How-To

  1. How Hollywood Stylist Molly Crist Throws the Perfect Dinner Party

    How Hollywood Stylist Molly Crist Throws the Perfect Dinner Party

    To throw the perfect dinner party, nothing says glamour more than being under the stars. That’s why I love Sojag Gazebos! The best of both worlds - shelter and nature in one (plus I love the mosquito netting for hot summer nights). Typically I love having a dinner party in the late afternoon when the sun is at its finest.

    For your tablescape, think about this…

    • Start the table off with a fresh, seasonal arrangement of flowers. Find a cool container to house the like a vintage vase. Potted plants are also key for a natural vibe. I love ferns, succulents (you can always bring an indoor plant outside for just a night).
    • They say eat the rainbow, but the rainbow is also pretty to look at! Bring a lot of color and vibrancy to your table with plates, placements, or chargers. Don’t be afraid to mix and match plates with different patterns.
    • I love using table runners for a pop of color. If you want a more neutral vibe - think texture like woven fabrics. Don’t have placemats or a runner? Find some flat palm leaves and use them under bowls and plates. Or grab some leaves for Fall nights.
    • Choose foods that have a lot of color and texture differences. And always something green!
    • Lighting is key! Everyone looks good and feels dreamy in candlelight. It also looks great with fresh florals. From lanterns to string lights, think about how lighting can set the mood. I’m all about flameless candles for safety and wax-free mess. And just think, your twinkle lights are holiday ready.
    Live
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  2. 5 Fun Ways to Use a Gazebo with Curtains

    5 Fun Ways to Use a Gazebo with Curtains

    When the sun is too hot or if rain threatens to cancel your plans, a shelter like a gazebo can keep the outdoors enjoyable. However, hot weather and storms aren’t the only threat to a good time outdoors. Summer weather also brings out the bugs and hot sun, which can seriously put a damper on an outdoor soirée.

    Beat insects and blistering temperatures at their own game by outfitting your structure with gazebo curtains. This expands your entertainment options by giving you the ability to block out any excess wind and sunlight on all sides. 

    Gazebo curtains also serve as an additional barrier against pesky mosquitoes, wasps, and other nuisance pests. This guide will explain how curtains can make outdoor time more enjoyable and give you some fun gazebo ideas for your next social event.

    Why Gazebo Curtains Matter

    Gazebo curtains add an extra layer of protection from outdoor elements. While most Sojag shelters come with tinted bug screens, these barriers are perforated to allow the open fresh air breezes. Bug screens grant you more exposure to outdoor elements — which is excellent when you’re in the mood for full sun and wind. However, sometimes you want more privacy or protection from events such as a mild rainstorm or a day that is particularly hot. 

    This is why Sojag makes summer curtains that you can add to your gazebo. They are useful accessories for a shelter that needs coverage beyond bug protection. They add more privacy and shade from the sun and can block wind-driven rain. 

    When you have both bug screens and curtains, you get the best of your yard while leaving out all the elements that make it difficult to sit outside long-term. You don’t need to slather on bug repellent or sunscreen every time you enter a gazebo with double curtains because you’re entering a protecte

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  3. Should You Choose an Outdoor Metal Gazebo or a Wood Gazebo for Your Backyard?

    Outdoor metal gazebo or wood gazebo

    Outdoor gazebos are a great addition to any backyard.  They're perfect for relaxing in the shade or hosting a game-day party. Gazebos can also be a stylish and functional detached garage for parking your car, storing a boat, or organizing your tools. But choosing the perfect gazebo for your backyard isn’t an easy decision. This guide helps you choose the right gazebo for your home.

    The Differences Between Outdoor Wooden Gazebos and Metal Gazebos

    Both metal and wood gazebos are popular choices for a detached garage, but how do you know which style is right for you? Here are some things to consider when choosing between an outdoor metal gazebo or wood gazebo.

    Style

    If you want a traditional look and feel, you may be considering a rustic wooden gazebo. They’re usually made of pressure-treated wood that’s painted or stained to match your backyard design.

    Outdoor metal gazebos are made of aluminum or galvanized steel. These sleek, contemporary gazebos are the perfect addition to a modern yard. You can create an elegant feature in your garden and enjoy a sophisticated detached garage.

    Durability

    Wood gazebos are durable structures that can last for many years. However, they’re very susceptible to weather changes. If they’re not well cared for, the wood can shift or crack when exposed to severe temperature swings. Wooden gazebos may also chip, warp, or even rot.

    Outdoor metal gazebos are extremely stable and durab

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  4. How to Choose the Right Aluminum Patio Gazebo

    How to Choose the Right Aluminum Gazebo
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  5. Canopies and Gazebos to Upgrade Your Backyard Space

    Covered Dining Area Under A SOJAG Gazebo

    More people are spending time at home now than at any time in recent history. With the recent trend toward working and schooling at home, it’s easy for your space to start feeling a bit crowded. If you’re looking for ways to expand your home’s usable space, adding an outdoor structure, like a backyard gazebo, is an excellent idea! This functional, practical upgrade will add style to your space while also improving your property value.

     

    There are many ways to use canopies and gazebos in your yard. Once you start using your imagination, the possibilities are virtually endless! The following guide will explore the most popular outdoor structures and offer some suggestions for how you can use them to upgrade your backyard space.


    Freestanding Gazebos


    When you’re looking for the ultimate in flexibility, freestanding gazebos are a great choice. They come in a wide variety of sizes and styles, making them appropriate for many different uses.


    While there are many options to choose from, high-quality aluminum gazebos are one of the most popular. Not only are they cost-effective, but if you choose one that’s made from top-of-the-line materials, you can have the confidence of knowing it will stand up to the elements and look beautiful for years to come.


    Creative Uses for Freestanding Gazebos

     

    Patio gazebos are a popular option for homeowners who want to create a covered dining area or a DIY kitchen. It’s the ideal place to relax and entertain family and friends while enjoying protection from wind, rain, and the sun’s harsh UV rays.

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  6. Building the Right Base for your Gazebo

    Building the Right Base for your Gazebo
    Congratulations! Now that your SOJAG gazebo is on its way, your property will soon have an attractive outdoor living enhancement. But before you can begin building your gazebo, you need to clear the construction area and make a base, such as a concrete slab foundation, for your structure. Here are our tips for building a gazebo base and which types of foundations could be best for your backyard.

    Prepare Your Gazebo’s Construction Area

    Before you can build your gazebo, you need to prepare the area. Whether you plan to do the work yourself by following one of our tutorial videos or have ordered professional installation services at checkout, the site must be work-ready, which includes having a gazebo base. If you have an existing base in place, such as a concrete patio, you can save some money and install your gazebo on this surface. This can save you a lot of time in the installation process. Before you build, check to make sure that the area is level and has enough drainage so that your gazebo stays dry. If you don’t have a base or worksite for your gazebo, it’s time to prepare. This job must be completely done before your gazebo arrives, so plan this job according to your project timeline.

    Step 1: Clear the Area

    Before you can build a gazebo on your property, you’ll need to establish a clear, preferably level area. To be fit for a foundation, the site must not have debris, grass, roots, and rocks. You must also fill any holes with compacted soil to make the ground level. Depending on the layout of your property, you may have a big job ahead of you, or it might take just an hour or two. Plan accordingly and hire help if necessary to make this step go by smoothly. For your project to go well, you will need at least four extra feet around your future foundation’s perimeter. For example, if your Sojag Gazebo is an 8’ x 8’ square, then make sure that the clear area is at least 12’ x 12’ in area, or 144 square feet. The 8’ x 8’ foundation area shoul
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  7. DIY vs. Professional Installation Services

    DIY vs. Professional Installation Services

    When it’s time to make that long-awaited addition to your property, you want the installation to off without a hitch. All the components of your SOJAG shade structure or garage are made of top quality materials, but they need to be assembled well to hold up to their intended specifications. If you’re on the fence about assembling the structure yourself, this guide will help you decide whether our installation services are right for you.

    DIY or Professional Installation Services: How To Know What You Should Do

    To find out whether a DIY or general contracting would work for you, first examine what you want and need. It helps to go through a checklist of criteria that typically influence whether professional help is the best route for you. Overall, if you have the time, tools, know-how, extra help, capability, and confidence, then DIY is an excellent option. If you lack any of these resources, it’s better to get help. Here are some of the main points to evaluate as you assess your readiness to do a DIY project.

    Assess Your Physical Fitness

    If you find that it’s difficult to work with tools, lift heavy objects, or safely work with the DIY building kit, then you need to get help. Whether you have a physical disability, an injury that prohibits your range of motion, or a simple lack of physical strength, it can be difficult to do the hauling and hours of work that DIY jobs of this scale require. Hiring someone to do the job for you can be a great help and also prevent any injuries.

    How Much Time Do You Have?

    Busy schedules can be an impediment to performing a DIY job. Many individuals don’t have the time to spare to plan for large-scale construction. There can also be extenuating circumstances like an important project at work, small children, or elder care that restrict one’s schedule. Whatever your reason for being r

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  8. BBQ at Home: How to Build a DIY Grill Station

    BBQ at Home: How to Build a DIY Grill Station
    Imagine sinking your teeth into a cut of steak that has been grilled to perfection. Now, imagine being able to make that for yourself at home with your very own DIY grill station. For some people, barbecue grilling has practically become a way of life. They have parties centered around their grill and competitions for the best meat. Why not bring this tradition home to your very own backyard with a DIY outdoor grill station? The inside of our home often receives most of the focus when it comes to design and investment. However, the outdoor space on a property can present just as much value. Going outside gives you quite a bit more space when you are hosting or celebrating with friends and family. Traditional holidays take on a new feeling in the fresh air and relaxed atmosphere. Building a barbecue grill in your exterior space opens up a whole new realm of possibilities, not to mention delicious meals.

    What is a DIY Grill Station?

    A barbecue grill is one that cooks food by sending the heat upwards from a heat source below. There are three primary categories for these grills: gas-fueled, electric, and charcoal. It is up for debate which of these grills produces a better taste. Which do you prefer?

    Gas-fueled

    Barbecue grills that run on gas normally use butane, natural gas, or propane in a tank stored below or connected at the side. In a gas-fueled barbecue grill, the gas is ignited into flames, cooking the food to a flame-broiled finish.

    Electric

    Electric grills are those powered by electricity. They offer excellent temperature control but are not as common for a barbecue grill since they do not tend to produce any smoke, which some people consider essential in a barbecue.

    Charcoal

    Charcoal grills provide the classic, smokey flame-broiled flavor that is so sought after in barbecued food. The type of briquettes you use, and any wood chips you may add,
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  9. DIY Outdoor Kitchens and Outdoor Kitchen Plans: The Ultimate Guide

    DIY Outdoor Kitchens and Outdoor Kitchen Plans: The Ultimate Guide

    It may be getting cooler outside, but that doesn't mean you need to stop enjoying your outdoor living space. Enjoy the autumn breeze from your backyard with your family and a perfectly grilled steak with a stylish DIY outdoor kitchen.

    Your outdoor kitchen is great for hosting fun social gatherings or intimate family get-togethers at any time of year. However, paying someone else to build your perfect setup can get expensive and may not get you exactly what you want.

    The solution? Make your own DIY outdoor kitchen! From developing outdoor kitchen plans to designing the unit, we'll give you the tools on how to create your dream outdoor kitchen.

    Develop Your DIY Outdoor Kitchen Plans

    Before you do anything else, begin thinking about how much time and money you really want to put into your project and how much room you have for it. A full-blown, extensive outdoor kitchen will likely take more time and may not fit in a small backyard. At the same time, a small kitchen island with your grill, some counter space, and a cabinet may be all you need. For inspiration, check out some of these outdoor kitchens.

    Property Evaluation

    Take a look at your property. Is it sprawling acreage with tons of room? You may want to consider the walking distance between your house and the outdoor kitchen. Is it a small deck with just enough room to fit a few chairs and a grill? You'll want to maximize your space efficiency.

    You will also want to consider what you already have and if you'll need to reinforce current structures or add electric or gas hookups. If you're not sure the outdoor space can support your outdoor kitchen plans, talk to a professional about specific requirements for your space.

    Decide

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