Why choose a Log Cabin?

So Why choose a Log Cabin? You’ve decided you need a building for your garden. It may be for a number of uses and what you intend to use it for will be based on what type of building you chose. The building options you have other than a purpose built brick construction are:

Mini Modern Log Cabin - Hot Tub

Why choose a log cabin? – There are four basic types of Garden Building that you will consider:

  1. Traditional Shed – Timber frame with cladding on top.
  2. Traditional Summerhouse – Timber frame with cladding on top.
  3. Metal or Plastic Shed
  4. Substantial Timber Frame
  5. Log Cabin

Lets look at the types involved and I’ll try to offer a little advise on how they are built. Also what they are ideally suited for. As my passion is Log Cabins I’ll suggest why you could consider them for your needs. For the sake of my research I’m going to base it on a requirement for a 10’x10′ – 3.0mx3.0m building.

Why choose a log cabin? – Timber Frame Buildings:

Traditional Sheds and Summerhouses are all made on a timber frame with cladding on top and these can vary hugely. I was involved with making sheds /  with a previous company and we would use 50mm x 50mm framing with 12mm or 21mm cladding. Looking around on the internet this evening I am see wildly different sizes:

I took these figures from the three biggest suppliers on the internet of sheds / summerhouses and I am basing this article of a 10′ x 10′ (3.0m x 3.0m) size building.

  • Shed 1 Frame: 28mm x 28mm – Cladding 7mm
  • Shed 2 Frame: 38mm x 50mm – Cladding 12mm
  • Shed 3 Frame: 45mm x 27mm – Cladding 12mm nominal (means before it is planed)

There seems to be quite a scope out there for shed and certainly the thickness’ are coming down for the frame that the cladding is fixed to. The strength of course will also drastically reduce the larger the building gets. I’m also seeing that most sheds are getting quite low these days:

  • Shed 1 Eaves Height: 1549mm – Ridge Height: 2209mm – Door Height: 1730mm
  • Shed 2 Eaves Height: 1680mm – Ridge Height: 2280mm – Door Height: 1765mm
  • Shed 3 Eaves Height: 1840mm – Ridge Height: 2550mm – Door Height: 1770mm

Sheds and Summerhouses seem to be all the same cladding and frame thickness’s depending on which company are supplying. There seems to be quite difference in price and sizes.

My advise if you are opting for a shed is always to check these heights, the frame thickness and especially what the thickness of the cladding is. The minimum finished size should be at least 12mm. This is the same for timber frame summerhouses.

If you require a large building, certainly above 3.0m x 3.0m you will need to look closely at what strength the building is offering you and compare it to your needs and requirements as well as any adaptations you may want to make to it. For instance with a summerhouse it may be good to use it all year around, in which case you will want to consider insulating it. But, is the frame depth deep enough to actually do this?

Having been involved in this industry it is a shame to see every standard dropping. It looks as if the various manufacturers are dropping cladding and frame sizes, possibly quality as well, everything is based on price. I guess if all you want is a small and cheap storage solution then these are a good idea. I’m not sure though of the quality and strength.

The sheds from Tuindeco are closer to what sheds used to be in the UK about 10 years ago. We have a range of small sheds that isn’t that successful on sales really. Our sheds have a framing of 50mm x 50mm with 16mm cladding and fully tanalised.

They cannot though really compete on price against a shed with framing of 28mm x 28mm with 7mm cladding and I think anyone looking for a shed is looking at price alone and forgetting what actually matters. ‘The devil is in the detail’ as they say!

Looking at price and detail though is important and lets just say you were looking at the details and costs, as well as the quality, thickness of timber, strength and longevity. Lets just say you were looking for best value for money.

Metal and Plastic Sheds:

This type of shed is a good maintenance free solution but the smaller cheaper ones should not ever be considered a security shed just because it is made of metal. They can be good for quick and easy storage but the larger ones, if you want Quality can be very, very expensive. We have a small selection of metal sheds designed for cheap and easy storage. For a cheap, maintenance free solution I would recommend a plastic or metal shed but only for small storage needs, never for a large or secure building. Even at 10′ x 10′ I don’t think a metal shed is really suitable for anything other than storage.

If you paid a tone more cash is would be secure. But, it’s never going to be pretty and you could never use it as a Workshop or a Garden Office.

Substantial Timber Frame Building:

I’m only going to touch on these briefly. These are not even close to the same league as a log cabin or a timber framed traditional Shed or Summerhouse.  These are a different animal completely, we offer a range of Larch Timber Frame Buildings which are comparable to the gorgeous Oak frame building you may have coveted. Prices are not at all comparable to a shed but nor are the specifications. The posts on these buildings are 145mm x 145mm with framing of 45mm x 145mm, cladding starts at about 20mm in lots of styles: Timber Cladding.

This type of building is generally only available from very specialist builders and is quite rare to find. Especially in kit form and at our prices.

I cannot recommend these buildings enough, they are ‘proper buildings’ and prices are a lot higher than a normal shed. It depends on what you are looking for and these maybe out of the scope of this article so lets stick to the subject of a basic timber building for your garden – For instance, hypothetically

You require a Garden Building of about 10′ x 10′ – 3.0m x 3.0m

So let’s look at this building you have space for and what your needs are for it, what do you want it for? Possibly these ideas:

  • Simple storage of tools
  • A workshop
  • Storage of precious items – books, paperwork
  • Somewhere to sit and enjoy a cup of tea
  • A building that is pretty to look at and not ‘sheddy’ – a Summerhouse.
  • Extra accommodation
  • A Garden studio or work place
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About Richard

Meet Richard, a dedicated professional with a rich history at Tuin, contributing 25 years of experience within the garden timber industry. With an expertise in garden buildings. From design, manufacturing and installation for a range of timber buildings. Sheds to log cabins and all the way up to timber framed houses. In his time he had worked with experts all over europe, and also included his own personal experience of installing and testing Garden Buildings from a range of companies, models and sizes. You will find a majority of his blogs to include expert installation advice for your Log Cabin. Information on how timber reacts to different environments and the best way to preserve your garden buildings.

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