You have two basic options when considering a wooden gazebo for your yard: custom-built or prefabricated. Within these two categories, the possibilities for designs and materials are virtually limitless, so choosing one can be daunting. The most important consideration when purchasing a wooden gazebo is the quality of the materials; this includes both the choice of wood as well as the hardware used for construction of the structure. The materials will dictate not only how strong the structure ends up being, but also how long it will last under constant exposure to the elements. Be sure to research the different material options before purchasing.
If you plan on purchasing a prefabricated wooden gazebo, you will probably notice a significant difference in price between a wooden gazebo made from cedar and a gazebo made from other types of woods. This price difference can be accounted for in cedar's natural ability to resist moisture damage like rot, mold, and mildew, as well as its aesthetically pleasing appearance. Cedar is likely to last much longer than other types of woods, and while it is more expensive, it may end up saving you money over time because it is less likely to need repairs and chemical treatments. If your budget allows for it, choose a cedar wooden gazebo over other materials.
Slightly less expensive than cedar is pressure-treated wood. This type of wood is treated with chemicals that protect the wood from bug infestations and water damage, as well as warping to a certain extent. When the wood is treated, it can turn a greenish color, so many people choose to paint pressure-treated wood to improve the visual appeal. Keep in mind that choosing this type of wood may mean a repainting will be necessary every few years. This is a good option if you plan on making your gazebo a different color than natural wood tone.
Be sure to consider the size and shape of your wooden gazebo before purchasing any materials or prefabricated structures. Gazebos can take up a significant amount of room in a yard, and it is important to know the dimensions of your yard before purchasing. Don't forget to measure upward, too, as your gazebo is likely to be quite tall. Try to figure out if a round gazebo or a square gazebo will work best in your yard, and remember that heavier, larger gazebos will require a solid foundation such as a concrete slab. Smaller gazebos may not need such a foundation, though it is best to ask a professional before committing to a specific design.