Backyard Picnic Shelter: Enhance Your Outdoor Experience

Kind Reader, are you tired of having to cancel outdoor gatherings because of unpredictable weather? Or do you simply want to enhance the functionality and aesthetic of your backyard? A backyard picnic shelter may just be the solution you’re searching for. This structure, designed to shield you and your guests from the elements, allows you to bring your outdoor events to the next level. With its sturdy construction and customizable design, your backyard will become the ultimate entertainment spot perfect for any occasion.

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Benefits of Having a Backyard Picnic Shelter

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Backyard picnic shelters, also known as covered patios, are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. They offer a great spot for outdoor entertainment and dining without having to worry about sunburn or rain ruining the fun. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of having a backyard picnic shelter:

1. Protection from the Elements

A backyard picnic shelter provides a sheltered space where you can enjoy outdoor activities regardless of the weather conditions outside. This means you can use the space all year round, regardless of the season or weather.

2. Enhances the Look of Your Backyard

A well-designed backyard picnic shelter can significantly enhance the look of your backyard. With the right design and addition of some greenery or outdoor lighting, a backyard picnic shelter can transform your outdoor space into your own private oasis.

3. Increases the Value of Your Home

The addition of a backyard picnic shelter can greatly increase the value of your home. It is considered a desirable feature, and therefore can increase the appeal of your property to prospective buyers if you ever decide to sell your home in the future.

4. Versatile Design Options

Backyard picnic shelters come in a variety of designs to suit any backyard style and preference. They can be customized to the specific needs and wants of the homeowner.

5. Perfect for Entertaining Guests

There’s nothing quite like entertaining guests in your own backyard. A picnic shelter provides a comfortable space that can accommodate a large group of people for gatherings, barbecues, birthdays, and other celebrations.

Types of Backyard Picnic Shelters

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Backyard picnic shelters come in different shapes, sizes and materials. Depending on your preferences, here are the most common types of backyard picnic shelters:

1. Open-Air Structures

Open-air structures refer to uncovered patio areas. They are perfect for a budget-friendly option, natural sunlight, and open-air breeze. They are constructed with no roofing or walls, letting the sun and wind in, which gives a great natural feel.

2. Gazebo

A gazebo is a type of picnic shelter that is typically round or octagonal shaped, with a distinctive roof design. A gazebo can be open-air or enclosed with walls and windows, or has a mosquito screen that provides protection from insects while still being outdoor. Its closed walls can also provide some shade from the sun.

3. Pergolas

A pergola is an outdoor structure that is usually freestanding, supported by four columns, and has timber beams across the top. They offer a more decorative design that can include lattice or patterned beams on top of the columns. While they do not provide full sun or weather protection, they offer an excellent option for creating a backyard entertainment space.

4. Pavilion

A pavilion is a larger structure that is similar to a gazebo, but rectangular in shape. It has a raised roof design that is supported by columns, but is enclosed on all sides and offers full weather protection for outdoor gatherings.

No Features Open-Air Structures Gazebo Pergolas Pavilion
1 Shape & Design Square or Rectangular; Simple design Round or Octagonal; Distinctive roof design Columns and timber beams with lattice or patterned beams Rectangular; Raised roof; enclosed on all sides
2 Level of protection from elements Limited sun or weather protection Offer little sun & weather protection, but some shade & insect protection Offer little sun & weather protection, but some shade Full-weather protection for outdoor gatherings
3 Construction & Costs The cheapest option; require minimal construction work. A bit expensive compared to open-air structures; require more construction work. Mid-range to high cost, require more customization and installation work. Most expensive option; require more customization, installation, and maintenance work.

Benefits of Having a Backyard Picnic Shelter

backyard-picnic-shelter,Benefits of Having a Backyard Picnic Shelter,thqBenefitsofHavingaBackyardPicnicShelter

A backyard picnic shelter is a valuable addition to any home. In addition to providing shade and shelter to your outdoor space, it also offers a host of other benefits. Below are some of the outstanding benefits of having a backyard picnic shelter:

1. All-Weather Protection

The primary benefit of having a backyard picnic shelter is that you are protected from the weather elements. Whether there is too much sun, rain, or wind, you and your guests can still enjoy your outdoor space because your shelter will shield you from the harsh weather conditions. No rain or snow will ruin your gathering.

2. Added Property Value

A well-built and well-designed backyard picnic shelter can certainly add property value to your home. Not only does it provide functionality, but it will also enhance the overall appeal of your home making it more attractive to potential buyers. In short, backyard picnic shelters are a worthwhile investment if you ever decide to sell your home.

3. Versatility

A picnic shelter is not just a place to enjoy meals. It is a versatile structure that can be used for a wide range of activities such as entertaining guests, hosting barbeques, and much more. You can customize it to fit your needs, turning it into an outdoor living space, a play area, or a workspace.

4. Provides Comfort and Relaxation

A backyard picnic shelter is a perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day or week. If you are looking for comfort and relaxation, this is a perfect space. Adding seating and furnishings will make it cozier, and you will end up enjoying your outdoor living room more frequently.

5. Cost-effective outdoor living solution

A backyard picnic shelter is a cost-effective solution to create an outdoor living room. It’s less expensive than building a deck or extending your home. The shelters can be customized to fit your design preferences and budget. You can create an atmosphere based on your personality and style without breaking the bank.

6. Eco-Friendly

With the current focus on the environment, it’s a big plus that the materials used in creating backyard picnic shelters are eco-friendly. Unlike other outdoor living solutions, installing a picnic shelter preserves trees and the environment, making it a smart choice for those who are eco-conscious.

7. Healthy Living

Finally, a backyard picnic shelter allows you to enjoy the great outdoors without exposing yourself to harmful UV rays. With a proper shelter, you will undoubtedly spend more time outside, breathing fresh air, and engaging in healthy activities such as grilling and gardening.

No Information
1 A backyard picnic shelter is an outdoor structure designed to provide shade and cover during outdoor activities such as picnics, barbecues, and gatherings.
2 Backyard picnic shelters are often made of wood, metal, or vinyl and come in various sizes and shapes.
3 These shelters can be freestanding or attached to a house or other structure.
4 Backyard picnic shelters typically cost between $500 and $5,000 depending on the size, material, and design.
5 Some backyard picnic shelters come with built-in amenities such as seating, lighting, and electrical outlets.
6 Adding a backyard picnic shelter can increase the value of your home and improve your outdoor living space.

Choosing the Perfect Size for Your Backyard Picnic Shelter

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If you’re looking to add a backyard picnic shelter to your outdoor space, one of the most important things you’ll need to consider is the size. The size of your picnic shelter will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of your yard, the number of people you plan to host, and your budget. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the perfect size for your backyard picnic shelter.

Assessing Your Space

The first step in choosing the right size for your backyard picnic shelter is to assess your outdoor space. Consider the size and shape of your yard, as well as any landscaping or other features that may impact the placement of your picnic shelter. You’ll want to choose a spot that’s flat and level, with enough room for the shelter itself as well as any tables, chairs, or other furnishings you plan to include.

Determining Your Guest List

The number of people you plan to host will also be a key factor in determining the size of your picnic shelter. Consider whether you’ll be hosting small family gatherings or larger events with extended family and friends. This will help you determine how much space you’ll need and what size shelter will be required to accommodate everyone comfortably.

Selecting the Right Material for Your Backyard Picnic Shelter

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When it comes to backyard picnic shelters, there’s no shortage of materials to choose from. Each material has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to consider your needs and budget before making a decision. Here are some of the most popular materials for backyard picnic shelters and what you need to know about each one.


Wood is a popular choice for backyard picnic shelters because it’s affordable, durable, and easy to work with. Cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated pine are all common choices for picnic shelters. Wood is also a good option if you’re looking for a natural, rustic look that blends in with your yard and other outdoor features. However, wood can be difficult to maintain and may require regular sealing and staining to prevent rot and weathering.


Metal is another popular choice for backyard picnic shelters. Steel, aluminum, and wrought iron are all common choices for picnic shelters. Metal is durable, low-maintenance, and can be made to look modern or traditional. It’s also resistant to fire and pests, making it a good choice for areas with a high risk of wildfires or insect infestations. However, metal shelters can be more expensive than wood and may not blend in as well with natural surroundings.


Vinyl is a synthetic material that’s become increasingly popular for backyard picnic shelters in recent years. It’s lightweight, durable, and resistant to rot, fading, and pests. Vinyl shelters are also low-maintenance and easy to clean. They come in a variety of colors and styles, making it easy to find one that matches your outdoor decor. However, vinyl picnic shelters can be more expensive than wood and may not be as structurally sound as metal shelters.

How to Build Your Own Backyard Picnic Shelter

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If you’re handy with tools and have some DIY experience, you may be able to build your own backyard picnic shelter. Here are some steps you can follow:

1. Choose the Location for Your Shelter

The location of your shelter is critical. You want it to be close to your house, but not too close that it creates a fire hazard. It should also be on a flat, level surface that is free of debris. Consider the direction of the sun and the wind when deciding where to build your shelter.

2. Gather the Materials

To construct a backyard picnic shelter, you will need lumber, roofing materials, screws, and cement for the footings. You may also need to rent tools such as a circular saw, a drill, and a power auger.

3. Build the Footings

Start by digging holes for the footings, which will provide a solid base for your shelter. The depth of the holes will depend on the frost line in your area. Fill the holes with cement and let them cure for several days.

4. Assemble the Frame

Once the footings are set, you can begin assembling the frame of the shelter. Cut the lumber to the correct size and attach it together with screws. Be sure to follow the plans you have drawn up for your shelter.

5. Install the Roofing

After the frame is assembled, you can install the roofing materials. Most shelters use either shingles or corrugated metal roofing. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

6. Finish the Details

Finally, you can add the finishing touches to your shelter. This may include painting or staining the wood, adding benches or tables, or installing lighting or ceiling fans.

Cost of a Backyard Picnic Shelter

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The cost of a backyard picnic shelter can vary depending on the size and materials used. Here is an estimate of the cost for a small to medium-sized shelter:

1. Lumber

The cost of lumber will depend on the type and quality of wood used. As a rough estimate, you can expect to pay around $500 for the lumber needed for a small to medium-sized shelter.

2. Roofing Materials

The cost of roofing materials will also vary depending on the type and quality. You can expect to pay around $300 for shingles or $700 for metal roofing.

3. Cement

You will need cement for the footings of your shelter. This will cost around $100.

Note: These estimates are for materials only and do not include the cost of tools, labor, or permits if required in your area.

No Item Cost Range
1 Lumber $500
2 Roofing Materials $300 – $700
3 Cement $100

Building a Backyard Picnic Shelter

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Building a backyard picnic shelter can be an exciting project for those who enjoy DIY activities. One of the benefits of building a shelter is the ability to customize it to your specifications, including the size, shape, materials, and design. A picnic shelter can provide shade during the hot summer months, protect you from a sudden rain shower, and create a cozy atmosphere for outdoor gatherings.

Permits and Regulations

Before building a backyard picnic shelter, it’s essential to check with your local government to obtain the necessary permits and ensure that you comply with all building codes and regulations. You may also need to get approval from your homeowners’ association if you belong to one. This step is crucial in avoiding potential legal problems in the future.


The materials you choose for your backyard picnic shelter will depend on your preference, budget, and the location where you live. Common materials include wood, metal, and vinyl. If you choose to use wood, cedar and pine are popular choices due to their durability and resistance to rot and insects. Metal shelters are more durable and resistant to weather elements and require little maintenance.

Design and Construction

The design of your backyard picnic shelter should blend well with your home’s architecture and landscape. You can choose to build a simple or elaborate design, depending on your skill level and budget. While constructing the shelter, ensure that it is stable and properly secured to the ground to avoid damage or harm to people using it. It’s advisable to seek the help of a professional to ensure that the construction meets all safety standards.


Building a backyard picnic shelter can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the materials and design chosen. It’s essential to set a budget before starting the project and stick to it to avoid overspending. Consider the cost of materials, labor, and any hidden expenses, such as permits and inspection fees.


Maintaining your backyard picnic shelter is essential to keep it looking attractive and functional. Regular cleaning, staining, and sealing will help protect the wood from rot and insects and extend its lifespan. Metal and vinyl shelters require less maintenance and only need occasional cleaning to remove dirt and debris.

Additional Features

You can enhance your backyard picnic shelter by adding additional features such as built-in benches, lighting, fans, and speakers. Built-in benches provide comfortable seating, while lighting and fans create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Speakers allow you to play music or listen to a podcast while enjoying your outdoor space.

No Tips
1 Choose a location that is easily accessible and provides enough room for your shelter.
2 Make sure the shelter is properly anchored to prevent it from tipping over or getting damaged by high winds or storms.
3 Consider adding a fire pit or barbecue grill to your backyard picnic shelter for added functionality.

Choosing the Right Material for Your Backyard Picnic Shelter

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When it comes to building your backyard picnic shelter, choosing the right material is critical. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, so you should consider a few things before making a decision.


Wood is a popular choice for backyard picnic shelters because it creates a rustic, natural look that blends well with outdoor settings. It’s also readily available and easy to work with. Wood materials include cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated pine. Cedar and redwood are naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insects, while pressure-treated pine is affordable and can be treated to resist decay.


Metal is a popular choice for its durability and resistance to weather, fire, and insects. Metal materials include steel, aluminum, and wrought iron. Steel is the most durable and can withstand heavy winds and rain. Aluminum is lightweight and doesn’t rust, while wrought iron is elegant and long-lasting but heavy and expensive.


Vinyl is a low-maintenance alternative that’s affordable, easy to clean, and resistant to weather, fading, and insects. It can also simulate the look of wood and comes in a variety of colors and styles. However, it may crack in cold weather and eventually fade or discolor in the sun.

No Advantages Disadvantages
1 Wood Requires regular maintenance
2 Metal Expensive and heavy
3 Vinyl May crack in cold weather

Factors to Consider

Aside from the advantages and disadvantages of each material, here are some factors to consider:

  • Budget
  • Style and design
  • Climate and weather exposure
  • Maintenance requirements

You should also check your local building codes and regulations to ensure that your chosen materials comply with the guidelines.

Choosing the Right Picnic Shelter

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When it comes to choosing the right picnic shelter, there are many options available. The first factor to consider is the size of the shelter. You want to make sure that the shelter is large enough to accommodate your guests comfortably. The second factor is the material of the shelter. The most common materials used for picnic shelters are wood, metal, and vinyl.

Size of the Shelter

The size of the shelter is one of the most critical factors to consider when choosing the right picnic shelter. You want to make sure that it is large enough to accommodate your guests comfortably. If you plan on holding larger events or parties in your backyard, you may want to consider a larger shelter to accommodate all of your guests. The size also depends on the number of picnic tables you plan to use.

Material of the Shelter

The material of the shelter is another important factor to consider when choosing the right picnic shelter. The most common materials are wood, metal, and vinyl. Wood is a classic option and can blend well with your backyard environment. Metal is more durable and weather-resistant but may not be as aesthetically pleasing. Vinyl is low maintenance and easy to clean, but it may not be as durable as wood or metal.

Maintenance of a Backyard Picnic Shelter

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Maintenance is an essential aspect of ensuring that your backyard picnic shelter lasts for a long time. Proper care and maintenance will help to prevent damages caused by natural elements such as sun, rain, and wind. It also ensures that your space is not a breeding ground for pests and insects.

Cleaning and Washing

Regular cleaning and washing is essential to keep your backyard picnic shelter in good condition. Depending on the material of your shelter, clean it at least once per year with an appropriate cleaner. Be sure to clear any dirt, debris, or fallen leaves from the roof or drainage systems. You can use a pressure washer to remove any stubborn dirt or stains.

Repairs and Replacements

Repairs and replacements are inevitable over time, especially if your shelter is exposed to harsh weather conditions. Regular checks on the shelter post and roof are important to identify any damages. Nail down any loose boards or replace missing parts to avoid further damage. If you notice leaks or damages that are beyond repair, it may be time to consider replacing your shelter altogether.

Frequently Asked Questions about Backyard Picnic Shelters

1. What is a backyard picnic shelter?

A backyard picnic shelter is a covered area in your backyard that can be used for outdoor dining, hosting parties, or simply relaxing. It is typically made of wood and roofed with shingles or metal roofing.

2. How can I benefit from having a picnic shelter in my backyard?

A picnic shelter in your backyard can provide you and your family with a shaded area for outdoor activities, protect you from the rain or sun, and increase the value of your property.

3. What size should my picnic shelter be?

The size of your picnic shelter will depend on the number of people you plan to entertain and the size of your backyard. A typical size for a backyard picnic shelter is around 10′ x 10′.

4. What building materials should I use?

Most backyard picnic shelters are made of wood, but you can also use metal, fiberglass or other materials. Cedar and pine are commonly used woods for outdoor structures as they are naturally resistant to decay and insect damage.

5. Do I need a permit to build a backyard picnic shelter?

Regulations will vary depending on where you live. Some cities or counties may require a permit, while others may not. It’s best to check with your local municipality before building.

6. How long does it take to build a backyard picnic shelter?

The time it takes to build a picnic shelter will depend on its size and complexity. A basic shelter can usually be done in a weekend or two, while a larger more complex design may take a few weeks.

7. Can I customize my backyard picnic shelter?

Absolutely! You can design and build your backyard picnic shelter to fit your style and needs, or choose a pre-made kit that matches your taste.

8. How much does it cost to build a backyard picnic shelter?

The cost of building a backyard picnic shelter will depend on the materials you use, its size and complexity. A basic shelter made of wood and shingles can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 or more.

9. How do I maintain my backyard picnic shelter?

To keep your picnic shelter looking good and lasting longer, you should inspect it regularly and keep it clean. You should also paint or stain it every few years to protect it from weathering.

10. Do I need to anchor my picnic shelter to the ground?

Yes, it’s recommended that you anchor your picnic shelter to the ground to prevent it from being blown away by strong winds or storms. You can use concrete footings, anchors or stakes to secure it.

11. What kind of furniture should I use in my picnic shelter?

You can use any type of outdoor furniture that fits your style and needs. Tables, benches, chairs and hammocks are common choices for a backyard picnic shelter.

12. Can I install lighting in my picnic shelter?

Yes, you can add lighting to your picnic shelter to make it more functional and attractive. You can use string lights, lanterns or install a ceiling fan with lights.

13. What type of roofing should I use?

You can use shingles or metal roofing for your picnic shelter. Shingles are more affordable and traditional, while metal roofing is durable and low-maintenance.

14. Can I connect my picnic shelter to my home’s electrical system?

Yes, but you will need to have an electrician install a dedicated circuit to your shelter to meet electrical codes and safety requirements.

15. Can I build my picnic shelter using a kit?

Yes, you can purchase a kit that includes pre-cut and pre-drilled pieces of wood, hardware, instructions and plans. A kit can save you time and money compared to building from scratch.

16. Are there any building codes or regulations I need to follow?

Yes, you need to follow any building codes or regulations in your area. These may include setbacks, height limits, and other requirements.

17. Can I build a fire pit under my picnic shelter?

It’s not recommended to build a fire pit under your picnic shelter. Instead, you can build a separate fire pit away from the shelter or use a portable fire pit.

18. How do I decorate my backyard picnic shelter?

You can decorate your picnic shelter with plants, outdoor lights, curtains, and artwork. You can also add a rug or outdoor carpet to make it feel more cozy.

19. Do I need to install gutters on my picnic shelter?

It’s recommended to install gutters on your shelter to redirect rainwater away from the structure and prevent damage or erosion.

20. Can I add screens to my picnic shelter?

Yes, you can add screens to your shelter to keep out bugs and mosquitoes. You can use mesh screens or install a retractable screen system.

21. Can I build a two-story picnic shelter?

It’s possible to build a two-story picnic shelter, but it will require more engineering and permits. You should consult with a professional builder or architect to determine feasibility.

22. Can I add a kitchen or a bathroom to my picnic shelter?

Yes, you can build or add a kitchen or bathroom to your picnic shelter, but it will require additional plumbing and electrical work.

23. Can I use my picnic shelter all year round?

Yes, you can use your picnic shelter all year round with the proper insulation and heating. You can also add a roof slope to help snow and ice slide off.

24. Can I build a picnic shelter without experience?

Yes, you can build a picnic shelter without experience if you use a kit or follow detailed plans and instructions. If you’re unsure, you can also hire a professional contractor to build it for you.

25. How do I prepare my backyard for a picnic shelter?

You should level the ground, remove any obstacles, and mark the area for your shelter. You should also check for any underground wiring or pipes and get a land survey if necessary.

If you’re looking for a great spot for a picnic, check out these places for a picnic near me that offer beautiful scenery and peaceful surroundings perfect for a relaxing outdoor meal.

A Perfect Backyard Picnic Shelter for All Occasions

Kind Reader, it has been a pleasure sharing about ways to create a cozy and enjoyable time in your backyard by making a picnic shelter. Having a secluded outdoor space to unwind or bond with your loved ones is priceless. We hope you have found this article informative and helpful. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below and come back often to find new ideas and inspiration for your backyard oasis. Thank you for reading, and until next time, Happy Picnicking!

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