Believe it or not, a lot of people do not know what in the world a tiki hut is, sometimes this is due to the fact that they may know the concept of a tiki hut by another name. A tiki hut is the same as a Palapa. A palapa and tiki hut are relatively the same but differ only in the region in which they are built, in Florida, the word “tiki hut” is more common then Palapa. If you go to the southwestern part of the United States or along Spanish speaking regions, “Palapa” is the more common term given to this structure. The tiki huts built by Monster Builders are among the best in the world.
Things that make up a tiki hut:
A tiki hut is made up of the posts or columns, these columns traditionally are made of natural cypress logs, the cypress logs are usually obtained via a sawmill or in the Florida swamps. The swamps are usually filled with high nutrient water that stems from either lake Okeechobee or another water system. This high water system lets the natural cypress thrive and grow big, sometimes ranging up to 3 ft wide trunks,but in recent years, because cypress logs actually love water and tend to rot after you cut them from their roots, it does not make a good material to use as columns, this will cause the actual columns to rot in the bottom.
From our experience, we have seen some companies try to wrap the posts up in hopes that the cypress will be protected but this logic, in fact, will not help. This will cause the water to not be able to flow off the cypress log and then rot the outer shell of it. Give it 8 years max or less, then the logs need to be replaced. What Monster Builders LLC has started to do is actually use cured pressure treated pine logs for the posts/columns and then use cypress for the top. Just like the large photo above, this will not only ensure the durability of the logs and structure, but will complement the tiki hut with a strong frame that will last for many years.
The top of the tiki hut is then thatched with natural palm leaves. These natural palm leaves are actually hardy palms and will last for many years, they are native to Florida and provide an excellent material for the top of the hut. The cypress logs used for purlins are then protected by the palms, ensuring the dryness for the frame. The way the thatch is installed is a complete work of art. The palms are individually installed and if done right, will provide a waterproof system where the roof is watertight and the underneath is FRESH.
AS A NOTE: WHEN THE PALMS ARE FRESHLY INSTALLED, IT WILL LOOK LIKE THE PHOTO BELOW! Why? The thicnkess of the overall layers of thatch make the palms puffy and go all over the place because the thatched roof is thick and so does not let the palms fall down.
Things to Consider: If your NEW thatch roof is flat, then the probable cause is that you have a thin layer of palms, so it lets the palms fall into place. TYPICALLY if done right, it will be about 2-3 months before they all fall down into place.
So, in Conclusion, a tiki hut is a log frame structure that has a thatched roof system OR a Sun Shelter without walls.A Thatched Roof is a roof constructed with palm leaves in an open web type of construction. Check out the GIF below.