Costco Preston 10×12 Hard Top Sun Shelter Review (Sojag)

There aren’t many reviews on this specific model, except for a few on the costco website. They are indeed helpful, but I wanted to create a review with a bit more info in it, and pictures of my setup.  I will continue to update this post with the condition of the gazebo, hoping that it will help others decided to buy or not.  I will put the updates at the top, and the review at the bottom.  So, I would suggest going to the bottom, read the review, then come back up for the updates!  Hope this helps!

** May 22, 2015 **

Here’s a video that shows some severe rain under the gazebo.

** Update May 7 – 2015 **

Gazebo lasted the winter with no problems.  Towards the end of the winter, I did prop a 2×4 up in the center, to give it some support IN CASE it needed it.  It would have lasted with it, but wasn’t taking any chances.  The roller shades I bought are holding up great!  A few clips have broken, but I’ve managed to continue using them.

** Update May 25 – 2014

I created a video showing the shades, and how they are mounted, and how it slides.

** Update Mar 5 – 2014

Still no problems with the shelter this winter.  You’ll probably know that this winter has been a particularity cold one, with A LOT of snow.  I have had no issues with the shelter.  It’s almost completely iced over right now.  If I remember, I’ll take a picture of it.

** Update Jan 13 – 2014

The shelter is holding up GREAT during this winter.  We’ve had A LOT of snow throughout November and December, and have had NO problems with the shelter.  I’ve left the snow piled on top (1-2 feet) for the most part.  One time I took a shovel and pulled it down, but it wasn’t necessary.  We had some crazy wind as well, and the shelter hasn’t budged.  Good to go so far! (FYI – I do NOT have the winter shelter)

** Update Sept 6 **

Still havn’t had any issues with this Gazebo.  Winter is coming in a few months, so I’ll def continue to update this review.  I don’t think I will do the winter cover, because I’ve heard that it really flaps in the wind, and I hate that.  I think this thing will stand our winters perfectly fine!

One other note, I still haven’t gone back through and tightened bolts.  I’ll have to remind myself to do that.

 

** Update July 21 **

As requested, I wanted to post a pic of the mounting of the coolaroo shades. The shades are about 2 inches too long to fit perfectly on the 8′ sides. So, they are mounted on the angled pieces / the legs to the gazebo. It kinda works out good, because you can reach around, inside the legs and put nuts on the bolts holding the shades on. Here is one picture showing the mounting, and one showing the 8′ shade on a 10′ side.

The third picture shows how the 10′ shade is mounted. There’s a hole drilled through the metal which the shades mount to, which then goes into a slat of wood, behind the roof mounts of the gazebo. It then slides side to side. It’s not perfect, but works until I figure out a better solution. I also made a YouTube video to help with the mounting. (Ill upload that tomorrow)

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** Update June 24 **

So, as below, I returned the privacy curtains as I didn’t like them. However, I still need some privacy and sun shade from the sides. So, I thought about it, and remembered seeing the Coolaroo roller shades at Costco for $60. They are 8′ x 8′. Two sides of my gazebo are also 8′. 🙂

So I bought 3 of them, and installed them into the Preston gazebo. Wow!! I love them!!! They fit really well into the gazebo, and you can roll them down half way, or all the way, depending on how much sun shade you need. When you want privacy, or more shade, you simply roll them down, and viola!! On the side that is longer, I allowed the shade to slide back and forth, depending on which end you needed the shade. Below are some pics.

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** Update June 21 **

I bought the privacy curtains for the gazebo. They come setup exactly like the screens. They are good quality, and the fabric is fairly thick. They come with hooks for it. To install the hooks, I simply undid the last screw in the track, and slide the new hooks in. Then the previous mosquito screen gets removed, and the privacy now goes on the outside. Then the screen gets put back up on the inside.

Well, I don’t like it. The fabric blows around too much, and it really blocks you in. Feels like I’m no longer outside. I can went out and came back 4 hours later, and all the Velcro had already been separated and the privacy curtains blowing in and out. I’ll have to find another way to get some privacy.

Review

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We needed something for our deck to give us some shade. We thought about having a couple umbrella’s, but didn’t really like the look of them, and we wanted something more permanent. We wanted something that stayed put, and you didn’t have to move around. We wanted something that we could turn into a decorated outdoor room.

Here’s why we ultimately picked the Costco gazebo:

1) Costco return warranty is one of the best out there. It’s my experience that they really take care of you, if there is a problem with a product.

2) This sun shelter has a number of accessories that you can buy for it. One of them being the privacy shades, and the other one, a winter cover.

3) The mosquito netting on this shelter is far superior then any other gazebo. It’s not that thin, nylon netting, but a thick textilene type netting. The privacy curtains are also alot thicker, and more rugged then other similar models. This is the reason we bought this one over the Essex Metal roofed gazebo from Canadian Tire. The netting, and privacy curtains on that one are HORRIBLE.

4) The poly-carbonate panels are 8mm thick, instead of more other gazebo’s which are 6mm thick.

The unit comes in 2 boxes. One of them contains the roof panels, and the other contains everything else. The larger box is around 150-175 lbs. It would fit in a van, and possibly in the truck of a car with the back seats down.

The written instructions that come with the shelter are fairly easy to ready, and understand. However, to make it even easier, have a look at this youtube video that shows how to erect it. I found that reading the instructions, and watching the video made putting this shelter together really easy. I decided to use a lock tight on all the hex bolts, just to make sure it doesn’t come apart. One of the reviews said the roof panels fly off in the wind. Well, if you read carefully, he said he was also trying to get new screws from Sojag because those flew off as well. Well, the reason the panels flew out, was because his screws came loose. Ither he didn’t tighten them all the way, or they eventually came loose.

I was able to setup this gazebo by myself. I started by adding the feet to the legs of the gazebo, just like in the video. I then joined the support beams, just like the video. Now, this is where the video really came in handy. Layout the gazebo legs, and the beams exactly like they did in the video. Then, when it comes time to lift one side, lift it, and lean it against the house, or another structure. Then lift a perpendicular side, and attach it to the side that’s leaning against the house or structure. After that’s bolted together, the gazebo should be free standing. Bolt on the third side. Now all that’s left is one long beam. I placed one end of the beam on a ladder, and attached the other end to the 3 sided gazebo. Then bolted the ladder side together. Now you have a free standing structure to work with!

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Next, I just followed the instructions as in the manual, and the roof went together really easy.

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I also did the roof panels myself. I just followed the instructions in the manual, and put them in, in the order they suggested. Just be 100% that all panels are in completely. Make sure they are completely pushed in, and completely in the tracks they are to sit in. After you think each panel is in completely, give it another good push to make sure! I think this is important.

After the panels are in, there are a few more steps to complete to hold the panels together, and to brace them from any load that might sit on them. Instructions were all easy to follow here. After that, the screen is placed on the hooks. And you’re all done!

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A couple other things about this shelter

1) Even when sitting under it, the sun is still bright through the roof panels. I’m thinking a steel roof would be nice here, as you are completely out of the sun. However, a steel roof would make it plenty dark underneath, and I think it would take away from the outside experience

2) Make sure you bolt this thing down, as it will take flight in strong winds

3) I would suggest going over all bolts every couple weeks to make sure non are coming loose.

4) In the instructions, when putting the roof cap on, it says to leave it loose, and don’t tighten until the roof panels are in place. It doesn’t remind you to tighten them later in the instructions. So, make sure you reach up, and tighten (from the inside) the 3 bolts holding the roof cap on.

Hope this helps! I will continue to update this review every few months. Any questions, email me!