One-Day DIY Gazebo Project

We partnered with Backyard Discovery for this DIY project. Opinions and tips, as always, are our own. You may find affiliate links on this post; rest assured, it’s at no additional cost to you, but may provide a small commission to us. Thanks for keeping our site alive!

After more than a year on the waitlist, Rick’s new Ankona fishing boat is finally ready! Now, when I said, “Ok, sure get a boat,” did I also think about all the other things that a boat needs? Namely, a couple motors, safety stuff and a boathouse of its own? You know I did not. And here we are.

In the Florida sun, it’s a must to have a covering for the boat. We researched for a while – options included a custom cover ($200++) or a vinyl and PVC tent from Walmart ($175++). Those are all ok but they’ll have to be replaced every so often and frankly, they look kinda cheap. That’s not really the vibe I’m going for– especially toward the front of the house.

Ultimately we decided to go for the biggest, best option (don’t we always?!), a gorgeous cedar carport from Backyard Discovery. We already have one wooden gazebo from Backyard Discovery– remember our patio project from last year? That was quick delivery, affordable and easy to build ourselves, so we went back to them for Round 2 and an even bigger, better option: the 12×20 Norwood Carport Gazebo. 

DIY Carport / Gazebo

Y’all already know Rick wants to build everything from scratch– and I mean from living tree to finished house. If he could have whittled a boathouse out of a redwood with a pocket knife, he would have. I have learned over the past 7+ years of marriage that while he is 100% capable of such feats of construction prowess, it’s not the quickest, fastest way. And you know me. My deadline is always RIGHT NOW. 


And that’s why I’m such a big fan of these easy-to-assemble gazebo kits. Thus far, they’ve been the easiest way for us to whip up some structure in the backyard- and, they look so professional and uniform when finished. There’s no need to measure and cut and do math and go back to Home Depot 700 times per project. Everything, from the wood to the hardware, comes pre-cut, measured and sorted in the boxes. 

Building a backyard discovery gazebo

Now, would I be able to build this whole thing myself? No. That is why I got married. Um, I mean, I got married for love, and then way down at the bottom of the list– construction projects. The instructions recommend 2-3 people to put it together, but Rick was able to do it with the limited assistance of his dad, and me once in a while. More folks would have definitely made it go faster, but it’s doable with just one strong one and a couple random, mostly useless helpers. 

DIY Gazebo Kit Pros

  • It looks gorgeous
  • Durable cedar posts that will last forever
  • Equipped with electric hookup with 3 power ports and 3 USB ports
  • Multiple sizes, colors and materials to choose from
  • Saves so much time because everything is in the kit from hardware to precut, pre-stained and pre-drilled wood 
  • Wind resistant up to 100 MPH < if you live in Florida you know how important this is!
  • Strong steel roof designed to withstand heavy snowfall… not an issue in Florida, but for the rest of the country, you’re covered!
  • 5 Year Warranty

DIY Boathouse Cons

  • The rectangular, buttressed Norwood Carport gazebo was a more complicated design to build than the easy 12×14 one we have for the patio. Rick put that one together in no time, but the Norwood was a bit more time and labor intensive.
  • We also had some unanticipated labor on the front end because we had to figure out a way to safely anchor it, and since there’s no concrete slab, we had to create those footings from scratch. No big deal, just an extra step! 

Ready-to-assemble Gazebo Kit Delivery 

Less than two weeks after we ordered, the boxes were delivered to our front yard. The delivery company called a couple days in advance to give us a delivery window and they were right on time. Rick used a hand truck to wheel everything to the backyard where he unpacked and sorted each box according to steps / pieces.

The Tools You Need for a DIY Gazebo Kit

You need a few common tools to put the gazebo together – drill, ladders, ratchets, wrenches, level, square, a tape measure and an iPhone or tablet for the BILT app. We had everything already but Rick said he needed more drill bits? I think that might’ve been an excuse to buy more tools.

Rick preferred the hard copy directions that came in the boxes, but I was super impressed with the 3D video instructions. Just download the BILT app and everything is right there on your phone as you construct. Easy as can be. There are also instructions on for all their different products, as well as FAQs should you hit a snag or get confused. 

Building a Backyard Discovery 12×20 Norwood Carport 

So what if you don’t want to build it yourself? There are tons of companies that will come out and build it for you! Doesn’t get much easier than that. Backyard Discovery recommends GoConfigure.

DIY Gazebo project

Gazebo Kit Helpful Suggestions

  • I recommend reserving a whole weekend to get it done. We unfortunately didn’t have full days to work on it, just a few hours of daylight after work here and there in between trips to Costa Rica and the Taylor Swift concert. So it took us (Rick!) uncharacteristically long to build. But overall it was easy to do and now it looks incredible! The boat is so cozy in its new house and hey – whenever we get rid of this boat, we’ll have a gorgeous gazebo for parties or in-laws or realistically, the next boat. 
  • Download the BILT app for the easiest 3D instructions.
  • The Backyard Discovery site has a helpful blog, YouTube tutorials and chat/phone options to get support if you need it as you build.
  • Backyard Discovery products are available at the following retailers: Sam’s Club, Walmart, Amazon, Wayfair, Overstock, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Costco and Ace Hardware. For me, I’d always rather have it delivered than pick it up – that’s just one extra step we don’t have to worry about.
  • FUN FACT: for every tree used in constructing a Backyard Discovery product, they plant 4 trees to replace it.
Backyard Discovery carport DIY gazebo

Other Backyard Assembly Kits You Might Like:

We are going to have to move to a bigger yard to fit all these pergolas and playgrounds I want… don’t tempt me with a good time! Technically I did tell Rick 2023 is the year of NO NEW PROJECTS. It’s not even halfway through the year yet and we’ve built a new fence, enclosed the deck with lattice, remodeled our whole front yard patio situation and built this awesome Backyard Discovery DIY gazebo-turned-boathouse. What shall we do next?

Have you ever ordered a DIY gazebo kit? Did you find it easy to put together? Tell me in the comments!

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