Gudrum Log Cabins: Base Preparation and Timber Treatment
There are many different base types suitable for this range of garden buildings; compressed hard-core, tarmac, railway sleepers etc. However, to ensure the long term durability of your new garden building we recommend that the following simple steps should be taken to prepare a good quality base. A solid foundation is necessary for the installation of any good quality garden building. Depending on the soil type and consistency this should be removed to a depth of approximately15cm (6 inches). The next stage is to fill in with a coarse sand or gravel, compact and then put down concrete or lay concrete slabs.
There are many other types of suitable base which can include properly constructed timber bases, tarmac etc. If using a timber base this should always be over engineered and finished with a deck board or ply surface. It is important to consider the weight of the building combined with the fact that it is timber hence it will expand a contract and the durability. Unless very carefully constructed a timber base may not have the lifespan of the cabin. This can clearly cause problems during the lifetime of the cabin.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about base construction and the suitability of a base that you may have in mind. It is important to ensure that the top of this base is level and above the surround ground level to avoid any water collecting. Ensuring this will prevent any unnecessary problems; for example windows and doors jamming, assisting the long term durability and appeal of your garden building. It is also recommended that you make the base for your garden building a little larger than the stated dimensions of the building (approximately 15cm) for strength but also to allow a margin for error. Finally, apply a layer of gravel around your garden building, this permits water to soak away more readily and prevents splash back onto the walls. Finally most manufacturers recommend that the cabin should be built onto a damp-proof membrane to prevent the wicking of water into base beams from the concrete base. Damp proof membranes can be used in the form of strips beneath each foundation beam or as a full sheet.
Garden house painting and Maintenance
The majority of our log cabin type garden buildings are delivered untreated (unless stated otherwise). It is essential to protect your garden building against the effects of wood boring insects (and other insects), against the effects of the sun, water and UV light as soon as possible.
Wood is a natural material, growing and adapting depending on weather conditions. Large and small cracks, colour tone differences and changes, as well as a changing structure of wood are not errors, but a result of wood growing and a peculiarity of wood as a natural material. Unprocessed wood (except for foundation joists) becomes greyish after having been left untouched for a while, and can be turn blue and become mouldy. To protect the wooden details of your garden house, you must immediately process them with a good quality wood preservative on all surfaces. We recommend that you cover the floor boards in advance with a colourless wood impregnation agent, especially the under sides of the boards, to which you will no longer have access when the house is assembled. Only this will prevent moisture penetration. We HIGHLY recommend that you also process the doors and windows with a wood impregnation agent, and do that namely both inside and outside! Otherwise the doors and windows can become twisted. After the house assembly is completed, we recommend for the conclusive finishing a weather protection paint that will protect wood from moisture and UV radiation. In our experience oils, clear treatments (unless a coloured treatment is applied onto the clear treatment) and varnishes are not satisfactory treatments. When painting, use high quality tools and paints, follow the paint application manual and manufacturer’s safety and usage instructions. Never paint a surface in strong sunlight or rainy weather. Consult a specialist regarding paints suitable for unprocessed softwood and follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions. Having been properly painted, your garden house’s lifetime will increase substantially. We recommend that you inspect the house thoroughly once every six months. This should be done with the application of a good quality wood preservative to all of the surfaces (inside and outside) as soon as possible, again after about 36 months and then annually thereafter