Top Picnic Shelter Plans That Will Make Your Outdoor Gathering Perfect

Kind Reader, are you looking for a way to enjoy the great outdoors without getting sunburnt or caught in the rain? Look no further than picnic shelter plans! These plans are a fantastic way to build a sturdy shelter to protect you and your loved ones from the elements while still enjoying nature. With these plans, you can have your own custom-designed picnic shelter that fits your needs and style. Whether you want a rustic, country-style shelter or a modern, sleek design, there is a plan out there that can make your dream a reality.

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Benefits of Building a Picnic Shelter

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If you love spending time outdoors, building a picnic shelter can be an excellent way to enhance your yard or park. It not only provides a comfortable and shaded area for your family and friends to enjoy, but it also offers numerous benefits that you may not have considered. Here are some of the main advantages of building a picnic shelter:

1. Protection from the Sun and Rain

A picnic shelter offers shade and minimizes exposure to harmful UV rays, minimizing the risk of sunburn, dehydration, and other health issues associated with sun exposure. It also provides protection from rain so that you can continue your outdoor activities without getting wet.

2. Multi-functional

Picnic shelters can be used for a wide range of activities like picnics, BBQs, camping, parties, and family gatherings. They can even double as a work area or an entertainment spot.

3. Adds Value to Your Property

Having a well-designed picnic shelter can add value to your home or park. It is an excellent way to create a comfortable space that allows you to enjoy being outdoors.

4. Cost-Effective

Building a picnic shelter is a cost-effective way to enhance your garden or park without having to spend too much money. Depending on the design and materials, it can be a relatively low-cost project that can be completed in just a few days.

Types of Picnic Shelter Plans

picnic-shelter-plans,Types of Picnic Shelter Plans,thqTypesofPicnicShelterPlans

When building a picnic shelter, there are several plans and designs to consider. Each plan has unique features, benefits, and costs. Therefore, it is essential to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each plan before deciding which is best for you. Here are the most common types of picnic shelter plans:

1. Gable Roof Picnic Shelter

The Gable roof picnic shelter is one of the most popular plans and offers an affordable and straightforward design. It has a triangular roof that slopes downwards towards both ends, with overhanging eaves that provide shade and protection from rain.

2. Hip Roof Picnic Shelter

The hip roof picnic shelter is an ideal choice for those who prefer a more elegant and sophisticated design. It features a roof that slopes gently towards all four sides, with no gable ends. This plan offers ample shade and protection from rain and is more expensive than the gable roof picnic shelter.

3. Pavilion Picnic Shelter

The pavilion picnic shelter is a plan with a more open design, supported by four or more large pillars. It stands detached from other buildings and provides an excellent space for larger gatherings. However, it is usually the most expensive option.

4. Lean-to Picnic Shelter

The lean-to picnic shelter is a simple and affordable design that leans against an existing structure like the house or a garage. It is a cost-effective solution for those who need an additional space for storage or an outdoor workspace.

Materials Needed for Building a Picnic Shelter

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When planning to build a picnic shelter, it is essential to have a list of materials necessary for constructing the shelter. Here are the materials needed for a typical 10×10 picnic shelter:

No Materials Quantity
1 4×4 lumber treated 7
2 2×8 lumber treated 4
3 2×6 lumber treated 6
4 1×6 lumber treated 3
5 Decking screws 2 pounds
6 3-inch wood screws 2 pounds
7 Concrete mix 24 bags
8 Metal brackets 28 braces
9 Roofing shingles 5 bundles
10 Tarpaper or felt 1 roll
11 Hardware Nails, staples and bolts

All of the above materials are easily accessible at local home improvement stores and online. If you have your own milling machine, you can save significantly by using your own milled lumber. The cost of building the picnic shelter depends on the quality of the materials and design.

Standard Design for Picnic Shelter

A picnic shelter is a simple structure that can be accomplished in different shapes and sizes depending on your preference. However, a standard design for it involves a square or rectangular shape. It commonly has a roof made with metal, shingles, tarpaper, or felt. The roof typically has a slight slant and overhangs all around. The shelter is supported by sturdy 4×4 or 6×6 wooden posts. The posts are anchored to the ground with concrete and knee braces. The structure typically has a platform made of either concrete or paving stones.

Alternative Materials

Wood is the most common material used for constructing picnic shelters, but there are alternative materials. These include vinyl and metals. Vinyl and metal picnic shelters require less maintenance, are lower-cost, and more durable than wood. Enough care should be taken to avoid overhangs and sharp edges, which can pose a safety risk.

No Information
1 The picnic shelter plans include a detailed list of materials and tools required.
2 The plans also include step-by-step instructions for building the shelter.
3 The plans are available for purchase online and can be downloaded immediately.
4 The shelter is designed to accommodate up to six people comfortably.
5 The plans include options for adding benches, tables, and other amenities.
6 The shelter can be built in a day with the help of a few friends.

Choosing the Perfect Picnic Shelter Plan

picnic-shelter-plans,Choosing the Perfect Picnic Shelter Plan,thqChoosingthePerfectPicnicShelterPlan

Now that you have a good grasp of what picnic shelter plans are and what they entail, it’s time to choose the perfect plan for you. Here are some factors to consider before you start your project:


One essential factor to consider is the size of your picnic shelter. How many people do you want to fit inside? A larger shelter can accommodate more guests, but it can cost more and require more materials. On the other hand, a smaller shelter can be more budget-friendly and easier to build, but it may be too cramped for big gatherings. Make sure to choose a size that meets your needs without going overbudget.


Another factor to consider is the materials you’ll be using for your picnic shelter. The two main types of materials are wood and metal. Wood is a popular choice because it’s sturdy, attractive, and can withstand harsh weather conditions. Metal, on the other hand, is more durable and requires less maintenance, but it may not be as aesthetically pleasing as wood. Your choice of materials will likely depend on your budget and personal preferences.


Your picnic shelter design is another important factor to consider. Do you want it to be open or enclosed? Sloping or flat roof? Windows or no windows? These are just a few design considerations you need to make before starting your project. Look for plans that match your desired style and practical requirements. Remember, your picnic shelter should not only be functional but also visually pleasing.


The location of your picnic shelter should also be taken into account before choosing your plan. Think about the landscape and surroundings where it will be built. Are there any trees or bushes that could damage the shelter? Will the shelter obstruct any views or pathways? Is there enough space for children to play comfortably? Avoid placing your shelter near potential hazards, such as power lines or uneven terrain.


Lastly, consider how much customization you want to do on your picnic shelter. Some plans come with additional features like benches, tables, and storage areas. Do you want to incorporate any of these into your shelter? Are there any elements you want to add or remove from your chosen plan? Make sure to get a plan that is flexible enough to accommodate all your customizations.

No Example of Customization Options
1 Adding a fireplace
2 Modifying the roof pitch
3 Adding decorative trims

With these factors in mind, you can now confidently choose the perfect picnic shelter plan that matches your needs and preferences.

Materials Needed for Building a Picnic Shelter

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Building your own picnic shelter can be a fun DIY project if you have the right materials. Before you start, you need to have a materials list to make sure you have everything you need.

Types of Wood

The most common material used for building a picnic shelter is wood. Here are some of the types of wood that you can use:

  1. Cedar
  2. Redwood
  3. Pressure-treated Pine
  4. Cypress

Note that cedar and redwood have natural resistance to decay, but they can be more expensive than other options.

Roofing Materials

The roof of the picnic shelter is another crucial area that you need to pay attention to. Here are some of the materials that you can use for the roofing:

  1. Asphalt shingles
  2. Metal roofing
  3. Cedar shingles
  4. Polycarbonate panels

If you live in an area that experiences heavy snowfall, you should go for a vertical roof instead of a horizontal one.

Choosing the Right Material for Your Picnic Shelter Plans

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Aside from the type of shelter, you also need to consider the materials you will use for your picnic shelter. It is important to choose the right material that can withstand harsh weather elements and ensure the longevity of your shelter. Here are some options to consider:


picnic-shelter-plans,Wooden Picnic Shelter,thqWoodenpicnicshelterpidApimefeedsybadltstrictWooden picnic shelters are the most popular choice because they blend well with the natural surroundings of parks and campgrounds. Wooden structures are sturdy and durable, but they require regular maintenance. The type of wood you choose will determine the maintenance required. Pressure-treated wood, cedar, and redwood are popular choices due to their durability and decay resistance.


picnic-shelter-plans,Metal Picnic Shelter,thqMetalpicnicshelterpidApimefeedsybadltstrict Metal picnic shelters are the most durable and require less maintenance than wooden structures. They are more expensive than wooden shelters but are a good investment in the long run. The most popular materials for metal shelters are steel and aluminum. Steel is stronger and can withstand harsh weather conditions, but it is more prone to rust. Aluminum, on the other hand, is lightweight, rust-resistant, and requires less maintenance.


picnic-shelter-plans,Canvas Picnic Shelter,thqCanvaspicnicshelterpidApimefeedsybadltstrictCanvas picnic shelters are lightweight, portable, and perfect for camping trips. They are easy to set up and take down and can be packed away for easy storage. However, they are not as sturdy as wooden or metal shelters and are not recommended for long-term use or in areas with harsh weather conditions.

Picnic Shelter Plans and Designs to Consider

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When planning your picnic shelter, you need to consider not only the functionality but also the design. You want your shelter to blend well with the surrounding landscape and provide the perfect backdrop for an enjoyable picnic. Here are some popular picnic shelter designs to consider:

The Standard Gazebo

picnic-shelter-plans,The Standard Gazebo,thqGazebopicnicshelterpidApimefeedsybadltstrictThe standard gazebo is the most popular picnic shelter design. It is a freestanding structure with a roof, open sides, and a solid floor. It usually has a hexagonal or octagonal shape and is perfect for small groups. Some gazebos have built-in seating, lighting, and electrical outlets.

The Pavilion

picnic-shelter-plans,The Pavilion,thqPavilionpicnicshelterpidApimefeedsybadltstrictThe pavilion is a larger picnic shelter that can accommodate bigger groups. It usually has a rectangular shape and has a roof, open sides, and a solid floor. Some pavilions have grills, fireplaces, picnic tables, and restrooms.

The Pergola

picnic-shelter-plans,The Pergola,thqPergolapicnicshelterpidApimefeedsybadltstrictThe pergola is an open-air picnic shelter that adds style to your backyard or garden. It has a roof made of cross beams and is perfect for climbing vines, flowers, and hanging plants. It does not have walls or a solid floor, but some pergolas have built-in seating and tables.

Materials for Picnic Shelter Plans

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When considering picnic shelter plans, it is important to choose materials that are durable and can withstand exposure to the elements. The materials used can also affect the overall cost of the project. Here are some common materials used for picnic shelter plans:

1. Wood

Wood is a popular choice for picnic shelter plans due to its natural look and durability. Cedar and redwood are two types of wood that are naturally resistant to decay and insect damage. However, wood can be costly and requires regular maintenance such as sealing and staining to prevent rot and decay.

2. Metal

Metal, such as steel and aluminum, is a durable and low-maintenance option for picnic shelter plans. Metal can withstand extreme weather conditions and is resistant to rust and corrosion. However, it can be more expensive than wood and may not provide the same natural look.

3. Vinyl

Vinyl is a low-maintenance and cost-effective option for picnic shelter plans. It is resistant to rot, termites, and fungus and does not require staining or painting. Vinyl can also mimic the look of wood while providing added durability. However, it may not have the same aesthetic appeal as natural wood.

4. Composite

Composite materials, such as recycled plastic and wood fibers, are an eco-friendly option for picnic shelter plans. They are resistant to rot, mold, and insect damage and require little maintenance. However, composite materials can be more costly than other options and may not have the same natural look as wood.

No Materials Pros Cons
1 Wood Natural look, durable Costly, requires regular maintenance
2 Metal Durable, low-maintenance Expensive, may not provide natural look
3 Vinyl Low-maintenance, cost-effective May not have same aesthetic appeal as natural wood
4 Composite Eco-friendly, low-maintenance, resistant to rot and mold Costly, may not have same natural look as wood

5. Roofing Materials

Another important consideration for picnic shelter plans is the roofing materials. The roof should provide adequate shade and protection from the elements. Here are some common roofing materials:

6. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material due to their affordability and durability. They come in a variety of colors and are easy to install. However, they may not be as durable as other roofing materials such as metal or tile.

7. Metal

Metal roofing is a durable and long-lasting option for picnic shelter plans. It is resistant to the elements, including wind, hail, and fire. It also provides good insulation and energy efficiency. However, metal roofing can be more expensive than other materials and may not have the same aesthetic appeal as other options.

8. Tile

Tile roofing is a durable and stylish option for picnic shelter plans. It comes in a variety of colors and styles and can provide a traditional or modern look. However, tile roofing can be heavy and may require additional structural support. It can also be more expensive than other roofing materials.

No Roofing Materials Pros Cons
1 Asphalt Shingles Affordable, durable, variety of colors May not be as durable as other materials
2 Metal Durable, resistant to elements, good insulation More expensive, may not have same aesthetic appeal
3 Tile Durable, stylish, variety of colors and styles Heavy, more expensive, may require additional support

Materials Needed for Building a Picnic Shelter

picnic-shelter-plans,Materials Needed for Building a Picnic Shelter,thqMaterialsNeededforBuildingaPicnicShelter

You can build your own picnic shelter with some basic carpentry skills and the right materials. Before starting the project, you will need to obtain some of the following materials:


The materials that you use for building the structure of the shelter will depend on the design. However, most shelters are built using pressure-treated lumber, as it provides greater protection from the elements and pests. You can use cedar or redwood because of their natural resistance to decay, but they’re much more expensive than other types of wood.

Roofing materials

The roofing materials you need will depend on the design and the expected weather conditions. You can use shingles, metal roofing, or corrugated plastic roofing sheets. Shingles are durable and easy to install, but they’re expensive. Metal roofing is also durable, but it requires special tools and skills to install. Corrugated plastic sheets are affordable and easy to install, but they won’t last as long as other types of roofing materials.


Nails, screws, and bolts are some of the hardware you will need to put the shelter together. Make sure you get outdoor-grade hardware.

Concrete Footing

The concrete footing is the foundation of the shelter. You’ll need to dig holes, pour concrete, and let it cure before you can start building the shelter.

No Materials
1 Pressure-treated lumber
2 Cedar or Redwood
3 Shingles
4 Metal roofing
5 Corrugated plastic sheets
6 Nails, screws, and bolts
7 Outdoor-grade hardware
8 Concrete footing

Building a Picnic Shelter: Step-by-Step Guide

Building a Picnic Shelter

Building a picnic shelter requires careful planning and a clear understanding of the construction process. Here are the steps you need to follow to build a picnic shelter:

Step 1: Obtain a building permit

Before starting the project, you need to check with your local building department to obtain a building permit and building codes and regulations.

Step 2: Choose a design

Choose a design that suits your needs and complements your outdoor space. There are many different designs to choose from, such as post and beam, lean-to, and gable roof.

Step 3: Prepare the site

The next step is to prepare the site for the shelter. This includes leveling the ground, excavating the footings, and pouring concrete to create a foundation.

Step 4: Build the frame

The frame is constructed from pressure-treated lumber. The size of the lumber and the thickness will depend on the design of the shelter. You will need to use a carpenter’s square to make the joints and fasten with deck screws, bolts, or galvanized nails.

Step 5: Install the roof

The roof can be made from various materials, such as shingles, metal roofing, or plastic corrugated sheets. Make sure that the roof has an overhang to allow rain to run off properly. Also, install gutters to prevent water from dripping off the roof onto people and food below.

Step 6: Add the finishing touches

Finally, add some finishing touches to make the shelter look more attractive and comfortable. This could include staining or painting the wood, installing lighting and electrical outlets, or installing some benches or picnic tables.

Picnic Shelter Plans FAQ

Get answers about picnic shelter plans below.

1. What are picnic shelter plans?

Picnic shelter plans are blueprints that outline the design and structure of a shelter for outdoor gatherings such as picnics, barbecues, and parties.

2. Why do I need picnic shelter plans?

Having picnic shelter plans is essential if you want to build a shelter that is sturdy, safe, and can withstand the outdoor elements.

3. Where can I find picnic shelter plans?

You can find picnic shelter plans online, at home improvement stores, or by hiring a professional contractor to create custom plans for your specific needs.

4. How much will it cost to build a picnic shelter?

The cost of building a picnic shelter will vary depending on factors such as materials, size, location, and complexity of the design. It’s best to get quotes from contractors or do research on material costs before starting your project.

5. What materials are best for building a picnic shelter?

Materials such as wood, metal, or vinyl can be used to build a picnic shelter. The best choice depends on your budget, the look you want to achieve, and the durability of the material in your area’s climate.

6. Do picnic shelter plans need to be approved by the city?

Yes, many cities require building permits and plans to be approved before construction begins. It’s important to check with your local authorities to see what requirements are needed for building a picnic shelter in your area.

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

The time it takes to build a picnic shelter will depend on the size and complexity of the design, as well as weather conditions and available labor. It’s important to have a realistic timeline in mind before beginning your project.

8. Can I customize my picnic shelter plans?

Yes, you can customize your picnic shelter plans to fit your specific needs, such as adding a grill area, storage, or bathrooms. Discuss any customization options with your contractor or designer.

9. Are prefab picnic shelters available?

Yes, prefab or pre-built picnic shelters are available for purchase. These types of shelters can save time and money as they require less labor and materials to construct.

10. Can I add electricity and lighting to my picnic shelter?

Yes, you can add electricity and lighting to your picnic shelter. The cost and complexity of this will depend on your specific needs and the availability of power in the desired location.

11. How can I make my picnic shelter more eco-friendly?

You can make your picnic shelter more eco-friendly by using sustainable materials, such as bamboo or reclaimed wood, or installing solar panels for electricity.

12. What type of roof is best for a picnic shelter?

The type of roof best for a picnic shelter depends on your location’s climate and the look you want to achieve. Gable, flat, or hip roofs are common choices.

13. What are the dimensions of a standard picnic shelter?

The dimensions of a standard picnic shelter can vary, but a popular size is 10 feet by 10 feet. However, this will depend on the number of people you want to accommodate and the activities you plan to have.

14. Can my picnic shelter be enclosed?

Yes, you can enclose your picnic shelter if desired. Enclosed shelters provide more privacy and protection from the elements, but ventilation should be considered to prevent condensation and mold.

15. Do I need to maintain my picnic shelter?

Yes, regular maintenance such as cleaning and sealing may be required to maintain the integrity and appearance of your picnic shelter. Check for signs of damage and rot periodically.

16. How many people can a standard picnic shelter accommodate?

A standard picnic shelter can usually accommodate 8-10 people comfortably, but this will depend on the size of the tables and chairs you plan to use.

17. How do I secure my picnic shelter?

Securing your picnic shelter may be necessary in areas with high winds or severe weather. Anchors can be used to secure the shelter to the ground, or a concrete pad may be poured for added stability.

18. Can I build a picnic shelter without a contractor?

Depending on your experience and skill level, you may be able to build a picnic shelter yourself. However, consulting with a professional contractor or designer can ensure that the shelter is safe and structurally sound.

19. How do I prepare the site for my picnic shelter?

Clear any debris or vegetation from the area where the shelter will be placed. Level the ground and ensure that it is free from any obstructions or buried utilities.

20. Can I move my picnic shelter if needed?

It may be possible to move your picnic shelter if it was built with the option to disassemble and reassemble. Consult with the original builder or a professional contractor for instructions.

21. Can I add wheels to my picnic shelter for mobility?

Depending on the design, it may be possible to add wheels to your picnic shelter for ease of mobility. Discuss this option with your contractor or designer.

22. What is the average lifespan of a picnic shelter?

The lifespan of a picnic shelter will depend on the materials, location, and maintenance. With proper care, a well-built shelter can last for several decades.

23. What should I do if my picnic shelter is damaged?

If your picnic shelter is damaged, assess the extent of the damage and contact a professional contractor for repairs. Do not attempt to repair the shelter yourself if the damage is extensive.

24. What is the warranty on a picnic shelter?

The warranty on a picnic shelter will depend on the manufacturer or contractor. Check with the company for details on their warranty policy.

25. Can I add decorative elements to my picnic shelter?

Yes, you can add decorative elements such as lighting, trim, or paint to your picnic shelter to add visual interest and personalize the space.

If you’re planning a picnic and need some inspiration, check out places for a picnic near me for some great suggestions. Whether you’re looking for a scenic park or a quiet spot by the river, this list has got you covered.

Until Next Time, Kind Reader

I hope you enjoyed reading about picnic shelter plans as much as I enjoyed sharing with you! Remember, there’s nothing better than enjoying the great outdoors with family and friends, and having a stylish and functional shelter can make the experience even better. Whether you’re looking for a traditional gazebo or a sleek modern design, there’s something out there for everyone. Thanks for stopping by, and I invite you to come back soon to see what other interesting topics we have in store for you!

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