How To Build a Tiki Hut

Learn how to build a tiki hut to add a touch of glamour to your garden and create the perfect entertaining space. Tiki huts have been revived over the past decade and are now fully back in fashion with thousands of people choosing to install one in their backyard for some extra fun in the sun.

Inspired by the Pacific Islands and popular along the shores of Hawaii, Tiki huts are characterised by their wood and bamboo frame, finished off with a palm leaf roof that blows in the breeze. Inside they can be anything from a couple of chairs with a bar table in the middle, to a full sized undercover bar and entertaining area complete with bamboo flooring, wall coverings and classic Tiki accessories.

Whatever size you decide on, you don't need a lot of DIY skills to be able to learn how to build a tiki hut. It's an extremely simple structure to design and construct, with few building materials and relatively inexpensive. The finished project will add glamour to your garden, provide you with a weather-proof entertaining area that's guaranteed to have your neighbours green with envy!

Here's everything you need to know about how to build a tiki hut in your garden or backyard:

Planning your tiki hut

As with any shed or outbuilding, you first of all need to decide where you're going to put your tiki hut and how big you want it. Location really depends on whether you plan to connect to the mains, so that you can have a refrigerator for cool drinks or a music system installed inside. If you do, it may be better to be closer to your home.

Size really depends on how often you entertain and for how many people. If you regularly have garden parties and BBQs, you may want to base your tiki hut around a large bar with enough seating for at least 6 people at the bar, with a few extra chairs around it.

Because they're so simple to construct, some people build temporary tiki huts just for a special party and take them down afterwards. All you'll need is a simple bamboo frame and some palm thatch roofing. However if you plan to make your tiki hut a permanent feature in your back garden, then you may decide to invest more time and money into making it more of a solid feature with more space for your guests.

Kit or plans?

If you have very little building skills and don't know where to start when it comes to how to build a tiki hut, you may be better off buying a kit. These are now readily available and come with all the materials pre-cut and drilled with clear instructions on how to assemble them together.

Tiki hut plans are also very easy to buy and even if you don't have much DIY experience, you should be able to construct your own hut from plans. Everything is clearly described and explained and all you'll need to do is buy your materials and hardware, cut the pieces to size and you're ready to go!

One common method people use when deciding how to build a tiki hut is to first of all buy the bar, table and stools they want to use. This gives them a clear idea of the size of hut they'll need, allowing them to simply build around the bar and create the tiki structure on top.

Tiki hut materials

There are three basic materials when building a tiki hut:

  • Plywood to build the bar: you can then decorate the corners with segments of bamboo trunk and dress the front with bamboo matting.
  • Bamboo poles are used to create the structure around the bar and the framework for the roof. These are not only relatively cheap but also give the Tiki hut its beach holiday character. Some people also use cedar wood to give the frame extra strength.
  • Palm leaf thatch: traditionally up to 10,000 palm leaves were used to thatch tiki hut roofs, making them highly water and weather resistant. If you don't want to try weaving palm leaves yourself, you can now buy palm thatch in rolls which you simply staple or nail onto the roof frame. A palm leaf thatch will last you a good five years.

    For more information on palm thatch roofs, click here.

The finishing touches

If you want to know how to build a tiki hut that recreates the style and ambiance of your favourite beach holiday, then you'll need to accessorise. Adding lanterns outside can give a real party feel, but make sure they're far enough away from the roofing. Also you can add bamboo matting to the floors and walls and roll down blinds to protect from the wind and make it really cosy inside.

Finally, don't forget a few tiki masks on the walls and some tiki mugs for that authentic cocktail... and before you know it you'll feel like you were back on your favourite beach holiday sipping cocktails as the sun sets and the waves lap the shores!

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