Style and Design
An attractive, great value hexagonal corner summerhouse with an apex roof, the Gazebo is ideal for the corner of the garden or elsewhere. A feeling of light and space is created by the large Georgian style windows and three quarter glazed door.
The Gazebo is built of 12mm tongue and groove shiplap northern European high grade pine with a 12mm tongue and groove floor and 11mm solid sheet roofing covered with mineral felt. The windows are glazed in 3mm horticultural glass - though some sellers such as Wickes offer toughened glass - and the floor is mounted on 34 x 34mm joists. The door is secured by a ring gate latch. The building is guaranteed for one year with a conditional ten year anti-rot warranty.
The summerhouse measures 2.156 x 1.867 metres (7'x6') in external hexagonal (six sided) area with a height of 2.618 metres (8'7'') at the peak and 1.810 metres (5'11'') at the eaves. The door opening is 1.616 x 0.676 metres (5'4'' x 2'3'').
The Gazebo is supplied ready treated with a water based golden brown basecoat. A longer lasting finish should be applied by the purchaser at the time of construction and at regular intervals thereafter. Robert Dyasoffer a pressure treated version of this model, usually at a very competitive price.
The building is delivered ready for assembly by two people in approximately 4 to 6 hours. You can see a copy of the assembly instructions here (opens in a new window).
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
Shire's hexagonal Gazebo summerhouse is a great value summerhouse equally at home in the corner of the garden or elsewhere. It's an economy model but that doesn't mean you miss out on size or quality. The 7'x6' footprint will give you a decent internal space and there's good headroom too. You get three large Georgian style windows to let in plenty of light and the side windows open which is ideal for ventilation on a hot day. It's also a good idea to leave the windows a little ajar during colder spells, particularly the winter months, which helps to prevent the build up of condensation inside and to minimise mildew damage.
The budget nature of the building means it lacks some of the refinements of its more expensive competitors. There are no window boxes such as you find on the Buttermere 6x6 for example and there's no mortice lock, just a non-locking ring gate latch meaning you'll have to either fit a hasp or staple with a padlock (rather unsightly) or fit your own mortice lock if you want to secure the building. There's nothing wrong with the build quality though. 12mm tongue and groove cladding is pretty much the standard for an economy summerhouse and here it's mounted on 34 x 34mm framing to give you a robust structure. The floor is tongue and groove wood too which will contribute to the strength and durability of the building. Many economy summerhouses use solid sheet osb for their flooring but we feel that this doesn't provide the same support as natural wood and is more susceptible to damage and deterioration due to moistrure. The Gazebo does feature solid sheet osb roof panels but these should be adequately protected from the elements as long as you take care to fit the roofing felt in accordance with the instructions. Horticultural glass for glazing isn't ideal so it's worth checking to see what option's on offer before you order. Wickes for example supply the Gazebo with toughened glass and we think it's definitely worth stretching your budget a little to secure this safer option.
As far as the matter of assembly's concerned you can view a copy of the full instructions here (opens in a new window) so you can see exactly what's involved. Some customer feedback is critical of their quality but they seem reasonably clear to us - judge for yourself. The estimated assembly time is 4 to 6 hours but in all honesty we think it will probably take you a little longer than that. We'd suggest you allow a full day and employ at least one assistant. The roof structure is heavy and it will take at least two adults to lift it onto the summerhouse once its been assembled. You'll need to have a basic toolkit available before you start - the necessary tools are specified on page 1 of the instructions.- and your screwdriver and drill should be powered to save both time and energy. You might just about manage with a manual screwdriver but there are a fair number of screwholes which require to be pre-drilled so it's not really practical to use a hand drill.
Before you start on assembly you'll need to give some thought to the treatment of your Gazebo. Unless you have purchased the Robert Dyas pressure treated version (which, incidentally, we think is superb value), the summerhouse will receive only a water based treatment as part of the manufacturing process. This is designed to protect the wood only up to the point of delivery and it's important that a quality preservative/decorative treatment is applied after that. We'd strongly recommend you do this before starting the assembly process. This will enable you to reach those areas that are inaccessible once the summerhouse has been erected - the underside of the floor and the floor bearers spring to mind here - and it also means you'll be able to decorate the pre-formed wall panels while they're placed in an upside down position. This makes application of the finish into the tongue and groove joints much easier. Before you apply the finish you should thoroughly check the timbers over for rough edges and naturally occurring splits and knotholes. With wood being a natural material it's virtually impossible to avoid these so be prepared to sand or fill any you find as appropriate. We don't see it as a particular issue, just another job to be done before your summerhouse can be installed. Take a little time over both this and the application of the final finish. It will pay dividends in the long run and the summerhouse will certainly require to be properly treated to enjoy the benefit of any guarantee. Although the pressure treated version won't need any further initial treatment from the point of view of preservation, you might want to think about applying a decorative finish. Even pressure treated wood can take on a worn and weathered appearance when exposed to the elements.
Overall we think the Gazebo is good value if you can get it at the lower end of the price range - and even more so if you can lay your hands on a pressure treated model. Check out our price guide above as prices do vary quite a bit between sellers. While it maybe lacks one or two little refinements we don't see any major issues. The Gazebo is a good solid building and will provide you with a great outdoor living facility for many years - provided you maintain the finish on a regular basis as and when necessary. If you're looking for something similar but with a little more style have a look at the octagonal Buttermere 6x6 with its antiqued door furniture, mortice lock, leaded look windows and window boxes - but it will potentially set you back quite a bit more. Or you could have a look at the Strongman Tanalised octagonal summerhouse. It's a real step up in class with its 19mm cladding, 63 x 38mm frame and pressurised timbers. But it's not always in stock and it will typically cost twice as much as the Gazebo. We certainly can't fault the Gazebo as a decent budget summerhouse which we'd expect to give good service over a long lifetime. We've awarded it four stars - but add an extra half star if you're looking at the pressure treated option!