Tie Me Gazebo Down, Sport

Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.

– Homer Simpson

A few years ago, I built a floating deck in the back yard. We wanted to put a gazebo on it to provide shade. One day, I intend to build a permanent structure, but for now our gazebo came in a box from Menards. It’s a nice gazebo with a roof made from canvas, and mesh sides that fend off mosquitoes quite successfully. The frame is made from steel that is about the thickness of graphene, but what do you expect for $130?

Unpacked and assembled, the gazebo looked very attractive sitting on the deck. There simply remained the matter of attaching it. At the bottom of each of the gazebo’s legs was a square, flat plate. Each plate had been thoughtfully furnished with several screw holes. So, this should have been an easy procedure.

I realized it wasn’t going to be so easy when Stacey asked me “How are you going to fasten the gazebo to the deck?” Now, she’s as sharp as they come, so I knew that she’d seen the screw holes, and that she understands the potential a deck screw has for securing itself in a deck board. Accordingly, it was with some trepidation that I ventured, “With screws?” “Hmmm,” she said. We’re not using screws, I thought. This was an interesting problem: attach the gazebo to the deck without defacing the deck boards in any way.

After some thought, the answer came to us. Use zip ties. The idea was to pass them through the screw holes and around a deck board. Our ties were too short, so we zipped several together. Stacey got the ties around the board by passing wire under the deck board, duct taping a tie to the end of the wire that emerged, and pulling the whole thing back under the board.

It worked like a charm, and has survived high winds (80 mph just the other night). When we take the gazebo down for the winter, we simply cut the ties and use new ones the following spring. And our deck boards remain unadulterated! Which was, apparently, more important than I knew.

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