leave the frame. Top does fine with rain, but on occasion we do get heavy wet snow and that would collapse the whole thing.

Thanks again!!!


    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 9:35AM
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Living in Chicago it can get pretty windy. What we discovered is to take the top off during the winter and use the frame for chirstmas light decorations for the winter. This allows the the top to last an extra season or two. When it is time to replace the top we purchase a gazebo from ALDI for 100 dollars and replace just top to our expensive with decortative sides. The iron sides from the cheap one from ALDI we use to allow our ivy climb it to create a privacy fence of ivy.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 8:55PM
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TwoMonths(So Calif)

They rot quick in CA heat and the smog also. We have a place that makes awning in the area and they sell the material from that. Check your yellow pages for awning sales and see if you can find one that will make a good cover. After all awning stays out a long time.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 6:22PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I too was going to suggest an awning company. The building I manage has some awnings. They are expensive but they are guaranteed for 8 years and actually last 12, being out all year round.
Good luck,

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 2:58PM
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Hi, check out ebay. They have sunbrella fabric at really good prices. Find someone that can sew and you've got great fabric. My friend bought some and redid all her awnings and patio furniture at a fraction of what she would pay to have them already done.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 11:42PM
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kikifoow(9: Bay Area)

It is only an option if you have these in your area, but sails are THE best material to use. Growing up in Sydney Australia as I did (best place on earth for an afternoon sail is Sydney harbour) it was quite common for people to use their old sails as various types of outdoor shading. I remember old canvas sails as well as the more modern manmade fibres being used.... Used ones are great, as well as having some character, as new ones are not exactly cheap, but either will last for years and years. We would "wash" them maybe twice a year with a mild detergent just to clean off the bird droppings etc and they lasted maybe 10 years.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 2:15PM
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sandykk(z6 MD)

We've had one of the motorized awnings over our sunny hot deck for 19 years now. The motor did go out a few years back, but it is still in perfect condition. We do wash it to get rid of the mold just on the front flap. Couldn't live without it.

Our neighbors didn't bother to take the fabric from their Target gazebo and the snow collapsed it after the first 16" one back in December.

We live in MD also.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 3:27PM
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I second the suggestion about using an awning company. They use Sunbrella or some other outdoor fabric. The fabric lasts for years and never fades. Sewing your own can be a hassle, as the weight of the fabric is tremendous and there's yards and yards of it to push through the little opening in a consumer sewing machine. May be more than you're planning on spending, but don't forget the length of time you will have it and no time spent tracking down replacements every year.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 8:00PM
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I have the same issue - fairly strong frame - lousy canopy covers. Since I'm not using it for "bug proofing", I'm thinking of tying a nylon-type fabric - from corner to center - to corner to center - and back again. More for shade but when it rains, it'll be narrower pieces of fabric and hopefully it will run off and not sag in the middle - will post if I accomplish my goal.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 12:32PM
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