Useful Information

What is a Log Cabin and What defines it? A log cabin is a building made of wood.  Historically Log Cabins have been used very widely throughout Northern Europe and Asia and in recorded history throughout Canada and Northern parts of the United States, as domestic buildings.  There is information that dates log style construction into pre-historic times.  The classic round log, log cabin of the Northern Great Plains, where there is even a tree called the Log Cabin Pine which, needless to say, grows a long straight trunk, ideal for use in this type of construction, is well recorded and are still very current and relevant to this day.

Scandinavia, Northern Europe and Russia have known the use of Log Cabin style constructed buildings for millennia.  These were also constructed of the very widely available North European Spruce, as indeed they still are, they were intended to provide comfortable and cosy family homes designed to withstand amongst the most brutal winters that mankind can endure, and provide comfortable homes for families, many of these cabins stand for generations and can still be seen when travelling through these countries often with a stack of winter fuel logs to keep warm by throughout the long, dark winters.
 The properties of log cabins that so attracted both the ancient a modern builders from those frozen latitudes to build them as family homes are exactly the properties that so appeal to the West European leisure and domestic user. 

The past few years has seen a huge surge in demand for Log Cabins to be used as garden offices, home gyms, children’s playrooms and temporary guest accommodation or many other purposes.  The reasons for this are simply:

  • They are simply very good at maintaining temperature in cold weather and, just as importantly, keeping out heat in hot weather owing to the natural insulation properties of the North European Spruce that they are made from.
  • Many cabins also feature a roof insulation option
  • The roofing material of choice is usually Bitumen Felt Shingles which are a very long term roofing material and requires very little maintenance once it has been fitted.
  • They are attractive requiring little maintenance
  • They are extremely Durable

No one can properly claim that building a log cabin in a garden will add value to a house therefore we do not make that claim however it will certainly add appeal for many buyers and can be the difference between attracting good bids or not.

The correct definition of what is a log cabin and what is not is how the corner joints work.  If the two walls meeting in the corner overlap each other and extend beyond each adjacent wall thereby creating an overlap – that is a Log Cabin!  Generally there are no screws or nails used in the build of log cabin walls as the construction method is designed to accommodate the natural expansion and contraction of the wood.  Windows and doors are usually fitted by using a U profile in the outer edge of the frame.  The ends of the wall logs at both sides and edges of logs above and below fit into this profile.  The window and door is then free in the wall to allow for expansion and contraction but without affecting the weather proofing and insulation properties of the log cabin.

How does Slowly Grown Timber make my cabin better: The reason that slowly grown timber is a better construction material than forced timber is quite simply that the wood is much more dense.  The benefit of this is twofold:

1) Dense timber creates an environment where it is more difficult for water to ingress into the timber structure and therefore has a better natural resistance to rot (Obviously all untreated timber will require the application of a good quality timber treatment such as: Protek Timber Treatment

2) Denser timber tends to machine better that lighter weight timber.  The light weight timber tends to rip and tear during machining where as the dense timber machines to much finer surfaces and allows for the corner joints to be machined to much finer tolerances thereby creating a more weather proof joint.

The factors that affect the speed of growth of timber are environmental.  Within reason - the colder the climate that spruce grows in then the more slowly it grows.  The short summers and long VERY cold winters of Scandinavia and North-Western Russia create an ideal climate for growing this type of timber

The North European Spruce timber used in our cabins is sourced mainly in either in Scandinavia or in Russia. Both of these countries operate very strict controls over their forestry and manage it very well in a way that satisfies environmental requirements and quality requirement's for production of log cabins and Garden Building type products.

The Forested area of Sweden has increased by more than 60% over the past 100 years.  Given the slow growth cycle of timber that is a massive area represnting more than a 10,000,000 hectare increase in area.  For more information on Forestry in Sweden - please see: Swedish Forestry Information

The forested are of Russia is quite simply vast.  The Tiaga, as it is know in Russia covers over 12 million square kilometres.  This is the largest Forested area on earth by far and is much larger than the Amazon forests of South America.  There are relatively few species in this enormous area that consist mainly of: Spruce, Birch and Pine.  Most of this vast region is accorded "Protection Staus" by the Russian government.  The rules governing forestry management are very strictly enforced and are amongst the most rigorous Forestry Control rules in the world.  The Russian Government has a very clear idea and strategy around both the the Environmental and Raw Material value of this huge and enormously valuable resource:  WWF Document on Russian Tiaga Forests

What Base to build on: All Garden Buildings require a flat solid level base to build on.  It should be remembered that log cabins, especially, are designed to have a very long life span.  The two factors that will most affect, and potentially reduce, that lifespan are (a) the base that the cabin iis stood on and (b) the material that you use and the frequency of treating the wood.

The perfect base will be flat, solid, smooth and level.  It should cover the entire area of the base oof the cabin and be over sized by approximately 15cm.  For example a cabin with a footprind of 5.0m x 5.0m should stand on a base of 5.15m x 5.15m.  The reasons for this are:

a) It allows a little margin for error.

b) In the case of a log cabin all the weight is carried by the walls.  If a base is exactly the size of the footprint then all the weight iis on the very edge of the base, which inherently is, potentially, the weakest part of the base.  To make the base a little larger makes it very much stronger.

When we are asked if an existing base is satisfactory, our advice is almost always that yes it is, provided it is flat solid and level.  Bases that have already been set for many years have been through any processes that may make them settle out or change in some way so usually they are very stable and well Worth using.  Ideally the surface of any base should be above the surrounding ground area simply to avoid water running onto the base.  The buildings must NEVER be stood in water.

What Roofing Material Shed Felt, Shingles or EPDM?
If I choose Roof Shingles – How do I fit them
What Timber Treatment
How about Delivery
What about Roof Insulation What is the Benefit and How is it Fitted
How about the Glass
What about Assembly
What to use it For