Is it better to leave the sides on a gazebo in the wind?

When you’re setting up a gazebo, especially in a breezy area, one of the choices you’ll face is whether to keep the sides attached. While the sides offer additional shelter and privacy, there are both pros and cons to consider based on the wind’s ferocity and your gazebo’s specific features. Here, we delve into whether it’s advisable to keep the sides on your gazebo when the wind picks up.

Benefits of Keeping the Sides On

1. Extra Protection and Privacy Attaching the sides to your gazebo can shield you from wind, rain, and sun, enhancing comfort inside. It also provides privacy, perfect for hosting private events or cozy get-togethers.

2. Stability Boost In certain scenarios, the sides of a gazebo can serve as a barrier against mild to moderate winds, reducing the risk of the gazebo shifting or being upheaved.

3. Keeps Out Debris and Pests With the sides in place, it’s less likely that leaves, branches, or unwanted bugs make their way into your gazebo area, ensuring a more enjoyable outdoor experience, particularly during fall or bug-prone evenings.

Drawbacks of Keeping the Sides On

1. Higher Wind Load A significant downside to having the sides on in windy conditions is the increased wind load. The gazebo can act like a sail, catching the wind and possibly leading to structural stress or, in severe cases, toppling over.

2. Decreased Air Flow Closing off all sides can substantially cut down on air circulation, which might turn the gazebo’s interior stiflingly hot, especially on sunny days or throughout the summer, detracting from the comfort of a natural breeze.

3. Blocks Views While privacy can be beneficial, keeping the sides always up can also isolate you from the surrounding scenery. If your gazebo is positioned in a picturesque area, you might miss out on enjoying open, panoramic views.

Best Practices for Gazebo Setup

1. Evaluate Wind Conditions Always consider the usual wind conditions in your area before deciding on the sides. For gentle to moderate winds, the sides might be beneficial. However, in high-wind regions, it might be safer to remove them or opt for adjustable roll-up sides.

2. Ensure Proper Anchoring Whether you decide to keep the sides on or off, make sure your gazebo is securely anchored. This step is essential for the gazebo’s stability and effectiveness in withstanding windy conditions.

3. Choose Adjustable Sides Consider a gazebo with removable or retractable sides. This flexibility allows you to adjust to varying weather conditions, giving you the best of both protection and open-air enjoyment when needed.



The decision to keep the sides on your gazebo in windy conditions hinges on several factors, including the wind’s strength, your gazebo’s design, and how you plan to use the space. By weighing these aspects and adhering to recommended practices, you can make a choice that maximizes both the utility and enjoyment of your outdoor structure.