FAQ and help for log cabins and garden products


Hello and welcome to our frequently asked questions page, we know its important when choosing a company to purchase from that theres a decent support/after sales infrastructure in place.

We already have a very detailed online Support section as well as agents on hand to help via telephone and email but in addition here is another area where you can get some answers quickly to a whole range of questions that you might have.

General extras and recommendations

shingle glue

Q. Extra Shingle glue is available to purchase, But when is this needed?

A.Typically only needed if your building is somewhere very exposed, installed during the winter or will never get any sunlight to activate the bitumen strips

Q. How much shingle glue will i need to purchase?

A. All depends on the cabin and roof size in question, but on average for cabins up to 5x5m you will need 3 – 4 tubes to be covered

Q. How much glue do i use on each strip of shingles

A.Only a small dab on each downward facing corner as illustrated in the image adjacent

Q. Do our log cabins come with a floor included as standard?

A.With most of our cabins, the flooring does not come included as standard and is left for you to select as an optional extra. We leave this as an option, as some customers will not want a timber floor finish inside as they may be laying carpet or laminate down, so will do their own flooring to keep costs down.

Q. How will my floor arrive?

A.The floors arrive in generic packs which then need cutting on site to suit your building. Included are T&G spruce boards, pressure treated floor joists and skirting boards to cover the expansion gaps around the outside. We offer more help on our log cabin floors here

Log Cabin Flooring
Tuin Floor Thicknesses

Q. What floors do we offer for our log cabins

A.We offer two different options which effectively are the same albiet their thickness, We have 18mm and a 26mm to choose from.

Q. Will the 18mm floor be suitable for my cabins use ?

A.If you’re furnishing your cabin with standard items, A couch, a table with a set of chairs, side tables then the 18mm floor is perfectly suited

Q. Why would i need the thicker, 26mm floor?

A.You may choose this option when you know something heavier than the everyday item is going inside, Say a multi-gym, Treadmill or another piece of heavy machinery

Q. Do i need to fit guttering to my log cabin / garden building ?

A.Guttering is always a good idea, not only goes it help protect your vertical walls, it helps keep water away from the base of your building where the first log sits.

Q. How does the guttering fix to my building?

A.Our guttering comes with angled bracket adapters, These are important as the eaves boards are often angled, the adapter counters this to be parallel with the ground.

Q. Which guttering size do i need, 65mm or 100mm ?

A.There are two things to consider to this question, the scale of the guttering size compared to the size of the roof and the surface area of the roof. For smaller buildings up to 4x4m the 65mm works well. anything larger we would suggest the 100mm version.

Guttering for log cabins and garden buildings
IKO felt roofing shingles

Q. What are shingles?

A.Shingles are a form of roof covering typically used on garden buildings over traditional rolls of felt.

Q. Why choose shingles over rolls of shed felt

A.Shingles for a start look amazing, they create a tiled look and will last alot longer than most typical felt rolls.

Q. How are they fitted?

A.Starting from the bottom, working up. you lay tiles in rows working up the roof which then overlap each other. Please watch this video

Q. What free shingle options can i choose from?

A.We list the current available options for our Free Shingle Offer here

Q. Why would i need air ventilation in my building?

A.Often overlooked, ventilation is very important if you’re not constantly using your cabin. Air vents help air pass through your building while not in use. Heat and moisture can build up without it.

Q. What would happen without sufficant ventilation?

A.You will most likely find damp spores flaring up on the walls and furniture left inside

Q. How many air vents should i fit to my log cabin?

A.Generally at least two sets, on opposite sides and at opposing heights, for larger rooms more should be considered.

Q. How do i fit air vents to a log cabin?

A.Purchase a set that includes two plates ( for each side of the wall ), drill holes in the wood and then cover both sides with the vents. ( tip: adding mesh over the holes helps prevent unwanted visitors )

Air vents for log cabins and garden buildings
Foundation Beams for Log Cabins

Q. Foundation Beams, What are they?

A.Foundation beams are a safeguard to your building, They are lengths of wood/plastic that sit in between your building and your base.

Q. When would i need to use them?

A.The only instance where foundation beams would NOT be needed is if you’re installing ontop of a timber base.

Q. Which foundation beam is best?

A.We offer four main types as follows:

Q. What is EPDM?

A.EPDM is the best form of roofing material for flat and pent roofed garden buildings, Its a sheet of thick rubber that normally spans the whole roof with no overlap.

Q. How do i know what size to order with my cabin

A.Dont worry, this is already calculated for you on the cabins own product page.

Q. How does the EPDM attach?

A. Spray adhesive is supplied with the kit, we show how to install EPDM here

Q. How do i join more than one EPDM sheet together

A.The sheets can be joined by firstly overlapping one over the other ( at least 200mm ) and then applying a thick bead of EPDM Glue

EPDM for log cabins
Storm Protection for Log cabins

Q. How can I protect my log cabin from storm damage?

A.One of the most important things you can do is add some form of storm bracing up the height of your walls and fixing the first layer to your base.

Q. What can happen without storm protection?

A. Anything from the loss of some shingles, to the whole roof being blown off your log cabin, if in doubt always assume its needed.

Q. What storm protection can i use

A.We offer a specific metal Storm kit , But homemade versions are also possible, extra Shingle Glue will protect the roof covering itself.

Q. What is a Base?

A.Your base is what the building sits on, for log cabins it must be 100% flat and level, to at least the footprint size of the model in question.

Q. What can a base be made from?

A.Most commonly used is a solid concrete slab, but other options include patio slabs and;timber frame construction,

Q. How do i know what size to make my base?

A.We list a “min base size on all of our product pages, this is the minimum requirement for that model.

Q. Can the base be made bigger that my building?

A.Yes, but just be mindful that your damp proofing is spot on as you don’t want water seeping under the foundation timbers.

Log cabin base
Damp Proofing

Q. How do i damp proof my base?

A.Two things you can do, laying a Damp Proof Course ( DPC ) underneath the foundation beams and lay a Damp Proof Membrane ( DPM ) directly ontop of the base, Underneath any form of flooring.

Q. Why do i need to fit damp proofing?

A.The main reasoning behind this is to protect the underside of any timbers from laying directly ontop of your base, the plastic barrier protects the wood from rising damp

Q. Do i always need to fit damp proofing

A.Not always, We explain this in more detail with in our base information page

Q. Can I receive my delivery sooner?

A.The lead times shown on the product pages is always the soonest option possible

Q. How is a log cabin delivered?

A.We employ hauliers with fully articulated lorries with moffett, crabbing forklifts

Q. Where will my order be delivered?

A.We only stipulate a kerbside delivery, but in some cases the hauliers can deliver on your drive ( drivers discretion )

Q. Can i choose a specific day for my delivery?

A.In most cases no, not within the parameters of our standard delivery service. Log cabins and other garden structures all a delivery week to be selected.

TUIN Deliveries

Treatment of log cabins and garden structures

Impregnation fluid

Q. What is Impregnation fluid?

A. A treatment that inhibits the formation of damp spores and guards against fungus forming as well as other processes that may damage wood

Q. When would this be used?

A.This product is designed to be a base coat, applied underneath your weatherproofing treatment to add extra protection

Q. Can i paint over this with other paints/stains

A.Yes, but just be mindful of the colour if planning to use a stain ontop.

Q. What is Carefree Wood Treatment?

A.Carefree protect is a very effective an all in one wood / log cabin treatment

Q. How much will i need for my log cabin?

A.Each log cabin page specifies how much is needed with in their own description.

Q. Do i need to apply an undercoating or topcoat onto carefree?

A.No as the carefree is an all in one product, nothing else is required.

Carefree wood treatment
Log Cabin Treatment

Q. How important is it to get treatment right?

A. With log cabins, Very. They are made to handle a certain tolerance of expansion and contraction. If not treated you may find it becoming severe.

Q. What is the aim of applying treatment?

A.Two main aims which are protection and weatherproofing.

  • Protection: Protecting the wood itself from insects, fungus, damp spores, Mold and Rot
  • Weatherproofing: actually sealing the wood grain contained with in each length of wood as well as sealing all of the naturally featured wood joints throughout the structure.

Q. What is Immersion Treatment?

A.Wood is placed into a big tank of treatment and allowed to soak, being absorbed into the wood grain for high depth protection against mold, insects and fungus.

Q. Should i select this option for my log cabin?

A.While it does have it’s benefits on some models, it can be avoided on most with the correct aftercare and treatment

Q. If i have the building immersed, Do i then need to further treat it?

A.Yup, Sorry not that easy. The building will still need a full course of weatherpoofing

Immersion of log cabins

Log Cabin Fitting Questions

Q. My door has developed a slight bow, What can i do?

Fitting a turnbuckle/button to the door is a great corrective step, engaging the turnbuckle when the cabin is not in use will help and force the wood to revert in the right direction.

Q. How can i make the top of my pyramid or hipped roof cabin look nice?

We offer metal roof finials which can slot over the shingles to form a nice peak.

Q. Where are the plans to install my new log cabin?

These are contained with in the main shrink-wrapped pallet, wrapped and protected ready for when you unpack start checking off your parts list.

Q. Should i secure the very first logs of my log cabin to my foundation beams?

Yes we recommend this highly as it helps keeps things nice and square in the beginning phase of the installation.

Q. Does Tuin offer its own installation service?

Yes we do, although most prefer to take advantage of the self employed fitters whom we can provide details for as they have less overheads and are much more affordable.

Q. The Timber looks bare when i have opened the main pallet, is it not treated?

Unless specified differently, all our log cabins arrive completely untreated as standard.

Q. Can i install my log cabin in the wind, rain or snow

Absolutely yes, the wood isn’t going to get damaged by getting wet a couple of times.. tree’s get wet all the time, it’s fine we promise.

Q. What sort of lock is supplied with my cabin?

Most come with a Euro, 3 lever cylinder lock.

Log Cabin Treatment Gone Wrong

Winter 2017 (update at bottom of page for Winter 2019)

As I’m writing this it is January 2017 and this is relevant as you read this post.

Occasionally we will receive pictures asking for advice on treatment when something has obviously gone wrong with a log cabin. We can also receive complaints about treatment that has been applied to our log cabins from customers who have used our own treatment or other log cabin treatment we have recommended.

Please see this page for our advice on the treatment of log cabins with our recommended treatments, ours and also others. Please also see this file for a discount from a local company who we highly recommend as do other professionals: Brewers Discount.

When treatment goes wrong

We will receive pictures such as these which do look rather awful and the poor ol’ log cabin is starting to look really sad. We usually receive pictures such as these during the late Autumn and Winter when there is a lot more moisture in the air, more rain of course and snow, generally pretty rubbish weather.

This will be when the treatment that is applied is really tested.

Here’s some examples of what will happen when it all goes wrong and your lovely log cabin starts to get some horrible problems.

Bad staining is forming at the bottom of the cabin.

Bad staining is forming at the bottom of the cabin.

Door trims have started to discolor

Door trims have started to discolor

Discolouration and marking of lower logs

Marking and possible spores forming on the door.

We also get sent pictures such as this which are a bit of a fib, you can see that there was a lot of discolouring before the treatment was applied. Perhaps there was a problem before hand?

A bit of a fib, you can see that the discolouration and marks are present under the treatment.

A bit of a fib, you can see that the discolouration and marks are present under the treatment.

This winter we also received this picture.

A picture of an internal wall sucking up moisture and resulting discolouration.

A picture of an internal wall sucking up the weather and resulting discolouration of the inside of the logs that are still wet. Wood is a sponge unfortunately!

All of the above problems are NOT caused by the treatment, they are ALL caused by:

  • Application of the Treatment
  • Amount of the Treatment used.
  • Depth of treatment applied – Basically the number of coats applied.

Please see this article where I talk about specifically about the depth of treatment and moisture content in a Log Cabin

Treatment Experiment

Every year I expect to get complaints such as the above, we get pictures and very occasionally we get arguments that the treatment has been applied as we advise or the manufacturer has advised.

January 2016 I made an experiment board so I can be sure of my advice and to give examples. Here it is:

Experimental treatment boards.

Experimental treatment boards.

These are my logs I painted and fixed to the side of our Shepherd hut display, in front of this is a veranda to make sure the logs are not in permanent sun light, I was trying to reproduce a sheltered position.

I dated these in January 2016 as a reference and started with no treatment, one coat and all the way up to six coats of treatment. I only used our own supplied treatment which was:

Now a year later this is quite interesting and does show quite clearly what happens with the various coats that have been applied.

Now I can actually see this rather than rely on advice from my own experience, the treatment producers and experts have given me in the past, this is starting to show up where the faults may lie, now I can actually see what is happening and confirming what the faults in a treatment could be:

  • Application of the Treatment – how well and how carefully has it been put on.
  • Amount of the Treatment used.
  • Depth of treatment applied – Basically the number of coats applied.

No Coats

My experiment started with no coats of treatment at all.

No coats of treatment have been applied, this is completely bare wood.

No coats of treatment have been applied, this is completely bare wood.

As expected the wood is discoloured and not looking great. This though is of course not wood rotting – wood does not rot if allowed to dry out naturally. You can see though that some fungal spores are starting to form within the structure.

If you don’t ever treat your cabin you can expect the whole building to look like this. Treatment of log cabins

Completely untreated log cabin.

Completely untreated log cabin. This one is now very old but is still not rotten but it doesn’t look great.

Please see my advice on treating your log cabin, you really don’t want this happening to yours:

Carefree Protectant Timber Treatment

Here’s my experimental board using our Carefree Protectant Treatment

Carefree protection board

Carefree protection treatment board

You can see what happens with one coat of treatment, it simply is not enough. We recommend four coats of this treatment. Actually it only requires two coats but PROPER coats and this is always the problem with a totally clear treatment, you cannot see the damn stuff, you have no idea where you have treated! It was easy for me with a small log as I am pretty sure I coated it correctly.

Please note the ‘one coat treatment’ and compare to the pictures at the top of this post. Similar?

Now look at the ‘two coats’ log, you will still see some discolouration, mainly with the tongue part which has borne most of the weather and maybe also where I was a little thin in my application.

Then again look at the third log, it’s better but finally look at the fourth…. now everything is well covered, we know even on the parts you are missing which is happening with a clear treatment you will be getting at least two proper coats on the log.

This of course doesn’t just apply to our own very clear Carefree treatment but also to other producers of treatment.

A clear treatment, in my experience is the WORST to apply as you cannot see where you have been and that results in problems such as those shown in the pictures above.

Embadecor Timber Stain

Here’s my experimental board using our Embadecor Stain Treatment

Embadecor timber stain experimental board.

Embadecor timber stain experimental board.

A stain or a paint is a lot easier to apply properly as you can see where it is and how you applied it. This has worked very well and I am not seeing anything bad here. But there are big differences between one coat and three coats. Please see the previous articles on advice, three coats will at least give you the depth your require to keep your log cabin from problems and absorption as shown in one of the pictures above.

Embalan Timber Paint

Here’s my experimental board using our Embalam Paint Treatment

I was really pleased with the paint, it went on well, I tried a further experiment one that was as standard:

Embalan standard paint

Embalan standard paint

With one costs you can still see the grain coming through, maybe like one of the ‘fib’ pictures above? Three coats is working well (most paint suppliers will recommend three coats and often include an undercoat) Four and five are perfect!

Then I tried mixing, we wanted a darker colour for the highlight on the doors and window of the Shepherd Hut:

Mix of paints from the Embalan range.

Mix of paints from the Embalan range.

Maybe it was due to the colour but this worked really well, yes there is a difference in the coats, maybe four seems to be the best?

Treatment Recommendations and Problems

With my experiment I think I have shown what happens, I’m going to leave the logs out for another year to see how this develops and follow up in 2018.

My advice …. is …. please follow my advice and avoid some horrible problems happening with your log cabin … oh and don’t cheat or fib ….. the Autumn and Winter will decide how well you have treated your Log Cabin.

Also, please watch out for:

  • Application of the Treatment – how well has your coverage been applied?
  • Amount of the Treatment used – Have you applied the right amount of coats?
  • Depth of treatment applied – Basically the number of coats applied. Have you applied the right amount of coats according to recommendation?
  • MAKE sure you treat the door and window trims and quadrants / beads- These are often missed as it is close to the glass and hard to do and you maybe applying a thinner coat?- Maybe consider removing the glass for better coating.
  • Be careful at the lower levels of the log cabin. These four or five logs get the most weather, treat them accordingly.
  • Be really careful when using a clear treatment to thoroughly cover the log.
  • Pay extra care to lower logs any ledges / tongues.
  • Thoroughly coat the corners and any joins.

Continuation

I am going to leave the experiment up for another year to see what happens, this is really quite interesting ……

More … I’ve recently been asked about our treatments:  This post relates entirely to the Tuin range of Log Cabin Treatments and clarifies what and how we recommend they are used if you choose to use our range.

UPDATE – Winter 2019

My experiment continues with the treatment boards and it’s still pretty interesting what is happening 3 years on.

My timber treatment experiment which I started in 2016 as a way to see exactly what can happen.

The embalan paint if still performing well. The board right at the bottom received no treatment at all, it’s interesting to see there is no rot whatsoever. We’re proving well that three coats and above is giving the best protection. I’m also proving that timber, when allowed to dry naturally does not generally rot.

I did also start another experiment in August 2017 just to see what will happen to a log in constant ground contact. I’ll come back to this is August 2019 to see what, if anything, has happened.

The mix of Embalan paint is also doing very well, the three to five coats are still almost perfect.

The Embadecor stain is doing the best and even with one coat it is still looking very good. Again thought, three to four coats is performing the best. However, bear in mind a stain is just that, ideally it needs a top coat of a sealant such as the clear embadecor or the carefree to ensure the wood is sealed, especially in the corner and joints.

My favoured treatment is also still doing very well. You can see though that as it is a totally clear treatment it is essential to make sure of coverage. I wish I had painted the ends rather than just the surface as you can see how the weather has pushed in. Again three coats and above is most effective.

What if it has gone wrong?

For an easy solution on how to get the timber clean again before re-treatment please see this post: Cleaning a Log Cabin

Timber – Wood – Log Cabin Cleaner

I’ve been playing a lot today with a new product, I’m still experimenting with it and will produce a blog on it soon.

Here though is my first video on it ….. great for cleaning your timber cladding, your old log cabin or in fact any type of timber as far as I can see so far:

Tuin Log Cabin Treatments

This post will explain the Log Cabin Treatments we offer, but in other posts I talk about the importance of a good quality treatment which is correctly applied in regards to Log Cabins and what happens if it is not done well with the best products or not done at all, these posts are here:

In these posts I gave general advice on treatment but did not specifically or simply talk about our own treatments and what we recommend if you choose to use them. I have had a few comments on the posts regarding this so will now answer this in relation to our own Tuin Timber Treatments and how to use them with your log cabin.

Timber Treatment Types

We have Six types of treatment for your log cabin:

Factory Treatment Options

Immersion Treatment:

The factory options of treatment is the Immersion treatment this will also need two further coats of additional treatment once it is installed. This treatment is where the entire log cabin and all its parts are put into a vat of rot proof treatment and allowed to soak for hours. This then allows the wood to absorb the rot proof treatment. It is then separated and allowed to dry naturally.

Personally I do not really like this treatment in anything other than a Log Cabin Gazebo or a Log Cabin style Garage as everything is treated and in brown, green or silver grey it can make the building very dark inside.

Remember that this is only a rot proof treatment, two further coats of treatment will be needed for it to be protected from the weather and to prevent it absorbing water thereby creating water marks and wild expansion and contraction in the log cabin due to the moisture content in the wood.

The perfect treatment on top of this from our ranges is the Carefree Protectant Timber Treatment. Two coats, well applied, are required for full protection.

An immersion treated cabin in green being installed – I like immersion treatment for Gazebos such as this, I’m not so keen on a full building as it makes it very dark inside.

Log Cabin Treatment Options – Self Applied:

Carefree Protectant Treatment:

This is now the very best selling treatment we offer, it is state of the art and is a simply amazing product, please see the Carefree Protect Timber Treatment page for all the details. I thoroughly recommend this and have been using it on everything from a log cabin to hardwood furniture.

Ideally this is used on it’s own (other than the immersion treatment), no base coats of preservative are required or any other product. For full protection for years we recommend three – four, well applied coats.

It is available in a number of colours and all finishes are slightly satin, the clear is VERY clear which people love. It is expensive but I think it is worth the cost. If you love the wood colour and want it to shine the Clear Carefree is Amazing!

I would not recommend using any other product with this or painting anything on top of it other than more of the Carefree treatment when re-application is needed. Saying that, I am told that you can paint on top with anything but i personally cannot recommend it having not done it myself. I also cannot see any point in this as this is a great treatment on its own.

Carefree timber treatment, 3 – 4 coats are required. These logs are an ongoing experiment of mine from January 2016 showing the effect of different layers.

Embadecor Timber Treatment:

Embadecor Timber Stain can be used on its own if you require a stained coloured finish. Like Carefree no other treatment or preservative is required. Again like all good treatment you will need to apply three – four coats if you are using it on it’s own. Lots of colours of stains are available, please see more details on the Embadecor Timber Stain page. Embadecor treatment should be used as an undercoat for the Embalan Timber Paint.

If you like the stained look whereby there is a colour but with the grain of the wood coming through then I recommend this stain highly (still not as highly as the carefree though)

Embadecor timber stain, 3 – 4 coats are required. These logs are an ongoing experiment of mine from January 2016 showing the effect of different layers of the stain.

Embalan Timber Paint:

This is a very high quality paint in solid colours, it gives great coverage and is available in several colours. This is on par with what I consider to be the best UK paint – Sikkens. To use this successfully it is recommended at least one – two coats of Embadecor timber stain (clear) as the undercoat. Further details of this paint can be found on the Embalan Timber Paint page.

Embalan timber paint, 3 – 4 coats are required if used on its own. These logs are an ongoing experiment of mine from January 2016 showing the effect of different layers of the paint. If you use an undercoat of 2 coats of clear Embadecor stain then two top coats are required of the Embalan paint.

Impregnation Fluid:

If you have a hot tub, a jacuzzi, a freezer or fridge in your log cabin or even if it is being shut up for a long time then it is a good idea to protect the inside of the cabin. The impregnation fluid is excellent for doing this, it is clear and goes on like water and will inhibit the formation of damp spores and guard against fungi / mosses forming. You can paint / stain over this as required. This is only a rot proof treatment and does not guard against the weather. This is also an excellent treatment for timber that is already suffering from not receiving any treatment at all to kill any bugs that may be present before applying a proper treatment outside.

Carefree Timber Cleaner:

I will come back to this as I’m still experimenting with the product. Suffice to say this is a 17 years old building that has NEVER received any treatment at all as an experiment. Now I am looking at how to clean and refurbish it. This was using the new product and took literally a few minutes to achieve. Guess which bit we treated with the timber cleaner?

Picture taken of a 17 years old log cabin which has never ever received any treatment or love in its life. A liberal spray of Carefree Timber Cleaner is doing just that.

A quick test ….. more to come in a blog post and product launch.

Log Cabin Treatment Summary

I’ll give a quick run through of my recommendations and combinations of treatments using Tuindeco range to sum up.

  • Immersion Treatment – TWO further coats of treatment will be required, these can either be Embadecor Stain or Carefree Protect. I would not recommend the Embalan paint without applying two undercoats of the stain first.
  • Carefree – Only use this on it’s own, nothing else is required, 3 – 4 coats is perfect for 100% protection. No undercoats or topcoats are needed. Just use Carefree and nothing else.
  • Embadecor Stain – 3 – 4 coats gives 100% protection, nothing else is needed. lightly sand between coats.
  • Embalan Paint – 3 – 4 coats is good and can be done so without an undercoat if you wish. BUT, for best results use at least one coat of clear Embadecor stain as an undercoat. For the perfect solution use two coats of clear stain followed by two coats of paint.
  • Impregnation Fluid – Ideally use inside when damp conditions persist – one – two coats.

For my other posts on the treatment of your log cabin timber please see the posts below: