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
I'd Really Like an Oak Gazebo, Where Do I Start?
If you're new to the idea of an Oak Gazebo, its likely you have long list of questions, or at this stage aren't even sure of the questions you should be asking.
Below, we've answered a list of the most frequent questions our customers ask to start you off. If you still have questions after this, feel free to send us an email or give us a call on 01889 597283.
Why Should I Buy a Gazebo Made of Oak?
Oak is an incredibly durable, traditional hardwood that looks fantastic and has no problem standing up to the wide array of weather Britain can throw at it. Oak is very resistant to rot and insect attacks, unlike a lot of the softwood products that many people come to us to replace.
Oak can be treated to prolong its golden colour, or left to silver in the sun, in which case they're virtually maintenance free.
With regards to roofing, because of the strength of oak, you can fit cedar shingles or your own slates or tiles to match nearby buildings or achieve a particular look.
Can you give me an overview of choosing, ordering and building one of your oak gazebo kits?
Choosing a design
Use the information and pictures on this page, the 3D designer above for ideas and to get prices, and feel free to call us with any specific questions to help you decide on the size, shape and style of gazebo you'd like.
Placing the order
When you know what you want, place the order with us online or over the telephone or email and we'll create detailed drawings of your gazebo for you to check, alter if necessary and approve. Alternatively, you can pay a refundable £120 inc VAT to have the drawings made before you order. The drawings are good enough to submit with planning applications if required.
Once you approve your drawings, we make the gazebo to your exact designs, working to the quoted lead time.
When we've finished making it, we call to arrange delivery with you.
Your gazebo will arrive as a kit, with all parts bundled together on one or more pallets. You have the choice of a flat-bed lorry for delivery, if you have the people-power or your own offloading equipment, or we can quote for a HIAB lorry with a crane-arm to lift it down to the side of the lorry at your premises. You can of course choose to collect if you have access to your own transport.
Building your gazebo
We are a supply-only company, so all of our products are designed to be easily put together by a general builder.
Around the time of delivery, we email you a drawing of your gazebo with the oak posts labelled to match how the actual oak pieces are marked up. Wherever the oak joins together, the pieces are marked with the same number or letter.
Once you have everything laid out, it's a case of lifting the oak and holding it in place while pegging the pieces together with the supplied oak pegs.
All of the woodwork is already done, so most people hire general builders to construct them, rather than carpenters. Because of the weight of the oak, people will usually hire one or more
to hold the oak in place while constructing the gazebo. (The above link is to a generic Genie Lift. Please check the heaviest piece of your gazebo with us to make sure you hire a strong enough lift.)
Once the main frame is up, the final job is to put your choice of roof on. There's a section below dedicated to roofing.
Take a look at our start-to-finish photo build galleries to see how other people have put theirs up:
The measurements we like to work with 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. A 3m x 3m gazebo will include the thickness of the posts.
Depending on the size and pitch of your roof, once tiled, it will overhang the frame by around 250mm per side, so usually another 500mm or half a metre in addition to the footprint size. The design can be altered for minimal overhang if required, for example if it needs to sit tight against an existing building.
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).
Do I need planning permission for an oak gazebo?
We will always recommend you check with your local planning authority. While many clients find they don't need planning permission and that they're covered under the permitted development rules, it can depend on the area you live in and even on the individual planning officer you talk to. You may have to take overall height into consideration (we keep them under 4m for this reason), the distance from the boundaries of your property and how visible it is from public roadways.
Listed buildings have very strict rules on planning and require extra care and attention when looking at adding structures into the garden, even if not attached to the main property.
The drawings we provide when you place an order (or in advance for £100 + VAT which is then taken off your final order) are detailed and thorough enough to be sent with a planning application if required.
You can visit the following website to find your local planning authority by typing in your postcode:
Planning Authority Finder
Receive our detailed PDF
We've put together a booklet of detailed answers to our most commonly asked questions. A perfect in-depth read about buying your oak structure from us.
Click here for our booklet
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 labour or lifting equipment for manoeuvring the large beams.
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 top 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. The stones can be left free-standing or optionally cemented down.
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 are the oak gazebos held together?
The upright posts, horizontal beams, or 'plates', and braces are joined using traditional mortise 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, 150mm long stainless steel or galvanized screws (available from most DIY outlets) for these common rafters. See the "Is there anything else I'll need" section below for links to buy these screws. 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.
What are the options for roofing my gazebo?
Cedar Shingles or Tiles
Western red cedar shingles, which we can supply, and ceramic or slate tiles, which are available from various merchant, 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 battens, which are available as an option of either treated softwood or oak on the designer above, and some stainless steel screws and nails to assemble the roof rafters and to fix optional 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.
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 when fitted onto battens spaced at 125mm centres.
Cedar shingles are the most
popular choice of gazebo roofing
Once you've decided on the outside roofing that you're going to use, be it cedar shingles or tiles, there is one more decision to make with regards to the roof.
You can either fit your treated softwood or oak battens straight across the top of the gazebo's rafters, and then fit the tiles or shingles on top of these, or alternatively you can first fit tongue and groove boarding, or some people opt for plywood, straight onto the rafters, and then fit the battens and tiles or shingles.
With the former, when you look up you'll see your battens and the underside of your shingles or tiles, with the latter you'll see your timber boards, which give a very clean and uniform view. If you opt for boarding, you'd normally then just opt for treated softwood battens, rather than oak, as you won't see them.
With and without tongue and groove boarding
See the section below about treating boarding to prevent moisture 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).
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.
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 supplied 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 moisture (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 mortise 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.
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.