How to Build a Cabana

Written by Rebecca Desfosse
Updated March 28, 2014
A pool with a cabana in the  background
The basic foundation for any cabana is four corner posts. The finishing materials you choose will determine how simple or elaborate your cabana looks. (Photo by Joseph Pacheco)

Go bananas over a cabana

Does relaxing in a cabana sound like your idea of paradise? It's the perfect summertime dream: relaxing poolside with a drink in hand. You can build your very own backyard cabana with just a little of DIY know-how and a weekend's worth of time. Luckily, cabanas aren't complex structures and simply need four corner posts and a roof. Here's how to build a cabana:

Secure Four Corner Posts

Your corner posts are the foundation for your cabana, so it's important to make sure they're secure. Determine the size of your cabana and mark spots for four corner posts. Purchase four 6x6 posts, four 2x10 crossbeams, and about four 2x4 planks at your local home improvement store. You can choose pressure-treated wood, cedar, redwood, or whatever type of lumber you wish for your corner posts. You will also need about eight 60-lb bags of dry concrete. Dig holes about a foot wide and two feet deep. Pour some concrete in the bottom of the hole and lower in your post. Pour dry concrete around the post, making sure it stays level. Then, add water to the concrete. Tamp down and allow to dry.

Construct the Roof

Next, create the roof. Typical cabana roofs are open and airy, offering just a bit of protection from the sun. Attach four 2x10 crossbeams on the outside of the posts, using heavy-duty wood screws. Then, attach 2x4 planks across the top of the cabana. You will secure each plank to the crossbeams you added in the first step. Space them about twelve inches apart. Next, use bamboo fencing to create a roof and provide shelter from the sun. Lay it on top of the planks and secure with heavy-duty wood screws.

Add the Finishing Touches

Most cabanas don't have sides or a door. Instead, most have flowing, beautiful curtains that can be opened and closed for privacy. To create this look, attach curtain rods or PVC piping along the two sides and back. Purchase 10 yards of a good quality outdoor fabric in white or cream. Fold the fabric over at the top and secure the pocked by using an iron so you can slip it onto the curtain rods. You can purchase ribbon or tie-back hooks to hold the curtains open.

Go Professional

If building a backyard cabana with your bare hands doesn't sound like a good time, bring in a professional to get the job done. To find a quality professional, check on Angie's List for reviews and recommendations. Be sure to draw up a contract detailing the project in full.

Hiring a contractor to get the job done will cost you, however. Expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000, depending on the complexity and specifics of your cabana.

Now that you know how to build a cabana, you can rest and relax in your homemade outdoor lounge all throughout the summer.