Have you ever looked out of your kitchen window and into your backyard or front yard, only to wonder what could possibly enhance its look and appeal? Or perhaps you have wished for a classic, calm and shaded area in the backyard to do some nice reading or have a nice slip of wine. That is when you drive past a lumberyard and see it: yes, a GAZEBO! Or you may even see a great cedar porch that you know would be just absolutely lovely in your backyard. You can see the barbeques in the summer happening already just by looking at it.

Though it may be tempting to try and tie that gazebo you saw to the top of your car, chances are the lumberyard will not be all too pleased with that idea. If you would like a new gazebo, or a free standing porch, it is time to start looking around for a gazebo builder.

To find one of these professionals, that very lumberyard that you saw the gazebo at would be a good place to start asking questions. Ask them if they know anyone that sells gazebos or free standing porches, or if they know any contractors that build them.

You can also ask some well established general contractors or even handymen in the area. They will either be able to do the job for you, or suggest someone reliable and dependable who can.

Be sure to also check local media, such as newspaper and television and radio. Internet searches and phone books can also render many results, which may be overwhelming for some, so be sure that they are licensed, insured, and check any references for those whom you decide to call. They should also be able to provide pictorial examples of their previous work.

Finally, if you see any neighbors will a fantastic new gazebo or free standing porch, or if your family and friends have been raving about theirs, certainly do ask who they used to complete the job!

When you have found the right person who shares your vision, it is time to start with the site preparation. You will want to be sure that the area where the porch or gazebo is going to be installed is both dug out and levelled for easy installation. Should any cement footers be required, they should already be poured and allowed to dry. Lastly, if necessary, the area should be completely roped off.

When the project has actually begun, be prepared for some craziness! If there are children and/or pets in the home, be sure that they are kept away from the activity so that the builder can do his or her job. Ensure that there is an appropriate place for the wood and/or any completed items until the gazebo or stand alone porch is installed, and be sure not to harass the contractor! As tempting as it may be to continually ask them questions, let them do their job; they can answer your questions later.

Once the project is complete, the contractor will ask you to check their work and ensure that you are satisfied. THIS is the time to ask any questions you may have. Also be sure that the job site is cleaned up to your standards before the contractor leaves.

After all of these things are complete, pour yourself a nice glass of wine or cup of tea and enjoy your new backyard!