Derby Log Cabin Tuin Review

It’s lovely when customers pass on their findings with their experience with their log cabin, as it helps other customers so much in understanding what they are letting themselves in for!

It also gives them ideas and thoughts on how best to complete their project and with what product. It’s also good for us to know if there have been any niggles or problems and to try address them for future customers.

Mr M was kind enough to send us a factual presentation of his building in a PowerPoint presentation, I have copied it below, it is for his new Derby 58mm Double Glazed Log Cabin


The Site

The following pages show the construction of our log cabin. The whole process took about 6 weeks, although it could all have been done much more quickly if I hadn’t been limited to weekends and holidays. The foundations took a week; putting up the walls (with windows and doors) took a day; the wooden roof (with insulation covered by shingles) took a couple of days; then lots of evenings painting, sanding, waxing, etc…

The log cabin was to stand in the corner of the garden, on sloping ground. The ground slopes away towards the fence at the back and there’s a height difference of about 18” from front to back. I first marked out the footprint of the cabin and cleared the turf.

Timber Frame

Foundations

I built a timber frame for the cabin to sit on.

The perimeter consists of 2”x6” timber (laminated together to form a base 4” wide to support the log cabin walls).  The floor joists (2”x4” are at 30cm centres and the whole thing sits on 4” posts concreted into the ground. (This took ages – I hadn’t finished them all when this photo was taken – the joists aren’t fixed here…)

The foundations for the log cabin

The foundations for the log cabin

This photo shows the height difference between the front and back of the cabin. Getting the posts level and square was a difficult (but important!) part of the build.

The joists are supported on joist hangers at the perimeter and on lengths
of 2”x4” that run across the foundations (attached to wooden posts). Two of these are visible in the picture – I put in another one before fixing the joists.

 

Timber frame base for the log cabin

Timber frame base for the log cabin

The Flat Pack Arrives!

The cabin arrived and was unloaded from the lorry with a forklift.

It’s a pretty impressive flat-pack!

I unpacked all the parts and separated them by length/type. This is best done by two people – most parts can be lifted by one person but the doors/windows and some of the longest logs need two people.

The log cabin arrives

The log cabin arrives

Walls Going Up

The walls went up very quickly. Once the first few layers are in place (and square), it’s an easy job.

The windows and doors are a little trickier. With the doors, I made one mistake – I didn’t put the door sill in-between the two side panels. I managed to fix this later. (The door sill wasn’t shown on the instructions but it’s obvious where it goes once you know what it is!)

Log cabin walls going up

Log cabin walls going up

Nearly There

Up to this point took perhaps 6 hours.

Nearly there in the build

Nearly there in the build

Doors

Getting the doors to meet in the middle was a bit of a challenge – not helped by the fact that I hadn’t noticed the door sill (see the silvery thing in the picture below!)

It probably took a couple of hours to get the doors hung properly – lots of adjustment of the hinges, which wasn’t difficult to do.

The door handle and lock were easy to fit.

Log cabin doors

Log cabin doors

Silvery thing - The door threshold

Silvery thing – The door threshold

Roof

The roof is made of more than 120 wooden slats, nailed to the purlins and the walls. Because we want to use the cabin in winter, I added 70mm thick insulation on top of the slats, with shingles nailed to the wood through the insulation. You can see the insulation in the picture below.

I had never used shingles before – they are great! They overlap to create a double layer and they look an awful lot better than shed felt.

Log cabin roof

Log cabin roof

Floor

Once the roof was finished, I put in the wooden floor, nailed to the joists. There’s a layer of 100mm insulation under the floor, fitted snugly between the floor joists.

After this photo was taken, I used a nail punch to make sure the nails all sat a few millimetres below the surface; I then sanded the floor. Then applied a sealing oil and finishing wax.

Log cabin floor

Log cabin floor

Fireplace

We wanted to put a wood burning stove in the cabin so I built a constructional hearth from concrete blocks. (I left a space 90cm x 90cm in the floor for this, i.e. the hearth foundations are on the ground, not on the timber frame).

Behind the stove, I fixed a layer of fire-proof board to the walls using batons. The photo shows the channels for the screws, which should allow the wall logs to expand and contract.

Allowance for expansion

Allowance for expansion

The hearth is finished with 2 slate slabs.

Behind the stove, the fire-proof board is tiled with stone tiles and the mantelpiece and wooden surround are made from off-cuts of fence posts! They are held together with Velcro(!) and the wood can be removed easily to allow access to the screws that fix the batons to the wall.

The stove was fitted by a HETAS approved engineer. The twin-skin flue goes straight up through the wooden roof.

Different stoves have different clearances to combustible materials – this one sits safely about 30cm in front of the wall.

Woodburning stove in a log cabin

Woodburning stove in a log cabin

Chimney flue

Chimney flue

Light

I installed a solar-powered light.

This was very fiddly! A solar panel on the roof charges a battery (which is stored in a ventilated box in the corner). There is a light switch by the door (not visible in the photo).

The light is great in the evenings – the single bulb is perfectly adequate for a cabin this size (roughly 4m square internally).

solar light

solar light

Finally

The outside of the cabin was painted with three layers of Sadolin.

I built a wooden deck in front of the doors.

The stove flue protrudes almost two metres above the roof to make sure there is sufficient up-draught.

Derby Log Cabin

Derby Log Cabin

Now that the cabin is built, we’re using it as an outdoor playroom.

Playroom log cabin

Playroom log cabin

There’s loads of room for furniture and it’s a lovely place to play or just to sit – especially in the Summer sun!

We’re looking forward to getting the stove going so that we can have a warm outdoor retreat in winter.

Review

Mr M was also kind enough to leave a review on the Derby 58mm log cabin, he wrote:

We bought a 58mm Derby Log Cabin (4m x 4m internally) a few weeks ago.

The quality of the cabin is excellent – the logs are cut very accurately and it’s very easy to put together (like Lego for grown-ups!). The whole thing is very solid. The instructions are minimal but it’s not difficult to work out what goes where if you take the time to sort ALL of the pieces in the pack first. The only problem I encountered was that the parts of the door frame weren’t on the plans and I ended up building the door frame and then having to re-assemble it when I realised I’d missed a bit! The shingles for the roof seem really sturdy and the finished cabin looks exactly like it does on the website. Excellent service too – thoroughly recommended.

Thank you Mr M

Thank you for taking the time to write this, it is very much appreciated and I hope you are pleased with the thank you present we sent you.

You may like to see what other customer experiences, build and ideas are here: Pictorial Tuin Reviews

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About Richard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you

Richard.

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