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

 

Adding a Window

Another Window?

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

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

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

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

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

When to Install an extra window

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

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

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

Generic Window Parts

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

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

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

Various parts that make up the generic window.

These windows are made up three components:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fitting the Generic Window

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

58mm thick wall log.

Start by marking the spacer for your size of wall log

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

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

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

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

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

Cutting a hole in your Log Cabin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can offer up the window to check for fitment.

Final Fitting of the Generic Window

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There we have the completed window!

A Few Window Notes:

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

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

If security is a concern you can:

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

Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin Feature

On the Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin product page, we like to give you the nitty gritties of the product in terms of dimensions, technical installation tips and the best feature of said product.

But, on this page we let our previous customers voice their opinion on the Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin and let them show you their thoughts, ideas and pictures! We may also have our team input why they desire that particular product too, so here goes.

Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin

Ben clockhouse 70mm log cabin with canopy

The Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin is certainly not one to mess with.. Manufactured using 70mm interlocking logs, the Clockhouse Log Cabin combines a classic English feel with a touch of Scandinavia. It measures 5.5x4m and has a side covered porch measuring 3.8m overall the building is 9.30 x 4.0m. With six double glazed windows and two sets of double doors (also double glazed) you will receive plenty of natural light in your spacious Cabin.

Reviews:

With all of these features, you can really see why we love the Ben Clockhouse and our customers agree too- with an average customer rating of five stars. Here are a few excerpts from some of the Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin Reviews:

“We are so happy with our summer house . The quality is amazing And the service we received from Tuin was very good It was delivered on time and we use one of their contractors to construct it Which they’ve done with minimal effort We will be so looking forward to using this in the summer or possibly even in the winter as he is so sturdy .” -Mr. Whisson 

“The quality of this log cabin is superb and I cannot rate it highly enough. I built it myself without any problems (I am not a joiner) and it was a dream to go together” – Mr. S McBain

“As for value for money this is as good a feature as the quality of the product. Finished, a cabin of this quality would likely cost in excess of £25,000 to complete (in my view) and I doubt that even the best carpenters around could produce a finish as good as this.” – Promuso

Installation:

The installation for the Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin is a simple process, so long as you keep organised. You can find loads of information in order to be fully prepared for installing your Log Cabin on the Essential Installation Manual as well as plenty of other Log Cabin Fitting Tips throughout the blog, from our expert (practically), Richard.

Here are one of our favourite installation sets of images:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Installed:

And when installed and treated/painted… Its just a showstopper… Here are just a few of our favourite customer installs:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Videos:

We have also received a few videos, so you can experience the Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin from all angles, simply click on one below to start watching:

Customer Pictures:

If you would like to see more photo’s from customers please click on the picture below – Note: This will take you to our customers photo gallery hosted by Google Photos. Pictures may show older models or customer own modifications.

Ben clockhouse Log Cabin customer gallery

With the (almost) unbeatable 70mm thick logs, the amount of windows and natural light- the Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin is ideal for many uses like an additional living space/office and with the benefit of a covered area for outdoor dining. The cabin would be an amazing addition for use as a poolhouse.

Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin

Ben clockhouse 70mm log cabin with canopy

For more details such as measurements and the breakdown of what comes within the self build kit, please look at the Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin product page.

If you’re not looking for a cabin with logs as thick as this, try looking at the Stian Log Cabin Feature page or even the Blackpool Log Cabin Feature page.

The Forgotten Log Cabin Accessory

I’m always being asked what’s the most needed accessory for a log cabin and I tell customers the usual:

  • Treatment – This can’t be overlooked, without this you won’t have a cabin worth keeping in a few years and you may also experience a few problems with it if overlooked – Log Cabin Treatment
  • Shingles – Without these it just looks really rubbish, felt shingles really does set a log cabin off – Free Offer Shingles
  • Roof shingle glue – This I always recommend for the ridge and especially if you are in an exposed area. My most favourite review on the site said about the glue: ‘The stickiest thing since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun!’ and yes it really is very sticky – Felt shingles Glue

After these three it then gets very building and need specific, you may want a floor, some supports for the canopy posts, maybe an extra window or doors, perhaps you want to add an internal wall, pressure treatment, maybe you want a posh finial etc.

All of our accessories can be found here: Log Cabin Accessories some of the major ones may already be on the drop down list of  the log cabin you are looking at.

I always forget about our annexes though so I’m writing this to show you but also to remind myself we have them, they’re at the top of the pages and I think as customers and myself whiz down the pages for a log cabin they’re looking for we both miss these handy accessories.

Log Cabin with a Storage Shed:

Some of our best selling log cabins have a shed adjoining them, buildings like the Agnes corner log cabin:

Agnes corner log cabin with a storage shed to the side in 45mm wall logs

Agnes corner log cabin with a storage shed to the side in 45mm wall logs

We have several of these buildings, they’re very popular and very handy indeed, here’s another one – The Lukas:

The Lukas log cabin with a shed integrated into it. Extremely handy

The Lukas log cabin with a shed integrated into it. Extremely handy and many customers love it’s practical nature of design.

My other personal favourite is the Wolfgang log cabin, this has been a long standing best seller:

The 45mm Wolfgang log cabin with a shed to the side and a delightful front porch.

The 45mm Wolfgang log cabin with a shed to the side and a delightful front porch.

So bearing in mind we have lots of best sellers with a shed to the side we really should cater more for this shouldn’t we?

Maybe more buildings featuring them? Except – I forget we do!

Log Cabin Annexe – Shed Extension

This is the accessory, the must have one I sometimes forget about and I know customers overlook as they whiz through our pages. It’s a very handy little annexe you can bolt onto your log cabin, even if you didn’t buy your log cabin from us:

A shed extension you can add to any log cabin, we have them in 28mm or 45mm thick wall logs.

A shed extension you can add to any log cabin, we have them in 28mm or 45mm thick wall logs.

We have these annexes, or shed extensions for your log cabins in two sizes with either a 28mm thick wall log or a 45mm one:

Versatile Extension for your Log Cabin

The lovely part of this accessory for your log cabin is that is can turn it into a completely different building, it becomes very practical and you have the best of both worlds, a shed and a summerhouse. Here’s some nice examples of the shed extension in use:

This is a 28mm extension being used with the Henning log cabin. This customer actually used it as a toilet.

This is a 28mm extension being used with the Henning log cabin. This customer actually used it as a toilet.

Here's another view, yup he has his toilet in there. He used to be in the house all the time but since having his cabin his wife tends to lose him most days!

Here’s another view, yup he has his toilet in there. He used to be in the house all the time but since having his cabin his wife tends to lose him most days!

This is a nice use of the log cabin shed extension, this customer has put it on the back of our Asmund Corner Log Cabin and turned a simple building into something a little more special:

The Asmund corner log cabin with a shed extension log cabin accessory to the rear of the build.

The Asmund corner log cabin with a shed extension log cabin accessory to the rear of the build.

I think this one is really nice, it’s totally changed the look of a standard log cabin. This cabin is the Johan, here’s a picture in it’s standard build:

Johan log cabin in it's standard build in 34mm logs, a lovely building as it is and very practical.

Johan log cabin in it’s standard build in 34mm logs, a lovely building as it is and very practical.

I like it as it is but when we add one of the annexes it transform it into something else with more potential and more uses:

Johan log cabin with a shed extension added to the front. This extension can be placed on most walls as required at installation.

Johan log cabin with a shed extension added to the front. This extension can be placed on most walls as required at installation.

Log cabin shed extension, you can have this in two sizes in either 28mm or 45mm thick wall logs and two sizes.

Log cabin shed extension, you can have this in two sizes in either 28mm or 45mm thick wall logs and two sizes.

The log cabin shed extension annexes are a nice addition, you may like to consider one with your cabin or maybe you already have a log cabin and fancy adding a storage shed to it. This annexe is a simple solution and worth considering as perhaps one of the most important log cabin accessories.

Log Cabin in the Woods

Mr Teague settled for the Edelweiss Log Cabin, a substantial 70mm log cabin but like a lot of our customers the base was a problem and was resolved using timber frames.

One of my most favourite bases for log cabins is the timber frame and stilt method (as I call it) using this means you can easily level an area without all the expense of concrete, brick work, slabs etc. It is also a LOT cheaper, less hassle and of course extremely environmentally friendly as the ground doesn’t have to be disturbed and natural drainage is still allowed to continue. Drainage for concrete bases is often overlooked.

Determining the drop

Determining the drop Log Cabins must be level!

For Mr Teague the drop isn’t massive although with this base system very large gradients can be accommodated. As I’ve said in previous posts it it vital that a log cabin is 100% level for it to be viable in the long term.

Timber frames are made first for the log cabin base

Timber frames are made first for the log cabin base

Numerous sections of frames can be built before hand for the log cabin timber base

Numerous sections of frames can be built before hand for the log cabin timber base

Depending on the size of the building it is often easier to make the timber frames separately and then bolt them together. The size of the building will often determine the thickness of the timber used although generally the thicker the better.

Frames are supported on concrete slabs and substantial stilts

Frames are supported on concrete slabs and substantial stilts

The basic frames are then joined together and supported on stilts, in-turn supported by slabs. There are lots of gimmicks on the market to help you to do this but I still say you can’t beat a big lump of wood for the job, it’s also a lot cheaper than the various pads you can buy as is a slab, my recommendations are to always stick with the basic materials to save on the costs, you don’t need anything fancy to create a good timber frame base for your log cabin.

Building the Edelweiss log cabin on the stilt timber base

Building the Edelweiss log cabin on the stilt timber base

With the frames in place and 100% level the build can commence, generally this base will have been made in a fraction of the time it would with concrete or slabs and of course Mr Teague didn’t have the hassle and damage that bringing concrete to site can cause to the environment and the wallet.

Further progress with the Edelweiss Log Cabin build

Further progress with the Edelweiss Log Cabin build

Roof being fitted and the whole build nearly complete of the log cabin

Roof being fitted and the whole log cabin build is nearly complete

The log cabin build is completed and now the hard work starts for Mr Teague

The log cabin build is completed and now the hard work starts for Mr Teague

With the build complete our recommended fitters (with a little help from me in the background) have finished the build as far as they can. For Mr Teague, his cabin completed without mess, too much money spent and time. But of course the hard work start now for him in finishing the project.

Mr Teague was kind enough to write the following review:

When I started looking at Log Cabins my first instinct was to look at all the Internet web sites and try to find an obvious “Best Deal”. Very quickly it became clear that this was a competitive area and loads of companies were offering what seemed similar cabins at temptingly cheap prices.

The site that brought it all together for me was Tuins excellent Blog where Richard explains in simple terms the ins/outs of log cabins and the differences between them. This was a huge eye opener and gave me the info I needed to pick what was right for me ie a solid well made cabin at a price I could justify. I chose the Edelweiss.
That for me was the difficult bit over – finding a supplier I could trust. Everything else just flowed smoothly, good communication, advice on foundations and quick delivery. Tuin even found me someone to install the cabin after gently explaining that it might be a it bit much to install such a big cabin on my own!
A month or so the cabin looks superb with it’s decking (I built) and sits beautifully in the garden surrounded by spring flowers.
I can wholeheartedly recommend Tuin as an excellent company to do business with. Other companies may supply products that look cheaper but from my research they are not a patch on Tuins range.
I have now just ordered a second (much smaller) cabin from them which I will install myself. Watch this space!

After the build and the fitters have gone it’s always lovely for me to know what happens next and Mr Teague was kind enough to let me know how the log cabin then progressed and sent me these pictures of the various stages up to the completed project.

The Log cabin stilt base is being extended for a decking area around the cabin

The Log cabin stilt base is being extended for a decking area around the cabin still using the original concept of a timber frame stilt base.

Floor joists are added using joist hangers.

Floor joists and noggins are added using joist hangers.

Decking boards being laid outside the Edelweiss log cabin

Decking boards being laid outside the Edelweiss log cabin

The Edelweiss log cabin and decking area now complete, finishing touches are all that is left to do

The Edelweiss log cabin and decking area now complete, finishing touches are all that is left to do

The end results of this project are stunning as Mr Teagues pictures below will show. I’m not sure how much the complete project cost but I know it was certainly very economical and using a base such as this will keep the costs very low when compared to the alternatives.

Here are pictures of the completed project, Stunning!

Cabin in the woods!

Cabin in the woods!

An amazing location for our Edelweiss log cabin

An amazing location for our Edelweiss log cabin

Decking area in front of the log cabin

Decking area in front of the log cabin

Could there be a better location for this log cabin

Could there be a better location for this log cabin

Looking inside Mr Teagues log cabin

Looking inside Mr Teagues log cabin

Another view inside. I'm not sure what the overall use of the log cabin is but at 70mm, insulated an double glazed you could live in this all year round.

Another view inside. I’m not sure what the overall use of the log cabin is but at 70mm, insulated an double glazed you could live in this all year round.

My warmest thanks to Mr Teague for these pictures and for keeping in touch with us after the project. Personally it makes my day seeing these pictures and knowing the full story, it also helps me to advise better and foresee any problem for future customers.

As with any customers who send us these sort of stories / pictures we always send thank you presents or offer VERY good prices on next purchases. Mr Teague has now ordered the Halvar log cabin from us for use as a very nice storage shed.

If you would like further information on log cabin bases please see a previous post I wrote a while ago: Base Requirements For Log Cabins

If you would like another example of a timber frame base please see the Log Cabin in a Croft post

And more pages:

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