Gazebos, Pergolas, and Arbors from Island Lake, Illinois

Nelson Custom Builders provides a full line of wood and vinyl gazebos which can be customized to fit your lifestyle and designed to reflect each customers individuality and taste. Our gazebos can stand alone or be built along with a deck and with our solid "built to last" construction, they can be used longer throughout the year.

Using the 4 track system will increase the amount of time the gazebo can be used - example using later in the season/cooler evenings.

Imagine, sipping your morning coffee on a crisp fall morning watching the rain fall, having a glass of tea while escaping the hot summer sun or reading a book by the natural setting sun. More and more homeowners are selecting Gazebos these days to both accentuate their property and give them additional outdoor living space. And lucky them! In the past 5 years, the choices in styles, appearance and even the floor plan has changed dramatically. Making the decision on just which Gazebo is right for you can be a bit of a challenge.

Insider Tips on Planning for Your New Gazebo
Will Hapeman, knows as The Decorating Coach tells his clients to be clear about what you want to use your gazebo for :

"Think of your new gazebo as an extension of your home. If you could add one more room to your home what would it be? More living space? What do you see yourself doing in your new outdoor room? If think it will be just you and your spouse and you don't do a lot of entertaining, a smaller gazebo should work. But if you envision big summer barbeques with the whole extended family over, then of course you'll need something larger. I hate to use this cliché, but Form Really does Follow Function"

Be sure to give some thought to placement and the surroundings of your Gazebo. There are a few things to consider when selecting a spot:

  • First- select a spot that will give the best view when you are in your gazebo.
You don't want to sit down in your new gazebo for the first time and realize that the only view you have is of a brick wall. Put some thought into how seating will be placed in your gazebo and what the view will be like from this vantage point. To be even more assured of the site selection, we recommend you actually "sit" in your proposed site so you get the most realistic feel for what you'll be seeing

  • The second consideration for your possible gazebo site is how it will look on your grounds. Decorating Coach Will Hapeman advises:
" Once you have a few preliminary locations selected- step back and visualize how it will look. Is too crammed together? Is there balanced space between your home and the gazebo? For larger properties- consider the balance of your home with any other out buildings you may have. From a curb appeal point of view you'll want to have all your structures on your property work together."

  • Third, give some consideration to the location of our gazebo to the adjoining property. You may want it set away from your house, but don't forget about the neighbors. Chances you are looking to create a private restful retreat so you may not want to place in the direct sight line of the neighbors.

  • And put some thought into accessibility. Do you want it steps away from your home or make it seem more like a separate space?

  • Finally, ask us -in advance- what preparation work may need to be done before the delivery of you gazebo. Many gazebo sellers don't bring this important issue up which can become frustrating when the Gazebo arrives. Ask us for our free, comprehensive, "Preparing Your Sight for Your New Gazebo Guide" and you'll have no surprises.

Do you want the classic look of Wood or the contemporary look of Vinyl?

A tree filled back yard may look better with a lighter material than a darker one.
A traditional vinyl material could make the brick in your house stand out more than wood material.

Difference Between Wood Gazebos and Vinyl Gazebos

When selecting a gazebo, one of the smartest places to start with all the decisions you have is to decide if you want a gazebo made of wood or vinyl.

The Benefits of a Vinyl Gazebo:
  • Never have to stain, seal or treat
  • Stands up to water
  • Great for housing a pool or spa
  • Has the same great appearance as a natural wood
  • Much smoother No splinters!
  • Easy to match the color to complement your house
  • The color won't fade over time like
  • No danger of shrinkage, rotting, or termites
  • Gives a more uniform appearance throughout the whole gazebo
  • Safer for children since it doesn't contain any harmful chemicals
  • Rot resistant- the planks last longer than wooden decks
  • Clean up is as easy as getting the garden hose and spraying it down
  • Never any cracking like natural wood might do over time
  • The Vinyl material itself comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Lighter material for easy moving

Click here for more pictures of vinyl gazebos

The Benefits of a Wood Gazebo:
  • You can select a stain to your exact liking
  • More choices in stain color than with the composite choices
  • It is less expensive up front (read below to see why it ends up a tie game)
  • Wood has a "tighter" construction
  • The material we use is a pressure treated wood in Southern Yellow Pine which comes with a Lifetime Warranty
  • Southern Yellow Pine is our favorite is the best wood we found that absorbs the wolmanized treatment
  • Has a more rustic, traditional look to compliment your property
  • More options to choose from in wood; more selections for example in the posts or the spindles
  • You can have a wooden gazebo painted in practically any color

Click here for more pictures of wood gazebos

Insider Tips to Choosing the Right Gazebo:


What will you be using your new Gazebo for beauty, function or both?

How it will be used and for how many people?
A hospital for example, may want to consider a larger gazebo that can be used by the employees, staff and visitors and will need to be able to comfortably fit 10-12 people at once.
A retired couple however, may want a smaller gazebo just to fit 4 people comfortably.
Are you combining your Gazebo with your Deck?
If you want to consolidate all your outdoor living space into one area, we can help you design a deck/gazebo combination.
"Many people can extend the use they get out of their deck by adding a gazebo to their deck where you can retreat to if you want to get away from the blazing sun or if insects get to be a problem" advises Decorating Coach Hapeman.
Do you need storage --give some thought to double duty.
We are starting to design gazebos that actually serve as a gazebo and as a partial storage shed. This way you can get the added outdoor living space you wanted and clean up the garage at the same time. Ask about us some designs that have worked well for other customers or let us advise you on designing your own. A combination storage shed/gazebo is and ideal solution if you want to stick to a smaller budget or if you are on a smaller piece of property.
Will you be using your Gazebo year round?
Most customers tell us the use their Gazebo much more and longer than they anticipated.
Barb told us
"I use it more hours of the day than I thought I would and- here's what really surprised me- more months out of the year."

You can customize your gazebo to meet your exact needs but if you think you'll be using your gazebo year round, you should at least get some prices from us on how much our "no bug screens" run. Although they can't keep out every critter- you'll be able to get those nice cross breezes in your gazebo without pesky insects. A second option everyone should at least ask about is our Polymer Screen Package. Made of a durable film set in retractable window screens, you can quickly lower the windows to protect against sudden rain and wind storms. This window package actually allows you to use your Gazebo more during the cooler months as it gives a bit of insulation.
Us Versus Them
Does your Gazebo come with a Top to Bottom warranty? Yes. Every Gazebo comes with a Top to Bottom Warranty-that’s in writing! Maybe. Just make sure their warranty is on paper and not just making stuff up. Is it top to bottom?
Can your 12’ Gazebo hold 8,670 pounds! Yes, our Gazebo has a unique Post Notching System that allows our Gazebos to meet the 2,000 IBC Code:
16lbs per sq. ft. floor load
30lbs per sq. ft. roof load
90 MPH wind speed
Holds up to 50 people
Probably, but may not have the unique post notching system but may still meet some kind of building code.
How unique is your Gazebo design? You can customize your Gazebo to match your house or yard…we will tailor it to your specifications! You may have to take what they give you and in some cases the options you want may be very expensive.
Do the Vinyl Gazebos have all stainless steel fasteners? Yes, all exposed fasteners are Stainless Steel and will never rust! If they are not stainless steel they will rust and break loose from whatever they’re holding together.
Do your Gazebos have steps in them? Yes, so that you can put a full section above the door for more strength and stability! No, which lowers your entryway and may not provide enough support.
Does your Oval Gazebo come with a full vented cupola? Yes, it comes with a Full Length Vented Cupola which means…better air flow and nice breezes on hot days! The others may lure you in with a low price, then charge you hundreds of dollars more for options they don’t consider standard.
How many screws are in the floor? With the Hidden Fastening System, no more than 120 screws on our Octagon gazebos. This gives a nice, smooth appearance! There could be as many 700 NAILS and an additional charge for screws
Do you Gazebos have notches in the rafters? Yes, every one of our Gazebos has Notched Rafters for additional strength and stability and can withstand up to 90 MPH winds! Maybe. Most Gazebos are built with just a Flat Cut at the bottom of the rafter, so they are not as stable/strong.
Do all your Gazebos have #1 Lumber? Yes, ALL our Gazebos are built with #1 lumber from top to bottom for a better appearance and will last a lifetime! #1 Lumber is sometimes not used on places where the customer cannot see, such as under the floor.
Contact us today to review our full line of gazebos and backyard products.

Sales Posters

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to download a larger version of this poster.

Click here to download a larger version of this poster.

Gazebo Measurements

Click here to view measurements for our Victorian Gazebo.

Click here to view measurements for our Deluxe Gazebo.