We bought a cheap gazebo tent and it collapsed within the first month. Read these tips for what to consider when buying a gazebo tent for your yard.
It’s mid July, and I’m sitting under our brand new gazebo tent (purchased off Ebay) one afternoon. I’ve got my cup of coffee and a really good mystery novel. After a short while, I hear a pitter-patter because it’s starting to rain. So, I think to myself, “hey, nice! I can sit right here, keep reading and enjoy the storm. Because I have shelter, now.”
Or so I thought!
Within a few minutes rain water is dripping through the ceiling and it’s starting to pool along the edges of the gazebo roof. Now, I’ve seen this happen with those portable tents they use at picnics and outdoor parties. But honestly, I wasn’t expecting this from the one we purchased which was marketed as a backyard patio shelter.
As the sides of the roof are starting to bellow in, I use my hands to push the water up and off the roof sections. By this time, I’m basically soaked. I want to go inside. But before I do, I consider what it would take to undo all of the straps and attachments and take the “canvas” down. Knowing that it took Ken several hours to strap and attach the “canvas” to the frame, I realize it’s a mute point. So, I head inside. But I didn’t have a good feeling about it.
Not a good feeling at all.
I start dinner, but I leave the back door open, so I can at least hear the rain drops falling outside. Did I mention I really enjoy a good summer rain? Anyways, the stove is on, I’m boiling pasta, and all of the sudden I hear a great big “whoosh!”
The weight of the rain literally broke the welds in the center section of the gazebo… The tent basically collapsed into itself.
Just like that, our 10″ x 12″ gazebo was a goner. It was just over the Ebay “30 day refund policy,” wouldn’t you know. Were we going to be completely screwed, or what? Well, the next day, we took photos and contacted the Ebay seller right away, to request a full refund. And I’m happy to report the seller kindly gave us back 100% of our money. He didn’t even require that we return the broken one.
So while it was great that we got our money back, we were once again in the position of having no area in our back yard to shelter us from the sun. And at this point we decided to save up for a more expensive one, and do our research in the meantime.
We spent $250 on this particular tent for which we thought we were getting a deal. We realize now that there is more to consider than just a lower price. Especially since we live in the Midwest with it’s summer storms that will literally take the roof off.
6 Tips for What to Consider When Buying a Gazebo Tent, Especially for Volatile Summer Climates
- When you read the description of the product, look for a brand name, rather than “10′ x 12′” Canopy” While a brand name isn’t everything, it will give you an idea of who is standing behind the product.
- Look for keywords like waterproof and rainproof as opposed to water-resistant. They don’t mean the same thing.
- Read all the small print including the usage warnings that may apply to your weather climate, such as “you need to remove the canvas in the event of heavy rains or storms”.
- Read the reviews, and not just the first few. Read them all. What did the bad reviews say? Why? There will always be a few nay-sayers, but what’s the general overall consensus of the product.
- Gage the low end price versus the high end price for a similar product. Then make your choice from one of the mid range to higher priced units. It will be worth the extra dollars.
- Go with the theory that the more volatile your summer weather, the more dollars you want to spend in canopy protection.
- Lastly, consider one of the hard-top units. They haven’t been around as long, and they are more expensive. But if you are looking for reliable semi-permanent shelter, most of the hard cover gazebos are made to stay up though all four seasons. Soft cover canopies are usually only meant for summer weather use.
- Please keep in mind that I’m not talking about the pop-up type for parties and day events. Those are typically set up and taken down within a short period of time.
Having bought a cheaper model, and having it collapse on us, I know won’t go cheap on a product that I’m expecting to give me a certain amount of shelter when it’s raining. I don’t honestly know why I thought I’d want to scrimp on that in the first place.
One day we hope to put a more permanent shelter up. For the time being, we’ve decided to go with a picnic table and a good quality umbrella. At least I can crank the umbrella down by myself when a storm rolls in.
More Patio and Outdoor DIY Ideas
- Easy Porch Makeover with Floor Paint
- Small Sun Porch Makeover on a Budget
- How to Paint an Entry Door with a Gridded Window
- Best Tip Ever for Planting in Large Garden Containers
This post was update on 8/21/19
Stay cool. Stay dry. Stay covered ~ Amy