Gijs Log Cabin Customer Review

Hi everyone,

The heatwave continues to beat our expectations – And so do our customers! Installing their Log Cabins in this heat, determined to see the finishing result. For example, Mr S’ installation of their Gijs Log Cabin. With plenty of pictures to back up his words, but need I say more? Lets read what Mr S has to day about our Log Cabins.


Mr S writes as follows:

I chose to buy the Gijs from Tuin for a few reasons, I’ll list them in case it helps anyone else.

  •  Design – loved the size of Gijs with the overhanging canopy
  • Value – You get a lot for your money and the free shingles offer was great
  • Floor – I wanted to do my own thing and they didn’t force me to buy one from them
  • Website – I love all the reviews, advice, blog, instructions etc on the website. By far better than anyone else in this market.
  • Service – They look like a company that cares about their customers. They do, I have been very impressed.

I wasn’t disappointed and would thoroughly recommend this cabin.

I thought I would contribute to the website by offering my thoughts on the build process, and some photos. I hope someone finds this interesting or useful.

Foundations

I have a sloping area at the back of my garden where the cabin was going. I really didn’t like the idea or expense of excavating and laying a concrete slab so having read the website advice and doing some other homework decided to use pads with a wooden framework on top. I also wanted to install a decking area under the canopy so the foundations I needed were almost 6m x 6m.

Gijs Log Cabin Base

I used 2 different kinds of pads. 6 of them (4 corners of the cabin plus middle of the front and back walls) were excavated to about 30cm deep by 50cm square, then filled with concrete. I then sank a couple of those hollow construction bricks into the concrete and filled the holes with concrete. The other pads (about 16 of them) were expected to take less load, so I made these by laying some sharp sand and placing a concrete paving slab on the sand, then building up from there using dense concrete bricks. I didn’t bother using mortar – I’m no brickie and my builder friend said they would be fine! If you are using a similar method I strongly recommend taking time to ensure they are all level, it saves a lot of time and hassle later on.

After this I put a layer of weed suppressing cloth down so hopefully nothing will grow underneath.

Gijs Log Cabin Base

I then built the frame using treated 2 x 6″ timber from the builders merchant. I put a double thickness on the edges where the cabin walls would be. Possibly overkill but I like things to be solid. I needed to use a few wedges here and there to make sure there was contact between all points on the frame and the pad foundations. At this stage I also build the frame for the stairs that will lead up to the deck.

I am a relatively keen DIYer and found the foundation stage hard work physically, but quite rewarding. I haven’t built any foundations before, and had to put up with some sass from my builder friend who thought I’d over-engineered everything. He may be right.

Cabin Build

I have helped a friend build a similar cabin so knew roughly what to expect. First stage was delivery.

Log Cabin Delivery

Unfortunately my drive is too narrow for the fork-lift which is 3.8m wide so we had to leave it on the road. The driver was very helpful and the communication about delivery dates and times excellent. Unfortunately this left me with the task of shifting everything to the back of my garden quickly before I got a parking ticket. Fortunately my son had just finished his GCSEs and was willing to help – for some pocket money…

I made one mistake at this stage. I stacked everything horizontally at the bottom of the garden except the doors, which I stood in the house for a couple of days before the build. It was only after they warped that I read the advice on storing them flat. Store them flat!

The build is really straight forward if there are two of you – more pocket money for my son. Some of the wall pieces were hard to get in due to warping but could be fixed with some clamping and hammering as advised in the build video.

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We had the walls and about 1/3 of the roof completed on the first day. Be very careful of the ends of the apex pieces. They are held on by a very thin strip of wood and break easily. I broke two of them off. It didn’t make a difference to the build and I was able to stick them back in place for the cosmetic look after it was finished. One problem I had was getting the purlins to sit flush with the walls. Mine were a bit warped and didn’t sit all the way down. The website advises getting a plane out, but I wasn’t too happy about that. I ended up coming up with my own solution of laying draught excluder tape along the front and back walls so that when I added the roof beams, it closed all the gaps. There’s certainly a better solution to this, but it seemed to work for me.

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Roof

Finishing the roof seemed to take ages, but I was very glad I owned a nail gun. Mine’s a weedy electric one so I alternated between the proper clout nails and my nail gun to make sure it was solid. I then cracked on with laying the roof shingles. Again I found this quite straight forward, just a little time consuming.

I decided against insulating the roof because I’ll mainly be using the cabin as a workshop and I don’t get cold easily. What I didn’t consider however is heat! We’re in the middle of the 2018 heat wave and the black shingles act like a giant radiator – the roof is hot to the touch on the inside. Maybe next time I might put a layer of insulation up there.

Gijs Shingle Installation

Floor

I did decide to insulate the floor. I cut OSB board to hang between the joist then cut up sheets of expanded polythene to fit into the voids. Over that went a layer of plywood screwed to the joists, then an engineered wood oak floor that clipped together really easily. It looks lovely.

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Finishing

After quite a few test pots we finally opted to use Sikkens HLS (1 coat) and Sikkens Cetol 7 (2 coats) in light oak. It has a slight gloss/silk sheen to it which I like but won’t appeal to everyone.

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Final thoughts 

An excellent product from Tuin at a very reasonable price. The quality of the boards was excellent with a handful of warped ones. Service, before during and after has been outstanding and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Tuin or this cabin. If I were to do anything different in the build process I would spend more time getting the foundation pads exactly in the right place, square and level. A couple of mistakes cost me some time and headaches later in the build (including the use of a car jack to lift one corner up while I put in some shims!). Best of luck with your builds!


A very appropriate treatment choice for this Gijs Log Cabin and a beautiful setting to pair with it! Thank you to Mr S for sending in their honest review of their experience with installing their Log Cabin.

Interested in more reviews like Mr S’? You can find a load more at: Tuin Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Newcastle Log Cabin Customer Build

Hello everyone,

It’s been a little time since we’ve had an in depth customer review – Understandable with this heat, not many people would want to install their log cabins in the recent months. But we do have a fair few customers who like to challenge the heat! For example, Mr & Mrs C, who have kindly summed up their journey of their Newcastle Log Cabin installation within this article.


Mr C writes as follows:

After weeks of research it looked by all accounts that Tuin were the people to buy from! And after several hours reading the wealth of information on their site I was not only convinced these guys knew what they were talking about, but also had a real passion for the product. Si, I hit the button and bought a Tuin 58mm Newcastle cabin, to become my new office/workshop.

The cabin arrived bang on time and unloading was a doddle with their side loading forklift. I was relieved to find the whole package was very securely wrapped and un-damaged. The cabin had to sit on the drive for a week as I finished off the groundworks, but the packing kept everything dry and clean.

The Unloaded Newcastle Log Cabin Package

First job was to clear the site. A step ladder, a beer and a chainsaw! What’s the worst that could happen right? (Not recommended! – Meg)

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Next was a quick beer while the wife unloaded the hardcore – Then while we waited for her to break the larger lumps up! (I hope you realise that I’m making this bit up right?)

Access was tricky, but a concrete pump soon got the job done!

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Base finished! Ready for the retailing wall. 28° heat, what could be better than digging sleepers into the ground 🙁

Newcastle Base Prep

Next, the build begins. (Seemed a shame to hide my nice retaining wall) Unfortunately, the cabin wall bearers had twisted badly in the searing heat. This made the first logs down a little tricky, but as the walls started to go up the bearers had little choice but to flatten out.

Newcastle Log Cabin Wall Installation

Every log slotted into the next like they were machined out of metal, I was amazed at the accuracy of each cut. The logs were straight and clean – I was starting to feel quite happy!

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End of day one! Apart from being sick of hammering nails into roof boards, everything else had gone like clockwork.

Newcastle Log Cabin Roofboard Installation

Next day came the doors and roof. (Oh, goody, more nails!) The shingles were of excellent quality and easy to lay. I had opted to insulate from within the cabin, so we just laid them out on to the roof boards.

Newcastle Log Cabin Roof Shingles

I think the floor was my biggest disappointment – after the way the rest of the cabin had gone together, I was expecting the floor to do the same? But, some of the cuts were not accurate on the ends of the boards and some different widths. But at the end of the day it’s just a floor. (Note: Our floors come in generic packs and are not cut to fit specific cabins, that’s why we try to give you more than enough to floor your Log Cabin – We’re sorry you had difficulties! – Meg)

Newcastle Log Cabin Floor

I have now been in my new cabin for a month, during this time we haven’t had a drop of rain and 30+ degree temperatures! The cabin is drying out, but (so far) the wood is being extremely stable. The few small cracks that appeared as we installed it have (more or less) stayed as they were. Nothing has warped or buckled.

I really am being honest when I say, we are extremely pleased with our decision to buy a Tuin Log Cabin. Everything from start to finish has been great! I did have to call for a silly question and the aftersales help was brilliant – A big thank you to Alex and the Tuin team!

The Treated Newcastle Log Cabin

Finished!! 🙂


I must say, that shade of treatment really does suit the Newcastle Log Cabin! I’d just like to say a big thank you to Mr and Mrs C for their honest review of our products – We are sorry to hear that you had problems regarding the flooring, but are relieved that you still love your log cabin!

Interested in more reviews like Mr and Mrs C’s? You can find a load more at: Tuin Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Log Cabin Hot Tub Covers

Hello everyone!

Due to the popularity of our recent Log Cabin Pubs blog post, I decided to continue with this concept as a sort of series- Showing some of the main ways that our customers have used their Log Cabin for.

This example being, as the title suggests, hot tub covers! Hot tubs have had increased popularity over the past couple of years after seeing our western neighbours use them as one of the ultimate relaxation must haves – Though of course, we don’t want to be sunburnt in the process.. Nor wanting to clean out all of the leaves that will land in everyday, hence why a lot of our customers have found our products as the ideal solution.

Some examples include:

This is our Rianne log cabin.The 2.5m gazebo is a perfect for size for you hot tub while the having the cabin dimensions of 2.5m x 2.5m that can be used for a range of purposes including: garden pubs, summer house or as general storage.

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This is our Syros Gazebo made from untreated larch, meaning that it will weather through time similar to how oak does; however if you want to preserve the rich colour of larch then you can treat it with products such as our Carefree product, this can help protect the wood from the elements of nature.

This Syros has been shown to be used for a hot tub cover that will be a stylish and an effective solution. The addition of shingles that can give it a rustic look that cannot be said for plain roofing felt, not to mention the longitivtiy of your Gazebo and it’s roof.Syros-Hot-TubA cheaper alternative for the Syros Larch Gazebo is this Wooden Pergola. This is smaller but can be use-full for those smaller areas around your garden, at 3m x 3m pergola you still have plenty of room for your hot tub. Due to the roof material being polyethylene, we would recommend to use this as a temporary/seasonal solution, due to the pergola being less structurally stable compared to our gazebos.


Pergola-Hot-Tub
The Marit Log Cabin Gazebo (4m x 4m) is similar in size to the Syros, however, you can gain some privacy and peace of mind with the additional walls, depending on where you position the Marit gazebo- You can also benefit from the additional protection of the side walls from the wind and potential rain.

Marit-Hot-Tub-GazeboThese pictures are of the Barbara Log Cabin Gazebo which is 3.5m x 3.5m that can, just like our other Gazebo’s and the pergola, be converted into a perfect hot tub cover. This Gazebo is like the Marit, however, this Gazebo has a flat roof that many people can think of as more modern and stylish.

This style also benefits from a low log cabin height, which is ideal to be able to install this without the need of planning permission (always check with your local council). The feature of the side walls, like within the Marit, can give you more privacy.

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This is our Jutka Gazebo which benefits from two side canopies which increases usability, as demonstrated with the hot tub and the sitting area, perfect place for a get-together, party or even just for your own personal getaway for the upcoming summer. The overall size being 6.78m x 6.78m make this an ultimate garden must have, all while being stylish (watch out for the jealous neighbours though!)

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This Elburg Log Cabin is bespoke within this picture, with the addition of the extra doors on the gazebo side of the building. The Elburg normally only have them on one side, however that small factor doesn’t stop anyone from adding them in order to increase the usability potential: this could be as a hot tub cover as shown as below, a summerhouse with outdoor dining as well as a general storage use.Elburg-Log-CabinThese two hot tubs images are from the Mega modern log cabin which measures at 5.75m x 3m which makes it almost ideal for your hot tub, if you’re quiet you could probably hear it calling to be used for a hot tub cover/storage.

A factor that is nice about this is that, like many others it has an outdoor area, however due to the mega moderns size, its proven to be ideal for the end of your garden, a secret get away for the summer. It also makes a nice change from having a hot tub under the gazebo, allowing you to use it during other seasons.

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The Annette Corner Log Cabin is another product with a modern design. This log cabin is 7m x 4m making it a good size for those slightly larger gardens, and every slightly larger garden needs one thing… a hot tub! As luck would have it, this desirable timber structure can easily be the hot tub cover that you need.

Another bonus to the list is that, unlike most other log cabins like this one, the side porch area has extended out the front giving you a nice affect that follows the typical southern houses with the the porch out of the front, just think of the possibilities…Annete-CoverThis final picture is of the Rosenheim Log Cabin which, like the others has been converted into a cosy hot tub cover that looks like it could be the beginning of a brilliant time, the log cabins size of 3.8m x 3.8m is comfortable for most average sized hot tubs and can fit in most gardens, its style can make it look like its a small old fashioned house that would fit in almost anywhere.

The lighting to this Rosenheim Log Cabin is what really pulls this all together, setting the mood to a romantic and relaxing one. Perfect for those with a stressful lifestyle- Just go into your garden and enter your Cabin of relaxation.
Rosenheim-Blog-Interior

This Tourist Gazebo has been adapted and transformed into a hot tub and bar area, reminds me of the swimming pools in Cuban resorts, where you can swim to the bar…

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As well as this Meaghan Log Cabin, freshly installed. The Meaghan Log Cabin measures to 4.5m x 4.5m, the ideal size for a hot tub enclosure – And the positioning of the roof skylights are just perfect. Allowing you to look up at the stars without getting so cold in the night.

This Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin has definitely proved that a cabin can serve multiple uses- Which has turned into the ultimate social location, with a hot tub placed under the canopy and the enclosed cabin being used for a garden pub:

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These are just a handful of the images our amazing customers send us, if you liked viewing these- Follow our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages we also have plenty of boards on the Tuin Pinterest page.

If you’re not looking for a hot tub cover, there are plenty of other ways to utilise a Log Cabin, see our Log Cabin Pubs post for a collection of how our customers have transformed their Log Cabins into a garden pub. Out  Uses Of A Log Cabin post can also provide plenty of inspiration!

Log Cabin Pubs

Our Log Cabins have been put into use for a range of reasons: home offices, summer houses, workshops.. You name it! But one use that has become a huge trend lately is to turn the Log Cabin into a garden pub.

An Inside View Of The Laula Log Cabin

A Laula Log Cabin transformed into a colourful garden bar

Pubs are just a part of British culture, you can’t deny it – So imagine the convenience of having one in your own garden, you’d gain the jealousy of all your neighbours!

We’re lucky enough to receive a load of photos of these garden pubs- But I’m sure there are plenty more out there.

An Inside View Of A Julia Garden Pub

This neon lit Julia Log Cabin seems to be the perfect social location

With the World Cup around the corner, a Log Cabin being used for a mancave/pub is the perfect solution to be able to concentrate on the game in peace- With freedom to cheer as loud as you want (keep the neighbours in mind though!)

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The Aiste Log Cabin proves to be a popular choice for many intended uses, especially Garden Pubs.

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And, if you use an appropriate Log Cabin Treatment, a Log Cabin can become a plain canvas for your creativity. Like these customers, who used the Olson Log Cabin to make a seaside escape pub ready for the summer ahead:

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Though when thinking of a garden pub, stock is a very important factor.. The Julia Log Cabin is a great candidate for a garden pub, at 3m x 5m there’s plenty of space to place the bar towards the end and space seating around the rest of the length- Ideal for large drinking groups.

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I wonder if we could turn one of our showsite cabins into a pub…

Yorick Garden Pub

The Yorick Log Cabin provides plenty of light for cocktail hour.

This is one of my favourite pubs that we’ve been sent in, using the Peter Log Cabin. These customers tried to stick to the British roots of culture by styling the interior like a traditional pub, from the peanuts to the coasters:

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Just as I was writing this post – We even received another picture set of a converted Log Cabin, these customers used the Meaghan 4.5m x 4.5m Log Cabin as a spacial garden pub. A guaranteed neighbourhood favourite.

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This American styled bar is within an Aiste Log Cabin – Just look at the bar table!

Aiste Log Cabin Bar

Another Aiste Log Cabin with a more traditional looking bar compared to the one above – This one appropriately labelled by the customer as “The Boozy Coo”

Aiste Log Cabin Pub

This is a recent Ingmar Log Cabin that’s been transformed into a garden bar – At 3.8m x 3m the Ingmar is an ideal size for those with limited space available, and they finished it all just in time for the England match!

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This Justine Log Cabin has been converted into an ultimate lounge area, one side is fitted with a TV and sofa, the other is turned into this beautifully monochrome pub area – I love the monochrome look in this cabin, it makes the cabin look bright and clean.

Justine Log Cabin Pub

This Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin has definitely proved that a cabin can serve multiple uses- Which has turned into the ultimate social location, with a hot tub placed under the canopy and the enclosed cabin being used for a garden pub:

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And hey, don’t just take our word for the quality of our Log Cabins – the Tuin Trustpilot Reviews even appear to show this trend. Comparing our customer service and products to some well loved beer brands!

Tuin Trustpilot Review

Beer and cake.. Its a solid suggestion!

Tuin Trustpilot Review

You can’t argue when it comes to Carlsberg

These are just a handful of the images our amazing customers send us, if you liked viewing these- Follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages we also have plenty of boards on the Tuin Pinterest page.

If a garden pub isn’t for you, there are plenty of other ways to utilise a Log Cabin, see our Uses Of A Log Cabin post for plenty of inspiration!

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!

Tuin 2018 Catalogue Feature

Hello everyone! So as you may be aware-, we are currently applying the few remaining finishing touches to the new Tuin line for 2018! When these are all completed we will work hard to put the products on our website for you to browse and order. However, in the meantime we have provided a snippet showcase of some of the products we are excited about for the upcoming year.

If you did want to have a sneaky peak our Tuin 2018 Catalogue is available to read online whilst the physical copies are in print. Please note that your device will need Adobe Flash to open the online brochure.

Now, let me show you the products that I am most looking forward to:

Childrens Play Centres:

Each child is unique, so we’ve made it so that the majority of our play centres come standard as a base frame, enabling you to then add additional recreational features and customise your play centre to your specific requirements. Both sturdy and high quality, if treated well these can last for years!

Playtower Sjored

The Sjored base pack excludes the slide and other accessories.. But gives you the canvas to customise your playhouse.

Pagoda Play Centre

From Sailors to Treasure Hunters- A child’s imagination will allow many hours of enjoyment out of the Pagoda Play Centre.

Dining Table Sets:

We often keep an eye on trends to inspire new products, and the minimalism style is favoured by many. See below some Dining Table Sets that are suitable for both indoors and outdoors. With the combination of both metal and wood, the result is a simple but stylish dinner set, because sometimes less is more.

The Sutton Bar set

A combination of Stainless Steel and Teak. The Sutton Bar Set table measures 120cm x 80cm, with a height of 114cm. A simple but sleek looking set- fitted with two black inlay stone plates to accommodate your beverages and prevent ring marks.

The Memphis Dinner Set

Featuring Aluminium framework, the deluxe dinner set Memphis is available in white. The table measures at 200cm x 100cm, with a height of 75cm to accommodate the eight chairs included. Ideal for large families or social groups.

Wicker Furniture:

We have a lot planned with regards to our Rattan/Wicker Furniture selection, with a range of dining sets, lounging sets and individual chairs.

Hamilton Wicker Lounge Set

The Hamilton Wicker Lounge set is made from grey melange flat wicker. Featuring two chairs, a bench, a table as well as a side table- Giving plenty of space to lounge in your garden. Keep an eye out for our other Hamilton inspired Wicker Furniture!

Augusta Wicker 2 Picnic Set

Wicker Picnic Sets are a new concept to our catalogues. Made from flat grey melange, the Augusta comes in two styles. The Augusta 2 features wheels on the table- allowing smooth moving of the table set so it doesn’t get in the way when it’s not in use.

Picnic Table Benches:

Now, I didn’t intend to include our extended Picnic Table and Picnic Benches selection but this one amazed me too much not to mention. The product below is the Vancouver Hardwood Picnic Table/Bench.. Looks fairly ordinary right? But- In order to maximise functionality and minimize the storage space needed- This bench can be folded out to a half picnic table! With two benches you can create a complete picnic set.

 

Log Cabins:

We have seen an increasing trend in thicker log preferences with our soon-to-be updated Log Cabin Category. These cabins may be a little more expensive than some of our current cabins due to the extended measurements and log thickness, but, a thicker log paired with double glazing and insulation will increase the heating capacity- making it a fair investment when taking heating costs and insulation into account, if i do say so myself. Of course there are some newer Log Cabins in the thinner log ranges- as well as our customer favourites staying for another year- but I’m excited to show you some of our new ‘beasts’ of Log Cabins.

Finn 92mm Log Cabin

The 10.4m x 7.4m Finn Log Cabin will make a new milestone to Tuin as one of the first catalogue Log Cabins to have a 92mm log thickness! Made from untreated spruce and double glazed windows, the Finn Log Cabin will have six rooms of varying sizes- Increasing the functionality of the cabin.

Ava 70mm Log Cabin

Measuring at 8.4m x 3.5m the Ava Log Cabin is manufactured using 70mm thick untreated spruce. Giving you durability that paired with treatment, will give you a Garden Building that will last. I imagine the Ava to be suitable for use as a garden office or hobby cabin with three partitioned areas available within the Ava Log Cabin.

As well as these thicker log cabins, we also have new additions to our 45mm Log Cabins and 58mm Log Cabin range- As well as a few 28mm Log Cabins:

Lory 45mm Log Cabin

One of our new, modern styled Log Cabins featuring this year will be the Lory 45mm Log Cabin measuring at 4.35m x 3.5m with a 1.2m overhang. The Lory features four double glazed windows, making it  an ideal summerhouse or a garden office due to the amount of natural light that will be let in.

Sheffield 58mm Log Cabin

With a long 4.17m porch, the Sheffield Log Cabin will measure at 5.4m x 9.6m overall. Made of 58mm untreated spruce- The Sheffield Log Cabin, with its double glazed windows, will make an ideal compromise between cabin cost and heat capacity.

Kone 28mm Log Cabin

The Kone Log Cabin measures to an overall size of 3.8m x 5.9m, this includes the 2.8m porch featured on the front. The Kone suit well as a summerhouse, with the 28mm spruce logs providing a suitable shelter for the warmer months.

And this is just a few of our new products for 2018- Of course I can’t spoil everything for you, but if you just can’t wait any longer to find out you can read through our Tuin 2018 Online Catalogue.

We hope that 2018 will bring us new and returning customers to surprise and delight with again and again.

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