Annabel Log Cabin Review

The Annabel Log Cabin is known for its sleek and modern design. Take a look at this customers overview of their installation proccess for the Annabel Log Cabin.


The customer writes as follows

Bought an Annabel Log Cabin in the summer and thankfully the weather was kind and allowed me to get it all up and painted without too much interruption. Overall, very pleased with the cabin – spacious, robust, easy to build and looks great. Delivery was quick even under the Covid problems and the driver was great – he did a great job of getting it down our narrow cul de sac and right up to the top of the driveway which meant I didn’t have so far to carry everything round to the garden. I have added some description and pictures of the build.

This is the site prior to preparation. It had quite a slope on it so needed to remove a lot of soil to get a level starting point. Also had to remove some of the fencing and move another area to give about 50cm clearance all round and have good airflow.

Annabel Base Prep

The site levelled off and ready to dig out the foundations.

Rather than trying to lay a concrete base and struggle to get that flat, I chose to lay concrete foundations (about 200mm deep) and then laid medium density blocks on top to give a level and solid base. You can see the damp course for under the concrete.

Turned out to be relatively straightforward to get the blocks down and level. I used adjacent blocks and checked across to other blocks as I went along to make sure it was completely level all the way round.

Laying the base for the Annabel Log Cabin

I used the composite foundation beams. They are a little tricky as they are not very straight and level but that improves as you build up the walls and some weight comes onto the beams. You just need to nudge them into the right place but when they have enough weight on them so as not to move the overall cabin – I did this when the walls were pretty much complete.

You can see the start of the walls here – just needed to make sure everything was square especially for the first five layers or so. I used a large square but found that measuring the diagonals was the better way. That also helped make sure the space for the door was correct.

Building the walls is really easy – it is just giant Lego! The walls go up really quickly – I had the walls up within half a day. One thing to watch is making sure the wall segments between the windows and door remains vertical and even. That said, when I came to paint the cabin, I took the windows and doors out so it was then easy to nudge them back into place and get them perfect. I used a further layer of damp proof under the foundation beams – probably overkill.

In the second image, this is the cabin fully assembled with the roof and facia boards all in place. I did have to cut some additional blocks to support the facia boards at the front and back to make sure they were strong and rigid. All looking good!

Annabel Log Cabin Installation Process

I used a rubber roof which was easier to lay than I thought. I put a drain in one corner which in hindsight was probably not the best solution – while it drains OK, there is a small pool of water always left. Perhaps a better way would be to fit a gutter at the back to catch the water over the whole width. The rubber comes up the side of the facia boards which are set slightly higher than perhaps normal – and the rubber folds over the facia boards a little. I then used some timber as a capping to firmly hold the rubber at the edges all the way around.

This is the cabin now fully painted and the fencing all back in place to finish it off. Prior to painting I treated the whole cabin – inside and out – with a wood preserver. There were two coats of undercoat and two top coats. I used Sikkens paint throughout – a little expensive but wanted to make sure it was going to be well protected and would last given the investment in time and money. Painting took ages – a full day to paint one coat – was pretty glad when that was finished. I did try using a roller but it wasn’t great at getting into the chamfers between the logs so settled on a brush.

Annabel Log Cabin Painted

I removed the windows, the doors and the door frame which makes both them and the cabin easier to paint. I also used clear varnish on the inside of the cabin to seal it thoroughly.

I then sealed all around the bottom of the cabin with clears builders silicone sealant – between the foundation beams and the foundation and between the foundation beam and the bottom log – and that stops any water from getting through.

Annabel Log Cabin Paint Details

As I live is right on the edge of the Peak district, it is very windy so I took the precaution of fitting the storm braces. We did have a few windy days and nothing moved.

As this is primarily being used as a workshop / storage unit, I opted to use the plywood boards from Tuin – really solid and much cheaper than elsewhere. These were all set on medium density blocks on a concrete foundation which makes them stable and rigid. I also treated each board with wood preserver. If we choose to change the use at some point in the future it would be easy to fit insulation, lay a nicer floor and so on.

I would definitely recommend reading through the instructions and all the helpful advice on the Tuin website before you begin – it made it so much easier as the instructions that come with the cabin are rather limited. Overall, put in the effort to get the foundations right, building the cabin is much more straightforward and quicker than you think, painting was easy but it is a big area so does take some time but the end result is really satisfying. Now just need to sort the rest of the garden but perhaps that’s a job for next summer.


Thank you so much to this customer for this overview of the installation process for their Annabel Log Cabin. A real transformation with a striking colour scheme to match the sleek style of the Annabel.

Interested in more reviews like this? You can find more with a range of cabins at: Tuin Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Clockhouse Log Cabin Customer Walkthrough

This customer review and walkthrough was certainly a delight to receive, while I will try and do this well thought out structure justice in this blog. All credit goes to Mr M for this detailed walkthrough of his installation of the Clockhouse Log Cabin.


Mr M writes as follows:

This blog is intended for information purposes only and should not be used for formal instruction or standards in anyway. I’ve produced this blog to capture and share some of my ideas in building the Clock House log cabin from Tuin. I am not a qualified builder, electrician, carpenter or any other trade, nor am I an expert in log cabins; this is my first build. I love making things and I consider myself to be a “reasonably competent” DIY’er.

Our requirements

We are a family of four, my wife and I and our two teenage boys, living in a reasonable sized house. We wanted to extend the house to give us more room and some breathing space, but lockdown happened and things changed. My wife and I are fortunate that our jobs remained, but the two of us working from the dining room table is not a viable option in the long term. The house extension was unaffordable for us and too high risk in these uncertain times, so we decided on a garden building of some description.

Some friends recommended Tuin so we made some investigations and sketched out what we wanted. Basically, we had three requirements;

1) Home office for me permanently and a second desk for Elaine and the boys to use
2) Chill out/TV/gaming area
3) Home pub/bar area for socialising

Tuin offer a massive range of options so we sketched out a few layouts and matched these to some Tuin designs. We settled on the Clock House as it was the right size, and looked attractive. We really didn’t want a “box” in the garden.

With the dimensioned plans of the Clock House on the Tuin website, I sketched out a layout as shown below. For reference I use Microsoft Visio for these sort of sketches.

Clockhouse Log Cabin Layout

Layout of Clock House showing plenty of room for home office, pub/bar and chill out spaces

With this settled we then researched all the various options for the project, the main ones detailed below:

A. The base
There is some excellent information on the Tuin website regarding the base options. For me, this is the most important aspect. Get this wrong and you’ll struggle with the build and longevity of the cabin. I decided on a concrete base for three reasons (i) we have a slope in the garden which can be easily dealt with by a bit of digging; (2) I believe concrete is a great way of dealing with damp by the application of damp proof course and damp proof membrane, and (3) I am an old school engineer and wanted a solid structure to build my cabin on!

B. The roof
Easy one this for me. Clock House a nice pitched roof so the shingles option was a no brainer. We opted for the free shingles offer from Tuin.

C. The floor
Lots on information on the website regarding the floor, but fundamentally this choice boils down to affordability and intended use. I plan to use the cabin all year round as my home office. It’s a large structure so, in my mind, the floor should be substantial. I also want to do it once only and have it last for the life of the cabin. I therefore decided the floor options from Tuin were best for us. After a little googling I calculated you can’t buy that quality wood for those prices from a timber merchant, so again the Tuin option was a no brainer. I ended up going for the 25mm floor. Probably overkill for our needs but for an extra few hundred I felt this was worth the peace of mind.

D. Insulation
As we intend to use the cabin all year this was a necessity. Once again the Tuin website provided great information. I decided on 50mm insulation boards for the floor and roof, a damp proof course to go under the foundation beams and a damp proof membrane to lay on top of the concrete base.

Constructing the base

I’m not going into the details of laying a concrete base as I am in no way qualified to do so. There is lots of stuff on the internet on how to do this. My biggest challenge was how to get the base perfectly flat and level as it is quite large at 5.5m x 4m.

I had a load of old decking boards laying around so I selected the straightest and flattest and used these to construct the shuttering. A couple of day’s hard graft digging by hand and laying the shuttering got me to a good position.

Clockhouse Prepping Base

Preparing the base. All done with lots of old wood, some decent hand tools, a long spirit level and plenty of string. Chickens are optional!

It’s really wise to use string as the basis to work out your levels. If you look closely at the picture you can see how I’ve used it. The shuttering is held in place by wooden stakes. Once I was happy with the level I screwed it all together using battens to ensure it wouldn’t move. Next, in went some hard-core. Again I had some old blockwork and patio slabs so I smashed these up and used them as the bottom foundation layer.

Clockhouse Base adding Hard Core

Hard core going in. Be careful not to move the shuttering

Finally, in went the scalpings. I needed approximately 1.5m3 so I ordered 2x1m3 bags. Many wheelbarrows later and lots of tamping by hand with a tamper from Screwfix the base was prepped for the concrete.

Continuing the base adding scalping

Scalping’s in and tamped down hard and flat. Note the re-enforcements to the shuttering I added to ensure no movement when the concrete was poured.

Finally a week later I had the readymix concrete delivered. 3.5m3 all to be borrowed in manually. With the help of two friends and #1 son we did this in approximately 45mins. The next hour was spent levelling and tamping down to a flat smooth surface.

Base Concrete Laying

Pouring, levelling and tamping. Take your time, get it right. There is no going back from here!

Taking Delivery

One week later the log cabin was due for delivery. Slight hitch from the hauliers in they they were a day late. No biggie, just a little frustrating although perfectly understandable during lockdown. The huge articulated lorry arrived. We are lucky in that we live on a quiet road and we have room in our front garden for the drop off of the pallets. They are massive and a little daunting if I’m honest.

Clockhouse Delivery

I checked over the pallets for damage and found a few scrapes and minor splits in a few logs. I took photos just in case but they turned out to be very minor and did not affect the build in any way.
The next task was unpacking and carrying the logs to the back garden. I was staggered at the volume of wood. It took 2 hours to unpack and lay out but by doing this properly it certainly helped the construction. I tried to lay the logs by size and shape, and the order they would be assembled.

Clockhouse Part Checking

Erecting the main structure

Several reads through of the instructions and lots of YouTube videos later I was ready for the build. To be honest, the instructions were not great. I am mechanically minded so I managed to understand them, but I did wonder how non-technically minded folk would fare with this build.

First job was the foundation beams. I’d opted for the black composite beams as opposed to wood. They’ll last forever and they actually look really nice. They were actually quite twisted and bent due to how they were strapped to the pallets but once they were laid out they were easy to straighten with a little pressure.

I spent a good hour positioning the foundation beams the base, measuring the diagonals to ensure they were square then cutting to length. It’s vital these are positioned perfectly, and once done, I laid down the first row of logs. Once happy I carefully lifted them to place the damp proof course underneath. One final measure and I was ready to build.

Clockhouse Foundations Installation

DPM under the foundation beams

Happy with the foundation beams I started the main structure. With the help of #1 son we were up to the final logs within a couple of hours and ready for the gable ends and purlins. So far this was very straightforward. One tip is make sure you install the windows with the way they open in mind as they are left and right handed.

Clockhouse Log Cabin Installation

Up to now, I was really happy. All straightforward and simple and safe to erect. The gable ends and purlins were a different proposition though. With hindsight, I should have borrowed/rented some scaffold of some description. Doing this with ladders was a real challenge and I found it extremely difficult to stop the gable end logs from moving. In the end I used a nail at each to pin them together which helped a lot but was not ideal. The purlins were also slightly twisted which made it even more difficult. On reflection I wonder if the whole gable end structure should have been assembled with screws then installed as one unit?

With all the purlins now in, we were done for the day. No matter how hard I tried I could not get a perfectly straight row of gable end logs. The picture below shows the run out. With some careful persuasion I did rectify it to a degree but I could not get it perfect.

Roof Purlin Installation

Gable end run out which I did improve but only slightly. Main structure all completed. Very pleased!

The Roof

What’s the best way to describe installing the roof? Real hard graft! Simple as that. The Clock House has approximately 120 roof boards. I put 2 nails in each purlin per board. That’s 1200 nails! If you are not used to this sort of work, and I am not anymore, it’s just hard going and very laborious. I had a ladder with a roof hook which was ok but I’ve lost count of the number of times I went up and down that, even with help from #1 son! I did consider hiring a nail gun, but decided not to as that would add an element of rushing to the job, hence more likely to make a mistake. It eventually took a full day to complete nailing the roof boards.

Clockhouse Roof Installation

#1 Son giving me a break nailing the roof boards. The ladder angle looks awful! I think that’s just a photographic effect!

Now for the insulation board and the shingles. This was the most worrying part of the job for me. I’d never laid shingles before and was a little anxious that it would look horrible and I’d be stuck with it for the next 10 years. Lots of internet research that evening and I felt prepared.

First up was the insulation boards. 50mm boards from BuildBase as recommended by my builder friend. Easy job. I purchased 5kg of 65mm clout nails also from BuildBase. To help retain and conceal the boards I used the long planks that made up the pallets the cabin was delivered on! A trim up and a light sanding and they were perfect. My overall plan was that everything other than the main construction and essentials was to be re-cycled so this was a great start!

Insulating the Clockhouse Roof

Insulation boards up and nailed in place. 1 on each corner and 1 in the centre of each board. Note the pallet plank sits nicely to retain the insulation boards.

Now for the shingles. First job was to mark a line for the first row. I used a string line and spent time getting it spot on. The first row went up and looked really good. I found a really good YouTube video from IKO which showed it done really nicely. From there on, it was just a matter of taking my time over each one.

Log Cabin Shingle Installation

Once all the shingles were up I decided on a capping run to really finish it off. Again lots on YouTube here. I looked at lots of pics on the Tuin website and noticed that very few had done this. I think it looks great as once finished you cannot see any nails on the whole roof. Very pro!

Roof Shingle Capping

Cutting the capping shingles was very straightforward. The finished product looks really neat and adds additional protection.

It took me a full 1 ½ days to complete shingles; 2 ½ days for the roof in total. The main challenge was the pitch of the roof is at such an angle that I couldn’t stack anything up there easily. Hard graft and time consuming but I was delighted with the finish.

The floor

Another nailing epic begins! At least I was not working at height. First job was to lay out the floor joists and cut the insulation to fit. This is where the nice flat concrete base was beginning to pay dividends. I’d ordered the 26mm thick flooring from Tuin and for some reason (I think I saw it on a blog somewhere) I was expecting the floor joists to be 70mm. It turned up with the standard joists at 45mm so I had a small problem to overcome as my insulation boards were 50mm thick. To over come this and in the spirit of recycling I decided to cut shims from the shingle offcuts to raise the joists by the required amount. Perfect.

First the damp proof membrane went down. A few quick calculations and I worked out that by running the joists front to back at 500mm spacing’s I’d get a perfectly symmetrical layout with efficient use of the insulation boards. Although Tuin recommend 400mm minimum, in my opinion 500mm is ample for 25mm thick floorboards.

Clockhouse Flooring Installation

Final calculation for the floor was the length of the boards. I wanted a nice symmetrical look so I calculated 3 lengths to align with the joist spacing and leave 10mm clearance around the perimeter. This resulted in the joists being symmetrical to the building when laid staggered. I’ve tried to show this in the following pics. The cuts align beautifully with the door opening to give a really nice finish. I really took my time nailing the boards, aligning the nails to add to the finish. I was well pleased with the result!

Clockhouse Flooring Installation

After pinning the beading around the edges, I was done. I decided to lay the beading flat and used a mitre joint. The floor in total took 1 complete day.
Final task was to seal between the base and the foundation beams as added protection.

The electrics and network

Clockhouse Log Cabin Electrics Installation

Now I was structurally sound and waterproof I could begin the electrics and internet network. I sketched out my plans and had ordered the components so was ready to go. It’s really important to plan this layout carefully. Mine are shown in the following diagrams.

Finishing off

The last few jobs before kitting out and furnishing were treatment of the wood and fitting the Clock House feature. Regarding the treatment, we opted for the Embadecor in Walnut. Three coats on the outside. Looks lovely as you can see.

Clockhouse Treatment And Clocktower Installation

Scaffold is essential to install the Clock House feature. I borrowed one from my local builder friend.

Finally the Clock House feature. There were no instructions for this so I decided to assemble it on the ground and install it using scaffold. Far too heavy for ladders! We fixed it with 3 x 100mm screws at the front just under the eaves on the outside of the cabin, and 1x100m screw at the pack point from the inside of the cabin. This is a really tricky task requiring very careful placement and measurement.

At the time of writing I’m 3 weeks in to the project. I’ve been working from home in the cabin for a whole week now and it’s brilliant. I’ve spent every spare hour on this project but it’s worth it. My first desk is in and I’m constructing the bar from left over floor joists, the delivery pallets and some wood I salved from a recycling yard. A second desk, a sofa, TV and a few pictures and we’re there! But before all that we are going to paint the interior with Embalan timber paint which Tuin kindly swapped for us for the two tins of walnut stain we didn’t use.

Clockhouse Garden Office Finish

Conclusions

The quality of the Tuin product is exceptional, as is the customer service. I would thoroughly recommend them.

The Clock House is quite a complicated build. The roof and Clock House feature do add additional levels of complexity so you might wish to consider this if you are self-building. That said, I managed it by careful planning and taking my time.

The layout plans I drew up were invaluable. Although I tweaked the ideas as the build progressed, it’s vital you have a basis to start from.

For me, the concrete base is a must for a cabin of this size. Every day I look at it I’m glad I went down this route. I personally could not imagine this log cabin in a similar setting on any other base type.

Overall, I don’t think you can beat this project for value for money. The utility and space it has provided the family is fantastic.


Thank you so much to Mr M for this extremely in depth overview of the installation process for his Clockhouse Log Cabin. A real transformation providing multiple uses within this Log Cabin, certainly sounds like a hit for all members of the family!

Interested in more reviews like Mr M’s? You can find more with a range of cabins at: Tuin Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Ulrik Log Cabin Customer Review

As the drastic change of seasons starts, you may find yourself weary of starting your Log Cabin build. It’s during these times where you should keep a close eye on the weather reports and strategically plan your build around those few days of mediocre weather.

Just as these customers have done, in this post we will see Mrs R’s process of building her Ulrik Log Cabin, completed with pictures to show us the process.


Mrs R writes as follows:

We went for the Ulrik 3.8 x 3.8m cabin as it wasn’t too big but a nice size for our garden.
The delivery came mid-morning and took about 3 hours to unload and put in some order for the build. It started to rain (typical) but we managed to cover all the parts.

The build is on a raised concrete base and so we opted for the free composite foundation beams that were on offer at the time of purchase. They are never going to rot.

The following day the job was started. I must admit it looked a bit daunting but definitely exciting. Once the first few beams are down and making sure it’s as square as possible the build is pleasantly easy. We had very little issues with bent or warped timbers, some needed a little persuasion, however.

As each timber was put in place it was treated to a generous splosh of wood preservative including all the joints. This made the build a bit slower but whose rushing. We didn’t go mad with the camera probably because we forgot but we did manage to take a few snaps along the way.

By the roofing stage (day two) the kids had deserted me. This was to be expected, besides there was little help they could offer. Again, this is straightforward just a lot of nails to bang in… Tongue and groove complete. It starts to look like a cabin – Nice!

We went for the free shingles (green) which we thought would look better than felt. My husband had never laid shingles before found it to be not difficult. The only hassle is working on the roof and its angle. The shingles can be unforgiving on the knees.

The wood that was first treated with preservative now gets a “ten Year” guarantee undercoat from Sandtex.

Had to send the kids down the side of the cabin as it was a bit of a squeeze to paint. They had more paint on them than the cabin! What colour to paint it though?

We went for Bay Tree green, again by Sandtex (10yr) with a Grey Stone satin trim.
Two coats of each.

Wasn’t going to bother with guttering but its surprising the amount of water that comes off the roof, and we have had some rain as of late.

With the outside complete apart from a bit of paint for the guttering fixings it was time for the inside.

The electrics first. We had already run in some armoured cable when we done the base. This was now connected to an RCD consumer unit with a separate breaker for a ring main and a lighting radial circuit.

Treating inside the Ulrik Log Cabin

The electrics complete and certificated. The inside was stained with Ronseal 10-year Natural Oak in satin twice. Now it was time for the floor.

2 x 2 beams, insulation in-between and moisture resistant T & G flooring followed by a light oak effect laminate top.

The floor complete it was just kitting it out. Of course, the T.V went in first. The kids said we can’t get Netflix. So, I had to get a Wi-Fi extender that works a treat thank God.
A cheap sofa and chair from DFS, a small coffee table in the middle. The table under the T.V was made by my daughter whilst in her last year at school. Very nice – it has LED lighting as well ☺
A beer chiller (of course) and some blinds etc.

That’s my review over. Still some bits to do but almost there. Hope you enjoyed taking a look. It was a lot of work but very enjoyable and anyone can do it.

Have fun!!


Who could resist a helper as cute as the dog! Thank you to Mrs R for sending in this review filled with progress images, now that the WiFi has been sorted to reach the cabin, I can see myself spending hours in this Ulrik Log Cabin!

Looking for some more Log Cabin inspiration? You can find more reviews like this at: Tuin Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Is the Ulrik Log Cabin too big or too small for your garden? We have hundreds of Log Cabins in our range to choose from.

Shepherds Hut Deluxe Review

Now that the seasons are changing it’s starting to get quieter for this industry, but we do still have customers installing their cabins! For example, Mr M’s installation of their Shepherds Hut Deluxe to which he kindly sent in some images along with some commentary and tips for future installers.


Mr M writes as follows: 

A stable-full of beams and panels. Get it all under cover if possible. We started off by completing the base after correcting the three warped centre joists with modded joist hangers.  Note the bases – just paving slabs laid on a bed of sand.  Nearest is a thicker cast concrete slab also laid on sand to correct for the slope away from the wall.

Shepherd Hut Deluxe Base

Extra joist hangers were needed to correct 20 degree warp in the beam. Tuin supply 18 but you will need 10 or 12 more if your beams are not straight. Ours were cut-down joist hangers (they are only twisted plates) – not brilliant quality but good enough.  Not sure if Tuin could sell you more of the real thing, I didn’t ask. (Note: We do sell joist hangers)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is by far the most tedious part of the build

Shepherd Hut Deluxe - Staining

Apply preservative and stain/paint as many parts as practicable before assembly – pay particular attention to the end grain.

Flooring goes on late into the evening    note two teenage helpers; almost as essential as the tea and hammers. Also note the clamps – you will need them. We are using cut-clasp nails.  You will need roughly three packs – 14 nails in each board.  It may sound overkill but it makes the base really secure, better safe than sorry.

Shepherd Hut Deluxe Flooring

Sides are on in the next image, as are the steps and the door hinge beams. Pay close attention to getting the hinge beams vertical in all planes prior to the roof going on or the doors will be skew-whiff.

Shepherd Hut Deluxe Walls

The roof and doors are on the next picture, I did the doors first as the roof will get in the way.  The roof is easier than expected, just keep it all tight at first with your sash cramps to keep it nice and square.  This is a month or so after the previous pic – I fell off our original step ladder adding the first feather roof beam and cracked a rib.  Highly recommended replacement cherry-picker ladder featured!

Shepherd Hut Deluxe Doors

The completed hut.  Looks good doesn’t it? The picture was taken after first frosts of the autumn (October 5th). I haven’t added the eight end roof arcs yet. We plan to add a wriggly tin roof eventually, and the roof arcs will finish that off nicely. 

Note replacement glass fibre reinforced felt laid across the arc – there are six pieces all glued and clout-nailed with the overlap away from the prevailing wind – important in Highland Perthshire! Laying it this way uses less felt and we think looks better than length-wise. It is certainly easier to do as it has no tendency to want to slide off. I suggest that you check YouTube shed covering videos which show a proper drip edge rather than wrap the covering round the roof edge as the instructions show – that will encourage the rain water to travel up to the sides of the hut via capillary action and you don’t want that. 

The completed Shepherds Hut Deluxe


Some very handy tips in this review, though we are sorry to hear about your step ladder incident – I hope it healed nicely! The end product shows how perfectly the Shepherds Hut Deluxe fits in with its surrounding garden, truly marvelous! Thank you again for sending this in.

Interested in more reviews like Mr M’s? You can find more with a range of cabins at: Tuin Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Gijs Log Cabin Customer Review

Hi everyone,

The heatwave continues to beat our expectations – And so do our customers! Installing their Log Cabins in this heat, determined to see the finishing result. For example, Mr S’ installation of their Gijs Log Cabin. With plenty of pictures to back up his words, but need I say more? Lets read what Mr S has to day about our Log Cabins.


Mr S writes as follows:

I chose to buy the Gijs from Tuin for a few reasons, I’ll list them in case it helps anyone else.

  •  Design – loved the size of Gijs with the overhanging canopy
  • Value – You get a lot for your money and the free shingles offer was great
  • Floor – I wanted to do my own thing and they didn’t force me to buy one from them
  • Website – I love all the reviews, advice, blog, instructions etc on the website. By far better than anyone else in this market.
  • Service – They look like a company that cares about their customers. They do, I have been very impressed.

I wasn’t disappointed and would thoroughly recommend this cabin.

I thought I would contribute to the website by offering my thoughts on the build process, and some photos. I hope someone finds this interesting or useful.

Foundations

I have a sloping area at the back of my garden where the cabin was going. I really didn’t like the idea or expense of excavating and laying a concrete slab so having read the website advice and doing some other homework decided to use pads with a wooden framework on top. I also wanted to install a decking area under the canopy so the foundations I needed were almost 6m x 6m.

Gijs Log Cabin Base

I used 2 different kinds of pads. 6 of them (4 corners of the cabin plus middle of the front and back walls) were excavated to about 30cm deep by 50cm square, then filled with concrete. I then sank a couple of those hollow construction bricks into the concrete and filled the holes with concrete. The other pads (about 16 of them) were expected to take less load, so I made these by laying some sharp sand and placing a concrete paving slab on the sand, then building up from there using dense concrete bricks. I didn’t bother using mortar – I’m no brickie and my builder friend said they would be fine! If you are using a similar method I strongly recommend taking time to ensure they are all level, it saves a lot of time and hassle later on.

After this I put a layer of weed suppressing cloth down so hopefully nothing will grow underneath.

Gijs Log Cabin Base

I then built the frame using treated 2 x 6″ timber from the builders merchant. I put a double thickness on the edges where the cabin walls would be. Possibly overkill but I like things to be solid. I needed to use a few wedges here and there to make sure there was contact between all points on the frame and the pad foundations. At this stage I also build the frame for the stairs that will lead up to the deck.

I am a relatively keen DIYer and found the foundation stage hard work physically, but quite rewarding. I haven’t built any foundations before, and had to put up with some sass from my builder friend who thought I’d over-engineered everything. He may be right.

Cabin Build

I have helped a friend build a similar cabin so knew roughly what to expect. First stage was delivery.

Log Cabin Delivery

Unfortunately my drive is too narrow for the fork-lift which is 3.8m wide so we had to leave it on the road. The driver was very helpful and the communication about delivery dates and times excellent. Unfortunately this left me with the task of shifting everything to the back of my garden quickly before I got a parking ticket. Fortunately my son had just finished his GCSEs and was willing to help – for some pocket money…

I made one mistake at this stage. I stacked everything horizontally at the bottom of the garden except the doors, which I stood in the house for a couple of days before the build. It was only after they warped that I read the advice on storing them flat. Store them flat!

The build is really straight forward if there are two of you – more pocket money for my son. Some of the wall pieces were hard to get in due to warping but could be fixed with some clamping and hammering as advised in the build video.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We had the walls and about 1/3 of the roof completed on the first day. Be very careful of the ends of the apex pieces. They are held on by a very thin strip of wood and break easily. I broke two of them off. It didn’t make a difference to the build and I was able to stick them back in place for the cosmetic look after it was finished. One problem I had was getting the purlins to sit flush with the walls. Mine were a bit warped and didn’t sit all the way down. The website advises getting a plane out, but I wasn’t too happy about that. I ended up coming up with my own solution of laying draught excluder tape along the front and back walls so that when I added the roof beams, it closed all the gaps. There’s certainly a better solution to this, but it seemed to work for me.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Roof

Finishing the roof seemed to take ages, but I was very glad I owned a nail gun. Mine’s a weedy electric one so I alternated between the proper clout nails and my nail gun to make sure it was solid. I then cracked on with laying the roof shingles. Again I found this quite straight forward, just a little time consuming.

I decided against insulating the roof because I’ll mainly be using the cabin as a workshop and I don’t get cold easily. What I didn’t consider however is heat! We’re in the middle of the 2018 heat wave and the black shingles act like a giant radiator – the roof is hot to the touch on the inside. Maybe next time I might put a layer of insulation up there.

Gijs Shingle Installation

Floor

I did decide to insulate the floor. I cut OSB board to hang between the joist then cut up sheets of expanded polythene to fit into the voids. Over that went a layer of plywood screwed to the joists, then an engineered wood oak floor that clipped together really easily. It looks lovely.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finishing

After quite a few test pots we finally opted to use Sikkens HLS (1 coat) and Sikkens Cetol 7 (2 coats) in light oak. It has a slight gloss/silk sheen to it which I like but won’t appeal to everyone.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Final thoughts 

An excellent product from Tuin at a very reasonable price. The quality of the boards was excellent with a handful of warped ones. Service, before during and after has been outstanding and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Tuin or this cabin. If I were to do anything different in the build process I would spend more time getting the foundation pads exactly in the right place, square and level. A couple of mistakes cost me some time and headaches later in the build (including the use of a car jack to lift one corner up while I put in some shims!). Best of luck with your builds!


A very appropriate treatment choice for this Gijs Log Cabin and a beautiful setting to pair with it! Thank you to Mr S for sending in their honest review of their experience with installing their Log Cabin.

Interested in more reviews like Mr S’? You can find a load more at: Tuin Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Jenny Log Cabin Review

I’ve been so excited to share this with you guys since I’ve seen this come through in my email, so thank you to Mr T for sending this in and making a bright situation in such gloomy weather. Lets see how they turned their Jenny Log Cabin into a Cabin you couldnt miss from a mile away!


Mr T writes as follows: 

This is my overview and review and of my Jenny Log Cabin build, from Tuin.

I took a long time deliberating between different type of Cabin; sizes, profile, make and design and eventually settle for a Jenny Log Cabin from Tuin. It is 4.5 x 3.5m, which is slightly better in my opinion than the original 5.0×3.0m I was thinking of. The more square layout gives better usable space IMO.

I opted for the Jenny for the combination of design (I wanted a reverse apex design as it gives a better “frontage” yet doesn’t appear overly large), thickness of logs and Georgian-style doors and windows. It was going to be my garden gym, which probably mean it will be a summer playroom for me and the boys.

The seed started when we first move here just over 3 years ago. The garden was very overgrown with some very unkept Cherry Laurel that have overtaken almost a third of our garden. Hidden within this was a 6×10′ shed which has seen better days. We decided that it needed replacement. However, the shed stood on a concrete foundation that must have been created after the laurel have had many years to spread out. As such it was awkwardly positioned well out into the middle of our garden, to one side. Keeping a shed there will not do at all and we also wanted something a bit better – much better. Our search expanded to log cabins and that was when it all started.

Having chosen the Jenny, we needed to expand the concrete foundation as the existing foundation was too small. We toyed with the idea of just adding to the existing foundation but given its undesirable position, we ended up needing a new foundation entirely. A tradesman was called in for this and, given we would still need a shed of some sort, we wanted to have a single foundation that would cater for both the Jenny and a shed next to it – efficiency is the buzzword after all, especially since the tradesman will be doing this at the same time.

Anyway, back to the real story about Jenny. The package arrived well packaged delivered by a large articulated HGV straight from Holland with a forklift attached. It scared the neighbours silly when the forklift drove down our road with the package (5m long) across the road but luckily the forklift has some amazing manoeuvrability and the package was neatly deposited on our drive. It did stay there for a couple of weeks untouched as I needed to ensure the space was ready to receive it.

The Packaged Jenny Log Cabin

When there was finally a good weekend-weather window the job begins. On unpacking and taking inventory, there were quite a few “additional” planks which were used to securely package the items. However, this also makes it quite a challenge to determine which are originals and which are packing planks.

As usual, some of the wall log pieces were a bit warped but the video from Turin reassured me that this is quite normal as there are techniques to deal with warped wall planks since they interlock.

There were also a couple of very long (5m) square planks which, for whatever reasons, were extremely warped but at the time I thought little of them thinking there will no doubt be ways to deal with them. These were in fact the eave slats for the roof (used to stiffen the edge of the roof board and provide a surface to nail the fascia covering) as I later discovered and turns out to be a much bigger problem than I anticipated

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So first step was to lay the foundation beams. I bought the recycled plastic foundation beams as these would never rot. Getting these cut to the right size and angle was actually quite a challenge as they are just slightly too big for my mitre block. In addition, as they only comes in 3m length I had to join them for all 4 walls – well 3 actually as the front has the gap for the door anyway. Given the importance of getting the foundation absolutely squared, this was IMO the most critical step in the entire build. With the unpacking/checking and moving the logs into the garden ready for the build, setting the foundation layer took me into the following day. In fact, it took me almost another 2 hours the next day before I was happy to proceed. I also had the help of my lovely wife to check the squareness of the base layer as once it started going up, you don’t want to undo it!

Log Cabin Base

Before I started the build, I also laid down a layer of DPM (plastic membrane used to prevent rising damp). I know the advice was only to lay it under the foundation pieces and then, once the build is completed and the floor is ready to be laid, to add the floor covering at that stage since it could get punctured during the build. To be honest, the DPM did get a bit battered with all the foot traffic but they stayed intact. In any case they were cheap enough that I bought twice the required amount which allows me to have a second layer once I am ready to install the floor. With 2 layers of DPM I think I am pretty protected from rising damp!

Jenny Cabin Installation With DPM

Once the foundation layer is in place, the walls go up surprisingly quickly. You do need a good (heavy) rubber mallet for this which was something I found invaluable. I bought a 32oz (about 1kg) white rubber mallet just in case my (smaller) black one would leave marks but was very glad for the heavier mallet, which really help to hammer the logs into place. The few pieces that were warped were helped into place using a couple of good, strong Irwin Quick Grip XP clamps. The door frames (which needed to be put together from the 4 separate pieces) goes in after 5/6 layers of wall logs. BTW, be careful when putting together the door frame especially the stainless metal covering the bottom piece – it is very sharp and will easily slice your fingers. Don’t ask how I know.

The windows go in once you get up to the right level. Be sure to get the window frames down squarely and adequately as if not, you may find later that the first full length log will not fit. It had me scratching head for quite some time before I figured this out.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once the final wall logs are in place, it is time to fit the apex logs. At first, I was worried that it would be in one piece (which can be quite heavy) as you will need to raise it quite high. However, it comes in normal, log size pieces which interlocks into each other via T&G so quite easy to install in the end. Installing the long roof purlins fixes the apexes in place and make the whole structure very stable. Next step is installing the roof boards!

Jenny Roof Purlins

Installing the roof was the most onerous job in my build. The fact that the cabin is sited close to the edge of our property and under the existing hedging conifers (which I wanted to keep as much as possible) means that one half of the roof had to be installed under the conifers. Installing the roof boards was actually not so hard as you can do this from inside the cabin using a step ladder/platform, but the roof shingles was an entirely different challenge. Also, because of the proximity of the conifer I ended up having to jigsaw off about 5cm along the entire length of the roof once it was already in place – due to the proximity of one of the conifer tree.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once the roof boards are on, it was time to install the shingles. These came free with the cabin and we got the rectangular one. We would have preferred the hexagonal shingles but as it is free, one cannot complain. This took quite some time to complete especially the half that is under the conifers. I had to crawl along the roof under the conifers with very little headroom whilst measuring, cutting and nailing the shingles in place. It was the hardest part of the build but also a tremendous sense of achievement once completed. I have to admit the shingles really finish off the cabin in fine style.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We also bought the floor kit with the cabin, since this finishes off the cabin nicely. The thought of using OSB boards after the personal effort and attention of the build makes me cringes. As the floor is inside, there was no real rush to do this but unfortunately, there were a couple of weekends of heavy rain so exterior work has to wait. The floor boards were installed in a similar fashion to the roof boards (in fact, I think they are the same except for the numerous finger joints that exist with the floor boards) but here you have to cut all the boards at exactly the right place in order to ensure both pieces can be supported by a floor joists at the joint. I used plenty of nails and luckily there were plenty supplied.

I was really keen to ensure the exterior of the cabin is protected ASAP. For this we got Sickens Rubal Saturn Plus in a specially mixed colour, with complimentary shade for the door and windows. These are the “thickest” protectant we could found which is recommended by Tuin. We also got the Rubal Undercoat to make sure the final colour is nice and uniform and to give it 3 coats in total – I don’t intend to have to repeat this in the future and the attention and details will only be justifiable when the whole thing is “nice & new”. These paints were really good – nice and thick with strong opacity but boy, they do take some effort. Luckily, there were quite a few days of good sunshine, but I had to take extra days off work just to make sure the painting was completed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With everything completed, it was time to deal with the interior. We wanted to keep the natural wood look inside but thought it best that the floor is protected. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be clear equivalent of the Sickens Rubal, so we ended up with Tuin’s own recommended Carefree Protectant Timber Treatment. We don’t need that much but as you have to order 2 tins, we thought that if they are anywhere as good as claimed, we would be more than happy to use them for our garden furniture as well. Applying the Wood Protectant to the floor was very quick and the Protectant goes on extremely easily – almost like painting on water in fact. Once we have applied one coat of the Wood Protectant we apply another, normal coat of wood varnish to reduce wear. This also gives it a slightly darker shade, which is actually quite nice.

Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of the Jenny Log Cabin and the service from Tuin. I would definitely recommend Tuin for their quality cabins which are quite reasonable price-wise. The free shingles, if you get them, is a no-brainier and really completes your build.

A few thoughts and tips from my experience:

  1. Use some good, large brushes when applying the protectant to the exterior. There is so much surface that you will be glad to have a decent brush which can cover the area quickly.
  2. Be careful when installing the Georgian door & window frames. The frames are very simple wood strips which you have to nail to the door/windows. They are not bespoke made so can leave some doubts as to how they fit. In addition, they are not really long enough thus leaving little space to put the nail. In fact, I cracked both my window panes as the nail hits the glazing. With hindsight I now understand why so many of the builds do not have these frames installed (even on Tuin’s own website).
  3. I would recommend getting the best wood protectant you can find. The amount of work required to do this will outweigh any cost considerations and you will regret using cheap stuff (or just end up doing a sloppy job).
  4. Get a decent rubber mallet (ideally white so that it doesn’t leave marks).
  5. Make sure you have a good set of strong quick grip clamps as you will need these when installing warped logs or the roofing eave slats. They are also an extra pair of hands which you will find invaluable at times.
  6. Take your time with the roof shingles (if you are using them). They take some time to install but the quality and appearance of a well laid roof shingles really add the cherry to the cake.
  7. With the cost of the cabin and effort required to build, I would strongly recommend getting at least 2 layers of DPM so that the interior and floor are protected from any rising damp. They are also not expensive.
  8. You will most likely need an impact driver to install the first layer of logs onto the foundations beams. If not be prepared for some cursing and sore hands.

If you do decide to go for one of these log cabin, be prepared for some real hands-on action and I hope the above write-up would provide some assurance. I am a reasonable DIYer but nothing in this build can be considered difficult. The initial start is the most anxious part but once you are on your way, it is really not that difficult – certainly within the capability of most competent DIYers. The satisfaction and sense of pride after its completion, however, will be there to enjoy for decades thereafter. Good luck with your build.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Thank you to Mr T for such a lengthy and informative review! As for some of your confusion that you guys may have with the window and door frames- They are for decoration purposes and aren’t very thick in terms of the timber. For the Georgian look you will have to be careful with installing them, some people tend to opt out for them as they don’t like the look- But they are featured on some of our showsite buildings!

Why not look into the Jenny Log Cabin for your unique garden canvas?

For more in depth customer reviews such as Mr T’s, browse through our Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Lauren Clockhouse Log Cabin Review

One of our customers was very generous in sending a review of their Lauren Clock House Log Cabin (previously known as the Special Ben), with plenty of images to show you guys the installation progress! We do love receiving images here at Tuin, so thank you Mr F for sending this to us!


Mr F writes as follows:

We were both extremely impressed with the quality of the material and the thought and precision that had gone into the preparation of the kit of parts.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The 1st of 3 packages arrives, expertly manoeuvred by Barry, the truck driver. Each load was 20ft long and weighed about 1.7tons. By the second image there was a total of 5 tons of shed. Due to a lack of planning on my part they were going to remain unwrapped for about 2 weeks as the ground work was completed.

Work starts on the base about 08.00hrs. Quite a bit of soil had to be removed to
give us a level area. A load of scalping is delivered to the pit, in all, 12 tons was used to form a base for the cement.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Kharn, the builder, with his whacker plate consolidates the scalping and the
shuttering is leveled. We finished at 20.30hrs – a long day but the pressure was on as we had booked the ready mix lorry for 08.00hrs the next morning.

Leveled Out Shuttering

Impressive work in just one day Kharn!

Day 2 at 07.55hrs, 13 tons of cement arrives… A small dumper truck was used to bring the cement to the site and frantic tamping continued for over 2 hours until all appeared level – very hard work!

A couple of days later and with the concrete hardened the rear bank was ‘landscaped’ and a trench for gravel dug at the base.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Monday, Day 1 of construction at about 08.00hrs. The lower beams had been treated the day before and the black items are lengths of the plastic base material. The walls progressed nicely and the plastic base strips have just been cut to fit and slid under the lower logs. Note the log which will eventually be fitted above the door, has been temporarily positioned to keep things square despite the gap in the front wall.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How the joints between the front and rear wall and the middle wall were to be made was a mystery to us but the long logs with vertical holes near the joints gave us a clue and answered the question, ‘what were the square pegs for?’.

The square pegs or ‘wall dowels’ had their corners and ends rounded slightly which still resulted in a satisfying tight fit but with less chance of splitting the logs. The 3 on the left have been treated with a belt sander. About 1 minute per peg and about 60 pegs in total. A pencil mark at the halfway point was useful when banging in.

Wall Dowels

Don’t worry Mr F, these can confuse most people!

About 12 hours after we started and we realise that it’s quite a big Log Cabin!

Installed Walls

The Lauren Clockhouse Log Cabin is one of our longest products!

Day 2 and the roof is progressing well. For the first 2 days of construction there were 3 of us working with lots of carrying from storage area to site and quite a bit of head scratching as we searched for various specific logs. Three pairs of hands were useful as we positioned and fixed the heavy purling.

A start is made nailing the tongue & groove roof boards into position. Much later and all of the boards are fixed. Rain was expected so we protected the roof. Probably no need to but it made us feel better.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Day 3 was mainly spent nailing floor boards. The nail gun chose a bad time to fail and resulted in much manual hammering. Day 4 was mainly spent fixing shingles to the rear. A slow job but looked good when done. Ladders R Us.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Day 5, the small gable comes in 3 pieces which we screwed together at ground level then lifted into position. Inevitably, it complicated the fixing of shingles on the front and it was quite late on the Friday before we finished. On days 4 & 5, some time was spent hiding from the heavy showers which slowed us down a little.

We used some heavier timber to trim the base of the roof to provide a substantial mount for guttering. Note the notches required to fit it around the left, right and middle wall. With a bit more thought I could have cut the timber longitudinally to a better shape for the gutter brackets but now I’ll have to custom make a mounting for each bracket.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

End of day 5. It looks like the finished product but still needs a lot of detail work and much brushwork. The most important pieces of paper. A list of contents annotated by me with the log positions and the detailed diagrams showing each log position.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Happiness is 3 empty pallets. Progress would have been quicker if I were able to unpack and lay out in piles all the various bits of timber. The sheer quantity of wood (and the animals in the field) precluded that, so quite some time was spent rummaging for specific pieces as required. The timber had been cut very accurately and we found that the lengths on the plan, accurate to the millimeter, were very useful in identifying the required log.

Empty Palettes

True happiness indeed!

As garden buildings go, this was a big project and I wasn’t too surprised that the main build took 5 days. Kharn, a professional builder, and I were very impressed with the quality of the material and the accuracy with which it had been prepared. The joints were well thought out and accurately milled although we were dealing with significant lumps of timber and found a club hammer, with protective wood, more useful than a mallet! Even a sledge hammer was found a use in squaring-up the part built walls. Apart from the nails in the floor and roof boards, and the wall dowels, virtually no other fixings were used. The wall logs and purlins stay in position because of the clever joints while the entire building sits steady on its base because of its weight. The packing had been very well done and, as far as I am aware, no parts were missing. Indeed, the supply of plain wood parts seemed generous. Although
there were 450kg of shingles we were a little concerned that we would run out. With 378 shingles we finished the roof with 2 remaining – very well judged by the manufactures.

Overall, I’m a very happy customer and, more importantly, so is my wife! An outstanding product at a bargain price. As the Americans would say, ‘A lot of bang for your buck’. Many thanks for the excellent service and the experience of the build has got my builder friend thinking of buying a smaller version for himself. I hope to have the staining and guttering done soon and will send you a picture of the finished item.


Thank you again Mr F for a detailed and informative overview of your installation process for the Lauren Clockhouse Log Cabin. It looks great and we can’t wait to see your pictures for when it’s completely finished! I hope you and your wife enjoy your log cabin!

Other customer experiences, build articles and tips can be found at: Pictorial Tuin Reviews.