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

Tuin Review – Jos Corner Log Cabin

We love customer reviews, they help other people so much especially with their choice of bases. Mr W has a cracking solution for our Jos Log Cabin (named after my wife) This is his review word for word:


The order process was easy and very efficient. The money wasn’t taken until the week of the delivery.

Delivery
When I ordered the cabin I didn’t realised it was coming all the way from Holland on a massive lorry. The driver / delivery man was very nice and parked at the end of our road and used his forklift truck to deliver the 10 foot pallet onto the drive with accurate precision.

Unpacking / instructions
My aim was to move all the parts from the drive to the back garden as quickly as possible…..This was a job in itself there was a lot more than I thought after unpacking everything. And it took a few journeys back and forth. Not one piece was damaged and was all packaged very well.

Building
I decided to construct a wooden foundation to build the cabin on, as I wanted it to be slightly off the ground and didn’t want the expense and hassle of laying a concrete foundation. So after a lot of consideration I decided to use concrete blocks on a 2 inch bed of hardcore, each cut into the ground and levelled to each other. I then constructed with 100mm x 47mm timber. These were laid on their side as we thought the step into the cabin would be to high. I added more concrete blocks than originally planned to take up any flex. I then lifted the whole structure up and laid a damp proof membrane on top of the blocks. Each block had a damp course strip added to make sure the membrane didn’t tear.

1

This whole foundation structure was constructed as per Tuin’s emailed dimensions. The very minimum the base must be is 2.3m x 2.3m. I recommend creating a square and then cutting off the corner once the building is installed. This I did.

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3

4

Base foundation done.

5

Once the foundation is done the walls all lock together and the building seems to go up in no time.

6

The windows and doors are floating and just drop in place and then you build the remaining logs around them.

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As the cabin was to be built right into a corner with no access, once built to the back, I painted all the logs before building.

9

The blue base membrane at the bottom of the cabin in this picture has now been covered with some of the waste packaging, and painted. The dense foundation blocks are going to be covered with slate chippings.

10

The Cuprinol paint covers and goes on extremely well, the end product only needed two coats and looks amazing.

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Caught in the act!!

On top of the timber base I added the floor timbers laid in the opposite direction as the base timbers, I then added 50mm Jablite in between the joists then floor boards on top.

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I plan to do a similar thing to insulate the roof adding a breathable membrane first then Jablite and then plasterboard, the walls will have a similar job done small stud wall frame not fixed to the timbers, then run the electric cable through timber, Jablite between them then plasterboard on top.

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Finished product

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Painted in Cuprinol shades willow and antique cream around the door and window frames.

Lots of other work has also been done around the rest of the garden over the last couple of weeks, so haven’t finished the inside off yet but hope to get it all done asap.

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And as this is somewhere to do work from home we have a name for it part shed, part office….

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Jos corner log cabin

I am extremely happy with Tuin, the whole experience and end product.

Cheers Steve W

Mr W, thank you for taking the time to write this, for customers seeing the install and the base options  does help greatly. I encourage everyone to install themselves and your review I’m sure will inspire others.

I hope you enjoy the gifts we sent you and if you need anything else in the future please email me and I will offer you a nice discount.

For all Customer pictorial reviews please see this page: Tuin Customer Blog Reviews

Log Cabin Contraction

At certain times of the year I will get the odd complaint about our Log Cabins from buildings that have been installed in the Autumn and Winter, Early Spring. The height of the complaints will come in around July and August.

Some customers will be nice and ask for advise, others will launch into a big complaint and are not very pleasant to deal with on occasions.

I then have to gently walk through the problem with them until it can be resolved and 100% of the time it is the customer’s own making.

The pleasant guy asking for advice will locate the problem and it’s solved.

The unpleasant guy will demand we go on site and then find the problem for them and all of the time it’s when they paid a ‘Qualified Carpenter’ or a ‘Qualified Joiner’ to install the building as it cannot be their fault.  Unpleasant guy then gets very upset when we charge for our attendance.

To solve this I thought I would write a quick post about this seasonal complaint and here’s a few examples:

Logs have shrunk in the heat.

Logs are coming apart.

Gaps appearing

Gaps appearing in the log cabin walls

Gaps and twists starting in the wall logs

Gaps and twists starting in the wall logs, this one is showing at the top of the wall

Gaps starting to show in a wall of a log cabin

Gaps starting to show in a wall of a log cabin, these gaps are spaced all the way up the wall.

Log Cabin shrinking

Log Cabin shrinking with gaps to the side of the door.

Gaps starting to appear

Gaps starting to appear

Contraction of Log Cabins

This quick piece is talking about the problems we have with contraction. No doubt, about six months from now, I will write one with the opposite problems, that of expansion, both are a powerful force in timber.

Throughout the articles in this blog I talk about expansion and contraction a lot and it cannot be overstressed the importance and the power of this. If you are going to own a log cabin you’ve got to believe me.

Here are some previous articles where I talk about this feature of timber in depth:

My online Log Cabin Advice Manual also talks about this.

Log Cabin Logs

A log cabin log is obviously made from the length of a tree and we try to pick the best bit close to the heart. It not going to grow or shrink much in its length but it can change quite a bit in its height when part of an install.

I’ve had a customer tell me ‘I realise wood moves but this is excessive’ It is not excessive, it is what wood does and it cannot be controlled or helped.

In the moisture content article above I reference some figures that will show a cabin has a potential to move a LOT!

Here’s a good example of a log cabin in contraction, followed by an expansion example. In either case you will see the untreated wood start to show. This is why I advise in other posts to remove the fascia and paint behind them so you do not see this happen either in contraction or expansion:

Contraction example:

Contraction exampe

Contraction example

Another contraction example

Another contraction example with untreated wood showing

Here’s the opposite, an expansion example, notice the original paint lines

Expansion example, notice the original paint line

Expansion example, notice the original paint line

Another example of contraction, please make sure you paint behind door and window fascia to avoid this.

Another example of contraction, please make sure you paint behind door and window fascia to avoid this.

Installation Problem

Of course none of this is helped if the installer is not aware of this or understands this and please believe me, anyone with ‘Qualified’ followed by ‘carpenter’, ‘joiner’ or ‘builder’ will make the same mistake as someone who has never built one before. The difference being of course your average customer will read the information before installing.

So why are we seeing these gaps and why am I having a complaint against our lovely log cabins?

Quite simply, the installer is trying to interfere with the movement of the logs and is restricting them moving. This will be things like:

  • Adding extra timber into gaps meant for expansion
  • Fixing door and window fascia to the logs
  • Fixing door and window frames to the logs
  • Installing shelves, electrics, brackets, 
  • Lifting door and windows up to fill expansion gaps
  • Fixing the logs in many other ways
  • Fascia in corner buildings above the door allowing the cabin to sit on the door frame

Here are some examples of the cause of all the above with pictures:

Fixed Fascias

This door fascia has been screwed to the logs. There was quite a few of these in the install

This door fascia has been screwed to the logs. There was quite a few of these in the install

Gaps appearing

Gaps appearing in a corner building. This is where the fascia above the door has been fixed and no allowance made for contraction allowing the door frame to slide behind it.

Fascia being fixed to the logs restricting their movement

Fascia being fixed to the logs restricting their movement

Door fixed to the wall logs

Door fixed to the wall logs – luckily I caught this one as the picture was for a door query but you can see nails through to the logs and this is a potential complaint in either expansion or contraction. Thankfully the customer removed these before any problems was caused in about 6 months time.

Timber infills

During the winter the wood is likely to be at its biggest and sometimes customers will worry about a large gap they find above a door frame or a window frame. Without realising what it is for ‘Qualified’ …. carpenters, joiners, builders … will be tempted to fill the gaps;

Timber used to fill the expansion gaps.

Timber used to fill the expansion gaps. In this example you can see there is a timber block above and to the side of the window frame. So with this Winter lead solution we come to summer and gaps are appearing all over the cabin and I get the complaint!

Extra timber placed above the door frame

Extra timber placed above the door frame. This wood block has removed all expansion and the whole log cabin will now be sitting directly on to the door frame.

Timber insert placed in the expansion gap

Timber insert placed in the expansion gap and also as an extra problem the fascia is also nailed into the logs.

DIY storm Kits, Brackets, Shelves, Curtains etc

I Haven’t really got pictures of these sort of things that I can show you as it may identify the customer’s cabin but this was an unusual one:

Strapping to act as a storm kit and bracing

Strapping and bracing. The customer had some sort of shelving system attached the sides of the cabin and I remember he was also concerned about bracing for storms as he was very exposed in the highlands. The ingenuity was very good but this was holding the cabin very rigid and when the summer got here gaps started appearing.

If you want to install shelves, black boards, bars, brackets etc you can do so really easily but please consider the expansion and contraction. The articles referenced earlier explains how to do this so you do not have any problems in the long run.

Electricity in Log Cabins

I wrote an article about Electrical installation in Log cabins ages ago and although I have let my personal accreditation lapse it still hold true and we reference this quite liberally, electricians must be made aware of the expansion in log cabins.

Here’s how to do it:

Flexible expansion to allow for the cabin to move.

Flexible expansion to allow for the cabin to move.

This is what can happen if you do not tell your electrician that a log cabin is made of wood and expands and contracts:

Log cabin has contracted and no allowance has been made for the trunking. This is a potentially dangerous situation as all the wire and terminations will be under strain.

Log cabin has contracted and no allowance has been made for the trunking. This is a potentially dangerous situation as all the wire and terminations will be under strain.

Consumer unit is fixed across two logs, this will cause problems in both contraction and expansion and may cause numerous problems least of all it compromising the installation itself.

Consumer unit is fixed across two logs, this will cause problems in both contraction and expansion and may cause numerous problems least of all compromising the electrical installation itself.

Summary of contraction in a Log Cabin

Log cabins move, whether it’s one of ours, someone else’s, regardless of thickness, all wood moves, it can’t be helped. It’s full of straws and these straws will suck in and expel moisture:

Layer upon layer of straws all drawing water for the tree. Many now support the Cohesion method theory where a tree draws its water using the tension of water.

Layer upon layer of straws all drawing water for the tree. These straws stay open and need to be treated to block them up.

You can see from the structure of the wood that these straws need to be blocked up, amongst other things this is the purpose of a good quality treatment and sufficient coats, these articles explain more:

I’ve said it several times, please don’t use anything cheap on any log cabin, we’re trying to inhibit the movement. A cheap treatment will not do this and you will have quite a bit of movement over the first year.

We do find though that after a year and the full season cycle we will never hear from a log cabin customer again. If you are going to have a problem with expansion or contraction it will be within the first six months of ownership as you will have either treated it well or the straws will start to collapse and die more.

If you have a log cabin that is showing these signs, before you complain to us or the person you bought it from whether it is our product or not please check the following:

Check for:

  • Fascia screwed / nailed to the logs
  • Any restriction to the logs at all
  • Shelves, curtains, brackets, fixings on the wall
  • Expansion Gaps above and to the side.
  • Finishes above Corner building doors.

This is all applicable to any log cabin, I hope it helps if you are seeing these problems whether you bought from us or another manufacturers building.

Tuin Konstantin Review

This was a new building for the year and one we didn’t really know how well it would be received. In Europe the tendency is more to outdoor living and dining but of course with the changeable weather shelter is needed. This is catching on in the UK more and more.

Br B bought one of the new Konstantin Gazebo Log Cabins

This is Mr B’s story and pictures of the installation and finishing, he was kind enough to leave a review for us:

This product was far better than my expectations, the standard of manufacturing was excellent and I am extremely happy with the end product. The level of customer service received by Tuin and Richard in particular was faultless. Never was there a time when I had to wait for a response to one of my emails, it was instant. If anyone is considering buying from Tuin, just do it as ordering and delivery were impeccable. Also if anyone does not think they can assemble one of their cabins, before you make that decision read the various help pages written by Richard. Once or twice he says it’s easy and he is not far wrong. This cabin gets a 10 out of 10 from me.

Timber frame log cabin base

Timber frame log cabin base

A great use of a timber frame base instead of concrete or paving slabs, there is more information in these here: Timber Frame Base for Log Cabins

Walls going up.

Walls going up.

Top logs and balcony being fitted

Top logs and balcony being fitted

Roof purlins slotted into place.

Roof purlins slotted into place.

Roof boards nailed on

Roof boards nailed on. The front bargeboards have been tacked into place to give Mr B a guideline on where to set the roof boards.

Roof boards are being fitted

Roof boards are being fitted

Felting the roof, the bargeboards are put on afterwards and a gap is left at the back between boards and the bargeboards for drainage to the rear of the log cabin

Felting the roof, the bargeboards are put on afterwards and a gap is left at the back between boards and the barge boards for drainage to the rear of the log cabin

Floor going down

Floor going down – this is a plywood floor Mr B sourced and then put on top our hardwood decking tiles.

I think these Subaya Hardwood Decking tiles make a stunning addition to the cabin, they really set it off!  This was Mr B’s thoughts:

The Subaya hardwood tile when it arrived looked very ordinary, but as soon as I started laying the tiles they came to life. The wood and manufacture seem very good. But once I got all the tiles down it just looked brilliant. I am looking forward to the tiles weathering for a few weeks then I will oil them and just can’t wait to see the end result. Of the many choices available I was pleased we went with this one.

The floor after more oil was applied after fitting comes alive with rich colour

The floor after more oil was applied after fitting comes alive with rich colour

The Konstantin is now almost finish, just a few bits of trim to go!

The Konstantin is now almost finish, just a few bits of trim to go!

Trim applied and now the log cabin gazebo is complete!

Trim applied and now the log cabin gazebo is complete!

Konstantin log cabin gazebo, the final build.

Konstantin log cabin gazebo, the final build.

Thank you Mr B for taking the time to send us a review and for the pictures. Other customer find this really useful and it gives people the confidence to install themselves.

I hope you enjoy the presents we sent the the new furniture you have ordered.

Other customers buildings posts and thoughts:

Tuin Emma Corner Log Cabin Review

The Emma corner log cabin has proved to be very popular in the UK this year, 40mm, double glazed and a low roof height. Some customers very kindly send in their reviews with pictures. This is lovely for us to see and learn from and it also helps future customers and generally gives people more confidence to carry out their own install.


Mrs Rachel M’s review:

My husband was adamant our back garden was too small to house a log cabin and it does look pretty small in this picture , but with careful replanting of a well established Yucca and Hebe, and choosing the Emma corner log cabin, I think we’ve got away with it.

The hardest part by far was the preparation for the base as our garden sloped upwards so had to remove tons of earth and house bricks! We also misjudged the size so had to extend it with block paving at the last minute. The delivery of the cabin was on time and went relatively smooth only our driveway was too small so we had to unload it all from the public pathway which took about 45 minutes.

Once we got started on the actual build it took us about 10 hours not including the shingles, I managed those on my own the day after and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I put 50mm insulation beneath the shingles and the flooring but my husband insisted we had to go out and buy thicker floor beams so as not to ‘crush’ the insulation. This seemed like a waste of money as I had asked Tuin’s advice on this but they were only a few pounds each so I relented, but we now have a shed full of wooden beams which I will not be throwing away!

There were plenty of logs in the flooring pack and my husband did a great job cutting and laying them, and after putting a bit of skirting around he made nice neat ends for my windowsills.

The treatment of the cabin was a bind. I put 2 coats of wood treatment on the inside and out, 2 coats of knotting solution on the outside, 2 coats of VERY expensive paint on the outside, 3 coats of white around the windows and roofline and 2 coats of varnish on the inside walls and flooring. The worst part was the cross sections on the windows, very frustrating as you cannot get the paint round the other side so you can see bare wood from the inside.

We have had electrics put in and I’ve made a path leading to the cabin and now I think it makes my garden look beautiful and I love it. We are still deciding what to use it for but we’ve just bought a workmate to help us make use of all the extra wood we have.

All in all we have had a great experience with this product and would definitely recommend Tuin.

Rachel M

base

Base being dug out

base

Paving slabs on a bed of sand and cement.

base

Trench being dug for the electric armoured cable.

delivery

Delivery package at the end of the drive as the drive was too small for the Moffett forklift to gain access

Foundation

Laying the first log on the standard foundation beams

emma

Door frame located and window logs are being put in

emma

Windows slotted in to place

roof

Roof rafters fitted

emma

The Emma Corner Log Cabin taking shape

emma

Roof boards have been fitted

roof

Roof insulation fitted between the roof boards and the felt shingles

floor

Floor insulation put in between floor joists with damp proof membrane below.

floor

The finished floor and skirting complete with detailing on the window sill and electrical system

Finished

The finished Emma corner log cabin

Finished

Emma corner log cabin

Thanks you Rachel for your review and pictures, I hope you enjoy the present we sent you as a thank you.

Other customers buildings posts and thoughts:

 

Asmund Corner Log Cabin Build

We do have some lovely customers who keep in touch following their purchase. We actively encourage this and we do send presents as it helps future customers so much encouraging them that fitting log cabins is straightforward.


This is Mr L’s finished building:

The Asmund corner log cabin, this is our best selling log cabin at the moment. We also have a 40mm double glazed version called the Emma.

The Asmund corner log cabin, this is our best selling log cabin at the moment. We also have a 40mm double glazed version called the Emma.

This was Mr L’s original review for the Asmund Corner Log Cabin:

Looked locally and online for a suitable building to enhance our garden. On finding the Tuin website I was immediately impressed. Virtually all of the answers to any technical questions I had were already there and those that weren’t were answered on the telephone in simple terms easy to understand.

The Asmund Corner Log Cabin fitted our needs and ordering on line was easy. Delivery was quick, Monday afternoon 4pm, 6 working days and the driver easily unloaded the palleted cabin exactly where I wanted it placed on our driveway. Slight problem was; right cabin wrong order! Foundation logs were different and no optional floor, however the driver made a call and I spoke to a very nice understanding lady who apologised profoundly and the floor arrived on the Wednesday exactly when promised.

The supplied instructions for the erection of the cabin are simple and mostly adequate and in conjunction with the video and notes on the website are easy to follow, although The Asmund is slightly different from the corner cabin shown being erected on the website. However one has to take ones time and follow the supplied plans to the letter, especially when constructing the roof beams which are of different lengths and need to be correctly erected. Some trimming of the roof boards also needs to be done nearer the apex to fit correctly. The installation manual is in Dutch, English and German, basic, but as said adequate for the build. The plans are on 6 A4 Sheets which I found easier to laminate for handling, 

Erection of the Asmund is really simple once the foundation base is in place squared and level. Although it can be built by one person it is better if there are two, my wife and I both retired and nearing 70 put together the sides and fitted the roof beams in under 3 hours only stopping until the light faded due to time of year.

Fitting the roof boards took a little longer due to not being as agile as we used to be when climbing on the roof.

The Cabin structure has now been built and am very pleased with the build. Unfortunately rain has stopped work and I still need to fix the shingles lay the floor and coat with preservative to finish.

Despite a mix up with the order I am very pleased with Tuin, I have found them to be a professional caring company who put the customer first.

Their website is full of practical tips and the quality of their log cabins is A1. So glad I came across their site and have no hesitation in recommending Tuin to anyone.

I have taken a series of photographs throughout the build which will submit once finalised.

Very kindly Mr L followed up his review recently with a series of pictures:

My wife and I are so pleased with the quality of our Asmund Log Cabin. It has enhanced the corner of our garden where our neighbours Leylandi hedge had died back and will be a great asset when entertaining family and friends in the garden. The quality of the cabin and the service in ordering and delivery is second to none. The cabin has been a talking point with our friends and I have passed on your company details to several of our neighbours.

I am pleased that the Photographs sent are of help to you. I have no objection if you wish to use them in one of your blog posts

A redundant corner location in Mr L's Garden

A redundant corner location in Mr L’s Garden

A perfectly made base.

A perfectly made base.

Mr L has the plastic foundation beams. This picture shows them installed very well following the perimeter of the cabin. At this point remember to check everything is square, especially the door frame.

Mr L has the plastic foundation beams. This picture shows them installed very well following the perimeter of the cabin. At this point remember to check everything is square, especially the door frame.

The door and window frames for the Asmund Corner log Cabin are now being added

The door and window frames for the Asmund Corner log Cabin are now being added by Mr L

Further logs have been added including the top logs which now start to key in all the walls.

Further logs have been added including the top logs which now start to key in all the walls.

Roof purlins have now been added.

Roof purlins have now been added.

The doors have been added as well as the roof boards. The roof boards do take some time.

The doors have been added as well as the roof boards. The roof boards do take some time.

Mr L and his wife have now fitted the roof shingles.

Mr L and his wife have now fitted the roof shingles.

The completed Asmund log cabin. Please also see Mr L has fitted a finial.

The completed Asmund log cabin. Please also see Mr L has fitted a finial.

To complete the building Mr L also fitted one of our Log Cabin Finials, his review of this said:

Like other customers, when I purchased the Asmund cabin I thought the finial was an unnecessary item and expense. However on completion found that the finish on the apex of the roof was not quite as pleasing to the eye as I would have liked. Ordered the Finial, delivered by Royal Mail the next day, fitted easily with silicon, adding to the look and finish of the building. Well made of strong painted metal with the brass ball adding the finishing touch. Seems expensive but well worth the extra outlay.

Thank you Mr L, I hope you enjoy your cabin for many years and also enjoy the presents we have sent you.

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: