This creative reader fashioned a homemade gazebo from a satelite dish.
My wife and I decided we had the perfect place for a gazebo, but a problem we faced was an intense dislike for the style of most commercial gazebos. When a neighbor asked for help in removing an old satellite dish, a light bulb came on! We knew we had our roof and the starting point for our "out-of-the-ordinary" gazebo.
The first step was to level the area where the gazebo would be located and set the support columns in concrete. For the columns, we used 6-inch plastic pipe. For the roof supports, we used 1-inch plastic pipe running through the support columns, connected in the center with an 'X' fitting.
We poured a concrete footing as a level foundation for the low wall. This took a total of 55 bags of concrete, which we mixed in a wheelbarrow. In retrospect, concrete delivered by truck would have been much easier. The gazebo wall is made of three rows of decorative concrete blocks mortared together. We used the same blocks for the floor, filled with concrete and embedded with small multicolored river stones.
We prepared the 350-pound satellite dish by taking it apart, thoroughly cleaning it and reassembling it with new stainless steel bolts and silicone to make it water tight. Using more pipe fittings, we rigged up a weather vane, and then we were ready to install the dish roof. Luckily, we have a friend with a tractor and bucket. He easily lifted the roof into place.
We put bolts through the dish and into the columns to secure the dish. We also installed gazing halls, fixed with silicone, onto the tops of the columns for a bit of whimsy and color. (You can buy white end caps to seal off the tops of the columns if you prefer.) We are now looking for colored glass balls to embed in the wall around the perimeter of the gazebo. The total effect will really solidify our reputation in the area for being a little different.
Overall, it's been an interesting and fun project. We have a gazebo that is virtually maintenance free and the added benefit of recycling an item that would have ended up in a landfill.
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