For al-fresco dining, a hot tub, an outdoor movie theatre, a children’s play area or just simply additional storage space, a quality timber gazebo represents a beautiful, aesthetic addition to any outdoor area.
Who wouldn’t benefit from an outdoor space to pull up a chair and relax with your favourite book and a beverage of your choice?
Maximise your precious garden space year-round. Let’s walk through each stage of your gazebo project, including top tips for buying the best structure for your space.
What is a gazebo? Should I get one?
Gazebos, sometimes known as pavilions, are free standing, roofed outdoor structures that are open on all sides. For centuries, they have been quintessential garden features and living spaces, effortlessly adding function and beauty throughout history.
Despite going by different names, gazebo-esque structures have a rich pedigree of use; ancient Grecians built marble gazebos in commemoration of their gods, with these structures also popular amongst the garden-loving Romans. Whilst Persians used them as places to do business, many Asian cultures created elaborate designs and created gazebo-like temples.
In Britain, the sight of a gazebo is almost synonymous with summer afternoon tea, or a bandstand — they grew in popularity in Britain during the 15th and 18th centuries as decorative structures on large private estates, before proliferating into middle class properties. The name of these structures is thought to derive from the ‘gazing’ that you do when inside them!
Although usually square or rectangular, they can sometimes be hexagonal or octagonal. Gazebos can be made from a number of materials like aluminium and vinyl — some are pop-up canopies — but the most popular for architectural and outdoor garden design purposes are made from timber, usually finished with an asphalt shingle roof.
Gazebos vs. pergolas: which structure is best for my outdoor space?
The key distinction is the roof; whilst a pergola can permit sun through a slatted roof — providing partial shelter — a gazebo has a complete shelter, ensuring coverage from the sun and the elements.
Pergolas can be useful for framing aspects of your outdoor space, allowing the sun to cascade through the slats. This can work particularly well for walkways, for connecting different areas of a garden, or for theming spaces. Additionally, pergolas structures usually cost less than gazebos and roofing isn’t a consideration.
Because of the lack of roof, pergolas are slightly less functional than gazebos. If you want a structure that will allow you to maximise your outdoor space year-round, a gazebo might be the answer — it can be worth its weight in gold when that inevitable British summer rain strikes!
By combining architectural beauty with functionality, gazebos can add undeniable value and enjoyability to your space. These structures can serve as a focal point and can be situated in a certain area for enjoying views or landscapes.
Although you may need some very occasional roof maintenance on a gazebo, your choice between them should not come down to durability — both of these types of outdoor structure are built to last many, many decades.
Wooden oak gazebos: different types, designs & plans
Whether a focal point for family gatherings, a children’s play area, an al-fresco movie theatre, an outdoor dining space, a hot tub area, a storage hub or even a temporary greenhouse, they can have a number of uses.
All of the oak-framed gazebo kits in our range are machined from premium QP1-grade European Green Oak, with pieces numbered and labelled for ease of assembly.
Small oak gazebos
The smallest size of oak gazebo is 3m wide and 3m deep, with a height of 3.265m. This is perfect if you’re working with a more modest space or don’t have a requirement for a larger structure.
Despite being the smallest in terms of dimensions, this type of gazebo will still provide enough cover for a small or medium sized hot tub, or provide enough space for some seating, storage or even acting as a small play area for children.
The smallest size of oak gazebo structure — these suit those seeking a modest-yet-stylish functional addition to a smaller plot of land.
Medium oak gazebos
When you approach the mid-sized gazebos, there are a number of options.
This includes a square design — 4 metres wide and 4 metres deep, with a total height of 3.83m — offering slightly more space than the smallest designs.
There are also rectangular shaped wood gazebo — 4.35m wide and 3.35m — with a total height of 4.72m when assembled. You might instead prefer a similar rectangular mid-sized design, except with slightly less height and area — 3.4m in height, 4.2m wide and 3m deep.
A medium-sized rectangular oak gazebo structure — a good middle ground option for those in search of a functional, spacious solution that doesn’t overwhelm a plot.
Large oak gazebos
Of course, this type of grand structure will best suit those working with a very large plot, providing ample room for creating a special outdoor space — for relaxation, large gatherings and storage.
This sort of three-bay structure allows you to create a large sheltered space in your outdoor area — ideal for plots at larger properties or for commercial grounds.
Decorating a timber garden gazebo
Maximise your investment by choosing some purpose-created outdoor curtains or drapes for your gazebo.
Latticework on the sides (in the form of panels), or some sort of screening, can also add a sense of design-led privacy and enclosure. Adding plant vines that grow up the oak posts can help your gazebo blend seamlessly into its garden surroundings, too.
Incorporating LED lighting into your structure can help to make it ideal for those summer nights, too.
Timber gazebos: roofing options
The most common type of roof to finish a gazebo is asphalt shingles. They usually provide a neat, architectural look and are the standard type of roof — they help the structure blend in with the main property.
A particularly long-lasting gazebo roof can be made from metal or even thatched, although this can understandably be harder to incorporate into an outdoor space.
Wood & timber gazebos: examples, ideas & inspiration
Many of our retail and trade customers have taken gardens to the next level with a quality oak gazebo kit.
Planning your oak gazebo project
Thankfully, European Oak is an incredibly versatile building material — its timeless golden brown hues have been providing value to outdoor spaces for centuries. That said, a gazebo can look out of place without a little bit of strategic planning.
Firstly, placement. Where should you put your gazebo? The word gazebo can help in this regard — you ideally want it in an accessible position where you can ‘gaze’ upon the landscape. Consider placing it near your water features, flower beds or any areas of particular beauty. Don’t just shove it to the side; we think these beautiful structures should be on show, part of the focal point of your garden.
Size is an important consideration too, of course — you don’t want an awkwardly big or embarrassingly modest structure. You can exercise your best judgement here based on your requirements and the size of your space.
Aesthetics are undoubtedly another key factor. You want the structure to assimilate easily from the moment it’s assembled. To give this all-important impression of having always belonged, try to match the roof of the gazebo with that of your property. If materials like wood are used on your property and throughout your garden, that’s an added bonus for a seamless design.
Any other wooden architectural elements on your home or in your garden will ensure your gazebo is right at home from the moment it’s put up — sheds, cladding, decking and fencing can all create a familiar theme.
How much does a timber gazebo cost?
Of course, it depends on the size of the structure you’re interested in. A smaller gazebo structure (3x3m) usually costs in the region of £2000, whilst a medium-sized oak gazebo structure (around 4x4m) usually comes in at the £3140–£4500 price point. Larger gazebo structures — 6x5 or 8x4m — can set you back between £7500–£8000.
Note that these prices are accurate as of early 2022, and exclude VAT as well as any assembly or roofing costs. Drop a message to our team of timber experts to get a quote for your project.
Is it cheaper to build a gazebo or buy one?
A popular question! The answer is, if you have the means of machining your sawn timber to the correct size and dimensions (and the experience doing so!), it may be more cost efficient to make your own — but it can prove to be a lot of hassle.
Many people find buying an oak gazebo kit to be a good middle ground. This can cost more than building your own, but you’ll save a lot of money compared to having a bespoke gazebo designed, and you’re guaranteed to have a beautiful end result.
Do I need planning permission for an outdoor wood gazebo in the UK?
Generally, you do not — adding a gazebo to your property is usually classed as ‘permitted development’. The structure’s size and location will affect whether these permitted development rights apply; if it is too tall, takes up too much space or is too close to a boundary, you might need planning permission. Those living in protected areas may also require it.
Discussing your project with your local planning authority will allow you to get a definitive answer. There is also more information about planning permission on the government’s Planning Portal — a great place to start when planning any sort of outbuilding for your property.
Duffield Timber: premium European Oak wood gazebo kits for sale in the UK
Whether you’re a DIYer, landscaper, designer or architect, we’re your people when it comes to getting your hands on beautiful, durable and dynamic outdoor oak-framed structures — ideal for adding a stylish, functional flourish to any property.
Explore our range of oak gazebos kits, pergola kits, porch kits and garage kits, all available to order now. All parts are machined from the finest QP1-grade European Green Oak, coming as a complete kit of numbered parts — ready for self-assembly on-site, by a builder or by a contractor.
⚠️ At present, there is an approximate three-month lead time on oak gazebo kits — so make sure to enquire straight away to get yours in time for summer! ⚠️
For more information or to discuss your gazebo project, get in touch with our team of timber experts today.