Oak Gazebos In All Shapes and Sizes
Because our oak gazebos are all bespoke, we can make any shape and size for you. Here are a few photographs of some recent gazebos.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the options for roofing my gazebo?
Western red cedar shingles and slate tiles are the most popular type of gazebo roofing. We can supply the cedar shingles and the "hip and ridge" tiles to cover the roof corners. All you will need in addition are softwood battens, which are available as an option on the designer above, and some galvanised or stainless steel screws and nails to assemble the roof rafters and to optionally fix cedar shingles. You should not use iron-based fixings as the tannins (natural acids) in the oak and cedar will quickly corrode them. Screws for the rafters should be around 4 inches (100mm) or longer and nails for the cedar shingles should be 30mm and should be stainless steel or Silicone Bronze ARS. The gazebos are incredibly sturdy and will support a full roof of slate tiles if you'd prefer, and you can source these from any popular DIY merchant.
Cedar shingles are the most
popular choice of gazebo roofing
You have a few options for installing the roof depending on your tastes and perhaps on the recommendations of your particular builder. Some people like to put plywood boards down on the outside, then nail the shingles or tiles to these. The plywood board is then visible from underneath. We don't supply plywood but again it's readily available.
Similarly, you can opt to lay machined tongue and groove timber, onto which the battens are fitted and the shingles or tiles are nailed. This gives a very clean and uniform view from underneath. See the section below about treating boarding to prevent moisutre movement if you decide to fit it.
The most popular method is to simply fix treated softwood battens every 125mm (centre to centre) across the oak rafters and nail the shingles directly onto these. With no boarding on first, you get the pattern of the overlapping cedar shingles showing from below (as shown in some of the main product photos above).
People sometimes ask if they should use oak battens instead of softwood as they plan on leaving the underneath unboarded, making the battens visible. It's not really necessary and we've found that oak battens make it a harder job to nail the shingles on and most people are of the opinion that softwood battens don't detract from the overall look when seen from beneath. We can, however, supply oak battens if you require them.
We offer two types of cedar shingle, treated and untreated. Treated cedar shingles are rated as having a 25+ year lifespan, a figure that is dependent on the environment, amount of exposure to direct sunlight and moisture. Untreated cedar shingles have a 20+ year lifespan and are actually the more popular choice. You get the natural cedar colour in untreated shingles whereas the treated ones are a very dark brown. If you order shingles from us, we provide enough to overlap them with approximately 5 inch exposure when fitted onto battens spaced at 125mm centres.
Fitting around the central lantern
On gazebos with a "pyramid" style roof, you will have the central post, or lantern protruding from the top. There are two recommended ways of making sure this is sealed against the cedar shingles. The first is to use spare shingles to make a "skirt" that fits around the central lantern where it meets the shingles, and then use silicone to seal around the top. The second method is to use a full flashing over the top of the entire central lantern and onto the shingles.
Foundations / fixing to the ground? How do I stop it blowing over?
Like any building, the ground it stands on needs to be solid and stable. We always recommend you ask a builder's advice based on the actual proposed location of your gazebo. Complete concrete foundations aren't always required. Existing paved areas may be adequate providing they'll take the weight (more below). Some customers have even used large slabs on grassy areas, but you must be certain in this case that the ground remains stable when it's wet.
Because of the weight of these solid oak gazebos (a 3 metre square one weighs the best part of a tonne before the roof is installed), they don't actually need to be bolted to the ground.
There are two main popular ways of fixing your gazebo. The first being steel rods embedded into the foundations, then holes drilled into the bottoms of the upright gazebo posts which then rest on top of the rods, leaving a small gap so the posts don't touch the ground directly and soak up rain water. You can just about make this out in the main page photographs above.
Your oak gazebo can rest
on to of staddle stones.
The second method is to use staddle stones. These 9 inch high tapered stones lift the posts off the ground to stop the possibility of standing in rain water. Staddle stones have a steel rod protruding from the top, so you just drill holes into the bottom of the posts and rest them on top. You could always put the staddle stones on a thin bed of concrete for extra strength.
Other methods include concreting the posts straight into the ground, or simply leave the oak posts resting on the ground, but they are then likely to spend time in contact with ground water which can affect the life of the posts. It's worth bearing in mind that even untreated oak has a durability of 15-25 years if left embedded in the ground (taken from the Timber Research And Development Association's experiment data).
How long do they take to assemble?
We often get asked how long our gazebos take to assemble in order for your builder to give you an accurate quote. Assuming any groundworks or foundations are decided on and ready, one of our 4m by 4m solid oak gazebos, complete with cedar shingle roof can be assembled by two people in approximately two and a half days. Bear in mind that solid oak beams are very heavy so you may need to plan in some extra man power for manoeuvring the large beams.
How easy are they to assemble? Will I need a joiner?
Before delivered to you in kit form, your gazebo will be fully assembled in the workshop for testing. While assembled, we mark or 'code' each piece where it connects to another piece. When you come to reassemble the gazebo, you connect end 'a' to the other piece marked 'a'. We provide a picture of the finished gazebo with each piece labelled with the same codes for reference.
How are the oak gazebos held together?
The upright posts, horizontal beams, or 'plates', and braces are joined using traditionally hand-crafted mortice and tenon joints held together with oak pegs. Traditionally, the oak pegs are left protruding slightly or can be cut shorter according to taste once inserted.
The common roof rafters (the smaller rafters between the large, main primary rafters) are simply screwed on. Use 6mm diameter, 140mm long stainless steel or galvanized screws (available from most DIY outlets) for these common rafters. You will need at least two screws per rafter, one at the bottom of the rafter where it meets the top plate (the horizontal beam around the top) and one or two at the top of the rafter where it meets the primary rafters. It's important not to use iron nails as they will react with the natural acid in the oak and quickly erode.
How will my gazebo be delivered to me?
Your oak gazebo will be supplied flat-packed in kit form. Just to make you aware, we use a third party delivery company whose lorries do not have unloading equipment and the drivers are not always able to help. Please bear in mind the main beams can be very heavy so you'll need to have enough manpower available at the time of delivery.
Every week we have various lorries making deliveries up and down the country so we will work with you to arrange a delivery day when one of our lorries is in your area.
Is there anything else I'll need?
Screws for the Common Rafters
While the main frame is held with oak pegs, you'll need some stainless steel screws for the rafters. It's important to use a material like stainless steel that won't be corroded by the tanins in the oak.
Click here to download our leaflet on the screws needed (pdf)
Links to 150mm stainless steel screws:
Screws for the Battens and Optional Boarding
We recommend using 40mm stainless steel screws to fit your battens either across the gazebo rafters or across the boarding if you're choosing it. Softwood battens can be screwed straight in. If you're using oak battens, pre-drilling the battens will save a lot of effort as oak is very hard.
If you're fitting boarding under your shingles or tiles, we recommend 40mm stainless steel screws to fix it to the gazebo rafters. Because boarding has the potential to expand and contract with moisutre (see the information below about treating boarding), we recommend pre-drilling the boarding and holding it with the head of the screw so it has the ability to move slightly if required. Similarly, when fitting your boarding, don't butt it right together, but leave a small gap between the tongue and the groove to allow moisture movement if it needs it.
Sealant for Optional Boarding
If you're fitting boarding between the gazebo rafters and the battens and shingles, it's important that you seal it all round before installing it with something like an OSMO 420 protection oil to prevent moisture movement and any warping of the boards.
Nails for the Shingle Roof
If you're buying cedar shingles, we recommend Silicone Bronze ARS nails as they won't be corroded by the natural acidity of the cedar.
Click here to download our leaflet on battens and shingles (pdf).
Links to Silicone Bronze ARS Nails 31mm x 1.8mm:
How will my oak gazebo stand up to the weather? Will I need to protect it?
Your gazebo will be supplied untreated and it can be left like this. Depending on the environment, weather and amount of sunlight received, left untreated it will go the classic, mature silver grey colour within a few years. You can optionally stain or protect your gazebo to give it a deeper colour, bring out the grain of the oak or delay the turning of silver grey with UV protection. Previous customers have given good feedback on Osmo UV Protection Oil (Wood Finished Direct - OMSO 420 UV Protection Oil ).
Oak is a very durable timber and will easily last 25 years plus, even unprotected (the 15-25 years mentioned above is for oak embedded into the ground).
Your gazebo is made from "fresh sawn" oak. This type of oak is used in construction of buildings. As the oak naturally dries out, it will shrink ever so slightly across the width and the depth of the beams but not the length. This slight shrinkage pulls the mortice and tenon joints tighter and over time will likely result in surface "checking" or splitting as the gazebo matures. This is to be expected and is what gives long-standing oak structures their distinctive look and beautiful natural appearance.
The metre measurements given refer to the outside of one post to the outside of the other post across one side. It is therefore the total footprint area of your gazebo. If you need to work out the centre points for fitting steel rods for your gazebo to stand on, just take the width of one vertical post (150, 175 or 200mm) off the total measurement (full measurement minus one half of one post, minus one half of another post). At the bottom of the roof, the diagonal primary rafters will overhang the frame by approximately 160mm beyond the given base measurements (usually around 2 metres up).
Our gazebos are delivered ready for assembly at your site by your builder. Allow an approximate 6 - 8 week (from drawing sign off) lead time for us to make and deliver your bespoke gazebo.