Derby Log Cabin Review and Build

Mr F has written a very good article on his experience with us and his building – The Derby 58mm log cabin with some great pictures.

I’m always very interested to hear customers journey and thoroughly appreciate his story, it gives us a lot of insight into our service and product and is very much enjoyed by me and other customers considering a similar journey and project.

There was a few surprises for Mr F, a couple of problems to overcome such is normal when building any substantial structure, we also missed a couple of parts and made some mistakes but it’s a good story to read and one we can learn from ……

Mr F wrote the below and sent in loads of pictures of his journey, I have copied the pictures below his article with some annotation and notes.


We took a long time in deciding which cabin to buy and who to buy it from. Fortunately I came across the website of TUIN and got very interested in reading reviews from clients and Richard’s blog etc. Finally we decided on which cabin to have, placed the order and arranged a delivery date.

I contacted Richard for the sizes of the packages and then started to get concerned as Richard informed me that it would arrive in one package – 6000mm x 1150mm x 650mm +-1600kg and would probably be on a large lorry with a forklift.

The driver contacted me on the day of delivery, apologising that he would be with us late evening if that was OK with us or would we prefer the following day.  We agreed to take delivery asap and as we live in a close, off of a country road, I met him on a nearby main road and took him back to our bungalow by car.  He checked as to whether he could get the lorry up our close and wanted to give it a go.  Very clever maneuvering got him close to our drive.  He offloaded his forklift (very nice piece of kit) and much to my wifes surprise picked up this 6000mm long package, turned the wheels on the forklift and proceed down our drive – It was a side loader, that is what she didn’t expect.

He offloaded the package, had a cup of tea and proceded on his way with our thanks.

Next morning my stepson and I opened this huge package and started moving all the parts to our back garden placing the parts in the vicinity of where the cabin was to be erected.

It is quite daunting when you see all the parts spread out.  However once you start to erect the cabin it goes up fairly quickly.  We did have a problem with a warped board but after checking the website carried on as instructed.  I would agree with a previous reviewer of this product hanging the doors took us a couple of hours before we were happy with the way they closed.  Not difficult, just had to  learn how much to adjust the hinges, before re-hanging the doors each time.

I was not sure how to fit the window as some of the parts were not marked and I could not be sure how it fitted following the diagram.  A quick email to Richard and the problem was solved.  Up onto the roof to finish the planking and then the shingles, they are great.  I have never used them before and I think you will agree they look very professional.

Fitting the barge boards on the gable ends was a problem because we did not have the right timber supplied. Phone call to Karen and replacement timber was arranged for delivery the following day. That’s what I call service. It was impressed on me from the start by the team at Tuin that whatever the problem contact Tuin and they will do their very best to sort it out, and they did.

Now, how to treat the timber. We decided to use Sadolin, not cheap but we want this cabin to last. Seems like a good product, certainly seemed substantial when applying it. Painted inside and out.

Fitted guttering and connected to a large water butt.  As suggested by Richard I dug a small trench around the cabin and filled it with gravel, this mainly to stop the splashes when it rains.  I did not dig the trench quite wide enough, will widen it at a later date.  However, I then used some UPVC barge board (which had a lip) to cover the edge of the base around the cabin and this went down into the gravel.  I then sealed this all the way around the cabin with silicon.  So far it seems to have worked and keeps quite clean.

Next was electrics, dug a trench from the cabin to the back of the bungalow and buried armoured cable, with warning tape half way down the trench (as per instructions from my electrician).  Purchased a couple of LED ceiling lights and arranged for the electrician to connect up the supply and install sockets etc with the strict instructions that he was not to nail/screw anything inside the cabin that would hinder expansion of the timbers.  Yes Richard I am glad I read your blog on what to do and what not to do, very informative.

The floor was next. I used timber joists laid on waterproof membrane, not fixed to the floor or to the cabin. In-filled the joists with fibre glass and topped it with exterior board. Finally my wife chose a laminate floor covering which I then laid. Before I could blink she was moving in, I did not have time to hide the key! Joking aside we are both looking forward to using this cabin as our studio and hobby room. Curtains are up at the window and blinds have been bought for the doors and side panels and I have got to make a pelmet for the window to match the gable end scalloped fascia.

We both are extremely happy with this product. The team at Tuin could not have been more helpful in making it a very nice experience for a couple of oldies and of course not forgetting a stepson for his help.

Sincere best wishes for continued success in your business.

The site of Mr F's Derby Log cabin

The site of Mr F’s Derby Log cabin

Lots of parts, all laid out correctly, it is important to keep the logs on top of each other while the build commences.

Lots of parts, all laid out correctly. It is important to keep the logs on top of each other while the build commences.

The base ready to take the Derby Log cabin. It is pleasing to see this is to the footprint of the building.

The base ready to take the Derby Log cabin. It is pleasing to see this is to the footprint of the building.

The first log layer going down on top of the foundation beams.

The first log layer going down on top of the foundation beams.

Mr F and his 'Installation Team'.

Mr F and his ‘Installation Team’.

The Derby log cabin is starting to grow.

The Derby log cabin is starting to grow.

Mr F came across a warped board. This can sometimes happen as wood moves when unsupported, seldom is this a problem though and can very easily be overcome.

Mr F came across a warped board. This can sometimes happen as wood moves when unsupported, seldom is this a problem though and can very easily be overcome.

It's always important to check that the base logs remain square throughout the build. If the bottom logs are square the top ones will follow.

It’s always important to check that the base logs remain square throughout the build. If the bottom logs are square the top ones will follow.

Three sides going up on the Derby log cabin.

Three sides going up on the Derby log cabin.

Window and door opening in the Derby log cabin

Window and door opening in the Derby log cabin

11-window-space

Gables have been put up. This is generally the most hardest part of the install. Gables are very heavy and unstable at this point.

Gables have been put up. This is generally the most hardest part of the install. Gables are very heavy and unstable at this point.

Once the purlins are in the roof then becomes stable and roof boards can be nailed on.

Once the purlins are in the roof then becomes stable and roof boards can be nailed on.

Roof boards are now being fixed to the purlins. Two nails on each board across each fixing point.

Roof boards are now being fixed to the purlins. Two nails on each board across each fixing point.

Checking the log cabin is vertical.

Checking the log cabin is vertical.

Doors have been fitted. This always takes a little adjustment to get 100% correct.

Doors have been fitted. This always takes a little adjustment to get 100% correct.

All the roof boards on the log cabin have been nailed on correctly.

All the roof boards on the log cabin have been nailed on correctly.

Adding a leading edge support. Carpenter clamps are an essential tool to use in the installation of a log cabin.

Adding a leading edge support. Carpenter clamps are an essential tool to use in the installation of a log cabin.

Felt shingles are being fitted. Shingles are FAR better than roofing felt and highly recommended.

Felt shingles are being fitted. Shingles are FAR better than roofing felt and highly recommended.

Perfect spacing and care taken over the shingle install will ensure it looks amazing, lasts years and you do not run out from those supplied.

Perfect spacing and care taken over the shingle install will ensure it looks amazing, lasts years and you do not run out from those supplied.

I'm pleased to see a damp proof membrane on top of the base, this saves damp coming up. Mr F is then using rockwool or similar to insulate the floor. I recommend every cabin has a floor insulated as a lot of heat is lost through here.

I’m pleased to see a damp proof membrane on top of the base, this saves damp coming up. Mr F is then using rockwool or similar to insulate the floor. I recommend every cabin has a floor insulated as a lot of heat is lost through here.

you do not need to order our T&G spruce floor if you are using an alternative floor covering.

You do not need to order our T&G spruce floor if you are using an alternative floor covering.

Mr F read my recommendations regarding electrics in log cabins and is installing as such.

Mr F read my recommendations regarding electrics in log cabins and is installing as such.

The finished Derby 58mm log cabin, the front step entrance built by Mr F.

The finished Derby 58mm log cabin, the front step entrance built by Mr F.

Guttering added by Mr F. We also offer guttering kits but this looks a great install as well. Guttering is important to use with your log cabin, whether from us or other suppliers - it is often overlooked but like your house it does make a difference to longevity.

Guttering added by Mr F. We also offer guttering kits but this looks a great install as well. Guttering is important to use with your log cabin, whether from us or other suppliers – it is often overlooked but like your house it does make a difference to longevity.

Mrs F moved into the Derby log cabin before he did!

Mrs F moved into the Derby log cabin before he did!

The final finished log cabin with Mr F's flourishes of design including the bargeboards which really set the log cabin off.

The final finished log cabin with Mr F’s flourishes of design including the bargeboards which really set the log cabin off.

Thank you Mr F, I thoroughly enjoyed your article and story. It is much appreciated and also helps other people undertaking a similar project. I hope you have enjoyed the present we sent. If you require any other of our products in the future please let me know personally and I can arrange a further discount for you.

Other customer experiences, builds and ideas can be enjoyed here: Pictorial Tuin Reviews

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