Ulrik Log Cabin Customer Review

As the drastic change of seasons starts, you may find yourself weary of starting your Log Cabin build. It’s during these times where you should keep a close eye on the weather reports and strategically plan your build around those few days of mediocre weather.

Just as these customers have done, in this post we will see Mrs R’s process of building her Ulrik Log Cabin, completed with pictures to show us the process.


Mrs R writes as follows:

We went for the Ulrik 3.8 x 3.8m cabin as it wasn’t too big but a nice size for our garden.
The delivery came mid-morning and took about 3 hours to unload and put in some order for the build. It started to rain (typical) but we managed to cover all the parts.

The build is on a raised concrete base and so we opted for the free composite foundation beams that were on offer at the time of purchase. They are never going to rot.

The following day the job was started. I must admit it looked a bit daunting but definitely exciting. Once the first few beams are down and making sure it’s as square as possible the build is pleasantly easy. We had very little issues with bent or warped timbers, some needed a little persuasion, however.

As each timber was put in place it was treated to a generous splosh of wood preservative including all the joints. This made the build a bit slower but whose rushing. We didn’t go mad with the camera probably because we forgot but we did manage to take a few snaps along the way.

By the roofing stage (day two) the kids had deserted me. This was to be expected, besides there was little help they could offer. Again, this is straightforward just a lot of nails to bang in… Tongue and groove complete. It starts to look like a cabin – Nice!

We went for the free shingles (green) which we thought would look better than felt. My husband had never laid shingles before found it to be not difficult. The only hassle is working on the roof and its angle. The shingles can be unforgiving on the knees.

The wood that was first treated with preservative now gets a “ten Year” guarantee undercoat from Sandtex.

Had to send the kids down the side of the cabin as it was a bit of a squeeze to paint. They had more paint on them than the cabin! What colour to paint it though?

We went for Bay Tree green, again by Sandtex (10yr) with a Grey Stone satin trim.
Two coats of each.

Wasn’t going to bother with guttering but its surprising the amount of water that comes off the roof, and we have had some rain as of late.

With the outside complete apart from a bit of paint for the guttering fixings it was time for the inside.

The electrics first. We had already run in some armoured cable when we done the base. This was now connected to an RCD consumer unit with a separate breaker for a ring main and a lighting radial circuit.

Treating inside the Ulrik Log Cabin

The electrics complete and certificated. The inside was stained with Ronseal 10-year Natural Oak in satin twice. Now it was time for the floor.

2 x 2 beams, insulation in-between and moisture resistant T & G flooring followed by a light oak effect laminate top.

The floor complete it was just kitting it out. Of course, the T.V went in first. The kids said we can’t get Netflix. So, I had to get a Wi-Fi extender that works a treat thank God.
A cheap sofa and chair from DFS, a small coffee table in the middle. The table under the T.V was made by my daughter whilst in her last year at school. Very nice – it has LED lighting as well ☺
A beer chiller (of course) and some blinds etc.

That’s my review over. Still some bits to do but almost there. Hope you enjoyed taking a look. It was a lot of work but very enjoyable and anyone can do it.

Have fun!!


Who could resist a helper as cute as the dog! Thank you to Mrs R for sending in this review filled with progress images, now that the WiFi has been sorted to reach the cabin, I can see myself spending hours in this Ulrik Log Cabin!

Looking for some more Log Cabin inspiration? You can find more reviews like this at: Tuin Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Is the Ulrik Log Cabin too big or too small for your garden? We have hundreds of Log Cabins in our range to choose from.

Ongoing Log Cabin Maintenance

Hello and welcome to what we hope will be a useful guide towards the ongoing maintenance of your log cabin,.. yes it may come as a surprise to some but just like a lot things in this world, log cabins do need to be given some attention every now and then to ensure they operate as intended.

As much as we would love to provide you with a completley self contained product that requires zero maintenance it simply isn’t possible with this sort of building.

Please expect to have to perform the odd bit of aftercare.

Firstly lets just have a brief recap on how our log cabins are made so we can all get in the right frame of mind, by now you may have already installed your log cabin which means you will of already read our comprehensive online Installation manual, Or perhaps you’re still in the planning phase.. Either way we would suggest viewing the above to gain more clarity and perspective on the whole project.

Before I started working here, When I thought about “log cabins” I would immediately cast my mind to the wooden buildings seen in films made from round tree logs sitting in a snowy forest somewhere nice and peaceful.

Snowy Log Cabin

Yes Please

Who wouldn’t want to buy one of these right!.. although you may need to make some life adjustments or sell a kidney to stump up the funds for this sort of project.

Our Log cabins are made a little differently and we like to think more financially and garden friedly, they consist of flat solid wall logs in a range of different thicknesses, stacked ontop of one another which then interlock in the corners with Wind and Weather Proof Connections.

TUIN Log Thicknesses

28mm – 70mm Log cabin logs

These wall logs will in most cases rest on what we call Foundation Beams to bring them up and off your base, These foundation beams as a minimum will be pressure treated for longevity.

Standard foundation beam being used in a build

Basic Foundation Beams

Our basic foundation beams being used, protecting the first layer of wall logs

After the walls are up you then turn your attention to the roof, These come in different styles and sizes of course but the principle around them is the same. You start with the purlins/rafters then the roof boards are fitted ontop to create the solid wooden surface to fix your roof covering to.

Lauren log Cabin being built

The roof being assembled on our Lauren 70mm Log cabin

Then low and behold!.. you have yourself a whole new building ready to be used for whatever you can imagine. looking for Inspiration?

Completed Lauren log cabin

A completed Lauren Log cabin

Easy Right… for some more information about fitting out buildings please also visit our Fitting Tips page.

So there we have it, thats the building up and ready to use but how do you keep it looking and performing as it should and what other considerations should you be thinking about to keep it a fully functional, problem free living space.

Perhaps the best way to go through some of the key points will be to break the cabin down into six areas .

  • The Base for the cabin
  • The Foundation beams
  • The Walls of the cabin
  • The Doors and windows
  • The Roof
  • Additional hardware and extras

Bases

The base is the first thing that gets laid and is critical for both the longevity of your building and its actual construction, i’m not here to talk about what base you should or shouldn’t use as all these details can be found with in our Base Support page already and in reality theres very little you should ever need to do to maintain it which is lucky as it becomes very inaccessible with a lump of a log cabin sitting on top.

However something to look out for would be subsidence, Let’s say you have a concrete slab, or a compact base with slabs ontop.. with the weight of the cabin ontop has it sunk it some places?.. hopefully not but its worth keeping that in mind to check if you find yourself with a misbehaving building.

Or perhaps you have built the cabin ontop of a raised Timber Platform and under the weight of the building one or more of the corners have sunk throwing out the top level like this unlucky customers did.

A sinking timber base

See the gap?.. Customers timber base had sunk in the middle

Luckily for this customer the timber base was fairly accessible from underneath so he was able to add additional support to bring it back level

Another important aspect of a base is damp proofing, using a Damp Proof Course ( DPC for short ) or a Damp Proof Membrane ( DPM ).

A DPC is generally used underneath your foundation beams, its purpose is to protect the underside of your foundations from rising moisture seeping up through your base as well as providing protection against ingress from the outside.

There are other ways to achieve the same level of protection, My favorite is to use a TAR product, painted on both the underside of the foundation beams and ontop of the base that they sit on.. applying this thickly will also service in sealing the perimeter helping prevent ingress.

A DPM is used underneath the concrete slab or ontop of it, This will again protect the underside of the cabin/floor from moisture that tries to rise up from and through your base into the building.

Advice on using a Damp proof course in your base.

Advice on damp proofing

Ideas for Damp proofing

Preventing this moisture from rising up within the building is very important, it can cause unwanted growth with in the building as well as other Unwanted Issues.

garden-furniture-mold

Mold with in a cabin

Nasty right!

Ventilation does play a big part in preventing this as well which we will cover in a moment but if you notice that a once dry and mold free cabin starts to experience these types of problems then a review of your damp proofing may just be in order.

Foundation Beams

Now these are also very important and often in truth the cause of great confusion at first with our more traditional shed building customers.

So just qucikly, Unlike a shed where you would expect to see a row of bearers all running the same direction with a floor built directly ontop..

A normal Shed is built on top of a floor with joists underneath it

Typical shed base

A typical shed with bearers running the same way

The Foundation Beams servce a different purpose for this type of building. they only span under the perimeter of the cabin (as well as any internal walls that might be featured).. What they DO NOT do is span in the middle where the floor goes later on.

Their purpose is to raise the first logs off and away from the base which in turn protects them and provides added room in the middle for a floating floor

We have different types of foundation beams to offer but they all serve the same purpose and will generally sit ontop of your base with a DPC in between. This will generally be enough to keep unwanted ingress from entering your cabin but where two foundations beams butt join together you should think about enhancing these connections with a decent sealant/sealer.

Walls Of the cabin

Treatment

Well here we go, We are starting to get into this now as once the walls are up you can finally start to get a good feel for your log cabin, as we mentioned before the walls are made from individual logs stacked ontop of one another to from a very solid wall, They interlock in the corners with fancy Wind and Weather Proof Connections which go along way to ensure that your cabin remains water tight… But as we also explain this isn’t where the story ends and you cannot just leave the logs as as they are and expect the building to be watertight which leads us swiftly onto a very important part of maintaining your log cabin which is TREATMENT

So let’s start by asking a question.. What is Wood?

Wood is basically a Sponge and this is how you must treat each individual part of your cabin, if you zoom right into the endgrain you will see that it’s made from straws all joined together which was once used to draw water and nutrients to the parts of the poor tree that once needed it.

Wood is a sponge and is made up of straws all drawing water for the tree.

Close up of timber

Wood is a sponge and is made up of straws all drawing water for the tree

You can easily see from these pictures that when we look closely, wood is full of holes and it’s these little buggers that will be causing a problem as they all fill with water or, drain of water as seeing as we killed the poor thing there is no tension of water to rely on.

For an untreated piece of wood especially this is happening constantly, it’s trying to reach the same moisture content as the surrounding air. This is known a Relative Humidity and is a measurement of the amount of moisture in the air around us.

In the summer the wood will expel moisture and shrink, In the winter they will absorb moisture and swell which will loosen and tighten the joints where the logs interlock.

Prevention

A lot of customers will fairly just assume that “treatment” is only applied to safeguard the wood, stop it from rotting ect but in truth this is just one of its benefits. Treatment is also there to try and limit this natural movement as much as possible , We want to limit the amount those sponges can absorb and expel moisture by clogging up the straws contained with in.. we do this by reaching the recommended depth of microns.

A decent treatment should provide the following benefits

  • Protect the surface from weathering (including UV damage)
  • Seal wood on wood joints with in the cabins construction
  • Reach the required micon depth ( 80-120 microns ) which helps limit natural movement
  • Provide the desired finish for appearance

More information on Timber Treatment specifically can be found within the other support articles we offer

I hope the above all makes sense as it then leads on to the ongoing maintenance of your cabins walls. They must be treated and they must be treated well, please do not expect to only have to treat your building once throughout its life time and Please Please Please use a decent treatment in the first place.. To many times have we had angry customers over the phone shouting, screaming at how dreadful it all is and how disappointed they have become….to only find that they hadn’t applied enough coats, hadn’t kept up with the re-treatments or instead used a lets say “less expensive” brand in the first place.

We recommend our own Tuin Treatments or specific ones found locally such as Sikkens, Sadolins and Kingfisher which we know work well at achieving the desired depth of penetration.

You will not cut the movement out entirely which is fine because the building is designed to handle a certain amount without any fuss.

So as the logs of the cabin move ( which they will ) you may then need to re-treat certain areas of your walls, Paying particular attention to the end grain and interlocking notches where they join another wall, these are the most vulnerable parts. You will also need to make note and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines in terms of reapplying dates.

Overgrowth around the cabin.

This part is mainly aimed towards landscaping and storage rather than the cabin itself.

I’ll start by repeating one of our bold statements that we confidently make about the properties of timber, .. Wood will never Rot … we promise… Well, we also go onto say that so long as it is always ventilated, . so if it gets wet and is then allowed to dry it will be fine.

but what if it can’t dry?, What if air can never reach some parts of your cabin due to overgrowth, shrubbery, stacked rocks, Muck ect…

What if you decide to store things right up against the side of the cabins wall such as logs for a burner and leave them there for a few years while they season..

All of a sudden the wood will not be able to breath, vent and dry, Water could then sit there all winter which will eventually cause you all sorts of grief

Please be mindful of your walls, Make sure they are free from direct contact with anything which could cause a water trap, keep ontop of your gardening in those hard to reach areas as if you allow overgrowth to take over it can really ruin your day… you may even decide to call us.. complaining about the timber quality in the first place… “sorry but its wood” we will tell you.. “it only rots if its not allowed to vent” we will try and explain… you won’t like that.

Daisy log cabin

A Daisy log cabin free on all sides allowing decent circulation

Movement In log cabins

As we know by now the walls of the cabin move as the logs Expand and Contract throughout the seasons, the design allows for that just fine.

But what if you want to fix something to the wall like a mounted TV bracket or some shelving to store those garden tools.. I always tell people they can do whatever they like to these types of buildings so long as they follow the golden rule which is.. “You must always allow for vertical movement with in the logs” further explained with in our Dealing with Expansion and Contraction page

Another consideration for some, if your cabin happens to feature vertical posts that supports a canopy or large overhang you will need to periodically check that the adjustable post anchor that we supplied is set at the right height to match the rest of the cabin.

So let’s say you happen to own a building like our Kennet log Cabin

Kennet Log cabin

Our 28mm Kennet Log cabin

Remembering that the wall logs expand and contract, that front post will need to be adjusted from time to time as the seasons change becuase it will not move to the same extent, This is achieved by simply adjusting the nut that sits beneath the smaller plate on the anchor.

Post anchor being adjusted

Post support being adjusted

Doors and windows

I think the best way to approach this section will be to start by gently reminding you that just like the walls, The doors and windows are predominantly made from wood, you remember all of those straws?.. Sponges.. yup this wood is no different

Sure,..the doors and windows tend to be made from timbers which are laminated together which does improve their strength and reduces the possibility of movement but its still wood and it still has those straws.

Treatment

The correct treatment of the wall logs is very important.. but I would personally say that the correct treatment of the doors and windows is even more so and here’s why

Unlike the logs, The doors and windows do not have the same luxury of being fully and always supported.. The wall logs are locked in place and would do well to move in any unexpected sense.. but the same cannot be said for the swinging doors and windows… they are only connected to the cabin via hinges which means if the level of treatment isn’t correct or sufficient you may eventually encounter unwanted warps or twists to occur making them much harder to operate.

When first delivered the doors and windows normally arrive deep with in the pallet, This is on purpose as it provides needed support and compression while in an untreated state to prevent warps and twists… but at the very least the pallets are always banded tightly.

Doors packed within a log cabin package to protect them especially from warping

How our doors and windows come packed

Doors packaged with in the log cabin package to provide compression, preventing movement

You then unpack the doors and windows, Please store them flat and again under compression until ready for installation and treatment. While in situ you need to be very attentive with your treatment and often customers will not give them the attention they sorely require. Treatment should be applied both sides evenly and heavily.. To many times we have had customers upset becuase their doors have warped and to find out after that they didn’t treat it fully or correctly..

An extremely warped door.

A twisted/bowed door

A very twisted door, Do we think this was stored correctly prior to installation?

Hardware

Luckily, even the most twisted door can be corrected with the simple application of a Turn Button or Key,.. you would of already seen these in action in gardens throughout your life time i’m sure as we explain within our other Support Page so don’t panic too much but like most things prevention is better than a cure.

Please keep ontop of your door and window treatment.

Let’s move onto those hinges that we mentioned earlier, The doors and windows will come with their own style of hinges so you can operate and use them.. A lot of the time they are cup hinges that look similar to this

Two piece hinge forming a cup and spiggot. These can adjust the door in both planes.

Hinges commonly found on our buildings

Typical Cup Hinges

Now remembering what we discussed before, while treatment will limit the amount those pesky straws can absorb and expel moisture.. it will not cut it out entirely. You will at some point need to adjust the hinges of your doors and windows so please expect to do so, We go into more detail about this with in our other Support Page

A lot of the windows we send are top hung which operate from the inside via a simple Window Stay, we have all seen them and they do the job nicely

Its always easier to pre-treat the windows and doors before they are fitted so you can be sure of full coverage but sometimes this isn’t always possible. or perhaps it’s just time to recoat them following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Top Hung Window

Common type of top hung window on our Emma Log cabin

If you find yourself having to unhang this type of window from the cabin please be aware of an important Safety point before you proceed. The hinges are only designed to keep the window in place with in the constraints of the supplied window stay which means if you lift it up further, the hanging part which contains the glass could slide off. Be ready to take the weight and seek help from another if needed.

Window Stay Limitations

Be careful when lifting the window beyond the stay limitations

While on the subject of door/window furniture, let’s also talk briefly about the actual locking parts, The cylinder, mechanism, latches ect

These are pretty much self contained but some considerations should be made such as occasionally adding some lubricant with in the metal workings so everything operates as it should.. you don’t want the metal parts seizing up.. also consider oiling the exposed elements to keep rust and corrosion at bay.

Also think about fitting a traditional hook and eye’s for your doors so that during use you can keep them securely open, what we don’t want is the wind catching your new doors and smashing them against the walls… thats how things break which nobody wants.

Hook and Eyes

Hook and Eyes being used on our Chloe log cabin

Glass

That’s about it for the actual hardware, but what about the glass that lets in that sought after natural lighting.. what do we possibly need to consider in terms of maintenance.

The panes of glass are dry fitted into a rebate contained with in the door or window, this is all done prior to delivery as it’s much safer to transport while in place.

The panes of glass can always be accessed if ever needed, they’re only held in by wooden beading which can be Removed With ease as we show with in our Glass Support Article

How the glass is held in place

Glass held in place with removable wooden beading

There’s a few things that we need to think about and one of them which is often not really considered is the seal between the glass and that wooden beading.. is it sufficient?

Going back to treatment by this point you will have fully treated both sides of your window or door right up to the glass.. This alone will typically be enough to prevent water from encroaching between the two surfaces and finding a way into the cabin.

You may also ask yourself, Surely they will come pre-sealed in some way right.. why wouldn’t they be…..?!

Well actually no, they do not. The glass is just dry fitted inside the rebate of frame… thats not becuase we couldn’t be bothered or we’re just trying to save a few pennies on some silicone here in the office to keep the accountants off our backs. It is dry fitted for good reasons!

Firstly, While the packing team do their best to pack the pallets in the safest way possible, we are talking about several tons of a log cabin being moved around and transported over huge distances by several hauliers so things can happen and your glass could arrive damaged ( rare but possible ) .. its glass.. it can break!

For those of you that have used silicone before you will know that it can act abit like glue at times.. so in the unlikely event that you receive your cabin and some of the glass is broken its then an absolute nightmare and down right dangerous to go around and dislodge the broken shards from the inner frame and in the past when units were delivered pre-sealed we received right ear falls from angry customers and rightly so.

Hopefully you agree and can see why we do not send them out pre-sealed, So once you have treated the frames in full and you then go on to notice ingress, all you need to do is either run some sealant along where the glass meets the exterior beading… or if you want you can remove the beading and silicone where the glass directly fits into the inner rebate instead.

Refitting the glass is the reverse of taking it out. If you wished to you could add a bead of silicone sealant although this is not necessary.

Sealant being used

Silicone being added with in the rebate

Movement in log cabins

Moving on slightly, Let’s think about how the frames actually fit into the walls of the cabin for a moment

Back to Movement again ( sorry ) The door and window frames are made with dry, fixing free U-channels which slot over the wall logs which means they will not constrict anything as it moves.

The U-channels are formed by what we call fascia boards… some call them architraves.. they’re basically just planks of wood screwed to the frame to create the U shape. These cover up the all important expansion and contraction gaps which are left above and to the sides of the frames ( please do not in-fill these gaps with anything )

Log cabin doors and window installation

Fascia boards fixed to the perimeter of the frame to create a U-Channel

 

So a few things we need to consider in terms of ongoing maintenance,

Have the inner sides of the fascias been treated correctly, fully? ..Well they should be as they also play a good part of sealing the outer perimeter of the frames.

Have you accidently sent fixings through these fascias which then also penetrate the moving wall logs underneath?.. if so please remove them as you will be preventing those logs from moving with the rest and you will most likely end up with gaps in between those logs.

Or, Perhaps you have noticed gaps around the door frame but are pretty adamant that there are no fouling fixings.. Try loosening the fascias and then re-tightening them.. if that doesn’t work then send us some pictures so we can have a look with you.

Maybe you have treated the underside of these fascias but you have noticed some signs of ingress? In this situation we may just need to enhance the seal between the two wooden surfaces.. Removing the fascias and adding silicone or draft excluders will normally cut that right out .. Just let us know and we are happy to send you some FOC.

Log cabin Extras

We can provide an array of Log Cabin Extras to complement your log cabin and their requirement depends mostly on the circumstance

Before we touched upon the importance of Ventilation which helps prevent moisture from building up within the sealed cabin, If you are not constantly in and out of your building should consider adding Air Vents to allow a continuous flow of air in and out of the building.

Also think about what you store within the cabin, White goods especially kick out a lot of moisture so be sure to install vents to combat that.

We also offer Storm kits as an extra, These are spring loaded metal rods which are used to ensure that the roof of the cabin remains tied down to the rest underneath, most applicable to those in very exposed areas or for those cabins with large exposed canopy/overhangs… please consider the application of a Storm kit

Shingle Glue is an option to consider, Very handy again for customers in exposed areas but generally if you are installing in the winter it is suggested to safeguard the shingles until you summer next rolls around.

We highly recommend Guttering for your log cabin, Not only will this help filter roof water to the desired location it will also serves in protecting the walls and perimeter further down from unwanted ingress and splash around the base.

We also sell a product which is very useful for coating the inside of the walls, Its called Impregnation Fluid on the website and is a very powerful Anti-rot, insecticidal treatment which you could consider, Please note that in inside of your doors and windows will need more than just this product alone.

The Roof

The roofs on these cabins should really be pretty self contained, so long as the roofing material was installed correctly there isn’t really that much you should ever need to think about.

Just keep an eye on any unwanted growth ontop, Moss can sometimes start to build up which should be removed as and when you can. Overgrowth can prevent the surface from ever drying out fully… also if you happen to install the cabin in the winter and moss manages to build up before the summer comes back around it could limit the amount of heat that gets to the tiles which is needed to bound all the those bitumen strips together.

An old log cabin shingled roof

Build up of moss

Serious overgrowth, Overdue a clear out we think

It will also be a good idea to periodically check underneath the roofs fascias for any nests which long term could start damaging the wood.

before those fascias are even applied they should be pre-treated as they are hard to reach once installed, Just like the other parts of the cabin you will need to revisit the treatment after a set timeframe and these higher parts are easily forgotten about and missed.

We hope this helps and we are happy to answer any unanswered queries that may come to mind, Please also revisit our installation manual for much much more.

Summary

  • Keep half a mind for your Base, Check the levels if you start to notice anything strange happening with the cabin on top
  • If you start to experience high levels of condensation within the building consider checking your damp proofing and joints between the foundation beams.
  • Remember that wood is a sponge, Keep on top of your treatment and please use something decent., Recoat those vulnerable areas and meet the guidelines set out on the tin.
  • Treat the doors and windows well and frequently
  • Fit hook and eyes to your doors to prevent unwanted wind damage
  • Keep your green fingers busy, Stop overgrowth from taking over and allow air to fully circulate around the cabin.
  • Do not create water traps around the walls of the cabin
  • Be mindful when fixing anything to the walls, Remembering your cabin likes to move
  • If you find water ingressing around the glass, they need sealing further
  • Guttering should always be fitted to better protect your cabin
  • Add Air Vents to prevent the build up of moisture
  • Consider the need for other log cabin extras
  • keep half an eye on your roof, remove overgrowth frequently

 

Lauren Clockhouse Log Cabin Review

One of our customers was very generous in sending a review of their Lauren Clock House Log Cabin (previously known as the Special Ben), with plenty of images to show you guys the installation progress! We do love receiving images here at Tuin, so thank you Mr F for sending this to us!


Mr F writes as follows:

We were both extremely impressed with the quality of the material and the thought and precision that had gone into the preparation of the kit of parts.

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The 1st of 3 packages arrives, expertly manoeuvred by Barry, the truck driver. Each load was 20ft long and weighed about 1.7tons. By the second image there was a total of 5 tons of shed. Due to a lack of planning on my part they were going to remain unwrapped for about 2 weeks as the ground work was completed.

Work starts on the base about 08.00hrs. Quite a bit of soil had to be removed to
give us a level area. A load of scalping is delivered to the pit, in all, 12 tons was used to form a base for the cement.

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Kharn, the builder, with his whacker plate consolidates the scalping and the
shuttering is leveled. We finished at 20.30hrs – a long day but the pressure was on as we had booked the ready mix lorry for 08.00hrs the next morning.

Leveled Out Shuttering

Impressive work in just one day Kharn!

Day 2 at 07.55hrs, 13 tons of cement arrives… A small dumper truck was used to bring the cement to the site and frantic tamping continued for over 2 hours until all appeared level – very hard work!

A couple of days later and with the concrete hardened the rear bank was ‘landscaped’ and a trench for gravel dug at the base.

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Monday, Day 1 of construction at about 08.00hrs. The lower beams had been treated the day before and the black items are lengths of the plastic base material. The walls progressed nicely and the plastic base strips have just been cut to fit and slid under the lower logs. Note the log which will eventually be fitted above the door, has been temporarily positioned to keep things square despite the gap in the front wall.

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How the joints between the front and rear wall and the middle wall were to be made was a mystery to us but the long logs with vertical holes near the joints gave us a clue and answered the question, ‘what were the square pegs for?’.

The square pegs or ‘wall dowels’ had their corners and ends rounded slightly which still resulted in a satisfying tight fit but with less chance of splitting the logs. The 3 on the left have been treated with a belt sander. About 1 minute per peg and about 60 pegs in total. A pencil mark at the halfway point was useful when banging in.

Wall Dowels

Don’t worry Mr F, these can confuse most people!

About 12 hours after we started and we realise that it’s quite a big Log Cabin!

Installed Walls

The Lauren Clockhouse Log Cabin is one of our longest products!

Day 2 and the roof is progressing well. For the first 2 days of construction there were 3 of us working with lots of carrying from storage area to site and quite a bit of head scratching as we searched for various specific logs. Three pairs of hands were useful as we positioned and fixed the heavy purling.

A start is made nailing the tongue & groove roof boards into position. Much later and all of the boards are fixed. Rain was expected so we protected the roof. Probably no need to but it made us feel better.

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Day 3 was mainly spent nailing floor boards. The nail gun chose a bad time to fail and resulted in much manual hammering. Day 4 was mainly spent fixing shingles to the rear. A slow job but looked good when done. Ladders R Us.

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Day 5, the small gable comes in 3 pieces which we screwed together at ground level then lifted into position. Inevitably, it complicated the fixing of shingles on the front and it was quite late on the Friday before we finished. On days 4 & 5, some time was spent hiding from the heavy showers which slowed us down a little.

We used some heavier timber to trim the base of the roof to provide a substantial mount for guttering. Note the notches required to fit it around the left, right and middle wall. With a bit more thought I could have cut the timber longitudinally to a better shape for the gutter brackets but now I’ll have to custom make a mounting for each bracket.

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End of day 5. It looks like the finished product but still needs a lot of detail work and much brushwork. The most important pieces of paper. A list of contents annotated by me with the log positions and the detailed diagrams showing each log position.

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Happiness is 3 empty pallets. Progress would have been quicker if I were able to unpack and lay out in piles all the various bits of timber. The sheer quantity of wood (and the animals in the field) precluded that, so quite some time was spent rummaging for specific pieces as required. The timber had been cut very accurately and we found that the lengths on the plan, accurate to the millimeter, were very useful in identifying the required log.

Empty Palettes

True happiness indeed!

As garden buildings go, this was a big project and I wasn’t too surprised that the main build took 5 days. Kharn, a professional builder, and I were very impressed with the quality of the material and the accuracy with which it had been prepared. The joints were well thought out and accurately milled although we were dealing with significant lumps of timber and found a club hammer, with protective wood, more useful than a mallet! Even a sledge hammer was found a use in squaring-up the part built walls. Apart from the nails in the floor and roof boards, and the wall dowels, virtually no other fixings were used. The wall logs and purlins stay in position because of the clever joints while the entire building sits steady on its base because of its weight. The packing had been very well done and, as far as I am aware, no parts were missing. Indeed, the supply of plain wood parts seemed generous. Although
there were 450kg of shingles we were a little concerned that we would run out. With 378 shingles we finished the roof with 2 remaining – very well judged by the manufactures.

Overall, I’m a very happy customer and, more importantly, so is my wife! An outstanding product at a bargain price. As the Americans would say, ‘A lot of bang for your buck’. Many thanks for the excellent service and the experience of the build has got my builder friend thinking of buying a smaller version for himself. I hope to have the staining and guttering done soon and will send you a picture of the finished item.


Thank you again Mr F for a detailed and informative overview of your installation process for the Lauren Clockhouse Log Cabin. It looks great and we can’t wait to see your pictures for when it’s completely finished! I hope you and your wife enjoy your log cabin!

Other customer experiences, build articles and tips can be found at: Pictorial Tuin Reviews.

Rosenheim Log Cabin Build Review

We have recently received this review from Mr B of how he installed the Rosenhiem Log Cabin for the perfect shelter for his hot tub! Thank you for showing us your impressive work with the installation of your Log Cabin, we hope you enjoy the Rosenheim and your gift for many years to come!


Mr B writes as follows:

We decided on Tuin for our log cabin after a long 6 months search for the best cabins and every time Tuin kept coming back to the top of the list so we decided with the start of our extension build and the need for the cabin for the hot tub we would finally bite the bullet and order.
We were not disappointed!

Day 0 : Base Construction
As we were having an extension built we paid the grounds workers to lay us a flat 4m x 4m concrete slab. I had originally planned to build a deck base but once I worked out it would need to support over 3 metric tonnes I decided my construction skills may not quite have been up to the job and that the cement slab would be better (plus as it turns out cheaper!)

Setting Up The Base

Sometimes getting help for installing makes it less stressful!

Day 1 : Day of Delivery
8pm we received a phone call from a nice Dutch lorry driver to say that he had managed to get most of the way onto the housing estate we lived on but couldn’t get all the way in his massive 44 foot lorry! I walked down to help unload and escorted him as he drove the Moffett carrying a very long 5.3m package. Unfortunately whilst our drive was 4m wide it really needed to be 4.10m for him to have been able to place it neatly on our drive so after a conversation with our neighbour the cabin was stored across our drive and the neighbour’s garden. A cuppa later and nice Dutchman was back on his way.

Day 2: 6:15am – Day of Construction
Woke up early as keen!

The Log Cabin Delivered

All here and ready to go!

It takes a long time (1hr 45mins) to move all that wood just 10m to the back of the house but important to get it all close to hand and sorted by type.

Day 2: Approx 10am
It’s starting to take shape – fortunately I was able to second one of the builder’s apprentices to lend me another pair of hands so once the foundation beams were all set up and checked to be completely level the logs went on very easily. In the entire build only had two mildly warped beams that needed a little extra persuasion.

Day 2: Approx 1pm
Roof beams all on now and just starting to fit the roof boards. We had opted for an extra side window that you can see here so we had cut out the logs as we went (watch out for jigsaws they are sharp! – My cabin is now permanently marked with the blood of my endeavours!)

Day 2: 3:15pm
Roof boards all on and time to call it a day as wanted to start a fresh putting the roof felt tiles on.

An impressive days work!

Day 3: 8am – 4pm
Long hot day in the blazing sun but got all the roof tiles on – takes a little time to get the first row level and done but then they all just flow from there. Nice sturdy roof that easily took my 15st.

Rosenheim Fully Installed

Second Day of Installing

Day 4 – 6 – The paint job
This was the worst job of the entire task. As we were using it for a hot tub cabin we had been warned to use impregnation fluid (2 coats) on the inside – as this is clear it is very hard to see where you had done so had to be methodical . Once that was on two coats clear treatment on the outside and additional 2 on the inside – Took approximately 36 hours of effort (2 of us at it ) – Don’t underestimate the amount of time this will take! But would completely recommend the treatment from Tuin as whilst it took a long time it went on easily and created a perfect finish.

One additional thing that is worth mentioning is that read all the blogs and suggestions on the main site – and follow the instructions – don’t be tempted to not!
Finally the cabin was finished and we could commission the hot tub and start relaxing. The rest of the photos show the end result – we are very pleased so much so that we have recommended Tuin to lots of our friends who are starting to make their own enquiries and I am sure will shortly be Tuin owners.

The Rosenheim Fully Painted

Tada!

Rosenheim Interior

A perfect fit!


The Rosenheim Log Cabin turned out to be a perfect fit for a hot tub! I personally love how the lighting from the hot tub really sets the mood inside- the ideal atmosphere for a relaxing session!

Thank you to Mr B for sending this in! We always love to see how many ways a Log Cabin can be put into use!

Interested in more reviews like Mr B’s? Find more on the: Tuin Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Julia Log Cabin

We have received a customer review from Mr P of their experience with installing their Julia Log Cabin. Thank you for sending this in!  We love how the bar turned out- It’s a great idea!


Mr P writes as follows: 

Back in February I purchased a Log Cabin from Tuin.

Several months later I have completed the project, turning it into a bar and brewery. Very pleased with it and your customer support and thought I would share some pictures with you!

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We love the bar and brewery Mr P! Thank you for sending in your images, we hope the brewing turns out well!

Other customer experiences, build articles and ideas can be found at: Pictorial Tuin Reviews.

Shepherd Hut Review

One of our customers, James from East Sussex, has been very generous in sending us his review of the Shepherd Hut Gypsy styled caravan and his process of installing them from start to finish- with plenty of pictures!


James writes as follows: 

I ordered two Shepherd’s Huts before Christmas to take advantage of the generous discount. They were delivered in the first week in January. The delivery driver was superb and, though it was difficult and time-consuming, he managed to get both into one of our barns.

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We debated where to undertake construction and in the end decided that it would be best right by the house, which involved some nice exercise to stroll up and down the drive when stuff was needed.

The kits were extremely well packed and there was no need to use additional tarpaulin or covering. They have sat there in the barn until today when I opened the first one. I used my car to haul the heavy metal chassis and wheels, nuts, bolts and other hardware up to the build area. There is one thing we did: I read a review about the axle being tube which broke when the hut was moved a short distance. We decided to get a blacksmith to beef up that component, just in case, so the tube was cut off and solid steel bar was welded in its place for each axle.

Axle Tube Modifications

Since all the metal work was on top of the kit, I kind of thought that the contents of the delivery would be packed in the order you need them. But that isn’t the case and it’s not a problem. So, after looking at the drawings and instructions and much head scratching, we opened up the delivery and had another round of head scratching.

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Day 1:

Our aim for today – I am building this with my friend who is a great deal more handy and adept than I am – was to get the base done. We started at 10.00am and, unusually for me, we carefully studied the manual/building plans and decided we would just go at it a page at a time. So, first order of business was to build the chassis. The metal bit was easy and that was the starting point and first job to do. All we had to do was lay out the metal work roughly where we wanted to build the hut.

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It was at this point that we realised we would need various lengths of timber from the kit and, when I opened it, I noticed that a lot of them were right down the bottom of the pallet! So, we would have to take everything off the pallet and stack it in vertical piles. That took a little while as we looked at various components and discussed them and where they would fit into the overall thing. I was very surprised to see that the panels that had windows actually had the glass in! OK, if you want to double glaze your hut you need to change that but it says something for the quality of the packaging and the way things are shipped that all the glass is in first class condition – not a scratch or crack anywhere on it.

Looking at the build instructions, and the separate parts list, the various lengths of timber, some of which look the same length, I had hoped would be numbered to correspond with their number in the parts list. They aren’t. It’s not a problem – but you just need to be careful to make sure you use a tape measure to check the sizes to correctly identify the various components.

For instance, you might just be able to make out below that to join the two chassis units, you need to make up a joist which uses one 2, one 2a and a 2b. 2a and 2b are not dissimilar in size but if you make that mistake – we did – you end up with a joist that is either too short by a few inches or too long by the same amount.

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The first task that involves wood is to make two items that bolt onto the metal work. We did these on the ground and then fitted them.

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A point on the metal chassis. We did a bit of head scratching because what we had in front of us didn’t match the drawing. It was obvious that this assembly had been beefed up with two additional bolts but that isn’t reflected in the drawing. Sill, you would want to be fairly uptight to worry about it and I am certain that the additional metal and bolts are an improvement.

Metal Chassis Closeup

Getting on with the frame, we built the first two long joists (the 2 + 2a + 2b) that bolt to the metal frames on the ground. Then it was just a case of positioning them accurately, drilling holes and bolting to the metal. This fixes the length of the unit – and it’s big!

From here, you need to assemble the rest of the joists – another five. As mentioned, each one is made of three pieces of different length timber. There was a whole lot of head scratching trying to get the right ones together. Basically, we put all the possible pieces on the part-built base, which is a great work bench, and then worked out what went with what. You just need to take your time and things click into place.

Underlining the point that the Shepherd Hut base is a very handy workbench at exactly the right height, in the image you can see James making up one of the three-component joists.

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The Tuin hut is a quality item and as we were working we were having some thoughts about making sure it lasts. The base we are working on, the underside won’t show, unless someone crawls underneath. The wood is untreated and, as it goes through its life, while rain can’t get under there, dew and damp, over time, could. So we decided that we would not fix any of the joists for the moment. That’s because I am going out tomorrow to get some really good wood preservative for everything we have made so far before it is fixed – it’s a lot easier brushing on preservative when I can turn the joist over to get all sides, rather than crawling around under the base. Also, I am going to apply a coat of preservative to the underside of the floorboards – the ones that will be open to mist and moisture from beneath. So this is as far as we got on Day 1 – all the joists are ready to be screwed down but they will get a coat of preservative before that happens.

In terms of time, what you see above is not a day’s work – it took four hours work for two guys from start to finish, and that included a fair bit of time at the beginning getting familiar with the kit, instructions, components and how to read the drawings and specs, looking at parts and figuring things out. Most of all, we want to enjoy this build so we are not rushed. Tomorrow is preserving day. At this stage we are delighted with everything and though we have had the offer of whatever support and advice from Richard at Tuin, we haven’t felt the need to avail ourselves of it.

Day 2: 

Day 2 is a misnomer. On Day 2, as mentioned above, I treated everything with a preservative/sealant against moisture and that included the floor joists and all the underside of all the floorboards. I stacked the made-up joists on the axles and used the hut base to paint on the preservative to the floorboards and then I left them there and covered the lot with the tarpaulin.

We cleared the deck and positioned the five joists. It was at this stage that we discovered a length discrepancy in two of them – one was a bit short while the other was a few inches too long. Clearly we had made a mistake and we figured out we had used the wrong three components, as indeed we had. It didn’t take long to figure out where we made the mistake and we switched over components. However, it underlines that you need to take your time and make sure you identify all the components and put a pencil mark on them so that in the heat of constructing things, you don’t mistake similar sized and shaped lengths.

Things are still a bit slow at this stage, as compared with later but you need to just take your time. The joists have to be positioned accurately and we did that and clamped them in position while we screwed on the metal brackets. There’s 20 of them so, even with two of us, it still took time. I guess, from unwrapping things, getting the joists positioned and putting the brackets in – with a stop for a bacon sarnie and a tea – it took us nearly three hours to get everything ready. After that, things began to speed up in terms of seeing real change and progress. I think it only took us about half an hour or so to screw the floorboards to the joists and suddenly we had a platform and we could look at putting up the wall panels.

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We decided to offset the side windows, looking over the timestamps of the images I was able to work out that it took just a few minutes over one hour to get from the first image… To the last one.

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It is definitely a two-man job but not a difficult one. Up goes a panel and while one holds it in place and pushed tight against the base and its neighbour panel, the other then screws it bottom and sides to the next panel.

The next task, attaching the curved roof timbers, was a slower job because they are attached at each side with small metal brackets using fiddly little screws plus being up a ladder. But from start to finish, and in all of this construction work we were not in a hurry or rushing things, it took over an hour to fit all of the curved roof timbers and the two end sections.

So below is where we got to by 4.00pm when we decided to call it a day. Tomorrow we need to complete the roof pieces to cover the porch area, and then apply the tongue and groove roof boards.

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After James headed off and I did a few chores, I decided it would be pleasant and relaxing to do at least one side with the primer undercoat I had bought from Screwfix that comes very highly recommended. It’s a job that needs doing, so why not get a bit of it done. And, in the way of these things, a couple of hours later and I had done the whole lot.

And so, construction Day 3 looms and the forecast is for it to be very hot and sunny all day.

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Day 3: 

Today’s forecast was for the hottest day of the year so far and they didn’t get it wrong. It was in the 70s with not a cloud in the sky. I was up early and while having my first coffee of the day, I tried a patch of the blue I have selected for the exterior to check the colour. It will need another coat but I like the light blue.

Paint Test

I was probably jumping the gun last night by priming/undercoating the build so far because we added on the porch today which will need to be primed. But what I have done certainly wasn’t a waste of time. We started work before 9.00am and we used the van to move up all of the tongue and groove roofing boards – there are three sizes that make up a length. As we looked at things, we discovered a slight error in that one of the roof beams was not in the right place – we were about 5cms out, so we did a bit of remedial work to get that set up perfectly. Then we built the porch which went together well. We had some head scratching because we hadn’t noticed that we needed a little batten up top on the outside of the porch upright at each side, but once we realised that, it didn’t take long to find the two bits of board and get everything properly lined up ready to start work on the roof boards.

A word of caution on those curved roof beams. They are held in place by a little bracket which you can see in the photo below. It stands slightly proud – and we couldn’t see a way of avoiding that – which causes some fun and games when you try to put a roof board on top of it. We worked out a way – bash down the metal edge that is protruding and leave the board above loose while you fit the final board, then nail them both down. But it would be good if a nick could be taken off that bracket in manufacture – or maybe we should have positioned it further inward so it didn’t stand proud, but that doesn’t look right as you can see from the second shot.

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From the time stamp on the photo, I can see that we started work on boarding the roof at 12.00. It was really hot so it was sweltering doing the work but we got it all done by 3.25pm, which included about 40 mins for lunch.

By the time we had roofed the entire hut, we were tired and decided to call it a day. We haven’t quite made up our minds about the roof – use the felt supplied or go for a corrugated roof with insulation beneath. So we will have to leave things for a few days while we earn a crust so we decided to cover the roof with a tarpaulin. It is not big enough but I have a bigger one that will go on before the rain arrives tomorrow afternoon.

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After my friend James left, I was still in the mood to just potter about and do a little more. So I fitted the doors and the door frame and that was a fairly easy process. I just needed my wife to hold the components steady while I screwed them and we got the doors hung after a bit of messing about trying to put them on backwards!

Then I decided to fit the little gates things at the end of the porch. I was hot and tired and not at my brightest so there was an awful lot of head scratching and trying to figure out these strange hinges. I have never seen anything like them in my life before. On the left, that’s just one hinge – I know they are special and let the little gate thing swing either way and open back out of the way. I couldn’t figure out how to fit them, so I left that for another day when I am less tired and hot and bothered…

I contemplated getting out the primer and doing the new pieces we had fitted – mainly the porch – and also the underside of the interior roof but it was still very hot and I decided instead to make up the steps which was a fairly easy task.

Shepherd Hut Completed.

So that’s it. There is more work to do – the roof in whatever material we decide to do it, but other than that we’re pretty much there. There’s the fitting out to do – prime and paint the rest of it; add the exterior trim, run some electric cables inside for lights and power; insulate inside and then panel the walls; lay an oak laminate floor; general painting and decorating and “dressing” the hut, etc. etc. I’ve bought a sofa bed from Ikea specially for it and I have been collecting a few period things that will look the part. But that is an on-going fun element which we will do over the next couple of weeks because we are in no hurry.

As I was reading customer comments on building one of these, it was suggested you can build one in a weekend. Of course the devil is in the detail – at what stage do you determine it is built? If you look at our timings and what you see in the photo above, then certainly, two averagely handy guys, working at a steady, unrushed pace, got this far in a long weekend. If we were building the other one, I think it would be quicker because we did an awful lot of head scratching and that’s understandable. There are no written instructions in terms of describing that you need to do this, then that, etc. etc. and how you do it. The manual is made up of about 18 pages of drawings – very well annotated drawings – that show you what is needed, and where and how it is placed. It shows you what screws to use and where necessary, there are little exploded drawings for key details. It is easy to miss something or confuse two pieces of the jigsaw so double check everything. That is not to criticise the instructions – but what we realised is that we weren’t familiar with following this kind of instruction booklet and at times things didn’t make sense. And then the penny would drop and you would see what was required and it was easy.

I think, most of all, I’m happy with the attitude we approached the build with: this is going to be fun. Let’s enjoy this. We certainly did despite the head scratching as we turned another page onto another stage of the build until it sank in what we were looking at and what we needed to do.


Thank you to James for your article. We appreciate the amount of detail and passion you show in both your writing and your images! I send my best wishes for when you build the other one and modify it. We would love to see images of the interior design when you’re finished!

Other customer experiences, build articled and ideas can be found here: Pictorial Tuin Reviews.

Shepherd Hut Inspiration

A customer has sent me today a CD of their pictures of our shepherd hut, Gypsy Wagon. This is their pictorial story of the arrival, installation and final finishing of their shepherd hut that you may enjoy, the finishing is of particular inspiration if you have, or are considering this building.


gg

Knocking down an old shed

f

Preparing the ground

Perimeter is marked out

Perimeter is marked out

Shepherd hut arrives.

Shepherd hut arrives.

Well packaged and delivered with a de-mountable forklift

Well packaged and delivered with a de-mountable forklift

Shepherd hut Chassis

Shepherd hut Chassis

Main outside rails and chassis is installed

Main outside rails and chassis is installed

All the cross members and rails are in and the floor can be laid

All the cross members and rails are in and the floor can be laid

Floor and veranda is laid

Floor and veranda is laid

Walls and front and rear 'apexes' are fitted

Walls and front and rear ‘apexes’ are fitted

Roof hoops are fitted

Roof hoops are fitted

Steps and veranda parts are installed

Steps and veranda parts are installed

Roof boards are nailed onto the hoops

Roof boards are nailed onto the hoops

NOTE:

The beauty of our Shepherd huts / Gypsy wagons is that they can be customised to whatever you want and this is why so many customers buy our buildings and several businesses exist because of it.

Up to the picture above this was a standard install and now it gets interesting.

Mr U now started to make his own modifications and changes. The following is non standard and not supplied by us but may inspire your own build.

Ignoring our supplied roofing felt Mr U is using a corrugated roofing material

Ignoring our supplied roofing felt Mr U is using a corrugated roofing material

Paint starting to be applied in traditional colours

Paint starting to be applied in traditional colours

Additional battens in the walls and laminate flooring is installed. An electrical circuit is also now in place.

Additional battens in the walls and laminate flooring is installed. An electrical circuit is also now in place.

A stunning oak laminate floor fitted on top of the standard floor

A stunning oak laminate floor fitted on top of the standard floor

Insulation boards fitted in the wall panels.

Insulation boards fitted in the wall panels.

Timber clad lining is being fitted

Timber clad lining is being fitted

Tongue and groove timber lining - we can also supply lining boards of 18mm and 27mm if asked.

Tongue and groove timber lining – we can also supply lining boards of 18mm and 27mm.

Lining complete and starting to paint for the final finish.

Lining complete and starting to paint for the final finish.

Further painting

Further painting

The finished Shepherd hut / Gypsy Wagon.

There has been a huge amount of work in this project but with building of this standard often sold in excess of £10,000 a little work yourself can pay off if you have the time and DIY skills.

These are the finished pictures:

Frosted glass motif in the rear window

Frosted glass motif in the rear window

A stunning writing desk feature

A stunning writing desk feature

Looking towards the rear of the shepherd hut - an amazing finish.

Looking towards the rear of the shepherd hut – an amazing finish.

The completed Hut - Stunning!

The completed Hut – Stunning!

Thank you Mr U for taking the time to photograph and send me these pictures. I hope my present was thanks enough for the inspiration you have given.

To see other customer experiences, build and ideas with our products, this page links several of them together: Pictorial Tuin Reviews

We also have a new version of this Shepherd Hut with doors in the side: Shepherd Hut Deluxe