DIY Projects

Costco Gazebo Review: Our Experience After 5 Years

Considering a backyard gazebo or pergola? We bought and installed a Costco Gazebo by Yardistry Structures five years ago. Read about our experience with our Yardistry gazebo before you buy!

Why the Costco Gazebo?

We did a major backyard overhaul five years ago. One of the top items on my wishlist was some kind of covered outdoor living room with comfy seating. I wanted to lay on the couch and read a book in the shade while the kids played.

At first, I was thinking a pergola. But the more we talked, the idea of an actual roof sounded more practical. This is Seattle, after all. It rains, even in the summer months.

I was strolling through Costco one day, when I spotted the cedar gazebo they had set up, It was love at first sight. I bought the last kit they had, borrowed my dad’s truck to get it home, and went to work getting the site ready.

Just for the record, this is not an affiliate post and it isn’t sponsored by Costco or Yardistry Structures. Just our own experience to help you out if you’re considering getting one yourself.

What’s the difference between a gazebo and a pergola?

A gazebo has a fixed roof, while a pergola has an open roof, which can be left open or covered seasonally with vines or canvas.

Many people hear the word “gazebo” and immediately think of a cutesy white octogon-shaped garden structure. But as you can see, they actually come in many different forms and styles.

pergola vs. gazebo: collage of photos of pergolas and gazebos

Check out this post for a more in-depth look at backyard shade structures and patio covers, and how to choose the best option for your outdoor living space.

Yardistry Gazebo

The model we bought is the 12’x12′ Yardistry Gazebo. For the past couple of years, the Costcos in my area have displayed a 12’x14′ model in the stores in the springtime. When Costco runs out for the year, you can often still get them here.

Preparing the Gazebo Site

If you’ve already got a nice level patio or deck, then great! This will be easy.

If, like me, you want to put your Costco gazebo in a less than level spot, you’re going to have some work to do. The spot we chose on the edge of our yard seemed relatively flat until we got the level out.

backyard site being prepared to install a patio for the Costco gazebo from Yardistry Structures. A black dog is sniffing the ground

Without going into too much painful detail, we built wood forms and poured four cement blocks to support the cedar gazebo posts. Once the concrete was set, we built a border for the patio using landscape stackers- and we had to build it up at least 18 inches on the fence side.

We lined the area with weed paper and filled it in with crushed gravel to create a patio. The gravel comes up to the top of the cement blocks. I chose crushed gravel for the patio because it was a cheaper alternative to pavers or cement.

I cover most of the patio with a plastic outdoor rug in the spring and summer, so it’s not a big deal that it’s gravel.

By the way, I am a huge fan of plastic outdoor rugs and I use them all the time! Here’s more info on them and my top picks for 2022! If you’re looking for an outdoor rug made from more traditional materials check out my post, 75 Outdoor Rugs Under $150!

bird's eye view of gravel patio with cement pads ready for installation of costco gazebo from Yardistry

All this to say, building the support and patio for the gazebo was a lot more work than putting the actual gazebo together.

We extended the patio out a few feet on one side (top of photo above), because we knew we wanted to add some kind of fireplace in the future.

Assembling the Costco Gazebo by Yardistry

Unless your friends want to come over and help for a several hours, we recommend changing the order of operations from what the directions suggest.

man and little girl assembling roof sections of Costco Gazebo by Yardistry Structures in a garage.

You can build each of the sections separately by yourself, and then have a work party to assemble the whole thing. 

A few months after assembly, we bolted the gazebo down to the concrete pads. It’s hard for me to imagine the wind picking this thing up, but I sleep better at night knowing I won’t wake up and find that it’s blown into the pond.

This photo was taken 5 years after installation.

close-up of Yardistry gazebo post bolted to it's concrete pad as a Costco patio cover

Styling the Costco gazebo

Now, of course, my Costco gazebo is not just a gazebo, it’s an outdoor living room.

I added these inexpensive extra-long shower curtains from Amazon, an outdoor sofa, chairs, an outdoor rug, coffee table, chandelier, and outdoor fireplace, as well as landscape planters. You can check out the finished Outdoor Living Room Reveal and shop the room here!

nighttime photo of 12'x12' Costco gazebo by Yardistry Structures as an outdoor living room, with outdoor curtains, papasan chairs, an outdoor sofa, and chandelier

This will be our sixth Summer with it, and so far everything is holding up great! There are a few small rust marks on the roof and one small crack in one of the cedar posts, but nothing too concerning. I will probably stain it either this year or next to protect the wood.

I absolutely love my gazebo- I would say it’s one of the best investments we’ve made in our home and quality of life. It allows us to put the cushioned outdoor furniture out in April and leave it until October (not something we could do in this climate without a roof!).

I gave it a Boho patio makeover this year. You can see the updates and shop the look here.

Costco gazebo 12'x12' with an outdoor fireplace, outdoor rug, and patio furniture

I love to spend time out there with friends after the kids go to bed too!

Oh and one last thing. We can hang a movie screen from the side of it for a backyard movie theater! What could be more fun? I promise a post on this soon, but in the meantime, here’s a very grainy picture.

backyard movie theater set up using Costco Gazebo by Yardistry. Two little girls watching movie in foreground in front of Costco pergola

Okay, I hope that helps if you’re on the fence! Costco’s website is full of reviews too, and I’m happy to answer your questions in the comments.

What is the best outdoor gazebo?

We’re partial to our 12’x12′ model, of course. But Costco has featured other models in the past few years as well. Some friends bought and assembled the 12’x14′ version last Summer and are very happy with it.

And my Aunt and Uncle just installed the 11’x13′ gabled pavillion and love it. So it’s mostly a matter of space and budget.

Thinking About a Costco Pergola?

Come check out this post about the different backyard shade structure options out there. If you’re interested in a Costco pergola, this aluminum one looks nice and is reasonably priced!

More Outdoor Living Ideas…

Patio Shade Ideas: How to Choose

Costco gazebo from Yardistry Structures with an outdoor living room inside

Outdoor Living Room Reveal!

nightitme image of cedar gazebo from Yardistry with outdoor living room setup inside.

Backyard Lighting Ideas: A Simple Guide for Outdoor Living Spaces

nighttime photo of outdoor living room with glowing candle lanterns

One-Weekend Patio Makeover

backyard patio with dining set, vertical garden, and string lights

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    1. Hi Barbara, Uhhhhh we haven’t done that yet. It’s still looking great, but we do plan to do that at some point. I’ll probably use a Behr outdoor stain, but I haven’t looked into it yet.

      1. To anyone out there. Do not use Thompsons water seal. I don’t know if it’s the extreme heat of Tucson but it spotted after only 4 years, I just spent about 10 hours sanding. I will re stain with water base stain . I will talk to professional about what product will not spot in the heat. It did sand well but still a big job for a girl of a certain age 😉

  1. We have the 12×14 model. Our roof is a bronze aluminum but everything else looks the same. We love is so much and have had it up almost 4 years. It gets best by the sun on 2 sides, so I really need to reseal it before summer. I’d love something that brings back that original luster but I don’t want to mess up the gorgeous color. Waiting for a guinea pig to post what they used. 🙂

  2. I have a question about the shower curtains. How did you put the curtains up? Where and how you attach to the gazebo? Do you take them down during the winter months? Thanks Denise. Love the look.

    1. Hi Denise! I just nailed them up on the inside. I used to attach them with push pins, but they didn’t hold in the wind. And yes, I normally take them down for the Winter. I always run them through the washer with some bleach before I put them away. But this year we got lazy and didn’t take them down… I’ll try to get you a photo of the way they’re attached and email it to you.

      1. I’m curious how you attach the shower curtains as well. My pavilion was put up in September last year so this will be my first summer to enjoy it.

        1. Hi Adrian,
          I used to use push pins (hammered in with a rubber mallet). But that wasn’t holding in the wind, so now I just nail them up. You’ll be glad you’ve got that this year!

  3. Beautiful! I am looking at this very gazebo. Does this hold up in the winter with snow? Thx for the post.

    1. Thanks Lisa! We’re in the Seattle area, so we only get a few inches of snow 2-3 times a year, and we never get a hard freeze. I’m sure you couldn’t let a huge amount of snow pile up on top, but there should be recommendations from Yardistry. Otherwise I highly recommend it!

  4. We also bought our 12×12 gazebo four years ago. We live on a river in the Florida Panhandle and although we have a screened back porch, we wanted another covered space for outdoor parties. We usually travel from June through October (the Bug Months), so it was mostly for use in cooler weather. The gazebo has met all of our expectations. Since we have a working wood stove at one end it works even on very cool evenings. Our guests just love it and so do we. We may have to hang around this summer so I am now looking for screening. Thank you for your post.

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Isn’t it so great? We just added a stove pipe to our chiminea to take the smoke up and out, and it’s great! We got the mosquito netting that goes with the gazebo last year, and it’s also worked great! Though we probably don’t have as serious of bugs in Seattle. You install tracks and the netting snaps onto it. Good luck!

    1. Hi Claudette,
      We didn’t need one, since it’s considered a non-permanent structure. I don’t think you would need one in most places… but good to double-check!

  5. I’m curious if you got or need a permit in Seattle? Also how long did the assembly take you? Thanks

    1. Hi! No we didn’t need a permit. We’re in Snohomish County (so not technically Seattle, just the Seattle area) and it was considered a non-permanent structure. And the assembly is probably a two-weekend project for a couple of people.

  6. Thank you for the article – very informative. I am curious what kind of wind you have up there in Seattle? Reno NV can have some really windy days and it is a concern for me with the solid roof.

    1. Hi! We don’t have constant wind here. But we do get 6-7 bigger wind storms per year that blow down a lot of trees and knock out power. The wind will blow the panels off my greenhouse, but we’ve never had a problem with the gazebo… I believe this will be our 5th Summer with it. We do have the gazebo bolted to the concrete footings we put in. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Rick,
      I think that most years they do offer that service… but I’m not sure for this year. It might depend on your location. I was on their site yesterday and it looks like maybe these models are sold out for the year… but they’re still available at other places. I updated the links in the post if you want to check that out.

  7. Hello and thank you for the info that you shared! We are about to purchase ours. I looked everywhere for installation and low and behold, on The Better Back Yard and they sell Yardisty and there’s an option for installation, it said $649.00 so I called the company (Go Configure) and they gave me a price of $459 YAY! They are an affiliate of Sams Club. Anyway, thought I would share…Teresa Morrison | New Mexico

  8. I got a gazebo two years ago and am happy with it except this summer the tin on four panels look like they are rusted. Also part of the edging. It looks like they are missing part of the finish. Can’t find where to add an attachment.

  9. Hi Jess, thanks for sharing your experience, you did a great job! We just put ours up and have been looking for lighting ideas, and I love the two globe lights you have in yours, can you tell me where you got yours from? Would really appreciate it!

    1. Hi Joanne. Thanks. I actually got them at Costco, but it’s been 3-4 years ago, and they don’t carry them anymore:( I hope you enjoy your new gazebo tho!

  10. Just reading all the comments. We are also looking into staining our gazebo (bolted on our deck). This would be our 4th summer and the brutal winters here in Michigan took a toll on the wooden “legs”. It’s starting to discolor and the top beam started to peel. My husband like to keep the same original finish and trying to match it may be a little challenging.
    As far as the “curtains”, we have used a special order curtain tracking, like they use in hospitals for partion curtains. We hang curtains in the summer and tarps with the bottom secured from the wind in the winter. It gives us the additional room to store our outdoor furnitures and able to bring our grill in for our winter barbecue.

    1. Nice thanks for sharing Julie! I like the curtains idea! We actually have the mosquito netting now, which has a similar track system. I’m hoping to get photos of that up this year! I would love to hear if you find a good stain color for it!

  11. I just bought a Yardistry gazebo and have been looking for stain information. The following YouTube video shows how to add a privacy wall, but more importantly the creator color matched his gazebo and gives the product details. He seemed pretty confident that the color was accurate. The link to the section of the video where he talks about it is I do recommend the whole video. I read someone else say that the color may darken a little if you are staining something for a second time.

    The stain he recommended is:
    BEHR PREMIUM – #ST-141 Tugboat Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer

  12. We got our 12×14 ft yardistry gazebo from Costco and installed it 2 weeks back and we are loving it. We found a professional installer from thumbtack to install it for $550 in SF Bay Area. Regarding the staining I saw someone recommending Rainguard sealer. I am planning to apply this on my gazebo. I also called the Yardistry customer service and asked for a bottle of touch up paint, which they sent by FedEx 2 day shipment . I am planning to take it to Sherwin Williams store and get color matched stain from them.
    Here is rainguard selaer details:

  13. Hi Julie
    My wife and I live in Nebraska and are considering this gazebo but are concerned about the wind and snow. Yardistry says that they recommend you push each snow off the roof. Sounds like a lot of work depending on the winter. Michigan has a good amount of snow on average have you had to remove the snow each time it snows?

    1. Hi,
      I’m actually in the Seattle area. We’ve never had more than a foot of snow to test it. Sorry that’s not very helpful. The thing does seem pretty sturdy though!

  14. Hi,
    We have had the 12×12 Yardistry gazebo for 6 years in WI. We have had heavy snows without any problem. The snow melts off the metal roof quickly without us having to remove it. Only this year have we sustained some hail damage, which is understandable. My question is has anyone tried pressure washing the cedar?

    1. Hi Amanda,
      Thanks for sharing! I never tried pressure washing mine. I would be interested to know if anyone else has too!

  15. How is it during rainy season? My concern is how loud it will be because one contractor warned us that the roof will be really loud when it rains..

    Are we able to lay out tile or shingles on top of the aluminum roof?

    I’ve heard that metal roofs reflect heat but just to make sure.. in the summer time, how is the aluminum roof? Does it make the gazebo area hot? Or is it fairly cool?

    1. We never had any problems, but we’re in Seattle. We get a lot of rain, but not frequent serious downpours. And the climate here is relatively mild. The gazebo was always a nice cool shady spot. Not sure how it would be in extreme here though. And sorry, I don’t know whether you could go over the roof with another material.

      1. I live in Tucson, IT IS HOT HERE… No I thought it might be hot but it is not at all, you can put your hands within a few inches and not feel heat radiating .

  16. Awesome content, and you are absolute right, when saying do not go by the instructions order, its easier to put everything together and then have that party you mentioned to get help completing the install. Not sure where your located, but I am in California and We are a company, that Yardistry and Costco Refers us out alot and we do an awesome job and made it look just like the picture on the box every time and provide great customer service. Keep up the great work, Thank you if you don’t mind my post. *email me, Ill return the favor.

  17. Can you put tiles on the metal roof of the gazebo? Will the posts hold up to the weight of the tiles?

  18. “Wow, what an incredible outdoor oasis you’ve created with your Costco Gazebo by Yardistry! Your attention to detail in preparing the site and building the patio is truly commendable, and it’s evident that your hard work paid off. The decision to opt for a gazebo instead of a pergola seems wise, especially given Seattle’s unpredictable weather. The way you’ve transformed it into an outdoor living room with the addition of the outdoor sofa, chandelier, and landscape planters is simply stunning – a perfect blend of functionality and style!

    It’s truly heartwarming to hear that your gazebo has become one of the best investments in your home and quality of life. With the ability to enjoy the cushioned outdoor furniture from April to October, you’ve maximized your outdoor living space throughout the seasons. The Boho patio makeover and the idea of turning it into a backyard movie theater further exemplify your creativity and knack for making the most of this wonderful space.

    Your experience with the Yardistry Gazebo is invaluable, and it’s reassuring to know that it’s held up well over the five years. Rust marks and a small crack are minor concerns that can easily be addressed with a bit of maintenance. Your willingness to share your genuine, non-sponsored experience is truly appreciated, making it much easier for those of us considering a gazebo to make informed decisions.

    Thank you for sharing your delightful gazebo journey, and I’m definitely inspired to explore the possibilities of incorporating a Costco Gazebo into my own backyard. Your blog is a treasure trove of ideas, and I’ll be sure to check out more of your outdoor living tips and reviews. Wishing you many more wonderful moments under the comforting shelter of your gazebo with friends and family!”

  19. I too bought the Costco Gazebo 12X14 we have the structure up, but I am now waiting on friends to help attach the roof, hopefully before the snow flies. I love how sturdy it feels. I just can’t wait to see it finished. Thank you for your ideas.

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