About Richard

This blog is my personal platform which I do enjoy. It is my own viewpoint and my own ideas. I may not be right and other installers / experts may offer a different view point or a alternative way to do something. I welcome contributions from anybody experienced to do so.

All my blog writing is MY OWN personal opinion ONLY and is NOT always the opinion of TUIN | TUINDECO as a company.

Log Cabins and Garden timber have a myriad of intricacies , I love to give away the secrets, there are a lot!

I enjoy using this blog to expose them so you know what you are buying. I love to know I am causing a few problems in the industry as it can be on occasions less than honest.

I actively encourage everyone to install their own buildings. So many times I would fit and the company I was working for would charge loads for my time, only then to be faced with the embarrassment when the customer says 'I could have done that' and YES you can without paying hundreds of Pounds!

I have over 19 years experience within the garden timber industry. I have particular expertise in garden buildings including the manufacture, design and installation from sheds to log cabins and all the way up to timber framed houses.

In my time I have been involved with virtually every manufacturer and supplier of garden buildings. I have also installed pretty much every make of Garden Building there is from ALL suppliers and manufacturers.

Prior to my career change I was a Watch Commander in the Fire Service with particular expertise in chemical incidents, training, technical design / technology / IT /Procedures / ISO Systems and road traffic accidents. I retired due to a nasty injury after 20 years service.

During my time in the Fire Service, on my days off, I was a self employed fitter for any type of garden building, I worked with most of the well known companies as a subcontractor.

I now work with Tuin | Tuindeco in the UK, supporting and advising on the vast range of products. I keep an eye out for help requests when we a supposed to be closed and can usually get back to you out of hours via email only (wife and children permitting on my days off).

In my private life I consult as an independent expert assessor for companies or private individuals when a dispute is present over their structure which results in producing an impartial report and assessment for whoever requires it. This is often higher valued than a structural engineers report born from my credentials, experience and widely recognised as an 'Expert' in the field.

I am a freelance writer for numerous companies, publications and blogs as well as an independent expert and fault finder for parts of the Industry and consumers with a particular emphasis on timber structures, both framed and of an interlocking design such as log cabins.

I produce numerous articles about timber in general, information on general timber products and specific guides when needed. I hope you enjoy and find my writing useful.

Please contribute and comment to my posts as you would like and I will try to respond as best I can.

Thank you

Richard.

FREE Offer Roof Shingles

Last Update – 12th August 2019 at 0930

UPDATE: FREE Foundation Beam Offer

To celebrate the summer months, we are also offering FREE Composite Foundation Beams with most Log Cabin orders. Pair this offer with our free shingles to get the best out of your order!

Available Offer Shingles with your Log Cabin

  • 40.9970/3m/2k Black Straight
  • 40.9971/3m/2k Red Straight
  • 40.9972/3m/2k Green Straight
  • 40.9982/3m/2k Green half round
  • 40.99861/3m/2k Black Diamond
  • 40.99731/3m/2k Blue Half round
  • 40.99741/3m/2k Brown Diamond
  • 40.99821/3m/2k Green Diamond
  • 40.99752/3m/2k Grey Hexagonal
  • 40.9975/3m/2k Grey Straight
  • 40.99811/3m/2k Red Diamond
  • 40.9986/3m/2k Red Hexagonal
  • 40.9987/3m/2k Green Hexagonal – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9974/3m/2k Brown Straight – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9980/3m/2k Black Half Round – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9984/3m/2k Brown Half Round – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9974/3m/2k Brown Straight – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9975/3m/2k Grey Straight – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.99862/3m/2k Black Hexagonal – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9981/3m/2k Red Half Round – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.99861/3m/2k Brown Hexagonal   – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9973/3m/2k Blue Hexagonal  – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.99851/3m/2k Black Hexagonal – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9973/3m/2k Blue Straight  – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9986/3m/2k Dark Red Hexagonal  – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9973/3m/2k Blue Straight – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9981/3m/2k Dark Red Half Round  – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.99852/3m/2k Cedar Wood Hexagonal  – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.99801/3m/2k Black Triangle – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.99751/3m/2k Grey Triangle OUT OF STOCK

These go VERY quickly.  Please let us know at point of order what you would like with your cabin.  These change daily and we do try to update this page as they change.

Further information on roof shingles and the market: Roof Shingles for Log Cabins.

We try to meet you preference but this is NOT GUARANTEED

We will try though to accommodate your choice but don’t shout at us if a certain style or colour has gone please. If the colour and style is important to you please consider ordering the ones you require, we’re the cheapest available for IKO shingles anywhere so regardless of the free offer ones or bought you won’t find a better deal with any other supplier. 97% of the time we can meet your preference except when stocks are very low.


UPDATE:  Shingle Glue

Although there is a bitumen strip on the tiles and that they should also be nailed in at least three places on a strip we are recommending (due to our dodgy weather recently) that you consider also applying Felt Shingle Glue along the leading edge when sited in exposed areas. This is also necessary with low pitched roofs.

UPDATE: Membrane

IKO are now recommending a membrane under layer is also applied. As a company we do not think this is necessary on garden buildings and nor does other garden building companies. However if you wish for a underlay membrane please see of roofing felt page for standard felt or IKO recommended membrane. If you are using a membrane we would recommend the standard felt over the IKO membrane but the choice is yours. Please note for lower pitched roofs and flat roof a membrane is recommended by us as is shingles glue.

Further information on roof shingles and the market: Roof Shingles for Log Cabins.


When shingles are available:

When shingles are free and available they can be selected from this drop down menu on the product page.

If you want to buy alternative shingles or they are not available:

If we do not have the free ones you require or they are not available please order them from here.

Do you need Roof shingles on your Log Cabin?

Do you need FREE ones? In my opinion the answer is always yes!

When I was first involved within this industry about fifteen years ago log cabins also emerged as a popular alternative to the humble shed or summerhouse. Back then it was unthinkable to sell them without shingles.  As well as the style of the buildings the shingles set them far apart from a common shed which of course a log cabin is not.  Then, about five years ago some bright spark realised that if they sold the cabin with felt they could undercut everyone else making them look the best value for money.

So, now you will find everyone sells cabins with felt as everyone had to follow as customers look immediately at the head line price when zipping through the internet or a brochure.  Roof shingles then became an option across all retailers, which is a real shame as I think all Log Cabins need roof shingles to become anything other than a crappy shed.

You’re buying a building that will last forever if cared for, surely you want a roof material that will do the same?

As an example, here’s a shed roof with felt:

Shed felt roof - Horrible isn't it!

Shed felt roof – Horrible isn’t it!

This is what is supplied as standard with all log cabins these days.  It’s ordinary shed felt and as such it doesn’t look nice at all.  Try applying this to a pyramid roof or a roof over 3m in length, it’s horrible and impossible to make it look nice, more than likely you’ll end up ripping it as well, you’ll see the roofing nails and anything more than about 3m you’ll end up with ripples and bubbles in it.

This is a picture of shingled roof a customer proudly sent us:

Log cabin with roof shingles

Log cabin with roof shingles

It looks so much better, it turns a ‘Shed’ in to a proper garden building.  It also lasts for years, no nails can be seen, no ripples and no rips and of course you won’t have to do it again in a couple of years time.

Here’s a few pictures of my own log cabin, it sits directly under trees and has taken years of abuse, I’ve never cleaned the roof or carried out any maintenance (as I wonder what will happen eventually) and it’s still as water tight as it’s ever been

Old felt shingled log cabin

Old felt shingled log cabin

Here’s another view of the poor thing:

An old log cabin shingled roof

An old log cabin shingled roof covered in moss, algae and bird droppings.

This building is very old now as you can see but the tiles are still going strong.  An ordinary felt roof would need replacing after about two – three years, less if it had trees over it like my old log cabin.

Standard Roof Shingles

Within our catalogue and drop down lists on all the cabins we have shingles that can be selected in a variety of colours, most of which can be available in straight, hexagonal or curved style.  you can also see our roofing materials in the category:  Roofing for Log Cabins.  These are all manufactured by a company called IKO who enjoy world renowned success and unrivalled quality, you really can’t get better than these, if you watch the movies you’ll see them on all the American houses as they love their felt shingles.

Roofing options

I’ve hated the fact that we sell buildings with ordinary felt, in fact a colleague tells me “she shudders” when a customer buys a log cabin without them, to tell you the truth I do as well as felt really does spoil what should be a stunning building.

It also saddens me when a customer calls up and asks for shingles saying: “they should have ordered them with the building“, which, they should have and we try to encourage them to but some customers think we’re trying to up-sell and refuse at the time of order.

It’s then upsetting for them and us when we can’t offer them at the price on the web page as those prices are calculated taking the standard felt away and no delivery charges as they are priced to go with the cabin.  When we then have to charge them higher prices due to delivery and no removal of the felt costs they get a bit miffed and disappointed.

Normal prices of felt shingles can be seen in the roofing category.  It’s not good for either of us to be disappointed so please think about shingles with your order, we’re not up-selling we’re making an honest recommendation.

Now the good bit …..

FREE Offer Roof Shingles

I’m going to go back to the old days of log cabins and offer FREE shingles with all our log cabins AND the prices of the buildings aren’t going to go up either unless the Euro exchange rate forces us to or a promotion ends.  The point is our FREE offer shingles aren’t going to impact on the prices.

Tuin is pretty big and we have come up with a solution so we don’t have to send you the dreaded standard roofing felt. All our old stock, last years colours, shingles in damaged packaging etc are all sitting around and aren’t sell-able as a brand new product.  Normally we will sell these in bulk to shed manufacturing companies when they ask for them. Instead of selling these to the trade we’re going to keep them and are now offering them FREE with all our log cabins and shed manufacturers are going to be a little peeved with us.

There is a tiny catch though

I really do wish we could get back to the old days of a log cabin inclusive of shingles and you simply choose a colour.  But, the shingles are expensive things, an average log cabin is 18 sq.m  a packet of shingles covers 3 m.sq.  That’s an average of 6 packs of shingles with an average cost of about £180.  Some people don’t want to pay the extra £180 on a building and who can blame them if they are happy with roofing felt (uuurrrgh)

So, we’re going to give you the Offer shingles FREE on all the log cabins but the catch is we get to choose what style (straight, curved or Hexagonal) and what colour we send to you without charging you for them.  This is because we don’t know what we have / will have of the offer shingles at any one time until we allocate them to an order.

I hope you don’t mind?  There’s got to be a trade off and you’re getting the shingles for free.  Of course after placing an order we will email you the colour we are sending and if you don’t like it you can opt for the standard roofing felt.

Alternatively you can choose a colour and style of your choice from this season ranges using the drop down menu on each of the log cabin product pages so you know exactly what you’re getting.  You’ll find all our shingle prices better than any competitor anyway!

Competitors

I don’t know of any supplier / manufacturer / retailer who can even get close to this offer. Have you found anyone who can offer shingles at our prices, even the standard ones? Let alone FREE shingles! OK, after a search I did find one supplier but the price of the cabins are far too expensive to worry us about.

Old days of Log Cabins

Well, we’re almost back to the old days.  At least now we can sell cabins with shingles again and still be the most highly competitive supplier there is in the UK.

Please understand though we may not be able to keep this up all the time so we do reserve the right to stop the offer when stocks are depleted and this will generally be without much notice at all so please don’t shout at us if you suddenly see the offer has been withdrawn on the log cabin you have been thinking about for a little while.

Before you ask, we’re really sorry but when it ends it ends and we can’t offer them retrospectively.  This is much like all our offers.  We are honest and always will be if it’s offered please take it.  When it’s gone it’s gone.

Felt shingles roof on our Stuttgart log cabin

Felt shingles roof on our Asmund log cabin.  The proper way a log cabin should look.

Installation of Shingles on an Apex or Pyramid roof videos

Further information on roof shingles and the market: Roof Shingles for Log Cabins.

Log Cabin Install Video in Depth

We have a very handy video showing you the standard install of any log cabin, the same process takes place across the board. We host the video on YouTube and it was nicely ‘annotated’ with more information. For some reason this facility is now turned off so I thought I’d write an article explaining some of the finer points that we show you in the video and generally talk through it as you watch the film:

0:12 Laying Out

Layout the logs around your base

Unpack your pallet fully and lay out the logs around the perimeter of your base, try to keep them in the same lengths in stacks. Try also to make sure they are laid flat and supported. As you are setting them out you can easily identify the main wall logs. You will find other parts you might not recognise such as purlins and cutouts for above or below doors and windows. Make a note of these and place them to one side. At this stage also look out for half height logs, these will be your starter logs on two opposing walls, put these also to one side and remember where you put them.

0.22 Base and Plans

Check your base is level and check the plans

You should already have a level base but just quickly check it again, if it isn’t there are things you can do which other articles help with in the blog. Check the plans. You’re looking at each wall elevation and noting the size of the logs as well as familiarising yourself with the numbers and positions of the various logs. You will also have a general manual explaining the process. If it is not enough this article will help as well as the extended Log Cabin installation advice page and numerous further articles linked from it. If you get really stuck we’re always pleased to help and offer further guidance.

0:51 Setting out the first logs

Setting out the first wall logs

You will already have found the half logs I mentioned, these are logs that have been cut directly in half and will have a flat bottom. Remember the tongues face upwards throughout the build. The logs that interlock into the half ones are full size logs, there is nothing special about them. Once you have laid out the initial base logs you put the foundation beams under them. You will need to measure and cut these but it is much easier to do so once the first layer is established.

You will have already considered a damp proof membrane in your base, if you have not now is the time to add the damp proof course to the foundation beams. It is a good idea regardless to add a DPC under the foundations as the plastic can help to seal if the base is a little rough. More details on DPC and DPM can he found in our Log Cabin Base page.

It is a good idea to fix the half logs to the foundation beam, especially at the door way area to give it extra strength. It also helps to stabilise the lower logs as you square and build.

You can also fix the full logs if you would like to, it is best to go in at an angle into the foundation beam or directly through the top if you have long enough screws. Note: We do not supply screws for this purpose, it is though my preference to do this and you might like to, to help your install.

01:52 Build up the Layers

Build up the wall log layers

With the first logs in place the install will start to fly up as each layer is added. Use a white rubber mallet to tamp down the logs. Check that there is no swarf in any of the grooves and that each log is seating on top of the one below. When you have reached about 5 – 7 layers of logs then double check your square and adjust if necessary. Check every corner! As the layers build up do not worry if doorways / window holes start to splay or twist slightly. If your base is 100% level and you are square this will not be a problem.

03:37 Window and Doors

Add the doors and windows when about 4 logs high

Keep a close eye on the plans and the elevations, keep counting the number of logs as you work up the layers, check specifically for window apertures and the logs that surround them. Some cabins will have a cut out log below the window so keep checking! When you are about four logs in height either side of a window you can add the windows, you can also consider adding the doors on some buildings. This example has double doors flanked by windows so the fitters will fit that towards the end. However if you wish you can install windows after the main building has been completed by removing the fascia surrounds. It does depend on the fitters preference. Note: No fixings should be used to fix the sides or tops of the window or door frames into the logs. Continue to build up the wall logs. Keep checking that the logs are being tamped down periodically and checking for swarf in the grooves. Keep checking the elevation plans and keep adding the layers of wall logs.

6:01 Top logs

Work will slow up toward to roof

As you get higher you will need to use step ladders. On larger building scaffolding is advisable as is fall arrest equipment. Some of our thicker, much larger buildings have bolts that run in the corners, these can be put in at this point. If you find any logs that have slightly twisted after being left out for most of the day they can be eased by use of a carpenters clamp.

7:29 Apex Roof Sections

The apexes can be challenging

The apexes need very careful handling, when moving them is is very, very easy to break the points off. Watch out for this! It’s not a problem if they are but it is annoying. Apexes generally come in one piece for the larger buildings but if you feel they are too heavy or unwieldy then take them apart. The will take some manipulation to get in, often a front wall has splayed and these will need to pushed together and aligned. Take your time and work as a team. Be Aware of safe working at height. With the apexes in it is the most unstable point of the build. Be careful of gusts of wind. As mentioned you can take them apart and work gradually by putting in purlins and working you way up. The process is up to the fitter. Once all the roof purlins are in place there is more stability but it is still best to be wary and not lean on the apexes during the install at this point. Purlins can be very tight to get in, expect to have to hit them quite vigorously on occasions. The top most purlin is often the hardest to get in due to the working height, be careful! Although not necessary I find it a good idea to screw the purlins into the apex logs for extra security, this will also ensure they do not lift and are more thoroughly connected to the building especially in highly exposed areas. If the apexes are seperate it is a good idea to fix them at the corner with a small screw or nail for added stability as you build the apex up.

9:38 Roof Boards


Laying out and fixing the roof boards

Ideally set out your roof boards in stacks along the side walls with the tongue or groove facing one direction. Before you start laying its important to re-check your buildings square as this is the last chance to really correct it. Start laying from the side that is seen the most, generally this is the front of the building, set the groove in line with the end of the purlin. Use the nails supplied with two nails in each board across each junction. This will provide a great deal of strength and will stop the boards lifting if they expand. Consider the time of year you are fitting. In the winter months the boards will have expanded due to moisture in the air so make the joints tight. In the summer months consider leaving the boards a little looser so they have room to expand in the winter. Try to work as a team and periodically check the boards are running true. On thinner logs keep an eye on the angle you use when nailing into the top log.

Don’t be tempted to lean your ladders on the walls before the roof boards are all laid as this could throw out your buildings square, When you then nail the boards in it will be fixed out of true.. Always use self-supporting step ladders

10:30 Doors

Fitting the doors

Fitting the doors may require adjustment of the hinges. If you find this to be the case and it is not self explanatory this article will help: Adjusting Log Cabin Hinges. If your base is not 100% level it will be slightly harder to fit the doors and you may need to use packers under one corner of the frame to level the door set. Please note how the fitter is installing the door bolts and lock.

11:40 Finishing the Roof Boards

Finishing the roof boards

For larger buildings with longer spans it is a good idea to use a roof board fixed to the purlins in order to keep them straight as you work along, leaning your ladder on them.

This prevents them twisting. Work together with your partner, it is easier if one is at the apex and the other on the wall logs. It is best to fix about ten boards one side and then another ten the opposite side as this will help them all stay in line with each other. The last board at the rear will need trimming flush with the end of the purlin. It is a good idea to nail the boards along the apexes. Please note: It is often necessary to adjust the purlins using a plane for a perfect finish where it joins the top wall log. The purlins may also need adjusting by chiselling the notch slightly.

13:38 Roof Trimming

Roof trim

Depending on how you use the building and your personal aesthetics you might like to consider ways of trimming the roof. if you are adding side bargeboards it helps to add a block, this is also very useful when mounting guttering which helps greatly the longevity of the log cabin. You can also consider front and rear bargeboards and their aesthetics, many customer like to introduce scallops or other shapes for decorative purposes. Any timber from your local DIY store will suffice. Often there will be plenty of spares and left over timber which you can make use of.

14:11 Final Roof Material and Finishing

Adding the final roof material

Before adding the final roof material you might like to consider adding insulation which is covered in another article within my blog. Fitting felt is very straightforward and is done the same as any shed, more details can be found in the extended installation advice page. Fitting shingles is also very straightforward but can be time consuming and will often take as long as the actual build itself. This video shows the shingle installation very well, other articles referenced from the above page will also give more help. The instructions are also found on the shingle packaging. If you are installing in the colder months or you are in a very exposed location it is a very good idea to use shingle glue. Fitters will also have slightly different methods of finishing the apexes and some will fold the shingles and felt over, some will apply an underlay, this is up to you and your preferences. The gable ends are finished with a bargeboard and nailed or screwed to the purlins. You can also add a capping piece as these fitters are doing but make sure it is heavily treated underneath before fitting to guard against rot from water sitting under it.

Once the main Log Cabin has been completed you are now free to add your own personalisations as many people do such as shaped bargeboards, guttering, treatment, door stays, fascia fixings etc. In exposed areas it is also a good idea to fit storm kits.

Lots more details, hints and tips and ideas can be found on the main Log Cabin Installation advice page. Reading this will help you greatly in your install. This video and principles apply across all our log cabins no matter the shape, thickness and style.

Log Cabin Treatment Gone Wrong

Winter 2017 (update at bottom of page for Winter 2019)

As I’m writing this it is January 2017 and this is relevant as you read this post.

Occasionally we will receive pictures asking for advice on treatment when something has obviously gone wrong with a log cabin. We can also receive complaints about treatment that has been applied to our log cabins from customers who have used our own treatment or other log cabin treatment we have recommended.

Please see this page for our advice on the treatment of log cabins with our recommended treatments, ours and also others. Please also see this file for a discount from a local company who we highly recommend as do other professionals: Brewers Discount.

When treatment goes wrong

We will receive pictures such as these which do look rather awful and the poor ol’ log cabin is starting to look really sad. We usually receive pictures such as these during the late Autumn and Winter when there is a lot more moisture in the air, more rain of course and snow, generally pretty rubbish weather.

This will be when the treatment that is applied is really tested.

Here’s some examples of what will happen when it all goes wrong and your lovely log cabin starts to get some horrible problems.

Bad staining is forming at the bottom of the cabin.

Bad staining is forming at the bottom of the cabin.

Door trims have started to discolor

Door trims have started to discolor

Discolouration and marking of lower logs

Marking and possible spores forming on the door.

We also get sent pictures such as this which are a bit of a fib, you can see that there was a lot of discolouring before the treatment was applied. Perhaps there was a problem before hand?

A bit of a fib, you can see that the discolouration and marks are present under the treatment.

A bit of a fib, you can see that the discolouration and marks are present under the treatment.

This winter we also received this picture.

A picture of an internal wall sucking up moisture and resulting discolouration.

A picture of an internal wall sucking up the weather and resulting discolouration of the inside of the logs that are still wet. Wood is a sponge unfortunately!

All of the above problems are NOT caused by the treatment, they are ALL caused by:

  • Application of the Treatment
  • Amount of the Treatment used.
  • Depth of treatment applied – Basically the number of coats applied.

Please see this article where I talk about specifically about the depth of treatment and moisture content in a Log Cabin

Treatment Experiment

Every year I expect to get complaints such as the above, we get pictures and very occasionally we get arguments that the treatment has been applied as we advise or the manufacturer has advised.

January 2016 I made an experiment board so I can be sure of my advice and to give examples. Here it is:

Experimental treatment boards.

Experimental treatment boards.

These are my logs I painted and fixed to the side of our Shepherd hut display, in front of this is a veranda to make sure the logs are not in permanent sun light, I was trying to reproduce a sheltered postion.

I dated these in January 2016 as a reference and started with no treatment, one coat and all the way up to six coats of treatment. I only used our own supplied treatment which was:

Now a year later this is quite interesting and does show quite clearly what happens with the various coats that have been applied.

Now I can actually see this rather than rely on advice from my own experience, the treatment producers and experts have given me in the past, this is starting to show up where the faults may lie, now I can actually see what is happening and confirming what the faults in a treatment could be:

  • Application of the Treatment – how well and how carefully has it been put on.
  • Amount of the Treatment used.
  • Depth of treatment applied – Basically the number of coats applied.

No Coats

My experiment started with no coats of treatment at all.

No coats of treatment have been applied, this is completely bare wood.

No coats of treatment have been applied, this is completely bare wood.

As expected the wood is discoloured and not looking great. This though is of course not wood rotting – wood does not rot if allowed to dry out naturally. You can see though that some fungal spores are starting to form within the structure.

If you don’t ever treat your cabin you can expect the whole building to look like this. Treatment of log cabins

Completely untreated log cabin.

Completely untreated log cabin. This one is now very old but is still not rotten but it doesn’t look great.

Please see my advice on treating your log cabin, you really don’t want this happening to yours:

Carefree Protectant Timber Treatment

Here’s my experimental board using our Carefree Protectant Treatment

Carefree protection board

Carefree protection treatment board

You can see what happens with one coat of treatment, it simply is not enough. We recommend four coats of this treatment. Actually it only requires two coats but PROPER coats and this is always the problem with a totally clear treatment, you cannot see the damn stuff, you have no idea where you have treated! It was easy for me with a small log as I am pretty sure I coated it correctly.

Please note the ‘one coat treatment’ and compare to the pictures at the top of this post. Similar?

Now look at the ‘two coats’ log, you will still see some discolouration, mainly with the tongue part which has borne most of the weather and maybe also where I was a little thin in my application.

Then again look at the third log, it’s better but finally look at the fourth…. now everything is well covered, we know even on the parts you are missing which is happening with a clear treatment you will be getting at least two proper coats on the log.

This of course doesn’t just apply to our own very clear Carefree treatment but also to other producers of treatment.

A clear treatment, in my experience is the WORST to apply as you cannot see where you have been and that results in problems such as those shown in the pictures above.

Embadecor Timber Stain

Here’s my experimental board using our Embadecor Stain Treatment

Embadecor timber stain experimental board.

Embadecor timber stain experimental board.

A stain or a paint is a lot easier to apply properly as you can see where it is and how you applied it. This has worked very well and I am not seeing anything bad here. But there are big differences between one coat and three coats. Please see the previous articles on advice, three coats will at least give you the depth your require to keep your log cabin from problems and absorption as shown in one of the pictures above.

Embalan Timber Paint

Here’s my experimental board using our Embalam Paint Treatment

I was really pleased with the paint, it went on well, I tried a further experiment one that was as standard:

Embalan standard paint

Embalan standard paint

With one costs you can still see the grain coming through, maybe like one of the ‘fib’ pictures above? Three coats is working well (most paint suppliers will recommend three coats and often include an undercoat) Four and five are perfect!

Then I tried mixing, we wanted a darker colour for the highlight on the doors and window of the Shepherd Hut:

Mix of paints from the Embalan range.

Mix of paints from the Embalan range.

Maybe it was due to the colour but this worked really well, yes there is a difference in the coats, maybe four seems to be the best?

Treatment Recommendations and Problems

With my experiment I think I have shown what happens, I’m going to leave the logs out for another year to see how this develops and follow up in 2018.

My advice …. is …. please follow my advice and avoid some horrible problems happening with your log cabin … oh and don’t cheat or fib ….. the Autumn and Winter will decide how well you have treated your Log Cabin.

Also, please watch out for:

  • Application of the Treatment – how well has your coverage been applied?
  • Amount of the Treatment used – Have you applied the right amount of coats?
  • Depth of treatment applied – Basically the number of coats applied. Have you applied the right amount of coats according to recommendation?
  • MAKE sure you treat the door and window trims and quadrants / beads- These are often missed as it is close to the glass and hard to do and you maybe applying a thinner coat?- Maybe consider removing the glass for better coating.
  • Be careful at the lower levels of the log cabin. These four or five logs get the most weather, treat them accordingly.
  • Be really careful when using a clear treatment to thoroughly cover the log.
  • Pay extra care to lower logs any ledges / tongues.
  • Thoroughly coat the corners and any joins.

Continuation

I am going to leave the experiment up for another year to see what happens, this is really quite interesting ……

More … I’ve recently been asked about our treatments:  This post relates entirely to the Tuin range of Log Cabin Treatments and clarifies what and how we recommend they are used if you choose to use our range.

UPDATE – Winter 2019

My experiment continues with the treatment boards and it’s still pretty interesting what is happening 3 years on.

My timber treatment experiment which I started in 2016 as a way to see exactly what can happen.

The embalan paint if still performing well. The board right at the bottom received no treatment at all, it’s interesting to see there is no rot whatsoever. We’re proving well that three coats and above is giving the best protection. I’m also proving that timber, when allowed to dry naturally does not generally rot.

I did also start another experiment in August 2017 just to see what will happen to a log in constant ground contact. I’ll come back to this is August 2019 to see what, if anything, has happened.

The mix of Embalan paint is also doing very well, the three to five coats are still almost perfect.

The Embadecor stain is doing the best and even with one coat it is still looking very good. Again thought, three to four coats is performing the best. However, bear in mind a stain is just that, ideally it needs a top coat of a sealant such as the clear embadecor or the carefree to ensure the wood is sealed, especially in the corner and joints.

My favoured treatment is also still doing very well. You can see though that as it is a totally clear treatment it is essential to make sure of coverage. I wish I had painted the ends rather than just the surface as you can see how the weather has pushed in. Again three coats and above is most effective.

What if it has gone wrong?

For an easy solution on how to get the timber clean again before re-treatment please see this post: Cleaning a Log Cabin

Adding a Window

Another Window?

Imagine you’ve built your log cabin and you find you need more light, or perhaps you already know you will need another window.

An additional large window has been added to the rear of this standard Rick 40mm Log cabin.

Or maybe you cannot block out that amazing scenery you have from your garden.

an extra window has been added to the rear wall of this Jutka, Gazebo, log cabin combination building.

If you do decide you would like another window Tuin do offer these, they’re a generic window of various sizes and can be fitted to any manufactures log cabin of thicknesses from 28mm up to 70mm:

When to Install an extra window

If you’ve already decided you would like an addtional window to that which comes as standard with your building you will probably order it at the same time as your building. You’ve then got to decide whether you are going to install it at the same time or afterwards, neither really matters, but my  preference is to always install it following the whole install. I like this way because:

  • You can be sure the main building has gone together correctly.
  • You will not void any guarantee.
  • You can be 100% certain of the positioning.
  • You avoid making mistakes in cutting logs.
  • You can be sure you are not going to structurally effect the log cabin.

Of course you can install it as you go but you run higher risks of a mess up, of which I have done in my early days fitting log cabins – namely cutting the logs wrong which does end in tears when there is no spare logs.

Generic Window Parts

There are several ways windows are made for log cabins and invariably they all follow the same pattern; they are a window frame with fascias applied to create a U section that the wall logs will sit in.

Remember it is important that the windows or doors are NOT fixed to the logs in any way to allow for expansion and contraction.

Below is an old Generic window I found in the workshop which I’ll use as a demonstration on how I fit the window.

Various parts that make up the generic window.

These windows are made up three components:

  • Window Frame.
  • Spacer Pieces according the width of wall log.
  • Window facias.

If we look at the spacers / battens you will see there is a paper label showing you the measurements for various log thicknesses.

Spacers which are marked and will be cut down to match the log thickness you have in your building.

Of course if the paper is not there, lost or got wet or even if your log thickness is not shown then you can easily measure this. If you are cutting to your own size it is best to make is 2 – 3mm larger. For instance; a 40mm thick wall log would have a spacer measurement of 42 – 43mm in width.

It might help to layout the parts so you can see exactly what you have.

Parts of the window. You should have two top, four side and two bottom fascias. As well as the spacers or adjustable battens whichever term you prefer.

Fitting the Generic Window

Before you start, trim down the spacers to match the thickness of your log cabin either by using the mark guide or measuring yourself. We are going to fit this window into a 58mm log cabin at our show site.

58mm thick wall log.

Start by marking the spacer for your size of wall log

Cut the spacer down using a handsaw or if you have it use a circular saw or jigsaw.

Once you have your spacers to size you can then fix them to the window frame.

Spacers have been fitted on each of the wides of the window frame.

You will of course need four spacers that go on each side of the window frame. You can fix these however you would like to, some fitters will use nails but personally I like to use screws as I think it gives a better fit, it’s easier to take apart and is generally stronger. The choice of fixing is yours at this point.

I prefer to use screws to fit the spacers but it is up to you at this point.

Cutting a hole in your Log Cabin

This next bit can be a bit tense and I must admit it still makes me a bit nervous in case I mess it up.

Before we start measuring or cutting holes we need to find the best place for our window. There’s a couple of rules to follow:

  • Do not cut any closer than 200mm to the interlocking corner of the cabin.
  • Do not cut any closer than 200mm to the side of another window.
  • Ideally start or finish your cut on a full log.
  • Ideally leave at least two clear logs above the window to maintane integrity of the building.
  • Make your own judgement of the integrity of the building once the hole is cut, if you need advice for a tricky placement please contact the main office or leave a message on this page and we’ll be pleased to help.

You can measure the window and transcribe those measurement onto the walls which is what I think a lot of people do. You would start at the centre point and measure out either side both top and bottom and then mark the lines.

Personally I still don’t trust myself or a tape measure and hold the actual window frame (including attached spacers) to the wall and mark around it with a pencil / pen. That way I can be sure my eyes haven’t gone wonky or the tape measure has stretched or shrunk.

Either mark out where you are going to cut the window by taking measurements from the window frame or hold the actual window to the wall and draw around it.

One marked you need to consider what happens when your log cabin either expands or contract which it will do over the cycle of the seasons. For more details on this please see: Expansion and Contraction in Log Cabins.

As you will know it is necessary to leave an expansion, or, contraction gap above the window to cope with seasonal variations. The gap you make will be decided by the time of year you are installing:

  • Height of Summer: The wood will be at its smallest as a lot of moisture will have escaped. Therefore only a small gap of 10 – 15mm maybe necessary as the building is only likely to expand more as Autumn and Winter arrive.
  • Depths of Winter: The wood will be at its largest size as it will have absorbed a lot of moisture from the surrounding air. Therefore a gap of 20 – 30mm maybe necessary as the building is only likely to contract as the Spring and Summer arrive.

As the logs expand marginally length ways you only really need a gap of around 5 – 10mm either side, again depending on the time of year you are installing.

I prefer to be on the right side of caution and will perhaps make the expansion gap slightly smaller. I will then advise the customer to check behind the fascias as the season changes over the first year to make sure a gap is still present of at least 5mm in the depth of winter. If it is not it is easy to remove the window and take out a little more to allow for the gap.

Making our marks to allow for expansion and contraction of the logs around the window frame.

Once you made your marks, double and triple checked then we can cut the wall logs. A circular saw make sit easy work but you can of course use a hand saw.

Cutting the hole is easier with a circular saw but you can also use a jigsaw or a hand saw.

A complete window hole cut. Do not worry if you are not 100% straight in your cut as any slight deviations will be hidden behind the fascia.

You can offer up the window to check for fitment.

Final Fitting of the Generic Window

You can now fit the fascias on the outside of the window, again, like the spacers you can either screw or nail them onto the frame. I personally think screws are far better but it is up to you.

Fit the fascia to the outside of the window frame onto the spacers.

When you are working with wood it is always highly advisable to pilot hole anything you are going to be screwing or nailing.

Always use a pilot hole when screwing or nailing one piece of wood to another.

Once all four of the outside fascia has been fitted you can then place the window into the hole. In the next picture we have done this from the outside. Notice one single screw used in the centre of the top fascia, this is to loosely secure the window so it can be completed from the inside single handedly. It is of course better if you have someone holding it for you.

Note the screw will be removed once the window is installed.

Complete window fitted from the outside of the log cabin, loosely held in place by one screw at the top to make it easier to fit. The screw is of course later removed.

The fascias are fitted to the inside and the ‘helping screw’ outside is removed and the window is complete.

There we have the completed window!

A Few Window Notes:

Fitting a window is not too hard at all, just consider you expansion and contraction gaps, also the old saying of ‘measure twice cut once’ is very relevant.

Over the first year as the seasons change, periodically check your gap above the window, you can easily remove the top fascia to check behind it.

If security is a concern you can:

  • Countersink your screws and use wood filler mixed with sawdust to hide your screws on the outside fascia.
  • You can use Philips head screws and once installed drill the head so it can no longer be used.
  • Use security screws.

Timber Shortage and prices 2018

It’s going to be a mad year for those of us in the timber industry, and, things are about to get really interesting!

Timber Shortage and prices rises for 2018

I recently took Megan who works within our apprentice scheme to Holland to see Tuindeco and understand more of how Tuin and Tuindeco works, her blog about the visit can be read here: Megan’s Tuindeco Trip 2018.

You’ll see from her blog tales of massive stocks of buildings, timber, products, of large warehouses and acres of space all taken up with million of Euro’s worth of money. Not only is this because Tuindeco want to offer lightning quick delivery but also because there is trouble brewing.

Timber this year is in massive shortage, a shortage that hasn’t been seen for almost a decade. This is going to push up prices hugely if timber can be bought at all. Tuindeco bought the majority of their timber stock last year as soon as a problem was spotted hence the massive stocks. This also meant price rises were minimal for the stock secured.

Now though ….. Well, I see competitors suddenly introduce very, very high price rises, if you look around now at prices you will see everything increasing rapidly.

Tuindeco's Log Cabin Warehouse

We’re feeling secure in massive stocks at last years prices.

But, we are even feeling the new restrictions slightly and some buildings are becoming out of stock as the clever buyer is buying now.

The problems we are facing is the availability of roundwood – the raw material trees cut from the forest. It has been (again) a very warm winter, the ground has been too wet for the machinery to operate in thereby cutting the timber.

NOW, just a week ago it is announced that the sawmills only have stocks for 4 – 6 weeks and then all lengths of timber is unavailable.

To add to the problem it is now the nesting season and all felling is forbidden for two months and this means from last Thursday (19th April) no raw roundwood will be available.

Also other countries have increased their demand:

Asian countries demand x2.5
European countries demand x1.5
USA demand x1.5
Compared to 2016/2017 market.

We are having some problems at the moment where stock is taken quicker than expected but Tuindeco does have roundwood stock that is being milled but on some products there is a slight delay.

Demand is huge at the moment and stock can go very quickly so please, to avoid disappointment, order now from your chosen supplier.

However Tuindeco are hugely well placed to beat the storm with the stocks available and the prices of last year rather than the massive increases our competitors are now facing.

If you are considering a log cabin or any timber product please consider buying now as you will be very limited in a few short months and what is available will be crazily expensive if they have not got stockpiles from last year!

Expansion in Log Cabins

Two Extremes with Log Cabins

There are two extremes of the year in a log cabins first year of life; The height of Summer and the depths of Winter. Both of these times may possibly cause problems for you depending on the level of treatment you gave your cabin when you installed it. These problems will generally only be noticeable in the first year cycle of a newly built log cabin as I explain in the articles referenced below.

The problems are one of either expansion or contraction of the wall logs that make up your log cabin.

But, with that said you should never, ever notice this movement, such is the design of most log cabins. The building will grow and shrink un-noticed by you…..

BUT ….. only if it has been built, treated, and vented correctly and also with the correct layer of damp proof membrane on top of or within the base. The correct treatment though cannot be stressed enough, as it will inhibit both these natural features of wood and you will never have a problem or even notice what your log cabin is doing over the seasons.

Contraction of logs in your log cabin – Summer

In the summer we will see contraction and I have written a lot about it in a previous article: Moisture Content of a Log Cabin and Depth of Treatment this article is helpful as it explains the intake and expulsion of moisture from the relative humidity and explains how each log can expand and contract by as much as around 3 – 5mm per log. Over the course of a building log height you have a potential movement of about 80mm, that’s about 3 inches! Sometimes it will be more if the building has received little or no treatment and within its first 12 months of being installed.

A second article which will interest you on the subject of timber movement within a log cabin is: Contraction of a Log Cabin this article explains what can happen in the height of summer, and when a log cabin has had little or no treatment.

Expansion of logs in your log cabin – Winter

Here are some examples of problems that may occur, all of which are down to the natural expansion of timber within the winter months, most of which could be avoided with treatment, damp proof membrane and in some cases ventilation and correct installation of your log cabin.

White bits:

The most common area that you will notice with expansion in your log cabin is when white bits start appearing.

Classic winter expansion of logs in a log cabin – notice the bare wood appearing above the door fascia

Expansion of the logs has caused bare wood to appear from behind the window fascia

For log cabins built around July, August, September and a little later this is fairly common to see and is entirely normal. This is happening as the logs are inherently a sponge and made up of 1000’s of straws which of course the tree used to suck up water from the ground, this is what is happening with the logs during the winter months, they are sucking in moisture and expanding.

This is entirely normal and one that can be easily inhibited by the correct application of a good quality treatment. We also advise in our Log Cabin Treatment Advice article that when treating your log cabin to also paint behind the fascias to the side and above and you will then never notice this expansion taking place at all. If correctly treated it may not even take place at all!

Wood is made up of 1000’s of straws, all of them are designed to suck up moisture from the ground. In the correct treatment of a log cabin our aim is to block these straws as much as possible to inhibit the natural expansion and contraction

Gaps Appearing

During the summer months we can sometimes see gaps appearing if the cabin is not treated well of built correctly. During the winter we can very occasionally see another form of gap appearing and this is generally above the door.

A gap has started to appear above the door as the logs have expanded so much the contraction space has started to appear.

We have seen this a few times in extreme cases, this is very easily solved with a shim placed under the door and the checklist at the bottom of this article followed come the warmer months.

Frames Apart

In our Log Cabin installation advice page and also the instructions that come with all log cabins we do try to get across the importance of NOT fixing anything across two or more logs, including the doors and window frame and fascias as the wall logs need to be able to move independently due to their contraction and expansion. Sometimes though this advice is not followed.

If door or window fascias are fixed to wall logs you can see the expansion of the logs may force the frames apart – never fix log together or inhibit their natural movement!

Fixing fascia that are attached to the top logs to the door frame can be pulled apart by the expansion force.

This door frame is being pulled apart as the top fascia has been fixed to the top wall log, as the logs expand the top part of the frame is pulled upwards by considerable expansion force.

Below is another good example of the door frame being pulled apart from the top fascia being fixed to the wall log. See how evident the rogue screw is, as well as how much expansion has been caused from the force the screw has created:

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Floor and Roof

The floor and roof of your log cabin is also affected by expansion and contraction and as we advise it is important to consider the time of year you are installing, at the height of summer you will need to ensure you leave a small expansion gap between the boards. In the case of the floor it is very important to leave room for expansion all around so the floor does not push against the sides of the log cabin.

It is very important to leave an expansion gap all the way around the floor as highlighted in our installation advice, this will then avoid a roof, or floor, from rippling when the winter comes.

Treatment

It is always at this time of year that we get a series of complaints that all can be traced back to treatment, I wrote this article at the same time last year: Log Cabin Treatment Gone Wrong this highlights a lot of the issues when treatment is not correctly applied or the good quality treatment used.

Log cabin treatment gone wrong

If our advice has not been followed regarding treatment it is the height of winter when it will become most obvious.

Problems with treatment will not only manifest itself by unsightly marks as above but you may also have leaks in extreme driving rain conditions. The is due to ineffective or cheap treatment being used which then cracks and allows water to ingress via capillary action. This can also be caused by treatment not being applied correctly, particularly one of the cheaper shade treatment requires light sanding, wiping with spirits and at the least two coats applied within a few hours to be effective, the manufacturer goes on to state that with dry wood three coats should be applied, it is often overlooked as well that a wood preservative is required under many cheaper treatments. Without following any manufacturers explicit instructions any treatment will be ineffective and problems during at least the first year of a log cabin life can be expected.  We would recommend at least four coats of any treatment correctly used. For more advise on this please see: Log Cabin Treatment Advice.

Water Ingress

There are a number of reasons for water ingress, the most likely is lack of treatment, a poor quality treatment or an ineffective treatment, especially in the corners and importantly on the end grain, this is particularly important to stop tracking of water via capillary action via the grooves in the profile of the logs.

Capillary action can allow a weap to follow the logs in a building that has not fully settled or been treated carefully in the corners, tongue and groove or the end grain.

Little or no treatment has been applied to this log cabin. Water marks are now becoming evident in the corners and some mould build up on the door.

As I have mentioned before. Wood is made to act like a sponge. If it is not treated correctly it will absorb water by its nature. This door did not receive a very good level of treatment and over the course of a year has absorbed a lot of water. A great deal of this could have been avoided with a good treatment and of course ventilation within the cabin if it is closed up for long periods of time.

Until a building has fully settled over a period of a year and gone through it’s various cycles it is possible to have driving rain force into the corner joints. BUT, this is very easily prevented by the correct application of a good quality treatment as all the joints are sealed.

Water ingress along the bottom few logs pushed via driving rain. A good quality treatment correctly applied prevents this. I have noticed that some pictures of issues will show this area more often. As can seen from a treatment picture further up this post the lower part of the cabin is missed, possibly as it is harder to treat due to bending over? It may also be that this area takes more driving weather? I think though from experience it would be a good idea to concentrate on this area if you think the log cabin is exposed when you treat it.

Condensation

Condensation is occasionally overlooked and this can affect your building greatly. As we advise it is vitally important that a damp proof membrane is incorporated within your base on top of it. Advice on this can be found in our Log Cabin installation advice article.

Even with a DPM, condensation can still build up in your log cabin if it is not regularly used, in this case it is highly advisable to fit some sort of vent. More advice can be found in our Ventilation in Log Cabins article.

As well as ingress from outside it is possible for condensation to build up inside a cabin if not regularly used or ventilated.

Condensation can also manifest itself as damp spores on the roof and walls. This is a mild case but the building does need some sort of ventilation when closed up for long periods.

On a larger scale, especially when a DPM is not fitted so much moisture can be built up it actually looks as if there is a leak in the roof. Ventilation will resolve this problem.

Doors and Windows

Last night I had an email from a friend who said ‘don’t go around the back to the conservatory door as it’s stuck, it’s always like that when its cold’. I smiled to myself, of course it has nothing to do with the cold, it’s everything to do with treatment and inhibiting the expansion of the wood in her patio doors. It’s exactly the same with a log cabin door set and windows, they will react in exactly the same way if they do not have enough layers of good quality treatment applied.

Doors and windows, if not treated well enough and certainly within the first year, may expand and could become tight in the frame. Ideally doors and windows should be treated both inside and outside to guard against expansion and contraction which can in turn cause warps in a frame

Summary of Expansion in your Log Cabin

All the above points affect any log cabin no matter the manufacturer and indeed any timber structure both inside and outside of your home.

If you have any of these issues, please do not worry, they can all be solved easily.

  • White Bits: This is the easiest to solve, wait until the weather improves and then remove the fascia, you can then paint behind them and you will never notice this again.
  • Gaps appearing above your doors or above the windows. This is easily solved by raising the door or window frame and then inserting a packer the length of the frame. The gap will then be hidden behind the fascia. You will need to remember you did this and consider removing it in the Spring when the log cabin starts to contract again.
  • Frames or trim parting: It is very likely that fascia or frames have been attached somehow to the logs. Please remove any fixings you can find. Doors and windows can easily be removed by taking off the fascia, please then make sure the whole frame is refixed together and reinstall. Do NOT fix any part of it to the wall logs or trim mounted on the corner triangle (in the case of corner log cabins)
  • Floor and Roof: This will be a little trickier to solve. For the roof I have found more nails can be added and it is generally enough to solve the problem as it can still expand across the whole length. The floor maybe pushing against the wall logs, check for this and if it is the case you must create an expansion gap all the way around. A jig saw will be able to accomplish this. In extreme cases you may need to consider a whole new replacement floor.
  • Water Ingress: This one is a little trickier during the winter months and it is probably best to leave it until the warmer Spring months. You will need to review your treatment process and what you used. For cheaper shade treatments you will have sanded the walls, washed it with white spirit, applied a preservative, then applied at least three coats in batches of 4 – 5 hours. Better treatments such as Sikkens and ours will generally need three coats, sometimes an undercoat is also required. For our carefree protect treatment this can be applied direct and built up to three – four coats over a number of days for full protection. Make sure you have read and fully actioned the manufacturers instructions. Please see our depth of treatment article for more advice. You will need to consider re-treating your log cabin and also upgrading the treatment you originally applied. As we advise, if you use a top quality treatment, correctly applied these problems are unlikely to occur. The first thing, by eye you can notice if a treatment is a good quality is ….. is there stretching of the treatment across the joints over the winter? You can often see this, a cheap treatment will simply crack and that is when ingress can occur through capillary action. Look out for this!
  • Condensation: Please check an effective and un-punctured DPM has been applied within or on top of your base. This is your first port of call for a condensation problem. If you are not sure or one has not been applied the floor will need to be lifted and one fitting. If it has and the building is closed for long periods over the Autumn and Winter please consider adding at least one vent into your building. More advice can be found here: Ventilation in Log Cabins
  • Doors and Windows: On most of our log cabins the hinges can be adjusted to account for this, please see this page for advice: Log Cabin Doors you will also need to consider the treatment advice above, ideally doors and windows will be treated equally both inside and outside.

First Year of Life! 

It’s odd but after a year and completing the cycle a log cabin seems to settle down a lot, I think it is because the straws in the wood make up has dropped, crushed or have been blocked, after a year all these things seem to settle and almost disappear.

Some of the above may have left marks or stains which take away from the aesthetics of you building, however, all is not lost and can be easily cleaned again, please see this page for advice: Cleaning a Log Cabin

Best Time to Buy a Log Cabin

It always amazes me how quiet everything suddenly goes in this industry once the leaves start dropping and Autumn is here, it gets worse when the clocks go back. For me it’s time to put my feet up a bit, grab a quick holiday and some time with the family.

I do think though us humans are funny creatures, as soon as it gets a bit murky we’re not interested in anything outside, especially the garden. But, as soon as it gets light and sunny again we’re away.

You might be interested in this graph of how busy we have been.

November, December and January are the best times to buy your log cabin

The graph shows our busiest period over a 12 months. This is the same for every company I’ve been involved within the garden industry.

Sales start in January as people look forward to the Spring. Then it builds to the crescendo of March and April. Then drops steadily down until the summer holidays. Then some renewed interest as the weather stays nice. Then, strangely September and October we sell a lot of bigger buildings. In a previous job we’d sell a lot of garages.

Then comes the clock change, the weather gets rubbish and bam, that’s that for a few months and I get to relax and chip off somewhere hot.

But we still have a nice trickle through of customers and these are perhaps the clever, canny customers. They waited and are planning for the Spring next year, perhaps they know how the garden industry works?

Simply put, if you want anything major for your garden late Autumn and early Winter is the time to buy as the prices will be the lowest possible!

I found an interesting article on a recent search which was as a result of a survey on the best time of year to buy various items from computers to gym membership. Strangely they didn’t survey the garden industry which is a shame as it’s worth just over £5 Billion a year in the UK, we do love our gardens!

If they had surveyed the garden sector they would have found that the best time to buy for your garden is November, December and January.

Perhaps you wouldn’t buy a fence or a planter, or even garden furniture. But these months are the time to buy a major expense such as a shed, summerhouse or log cabin.

This three month slot is the best time to buy a log cabin, gazebo or any major expense because:

  • Lowest possible prices
  • Retailers will be wanting to remove stock to make way for the new season.
  • Timber price and product prices will start to rise the middle of January early February.
  • Hauliers will be re-negotiating costs which will trigger late January early February.
  • Retailers will need to maintain a cash flow.
  • The very best service is often given in the quiet months as staff are a lot less busy and can often give you far more attention.
  • Prices will be at their lowest to maintain and encourage sales, lots of deals will be on offer.

We’re the same as everyone else, we drop a lot of our prices for Log Cabins, Gazebos, Verandas etc to try to keep the sales coming. We have some crazy, crazy bargains during those three months. We practically make nothing on the products but it keeps things moving.

Weather Window and too cold

Of course some customers will want to wait until the weather is better, until it’s warmer. Granted laying a base can take longer when it’s wetter and churn up your garden a bit but if you can manage it and get your log cabin up it will be worth it plus you’ll be ready for next spring and saved a ton of cash!

I always tell customers that the only thing that is affected by rubbish weather is the fitter and never the building!

The joy of a log cabin install in the wet. I remember this morning, we had to remove a layer of snow off the roof and then it rained all day while trying to install the insulation and roof shingles.

The joy of a log cabin install in the wet and cold. You too could be enjoying yourself this much if you bought your cabin in the late Autumn / early winter 🙂