EPDM on Log Cabins Roofs

For flat or sloping roofs on our Log Cabins we normally supply roofing felt but as an option we do have the far more superior roofing material of EPDM.

What is EPDM?

EPDM is a highly durable synthetic rubber roof membrane, it’s posh name is Ethylene Propylene Diene terpolyMer. It’s two main ingredients are Ethylene and Propylene which come from oil and natural gas. It’s been used on flat roofs for over 40 years. The main technical features of EPDM are:

  • Cyclical membrane fatigue resistance
  • Proven hail resistance
  • High resistance to ozone, weathering and abrasion
  • Flexibility in low temperatures
  • Superior resistance to extreme heat and fire
  • Thermal shock durability
  • Ultraviolet radiation resistance
  • High Wind Resistance

Why Use EPDM on your Log Cabin?

Roofing felt is an ideal solution for a flat or gently sloping roof but it’s life expectancy is not that high. About 5 years is a very good life span for ordinary felt. EPDM though has been known to last for thirty years without concern. For a long term economic prospect it is good value for money.

The benefits of EPDM on your log cabin roof are:

  • Cut to size for your building so no joints (except modular buildings)
  • Inert and UV stable
  • Will not crack or Perish
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Applied cold
  • Virtually maintenance free
  • Long Life Expectancy
  • Economical when compared to re-felting every few years

Installation of EPDM

There are three ways EPDM can be fitted and this includes Ballast, Mechanically Attached and Adhered.

The Adhered system is the one we will use and is the one used by many roofing companies. Basically it is glueing the membrane to the roof and is pretty easy to do.

Log Cabin Roof Variations

Before reading too much further all this article is going to do is tell you the basics on how to fit EPDM to your log cabin roof and simply put the membrane is:

  • Rolled out
  • Allowed to settle
  • Glued down
  • Trim as you wish

The trim as you wish is the bit that’s left up to you as there is no hard and fast rules for this. You can either finish as you would with roofing felt and tuck it behind your barge boards, you may want to trim it flush with the roof boards or you may want to do a little more. This is all up to your preference, requirements and skill set.

Also, bear in mind this is my own personal recommendation on how I do it, I’m sure other fitters, roofers, builders etc will have their own take on it. Some may even say I’m wrong which wouldn’t be the first time.

Roll out the EPDM on your Log Cabin Roof

Take the roll up on to the roof and undo the ends, you should find some glue inside in the form of spray cans.

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Normally hidden inside is enough cans to glue your roof down. It’s very unlikely you won’t have enough but any contact adhesive also works if you run out and need it quickly.

Three cans

Three cans were found in the depths of the roll. The EPDM is cut for your building, this membrane is 3.9m x 5.4m. Three cans was more than enough.

This is where I may differ from all the advice you see from the roofing people, they always say to unroll it, layout flat on the roof and then allow it to settle as it is.

I have done it this way and it works on a hot day but I still prefer my technically named sausage method.

Roll the full length out across the roof

Roll the full length out across the roof

fold out

Start to fold it out flat across the whole roof.

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Then start to roll it up again length ways, try to do this reasonably tightly, it does help if there is two of you and try to keep it as level as possible.

Keep rolling

Keep rolling together with your partner, keep it level and quite tight!

Saua

At the end you’ll end up with a sausage.

Allowed to settle on the Log Cabin Roof

When complete you’ll end up with a sausage sat at the start of your roof, I will always start at the highest point and work backwards.

I mentioned trimming earlier and you’ll notice where we have set the barge boards, this is just my preference, there is no right or wrong way. I wanted to give a little extra clearance for headroom below. It does not matter though how you do these.

It does help though to only start with the front ones on and add the side and rear if applicable later.

Once you’ve made your sausage, leave it for a little while on the roof and as it’s rolled so tightly a lot of the creases from storage will start to come out. The sun will also make it a little more pliable.

I’ve mentioned it already but it really helps if the sausage as been rolled level as you will use it’s edges later on to check you are rolling it out on the log cabin straight and true.

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If you end up with a wonky sausage unroll it and start again. Nothing worse than a wonky sausage!

 Glue the EPDM Down

This part of the install on your log cabin is exactly what it says, we are just glueing it down on to the roof. How you want to trim it is up to you, I may have mentioned this.

The principle is how I’m glueing it.

dfh

This is something I do, you do not have to do this unless you want to.

As you will see from this picture I have used a bit of timber to create a slope against the barge board. You do not have to do this, you can finish it as you want, tuck it behind the board, glue it directly to it, however you wish.

I’ve done this though as I think it looks nicer, it also stops water going behind the barge board. Due to the height I raised the boards I was able to use a floor board to create the slope, if I had less of a height I might use a trim from skirting or roof boards or even a packing piece laying around. There is no hard and fast rules on this other than it needs to be glued down.

KK

I now shuffle my sausage forward and align the edge to where I finally want it to finish.

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Give the cans a good shake, I think they advise two or three minutes of vigorous shaking, I can’t remember but give them a good shake for a while.

Start to glue

Once everything is aligned and the cans have had a good shake then roll the sausage back slightly

With the sausage rolled back a little you can take the front and uncover the area to be glued. Spray the glue evenly at a length of about 50cm all the way along the roof, it does start to go off pretty quickly. You don’t need to apply it really thickly, too thick and you fight against the glue itself.

Don’t spray right to the ends or right to the front at the moment.

Glue all the way along the roof

Glue all the way along the roof at about a depth of 50cm so the glue does not go off too quickly.

sss

Now fold the membrane forward and start to smooth out.

I’ve seen videos and instructions and professionals and all sorts of recommendations on how to smooth out the EPDM, they’re probably really good and certainly give them ago and let me know how you get on but I still prefer to use my hands and push out the bubbles of air, smoothing the membrane as I go.

Note though I haven’t glued the edges yet as I may want to still much about with this. This is particularly the case at the sides as the barge boards are still not on.

Once the first part is done, now knell on it and roll out the rest, glueing every 50cm as you go, smoothing out as much air bubbles as you can.

Once the first part is done, now knell on it and roll out the rest, glueing every 50cm as you go, smoothing out as much air bubbles as you can.

Glueing ever 50cm and then rolling out

Glueing every 50cm and then rolling out

Smooth as you go

Smooth out any air bubbles as you go, I use my hands but you may have a better idea or system or received better advice

Another 50cm and the roof is glued down and that’s as far as this advise goes on how to fit your EPDM. It’s really quite straightforward, we’re unrolling it, then glueing down, and smoothing it out.

When the main body of the roof is down you can then work on the edges and fit the barge boards and trims as you require and completing the final glueing stage in these areas.

The rest is up to you.

Trim your Log Cabin EPDM Roof as you wish

I’m often asked what is supplied as regards trims with EPDM. I answer there is nothing extra and nor does their need to be you can use this exactly as you would felt. You can though utilise offcuts and produce slopes to ensure all the water is taken away and make a really professional job of it.

You can also use capping pieces on top to make it look nice or battens to secure it fully so as not to rely wholly on the glue at that point.

gdfg

I have the slope at the front you have already seen but I also did the same at the sides and added a capping piece to make it look nice. To the side I have added a batten to sandwich the EPDM so as not to rely completely on the glue at that point (in this picture I am yet to cut the batten flush with the barge board)

dffh

Not a bad finish, most of the air bubbles came out and pretty smooth. Shame about my boot marks but they will wash off and the creases will disappear.

sfsd

This is another fitters roof on a Yorick Log Cabin, he finished everything flush and that is his preference and still works the same in producing a secure roof for many years with water draining to the rear and following the slope. Upstands are always better though and prevents any rot to trims.

sf

Another fitter has added a small up stand and uses a batten to fix the EPDM at the top.

dgsds

Someone else has gone to town making top trim pieces. We also sell aluminium strips that can do this for the front of the cabin.

dr

Or … just fold it over the top of the barge boards. This is the Yorick Log Cabin and a customer chose to do this. Nothing wrong with is at all other than perhaps aesthetics.

Summary on Fitting EPDM to your Log Cabin

In summary all we are trying to do is glue down the membrane with as little bubbles in it as we can.

We also want the roof to drain well and if you wish, it’s nice to create slight slopes all around to encourage the water to flow. This is something the flat roof boys do on your house so we may as well do it on our log cabin. You don’t need anything special apart from a few off cuts of wood which you will have when you have finished your cabin.

Some customers worry about installing EPDM  on their log cabin but it is far the quickest roofing method, it doesn’t rip, it’s quite forgiving and easy to work with unlike felt which can be a real pain especially in very hot weather. Plus in the past 17 years now I have never had to re-meet a customer to re-do his EPDM, I’ve met a few to re-felt though!

Trimming is easy but have a ponder on how you would like it to finish before you start and make sure water drains away if the roof is totally flat on your log cabin.

For our modular buildings there will be a join as each part of the building is a separate section, all you do is glue over the seam as you would the roof and as long as you are flat this is not a problem, professional flat roofers do exactly the same.

As always, if you have any questions, please let me know.

Tuin Roof Shingles Complaint

This is a tongue in cheek post …….

A customer complained that it ‘took longer than expected to fit the shingles’ so I thought this post may help to quicken things up for you.

Shingles is very subjective, it can really take as long or as quick as you want. The videos below may help you in doing it really quick. Do not be tempted to use a nail gun, most nails guns will fire a small headed unsuitable nail or worse still (in my opinion) staples.

We try to give some good advice about your install of your log cabin here: Tuin Log Cabin Installation Manual we also offer advice on how to fit shingles to your garden structure or building

Want to make your log cabin roof quicker? Let’s speed things up a little …… watch these guys …..

Roof Shingles Installation

There’s some very good tips in these videos on how to carry out your roofing, really quickly if you want to !

Or  – Take your time and enjoy the process of a really good completed roof that will last for years on your, shingles can take a whole day on some buildings but it is worth it in the end and you don’t need to speed like the guys above. Enjoy your log cabin or Shingle install!

Log Cabin Window Stays

I thought it was quite a simple thing asking one of our young lads to finish a cabin by putting on the locks, window stays etc. He hasn’t been with us for very long and is  learning how to fit to eventually be a member of the service team.

We were fitting an Emma Log Cabin as a learning building and everything had gone as expected and I was leaving him to finish off while I chipped off to do something really important somewhere else. After a short while he came to find me and asked ‘How do you do this’? while holding a stay.

I thought it was quite straightforward and hadn’t really thought it was a tricky thing to do but this was my instruction to him which may also help others finishing their log cabin:

Fitting a Window Stay in Log Cabins

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The end of the window stay is normally hinged so it can be placed either left or right

left-window-stay

right-window-stay

Using the hinge we can either place the window stay to the left or right. It’s a choice of aesthetic and in the case of a corner log cabin such as the Emma log cabin it’s nice to have them either facing towards or away from the door.

If you're working on your own, use a piece of timber to hold the window shut

If you’re working on your own, use a piece of timber to hold the window shut

Centrally locate the window stay and place it on the two pins.

Centrally locate the window stay and place it on the two pins.

I like to use a slither of wood to raise the stay up from the securing pins slightly, it seems to work better and looks nicer at the end.

Fix the stay to the opening window first making sure it is level and centrally placed for aesthetics.

Fix the stay to the opening window first making sure it is level and centrally placed for aesthetics.

Open out the stay to fix the second screw.

Open out the stay to fix the second screw.

Lay the stay on the pins in its final position. Gently hold the pin in place with your finger as you lift it up again to fix the pin

Lay the stay on the pins in its final position. Gently hold the pin in place with your finger as you lift it up again to fix the pin

Be careful not to move the pin too much as you lift up the stay.

Be careful not to move the pin too much as you lift up the stay.

Screw one side of the pin and check it works.

Screw one side of the pin and check it works.

Some adjustment maybe needed to make the stay apply the appropriate pressure to the window making sure it seals.

Some adjustment may be needed to make the stay apply the appropriate pressure to the window making sure it seals.

When we have finished we need to make sure there is some pressure on the stay and pins to ensure the log cabin window is sealing tight against the frame. If necessary after checking move one side of the pin out as in the above picture.

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Fix the next screw after it has been rotated out slightly and then fix the next one, this will ensure there is some pressure on the window and is a handy technique when fitting these on your own.

window-pin-3

Window stay will now be at an angle to the window so when the final pin is fitted there will be constant pressure on the window making sure it is permanently sealed to the frame

The window stay will now be at an angle to the window so when the final pin is fitted there will be constant pressure on the window making sure it is permanently sealed to the frame

Some pressure is now needed to place the final pin, mark it and fix it into position.

Some pressure is now needed to place the final pin, mark it and fix it into position.

Fixing the final window stay pin

Fixing the final window stay pin

Log Cabin window stay in it's final position.

Log Cabin window stay in it’s final position.

Ideally when the stay is fitted it will be:

  • Centrally located
  • Facing towards or away from the door as is aesthetically pleasing with other window complimenting it
  • It should exert some pressure on the window to keep it sealed against the window frame

Please Note: The furniture fitted may not be identical to that received with your building as this was a training building but the process and style will be similar.

Sap Removal

Very occasionally you may be faced with a sap pocket in one of the logs within a log cabin. This is unavoidable unfortunately and this does sometimes happen with timber.

Sap is very sticky and can leave quite a mess. To remove it you can either leave it to dry and then cut off with a sharp knife, your can also wipe it off with white spirit.

For a larger pocket such as the one below you can follow these simple steps.

Large sap pocket we found while installing a new show building

A large sap pocket we found while installing a new show building

Using a heat gun or hair dryer you can liquify the sap pocket. As heat is applied it will start to flow out of the pocket

Using a heat gun or a hair dryer you can liquify the sap pocket. As heat is applied it will start to flow out of the pocket

Use a rag to collect the flow

Use a rag to collect the flow. Be careful not to heat the wood too much (as we have done here) otherwise you will scorch it slightly. Wipe of the sap flow with spirits on a cloth.

Sap has all bubbled out and cleaned off with white spirit. As we scorched the wood we will need to give the log a light sanding.

Sap has all bubbled out and cleaned off with white spirit. As we scorched the wood we will need to give the log a light sanding.

Sanded and cleaned.

Sanded and cleaned.

Sap pocket disappeared and blended into the rest of the log cabin and now imperceptible.

Sap pocket disappeared and blended into the rest of the log cabin and now imperceptible.

Sten Log Cabin Review

I have said it before but these are my favourite posts, I thoroughly enjoy hearing from customers with their thoughts on our buildings, service and other details.

Mr W has some good ideas on his base and how he carried it out which may well assist you.


This is Mr W’s thoughts on the Sten Log Cabin and his journey with it and us:

Sten 3x2m – Review Part 1.

This is my initial review having just taken delivery of the above cabin.

We were contacted in advance and advised of the delivery date but also given the opportunity to select days that would be suitable for us.

The cabin arrive on the programmed day and was dropped off in the requested location without fuss. Living in a cul de sac the package was transported to the house on the fork lift truck the delivery lorry was unseen.

The package consisted of the cabin weather proofed in plastic and securely strapped to a pallet. The floor boards and bearers were also strapped together but a separate entity. The roof shingles were loose on top of the package.
The main cabin packaging was intact and I would have been happy to leave it outside safe in the knowledge it would be well protected from the weather but because of the location it had to be moved.

The following weekend we set about moving the main cabin into the garage where I intent to apply a protective finish prior to erection. The timber elements were very securely strapped to a pallet with metal bands. Having removed the protective plastic the cabin was revealed.

Two of us moved the various components to the new location which gave the opportunity to become familiar with the different parts and do an initial sort into back front roof etc. I am a keen wood worker and was very happy with the quality of the wood noting the lack of sticky resin and the dryness and general finish. Important to note that the window and door was shipped glazed and arrive in one piece undamaged which is a reflection of the good packaging and handling considering its long journey.

With all the parts checked and accounted for I can say I am very impressed with the quality. The window unit is robust and the fitted hinges and catch work perfectly. Likewise the door and lift off hinges are also well constructed. Worth a note here most parts are screwed and not nailed to the door / window units. The roof shingles require careful handling and storage. Over all I am very happy with the product and would describe it as recommended. I look forward to erecting it in the near future when I will write part 2 of this review with photos.
Mike.

Mr W then kindly sent us the following Part two of his review:

Sten 3x2m Erection Report- Review Part 2.

With the summer coming to an end I started by treating the components prior to erection. After careful research I went for a Ronseal product called ‘Total Wood Protection’ which provided both rot protection water proofing and colour. This product is oil based and quite thin and is absorbed by the wood rather then sitting on the surface like a paint would. This I felt was ideal because it would not prevent the log tongue and grooved joints fitting together. It was very easy economical and quick to apply probably because of the very good finish on the timbers and the drying time was down to a few hours on a warm day. I have to say this is a monotonous job but well worth the effort and finally all the parts were back under cover and by now quite familiar.

My thoughts were now on the base design and construction.

The site for the cabin was on an area of existing slab patio which was well constructed on a good sub-base. However it was a little uneven and subject to puddling in heavy rain so not an easy base option.

Because I was also not keen on a concrete slab base which was not practical in this situation I decided to go for a timber ring beam footing with centre spine beam all on concrete piers as this would minimise the amount of concrete required.

The cost of the ballast, cement and timbers was a hundred pounds delivered.

The existing patio slabs were lifted and cut back under the building foot print and nine holes dug to a depth of 500mm below the existing finished ground level. These were filled with concrete to the level of the adjacent patio slabs.

Timber-frame-base-1

The 3×3 timber perimeter ring beam then was cut ,jointed and assembled on the piers packed level and then sand and cement grout applied to fill any gaps between the under side of the timbers and the top of the concrete foundation piers.

Once the grout had gone off the 70×40 timber foundation beams supplied with the cabin were cut to length and screwed in place on top of the timber ring beam with a mastic sealant to prevent water seeping into the joint At this stage the base was level and all that remained was getting the frame square by checking the diagonal dimensions were equal.

This work was the hardest part of the build but provided an elevated level and square base which made the cabin erection trouble free.

Floor joists for the Sten

Floor joists for the Sten

So at last I was able to start the cabin build. The first logs were set out on the base and checked for square. After that it was simple to build up the walls log by log.

One thing I did do was apply a mastic sealant to the perimeter under the first log at base level between the log and the top of the timber foundation beam. This was to prevent water seeping into the joint as it is a butt joint with out the benefit of a weather proof tongue and groove joint.

The quality and precision of the components made the erection very simple and with the roof purlins dropped in place the roof boards could be nailed down ready for the felt singles.

The felt singles are in fact easy to fit probably easier than roll roofing felt, and also provide a quality roof.

I did not rush this build which took me several weekends to complete and by now the weather was against me I even had to brush frost off the roof to finish the roof shingles!

Sten log cabin build

Sten log cabin build

The floor was the final element of the build and I used the 40×40 bearers supplied spanning on to the centre spine beam. These 40×40 bearers have provided a solid support because of the short span and close centres.

There is a 125mm void under the floor boards which is ventilated and all of the floor members are sat on a damp proof membrane.

One point to note here is because I had used 3×3 ring beam timbers I had to screw a batten to the inside face to provide end support to the floor bearers. If I had used 3×4 or 4×4 timbers the floor bearers would have sat on the top of the ring beam.

Finally the door and proper lock assembly supplied (not padlock) were fitted and the cabin was complete.

The cabin has been up for several months now and over the winter. It has with stood some very windy and wet weather with out any problems. I did screw fix the purlins to the fascia using small steel angle brackets internally for peace of mind.

Sten Log Cabin complete

Sten Log Cabin complete

One small issue was the line of ridge tiles some of which blow off during a very windy period. This I put down to not using mastic to fix the free edge due to the cold damp conditions at the time and also the the roof nails being a little short as I had several layers of shingles at the ridge. I had folded the top singles over the ridge and so there is not a roof leakage problem, the ridge tiles being aesthetic only.

The cabin has proved to be dry and very practical. We installed the solar lighting option which is a great success and adds to the usability over the winter months. I will apply a further coat of finish externally early in the spring and sort out the ridge.

Do not confuse this product to a DIY. Store shed. It is a real building with a solid quality feel. We look at the Cabin as an extension to our living space not as a garden shed.

Mike W.

Thank you Mr W, I hope you enjoy your log cabin and the presents we sent you as a thank you.

If you feel, as a reader, you would like to contribute to this blog, please do let me know.

You may be also interested in other customers buildings posts and thoughts:

Timber Frame Base for Log Cabins

I’ve been pondering this post and am slightly reluctant to write it as I am NOT a structural engineer. I have lots of experience with timber but I am not at all qualified to give technical advice and specifications, so please read this post in the spirit it is meant.

You have no come back on me personally if anything goes wrong, the design of this is completely down to you but I will give some advice and ideas based on my experience.

Since I highlighted this type of base in my log cabin base requirements  page we get lots of questions on my very favourite base:

The timber frame base for log cabins.

What I love about a timber frame base is that:

  • It can be moved.
  • It’s truly a temporary structure which is great in certain circumstances.
  • It allows air flow and therefore the timber will never rot even if it’s not treated.
  • It’s very easy to create a level base in very unlevel areas.
  • It’s a cheap solution in inaccessible areas for concrete.
  • Cheap overall.
  • If subsidence occurs you can simply jack up the area concerned and re-pin.
  • A good system when flooding occurs naturally and does not affect it’s environment.

No doubt you’ve done some research on all the types of bases you can use. You’ll have perhaps come across various types of pads, plastic grills, jack type things, easy bases, there’s all sorts of gadgetry out there. If concrete or paving slabs is not a solution for you you can’t beat good ol’ wood over all the gadgets and alternatives there are.

Stick to Wood

My advice is to stick with wood and don’t waste your money on the gadgets, you know where you are with a good lump of wood:

  • It’s relatively cheap when compared to other ‘gadgets’
  • If treated and looked after it lasts forever (ish)
  • If anything needs replacing you can do so easily.
  • If you need more it’s readily available.

A timber frame used as a base for a log cabin does not need fancy timber, rough sawn from your local builder merchant is perfectly adequate but it would ideally be pressure treated (tanalised – More information on tanalised timber)

What size timber to use?

I’m often asked what size timber to use, as I mentioned, I’m not a qualified engineer, don’t necessarily go by my advice but I like big, chunky and manly bits of wood. Something like 150mm x 50mm and then laminated and used under every log forming 150mm x 100mm, sometimes for bigger buildings even bigger. I don’t have structural calculations, this is all touch and feel. I think anyone with any slight experience can look at a piece of timber and decide if it’s strong enough.

Here’s a base I was involved in:

This is the start of a timber frame base for a log cabin. Notice the size of the timber we are using, this has been laminated together to form the frame.

This is the start of a timber frame base for a log cabin. Notice the size of the timber we are using, this has been laminated together to form the frame.

This base went on to support one of our biggest standard log cabins: The Edelweiss 70mm log cabin You can see here how we have joined wood together to form the main frame. Sometimes you can do it in two sections, two rectangles and then join them together. Notice also the posts we are using, I like big and these are nice big lumps of timber. Alternatively though you can also laminate your timber to make these. I prefer to see the support posts directly under a join as you know it is always going to be supported if screws or bolts fail.

This was another one I was involved in, this example was not actually for a log cabin but the same principle applies:

Posts are longer so we introduced some lateral bracing

Posts are longer so we introduced some lateral bracing

Notice how the post supports are under the joins in the corner and middle. This one was made in two rectangles and joined together in the center. As your support legs get longer lateral bracing is a good thing to consider.

Supporting your timber frame base

I’ve tried a few things in the past and looked at a few more. I’ve had a go with the plastic grids you can get but I still don’t really see the point of them apart from they’re a bit lighter but I worry about the longevity of them. Great in a greenhouse but I still think you can’t beat a nice solid slab on a bed of sand, or sand and cement. Make sure though of the stability of the ground underneath as you don’t really want subsidence in years to come.

A suggestion on a good timber framed base

This is just a suggestion on how I would build a timber frame base for your log cabin, it’s not gospel, it may be wrong, remember I’m not a structural engineer or a qualified landscaper so you need to design your own way of doing it. My ideas might help though.

Timber frame base example of the way I might do it depending of course on the size of building

Timber frame base example of the way I might do it depending of course on the size of building

This is just an example and my personal thoughts (you may have your own) on how to make a good timber frame base for your log cabin. The main points in my personal design are:

  • I’m using a standard size timber, all of the same size, maybe 150mm x 50mm (6″ x 2″)
  • Laminated around the perimeter of the cabin walls for strength – Basically I am screwing / bolting with coach bolts the timber together every 1m or so. For bigger buildings I might use thicker timber. Every wall will have this support under it.
  • I’m using chunky support posts under the joints. Either use big 12cm timber posts like we supply or consider laminating.
  • You may want to consider, depending on the size of your building, using noggins to stop lateral movements of the joists
  • Incorporate your floor joists within the timber frame base. Our floor packs for log cabins are designed only for a flat and level base such as concrete or paving slabs. Joist in your house are normally spaced at about 300mm apart, it’s a good idea to use this measurement in your log cabin floor. If you are using the cabin for heavier items, treadmills, heavy machinery etc, you may want to consider them closer.
  • You will NOT need to use foundation beams under the first log. The sole purpose of them is to keep the first log away from ground contact, you are already accomplishing this with a timber frame base for your log cabin. With joists incorporated in the frame this will also give a better finish and everything will be at the same level.
  • The outside of the timber frame should be identical to the footprint listed with every log cabin to properly support the log, bear in mind the log thickness of your building though as it’s good to have a lip on the inside of at least 25mm for the floor to sit on.
  • If you feel like being clever bring the frame in by 2 – 5mm from the footprint and this will then set the frame in slightly giving a drip for the logs and you can be sure water will never sit against the first log
  • Consider using joist hangers for the floor joists as these will be easier and quicker.
  • If your post supports are above 300mm I would start to consider lateral supports to stop any movement.
  • Consider your spacing of posts support. I like to support every 1.50m depending on the building and thickness of timber.
  • Consider using Weed Control Matting under the base – nettles grow anywhere!

That’s pretty much it as far as I’m going to help you.

Hopefully you now have some ideas of your own. The principle is quite simple. Make a frame for your log cabin to sit on, make sure it does not subside, make sure the wall logs are supported. Above all make sure it is properly, 100% level! Oh and jump on your frame before installation – this is my technical test to check whether it will work 🙂

 Some examples of timber frame bases for Log Cabins

Here’s some examples of what others have done, all of them work. It’s up to you what information or ideas you take from this post ……

This is at the shallow end

This is at the shallow end of a build, notice the use of noggins to stabilise lateral movement of the floor joists.

The higher end

The higher end of the project. A timber frame helps you level out a very unlevel piece of ground and often cheaper. Notice the supports are smaller but a lot more of them. I have experimented in the past with simple stakes in the ground – lots of them but it worked well. This is what is happening here.

Perfect

Perfect! I love this base, massive telegraph poles as supports, good chunky timber and floor joists on hangers.

Smallr

Smaller timbers are used here, this customer has used a different support system and is screwed in from the side, it’s working and nothing wrong with it. It can also be adjusted easily.

same

This is the same customer as above, he created the frame, built the cabin and is now going to put in the joists. A good idea to do it afterwards as it does not hamper your build of the main log cabin.

Floor joists

Floor joists are now being added. I would have liked them closer together but of course it does depend on the thickness of your floor / decking boards you are going to use. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to a timber framed base.

floor

Floor going in on top of the floor joists.

post

Here you can see some chunky posts which I like, they’re also using large rough sawn timber with joist hangers for ease. After the build you would then clad this to make it look pretty. This is our Torsten Log cabin

osb

You can see here the floor joists used on joist hangers supporting an OSB floor used because they are going to put a final floor covering down so they do not need our posh Spruce timber floor.

detail

Noggins being used to stop the lateral movement of the floor joists. See also how thick the timber is in the frame

post

Again see the size of timber being used. Timber frames do get you out of a levelling problem and save quite a bit of money, it’s worth considering.

intersting

Not a timber frame but an interesting consideration, this customer is using up stand slabs and then using joist hangers to support the floor joist.

floor

A joist system has been created with a timber floor on top before the cabin is put on top – interesting and clever!

Joists

The base I was involved in being extended with noggins, joist hangers and supports and following a system we had put in place to extend further.

pretty

I love a timber framed base, so much can be accomplished. This does look good!

This post is not official advice, it’s nothing to do with Tuin or Tuindeco, all mine and I often get things wrong (so my wife says) take from it what you can but a timber frame base for your log cabin can get you out of a lot of problems and expense.

I hope you have some ideas? If you do please share them.

To make leveling the base we do have a nice product. It’s not a bad price either and you can level between 30mm and 140mm using a combination of two units click on the picture for more details:

Very useful pads for easily supporting and leveling a timber frame base for your log cabin

Very useful pads for easily supporting and leveling a timber frame base for your log cabin

More examples:

Dented Floor Board

A very quick little post but someone may find it handy, I know I did when I was fitting log cabins and especially if i cocked up and was not as accurate as I could be with my hammer.

This hint will also work on your furniture and pretty much any timber you might dent inadvertently. In my case and specifically log cabin floors and fascias.

Here we have a perfectly good log cabin floor board, it could also be a fascia or even a log in fact any piece of timber:

Floor board or facia or even a log, at the moment it is unblemished.

Floor board or facia or even a log, at the moment it is unblemished.

Here we have the same piece after a cock up and a bloomin’ great dent in it caused by a miss hit with a hammer – of course this one is set up but you will get the idea.

Dented log cabin floor after less than accurate and careful use of a hammer.

Dented log cabin floor after less than accurate and careful use of a hammer.

This has happened to me a few times in the past and after being so careful with the floor and the overall build I don’t like to hand over the building with something like this. Thank goodness it’s straightforward to fix.

If you didn’t know about timber and how it works I would suspect you would think it’s impossible to remove a dent in a piece of wood, am I correct?

A while ago I posted about moisture content in timber we use for log cabins in it I also explained how wood loves to absorb and then expel moisture, in fact wood is basically a sponge and it’s this property we can exploit to our advantage for once in repairing it and all you need is a wet rag.

soak a rag and wring it our but keep it damp and put it over the area you need to repair the dent.

soak a rag and wring it out but keep it damp and put it over the area you need to repair the dent.

As my caption says, soak a rag and put it over the area that need repairing,  leave it on there for about an hour and let it do it’s magic.

Wet board after the rag has been removed

Wet board after the rag has been removed

The floor board has absorbed some moisture from the rag and already the dents have lifted, you can still though make out the outlines.

Very nearly dry and one dent has disappeared, the other almost

Very nearly dry and one dent has disappeared, the other almost

If you were to rub your finger over this you would now find it to be smooth and the dent has gone, there is still a fine mark where more moisture was absorbed by the hammer dent but in the next picture when it’s totally dry it is gone.

Now totally dry the dent is pretty much invisible and will not return.

Now totally dry the dent is pretty much invisible and will not return.

Wood is an impressive material and if you understand how it works and what it is you can understand a lot more about the inherent properties of your log cabin. It’s also handy to know how we can fix a cock up and no one would ever know.