Pent Installation Roof Advice

A little insight to how you can format the parts of our Modern log cabins

So you have built up your new log cabin up to roof height and you will come across a sight like the one below, the skeleton of a roof ready to be finished off.

Up to roof height with purlins added

I have made a quick guide which I hope proves useful, there are different methods in doing this roof style that you may prefer to use.

Firstly lets identify all the roof components that we will eventually call upon, in this case we have the two-tiered eaves boards for all four sides, squared battens and a mixture of mounting slats and blocks, sometimes the eaves boards for the longer cabins arrive in half lengths which when offered up to one another span the full required length. 

Identifying Roof Components

A good opportunity is often missed at this stage which is treatment and plenty of it as a lot of these parts become very inaccessible once you get further along, for more guidance on what treatments to use you may be interested in the following; https://www.tuin.co.uk/blog/log-cabin-treatment-again/

To begin with let us install the mounting blocks on the front and back of this particular log cabin, these provide more support for the eaves boards when you fit them, sometimes these blocks can be fitted to the sides instead, depending on the model, to fix these I am going to use a two of the 60mm screws at each point.

Starting to install the mounting blocks

Please do not think too long and hard where the mounting blocks need to be placed, as if the plans in front of you do not show a specific precise location, as the eaves boards may have arrived disassembled as shown in the second image above, just place them in a realistic fashion and copy the same for the back.

Mounting blocks also fitted to the back wall

The mounting blocks have all been fitted, so now it is time to think about making up the eaves boards, in this case we have been supplied with a narrow and a wider board, these two together make up the full eaves height, you may have seen that the plans are telling me to use the wider boards on the top, so let us do just that.

Eaves boards ready to be assembled

To join the two boards together we need to use the mounting slats supplied in the kit and identified earlier, anything can be used including spare pallet timber.
Please pilot drill these before securing them, by doing this with any wood you can be more sure that the wood will not split or crack, make sure their locations are correct, use the roof as a guide lining up the slats with the blocks already in place or take measurements.

Offering Eaves boards up to the fitted block locations to aid positioning

Screw the mounting slats all onto one side of the boards, I used 30mm screws which worked nicely.

Screws sent though the mounting slats into the eaves boards

Mounting slats lining up with mounting blocks and overhanging the wall logs/purlins.

Mounting slats lining up with mounting blocks

Now we have all the eaves boards made up as well as all mounting blocks and slats fitted, we then need to think about how we want the chosen roof material to be formatted.Roofing Felt, Easy Roofing or EPDM

Felt, Easy roofing and EPDM Roofing for our pent roofed log cabins

Fitting roofing felt, Our aim is to fold this under the roof edge on all four sides of the roof securing it into place using the supplied battens or sourced trims.

Fitting Easy Roofing ( ERM ) this is an easier solution to roofing felt and requires no nails as its all self adhesive, A heat gun in the colder months of the year is suggested to enhance the overlaps

Fitting EPDM now we save the best until last! The Epdm rubber roof, supplied with a spray adhesive and laid straight onto a “clean dust free roof”, like with the easy roof you would dish this up on the inside faces of the eaves boards on all four sides or just the front three

FELT ROOFING FIRST

We do have a video showing how felt in general is laid which for the basic principle is important as well as our very detailed online installation manual for pretty much everything you would need to know about getting the cabin constructed from the ground up; https://www.tuin.co.uk/blog/tuin-tuindeco-log-cabins-instruction-manual/

but more specifically here for a pent roofs which we hope helps further.

Assuming it is felt that we are fitting today we need to get the roof boards on before anything else, However what we like to suggest at this stage is to temporally tac your front eaves on first as this then gives you a line to offer them all up against knowing they will be correct.

Eaves boards fixed to the blocks ready for the roof boards

You may find that the mounting slats obstruct some of the roof boards from sitting flush so I am trimming them down, or I could have trimmed the relevant roof boards instead to slot around them.

Cutting the mounting slats so the roof boards fit flush, The roof boards could be trimmed instead where required

With the slats trimmed the roof boards sit flush against the inside face

When you go to fit the last roof board you nearly always need to rip it down to allow it to sit flush with the ends of the purlin(s)

Remember to use two nails or screws per board at every junction as the roof boards are key to strengthening the whole building, in the summer leave a 2mm gap
in-between each board whereas in the winter you close them up as tight as possible.

After that you can then remove the front eaves board as its time to fit the felt.

As mentioned, we really want to get the felt wrapped round the ends of the roof boards and under, most cabins come with battens to attach the felt under the boards, in this instance I have been supplied with the two long lengths as shown in a previous picture, I will use these and any other spare pallet timber to secure the felt if needed.

An example of how to finish the roofing felt around the ends of the roof boards

Another example showing how to overcome obstructions

You will at points have to work your way around the mounting blocks, purlins or wall logs, you could remove the blocks temporally while the felt is fitted. you can also leave the felt simply wrapped round the sides of the roof boards to avoid the obstacles but just be sure they are secured down in some way either using Felt Glue or clout nails, Ideally both.

After the felt is fully installed you can then fit all your eaves boards around all sides, the natural gap at the back is there to allow the water to drain off the roof

Expect a gap at the back of the roof, This is for drainage

EPDM or ERM Rubber Roofing

For more specific guidance on the actual installation of the rubber itself, Please visit the following for support and advice

https://www.tuin.co.uk/Easy-Roofing-Membrane.html

EPDM on LOG CABINS roofs.

For this cabin we opted for the Easy roofing as it is the best with no overlaps, the same fitting aid also applies for the Easy roofing, for these rubber options I am going to dish the roofing up on the front three sides then wrap it around the back to allow the run off.

After the initial stage of fixing all mounting blocks onto the cabin I am going to go ahead and fix all four completed eaves boards onto the sides of the roof.

A close up of a corner, Mounting slats cut and uncut as preferred

An extra pair of hands is useful for this part, but you could use clamps if you have some large enough. I screwed through the outside fascia of the eaves boards through the mounting slat into the mounting block with two 70mm screws at each point.

Eaves boards fitted at the back, Note they sit higher than those at the front due to the roof pitch

All eaves boards in place and ready for roof boards followed by the EPDM roofing

With them all fitted to the perimeter of the roof I’m ready to fit the roof boards following the same process as we did for the felt part of the guide.

Dishing of the rubber roofing can be formatted in different ways, As an example you can just have the rubber coming upwards against the inside face and apply a hidden trim to cap it off, however it is best to actually wrap the rubber around the top of the eaves board and down the other side as it helps prevent any possible ingress under it, you can then cap this off as you wish.

You may like to cut the mounting slats down on the front three sides like we did for the felt approach early as this makes offering the Epdm rubber roof easier to lay on the inside face of the boards.

Roof boards start getting laid, Remember two nails per board at every junction

Examples of how the rubber roofing can be dished up

Then for the back where the natural drainage gap is we are going to wrap it around the side of the roof boards, Some fitters at this point will actually make cuts into the tops of the blocks so they can get the EPDM wrapped further around, But you can just glue and tac the roofing to the sides

Some fitters will be very clever at this stage and actually cut a channel into the tops of the mounting blocks, eventually fitting a guttering length directing the water into a downpipe, you may need to increase the wood size of the block used depending on the gutter size, you can then glue the EPDM into the inner face of the gutter instead.

With a channel cut on the back overhangs you can fit a guttering length rigged up to a downpipe

I will mention once again that the methods above do not have to be strictly followed, “like anything in this world there are always room for enhancements!. “So fill your boots ladies and gents” and have a go. Any questions please feel free to contact us for advice

Roof Shingles for Log Cabins – Watch out!

For the past few months we have been offering our customers certain ranges of IKO shingles free with our log cabins and the offer has been very well received. It’s a genuine offer and accepted by loads of very pleased customers. Please see this page for the full offer and availability: Free Roofing Shingles.

What do we supply?

All our shingles are from IKO. We supply these either as a FREE felt shingle option or as a bought option with all our log cabins and also some of our Garden Buildings:

IKO Felt Shingles for use on log cabins and our garden buildings.

These are the very best you can get in Europe and probably the world, IKO is known all over. This is their website: https://www.ikogroup.co.uk/ virtually everywhere you go you will see the IKO brand, for instance, have a look at the branding on the roofing membrane of new build houses before they put the tiles on. A good builder will always use IKO.

Other Shingles

Of course there are other shingles on the market, not just IKO and we’ve tried a lot of these ourselves but we still come back to IKO.

We have independent fitters who you, the customer, deals with direct and you pay them direct. We pass these details on to you when you place an order with us as a free service.

These are often the same fitters who are sub contracted by other companies.

Sorry while I’m on the subject of fitting have you seen the costs! Looking at a 3m x 3m corner log cabin tonight from a company and they wanted over £2000!!! to fit it. Truly unbelievable.

Speak to any fitter direct and they would normally charge you about £450 for a 3m x 3m.

I’m digressing, sorry. Back to shingles. I suggest, when buying or receiving shingles with you log cabin you ask the following question.

Dear Supplier,

Could you please tell me if the shingles you are providing me are CE Marked?

Our independent fitters install for several companies but they and I are good friends after many years together, and they whisper to me. Recently I was shown shingles they were asked to fit and …. oh my!

Looking at them they were of a far lower quality than the ones we use and then we notice that there was no document of performance (DOP) with them and they are not approved in Europe,.

At the moment to supply in Europe for construction they must be approved and CE marked. You will find these shingles have a far thinner base layer and top layer which makes the total shingle a LOT lighter. This causes easy cracking and absolutely no protection at all when felt nails are used and leaking around the nails will be far more common. I dare you to claim on the guarantee.

So, please ask the question when you are buying shingles from your supplier either as a free option or bought. Are they CE marked and approved for use in Europe. It does make a HUGE difference to how long they will last.

 

IKO Green shingles for log cabins

IKO Green shingles for log cabins

Fitting Felt Shingles for Log Cabins

We use IKO as our supplier for felt shingles.  We find them to be the best on the market, they’re also the easiest to use.  All our log cabins and gazebos are offered with them as an option.

We’re the only supplier that offers such a range of colours and styles, a possible combination of 6 colours and three styles:

Felt IKO shingles supplied with our log cabins and garden buildings
Felt IKO shingles supplied with our log cabins and garden buildings

The instructions on how to fit them are on the packaging received but can be a little confusing if the installer has not done this style of roofing before and I do seem to spend a lot of my weekends on emergency calls to customers who need a little advice and are getting in a muddle with them.

So, lets throw away the instructions and I’ll explain how I fit them to log cabins.

First thing to know, is don’t leave them in direct sunlight, they have a bitumen strip that runs along the back of the tile.  This is designed to melt with the sun and stick the roof together, the last thing you want is to have them stick together in the pack.

The tiles come in strips which contain three or four tiles in line depending on the type.  The strips are in 1.0m lengths.

Felt shingle strip
Felt shingle strip

First we need to apply them to the leading edge of the roof and this is where I differ from the instructions but I think it gives a better finish.

Overhang

Consider whether you will be having guttering or not.  If you are then you will need to work out the overhang needed to reach the centre of the gutter.  If you are not fitting guttering then we need to set the overhang.  I tend to use a piece of roof board (18mm) and use that as a template for my overhang.

Starter Tiles

The first tile, put on the roof and turn it upside down so the tiles are facing up.  Then turn it upside down.  I like to do this as when the log cabin is finished and I’m looking up at my handy work I see the tile surface underneath and above.  I think it looks nicer.  I then carry on and butt each tile together for the full roof length.  I tend to only work from one side of the roof starting with a full tile.  When I get to the other end I then cut the tile flush with the roof board.  Make sure it is exactly flush as if not you will not get the bargeboard on.  In the case of hipped roofs also make sure this is flush at the corner points, it will save you problems later on.

Now we have the first layer on start again from the side you started at.  I always start from the left.  Take your tile strip, this time the right way up with the tiles pointing downwards.  Place it directly on top of the ‘starter’ one.  I then move it half a tile to the left which of course then covers the joins on the tiles butted together underneath.  I differ again with the instructions and only use three nails.  One in either end just above the bitumen strip and one offset in the centre of the tile.  If you follow my ‘three nail’ recommendation please do make sure you offset the centre one otherwise you will see nail heads.  When we’re finished you shouldn’t see any nails at all.

Some fitters, for quickness, like to use staple guns.  I’m told this method works well but it’s not something I’ve done as I prefer a good ol’ nail to make sure of the fixing.

I now carry on my first layer, once again butting them up together and, once again making sure I trim flush with the boards.

Trimming

The normal method for trimming the tiles is with a stanley knife or similar.  However, you’ll go through loads of blades and get cramp in your hands.  Where I want to trim I carefully fold the tile over and then hit the crease with my hand or hammer, I call it my ‘folding over and bashing’ technique.  This breaks the tile where the trim is required.  It’s not a neat finish but the trim line is never seen and it does save your hands!

Subsequent Layers

Starting from my preferred left hand side I’m now back to a full tile flush with the edge of the roof.  I then position the tile to the top of the split line of the tiles beneath.  It’s normally about 145mm.  I then cut a block of wood from leftover boards at that measurement and use that as a template so each and every tile I lay is to that measurement.  This makes sure they are all level.

I then carry on up the roof laying each layer of tiles.  I do stop periodically, especially on very large roofs to check I’m still working in line, there’s nothing worse than seeing ‘wiggles’ in the tile lines.

Ridges

Once I’ve reached the ridge I will fold over the tiles as appears to be the neatest to me.  I may trim as necessary.

Next we now need to finish the ridge or in the case of the hipped roof the corners.  To do this we cut the tile strips into individual tiles.  Again I use my ‘folding over and bashing’ technique to do this as it saves my hands from cramp, feel free to use a sharp blade though if you want to be really neat.

To make it easy to fold over the ridge I find the small ‘nick’ in the side of the tile and cut upwards at an angle or use the ‘fold and bash’ technique.

Cutting the tiles for the ridge.
Cutting the tiles for the ridge.

Wind

I now lick my finger and stick it in the air.  I’m looking for where the wind comes from the most as I don’t really want my ridge tiles to be overlapped with the wind coming directly at them and under the flap.  Once established I will start from my chosen end.  My nails are driven in either side of the tile at the bitumen strip and once again I’m overlapping them by about 145mm or using my template block.

If I feel the log cabin is particularly exposed or it is during winter when I am installing I’ll use a drop of mastic or the proper felt tile glue in each of the corners of the overlapping tiles.

Final

If you’re doing a hipped roof such as one of gazebos, and you haven’t got a roof finial for it, you will have to be a little careful how you finish.  With a pyramid roof such as our corner log cabins the tiles on each of the corner tend to form a rose type fan at the top, they naturally want to interlock into each other, be careful at this point to finish it nicely.

I hope this has helped to explain a little how to do the tiles or at least how I do them.  I also hope it might reduce my Sunday morning emergency customer help calls!

But I’m always here for customers who have bought directly from us.  So contact me any time day or night and I’ll help you through your install, please though, consider my lay in Sunday morning.  After 1000 is fine for an emergency call 🙂

New Videos added which helps to explain more visually.

Raining on the roof

I’m sat here looking out, the rain is bucketing down.  Not the best start to the New Year.  From where I work I can see my old log cabin, it’s been up in the garden for over 15 years and still going strong.  A little raggedy around the edges perhaps and could certainly do with a coat of treatment this year.

I look to the roof and am still amazed by the tiles.  We use, and have always done so the range from IKO.  These are one of the leading manufacturers and after 15 years of installing these I have never had any problems.  Even now, in excess of 15 years of use, covered in moss, algae, bird dropping and rubbish the tiles still keep off the rain, the cabin is as dry today as the first day I installed it.  Needless to say we shall keep on supplying these felt roof shingle tiles with all our log cabins, gazebo’s and sheds.  Of course, we also sell these separately and many pallets are delivered across the country to our customers.

Moss covered roof after 15 years and still going strong on my log cabin.

Moss covered roof after 15 years and still going strong on my log cabin.

If you need to re-felt your roof, certainly consider these.  If you’re buying a garden building this year ask whom the manufacturer is, if they’re IKO felt roof shingles you have a good roof covering.

I’m not sure now whether to clear the moss and jet wash the roof or leave it now for another 15 years, surely they must leak at some point?