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.

Ongoing Log Cabin Maintenance

Hello and welcome to what we hope will be a useful guide towards the ongoing Log Cabin maintenance.. yes it may come as a surprise to some but just like a lot things in this world, log cabins do need to be given some attention every now and then to ensure they operate as intended.

As much as we would love to provide you with a completely self contained product that requires zero maintenance it simply isn’t possible with this sort of building.

Please expect to have to perform the odd bit of aftercare.

Firstly lets just have a brief recap on how our log cabins are made so we can all get in the right frame of mind, by now you may have already installed your log cabin which means you will of already read our comprehensive online Installation manual, Or perhaps you’re still in the planning phase.. Either way we would suggest viewing the above to gain more clarity and perspective on the whole project.

Before I started working here, When I thought about “log cabins” I would immediately cast my mind to the wooden buildings seen in films made from round tree logs sitting in a snowy forest somewhere nice and peaceful.

Snowy Log Cabin

Yes Please

Who wouldn’t want to buy one of these right!.. although you may need to make some life adjustments or sell a kidney to stump up the funds for this sort of project.

Our Log cabins are made a little differently and we like to think more financially and garden friedly, they consist of flat solid wall logs in a range of different thicknesses, stacked ontop of one another which then interlock in the corners with Wind and Weather Proof Connections.

TUIN Log Thicknesses

28mm – 70mm Log cabin logs

These wall logs will in most cases rest on what we call Foundation Beams to bring them up and off your base, These foundation beams as a minimum will be pressure treated for longevity.

Standard foundation beam being used in a build

Basic Foundation Beams

Our basic foundation beams being used, protecting the first layer of wall logs

After the walls are up you then turn your attention to the roof, These come in different styles and sizes of course but the principle around them is the same. You start with the purlins/rafters then the roof boards are fitted on top to create the solid wooden surface to fix your roof covering to.

Lauren log Cabin being built

The roof being assembled on our Lauren 70mm Log cabin

Then low and behold!.. you have yourself a whole new building ready to be used for whatever you can imagine. looking for Inspiration?

Completed Lauren log cabin

A completed Lauren Log cabin

Easy Right… for some more information about fitting out buildings please also visit our Fitting Tips page.

So there we have it, thats the building up and ready to use but how do you keep it looking and performing as it should and what other considerations should you be thinking about to keep it a fully functional, problem free living space.

Perhaps the best way to go through some of the key points will be to break the cabin down into six areas .

  • The Base for the cabin
  • The Foundation beams
  • The Walls of the cabin
  • The Doors and windows
  • The Roof
  • Additional hardware and extras

Bases

The base is the first thing that gets laid and is critical for both the longevity of your building and its actual construction, i’m not here to talk about what base you should or shouldn’t use as all these details can be found with in our Base Support page already and in reality theres very little you should ever need to do to maintain it which is lucky as it becomes very inaccessible with a lump of a log cabin sitting on top.

However something to look out for would be subsidence, Let’s say you have a concrete slab, or a compact base with slabs on top.. with the weight of the cabin on top has it sunk it some places?.. hopefully not but its worth keeping that in mind to check if you find yourself with a misbehaving building.

Or perhaps you have built the cabin ontop of a raised Timber Platform and under the weight of the building one or more of the corners have sunk throwing out the top level like this unlucky customers did.

A sinking timber base

See the gap?.. Customers timber base had sunk in the middle

Luckily for this customer the timber base was fairly accessible from underneath so he was able to add additional support to bring it back level

Another important aspect of a base is damp proofing, using a Damp Proof Course ( DPC for short ) or a Damp Proof Membrane ( DPM ).

A DPC is generally used underneath your foundation beams, its purpose is to protect the underside of your foundations from rising moisture seeping up through your base as well as providing protection against ingress from the outside.

There are other ways to achieve the same level of protection, My favorite is to use a TAR product, painted on both the underside of the foundation beams and on top of the base that they sit on.. applying this thickly will also service in sealing the perimeter helping prevent ingress.

A DPM is used underneath the concrete slab or ontop of it, This will again protect the underside of the cabin/floor from moisture that tries to rise up from and through your base into the building.

Advice on using a Damp proof course in your base.

Advice on damp proofing

Ideas for Damp proofing

Preventing this moisture from rising up within the building is very important, it can cause unwanted growth with in the building as well as other Unwanted Issues.

garden-furniture-mold

Mold with in a cabin

Nasty right!

Ventilation does play a big part in preventing this as well which we will cover in a moment but if you notice that a once dry and mold free cabin starts to experience these types of problems then a review of your damp proofing may just be in order.

Foundation Beams

Now these are also very important and often in truth the cause of great confusion at first with our more traditional shed building customers.

So just quickly, Unlike a shed where you would expect to see a row of bearers all running the same direction with a floor built directly on top..

A normal Shed is built on top of a floor with joists underneath it

Typical shed base

A typical shed with bearers running the same way

The Foundation Beams service a different purpose for this type of building. they only span under the perimeter of the cabin (as well as any internal walls that might be featured).. What they DO NOT do is span in the middle where the floor goes later on.

Their purpose is to raise the first logs off and away from the base which in turn protects them and provides added room in the middle for a floating floor

We have different types of foundation beams to offer but they all serve the same purpose and will generally sit on top of your base with a DPC in between. This will generally be enough to keep unwanted ingress from entering your cabin but where two foundations beams butt join together you should think about enhancing these connections with a decent sealant/sealer.

Walls Of the cabin

Treatment

Well here we go, We are starting to get into this now as once the walls are up you can finally start to get a good feel for your log cabin, as we mentioned before the walls are made from individual logs stacked ontop of one another to from a very solid wall, They interlock in the corners with fancy Wind and Weather Proof Connections which go along way to ensure that your cabin remains water tight… But as we also explain this isn’t where the story ends and you cannot just leave the logs as as they are and expect the building to be watertight which leads us swiftly onto a very important part of maintaining your log cabin which is TREATMENT

So let’s start by asking a question.. What is Wood?

Wood is basically a Sponge and this is how you must treat each individual part of your cabin, if you zoom right into the endgrain you will see that it’s made from straws all joined together which was once used to draw water and nutrients to the parts of the poor tree that once needed it.

Wood is a sponge and is made up of straws all drawing water for the tree.

Close up of timber

Wood is a sponge and is made up of straws all drawing water for the tree

You can easily see from these pictures that when we look closely, wood is full of holes and it’s these little buggers that will be causing a problem as they all fill with water or, drain of water as seeing as we killed the poor thing there is no tension of water to rely on.

For an untreated piece of wood especially this is happening constantly, it’s trying to reach the same moisture content as the surrounding air. This is known a Relative Humidity and is a measurement of the amount of moisture in the air around us.

In the summer the wood will expel moisture and shrink, In the winter they will absorb moisture and swell which will loosen and tighten the joints where the logs interlock.

Prevention

A lot of customers will fairly just assume that “treatment” is only applied to safeguard the wood, stop it from rotting ect but in truth this is just one of its benefits. Treatment is also there to try and limit this natural movement as much as possible , We want to limit the amount those sponges can absorb and expel moisture by clogging up the straws contained with in.. we do this by reaching the recommended depth of microns.

A decent treatment should provide the following benefits

  • Protect the surface from weathering (including UV damage)
  • Seal wood on wood joints with in the cabins construction
  • Reach the required micon depth ( 80-120 microns ) which helps limit natural movement
  • Provide the desired finish for appearance

More information on Timber Treatment specifically can be found within the other support articles we offer

I hope the above all makes sense as it then leads on to the ongoing maintenance of your cabins walls. They must be treated and they must be treated well, please do not expect to only have to treat your building once throughout its life time and Please Please Please use a decent treatment in the first place.. To many times have we had angry customers over the phone shouting, screaming at how dreadful it all is and how disappointed they have become….to only find that they hadn’t applied enough coats, hadn’t kept up with the re-treatments or instead used a lets say “less expensive” brand in the first place.

We recommend our own Tuin Treatments or specific ones found locally such as Sikkens, Sadolins and Kingfisher which we know work well at achieving the desired depth of penetration.

You will not cut the movement out entirely which is fine because the building is designed to handle a certain amount without any fuss.

So as the logs of the cabin move ( which they will ) you may then need to re-treat certain areas of your walls, Paying particular attention to the end grain and interlocking notches where they join another wall, these are the most vulnerable parts. You will also need to make note and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines in terms of reapplying dates.

Overgrowth around the cabin.

This part is mainly aimed towards landscaping and storage rather than the cabin itself.

I’ll start by repeating one of our bold statements that we confidently make about the properties of timber, .. Wood will never Rot … we promise… Well, we also go onto say that so long as it is always ventilated, . so if it gets wet and is then allowed to dry it will be fine.

but what if it can’t dry?, What if air can never reach some parts of your cabin due to overgrowth, shrubbery, stacked rocks, Muck ect…

What if you decide to store things right up against the side of the cabins wall such as logs for a burner and leave them there for a few years while they season..

All of a sudden the wood will not be able to breath, vent and dry, Water could then sit there all winter which will eventually cause you all sorts of grief

Please be mindful of your walls, Make sure they are free from direct contact with anything which could cause a water trap, keep on top of your gardening in those hard to reach areas as if you allow overgrowth to take over it can really ruin your day… you may even decide to call us.. complaining about the timber quality in the first place… “sorry but its wood” we will tell you.. “it only rots if its not allowed to vent” we will try and explain… you won’t like that.

Daisy log cabin

A Daisy log cabin free on all sides allowing decent circulation

Movement In log cabins

As we know by now the walls of the cabin move as the logs Expand and Contract throughout the seasons, the design allows for that just fine.

But what if you want to fix something to the wall like a mounted TV bracket or some shelving to store those garden tools.. I always tell people they can do whatever they like to these types of buildings so long as they follow the golden rule which is.. “You must always allow for vertical movement with in the logs” further explained with in our Dealing with Expansion and Contraction page

Another consideration for some, if your cabin happens to feature vertical posts that supports a canopy or large overhang you will need to periodically check that the adjustable post anchor that we supplied is set at the right height to match the rest of the cabin.

So let’s say you happen to own a building like our Kennet log Cabin

Kennet Log cabin

Our 28mm Kennet Log cabin

Remembering that the wall logs expand and contract, that front post will need to be adjusted from time to time as the seasons change because it will not move to the same extent, This is achieved by simply adjusting the nut that sits beneath the smaller plate on the anchor.

Post anchor being adjusted

Post support being adjusted

Doors and windows

I think the best way to approach this section will be to start by gently reminding you that just like the walls, The doors and windows are predominantly made from wood, you remember all of those straws?.. Sponges.. yup this wood is no different

Sure,..the doors and windows tend to be made from timbers which are laminated together which does improve their strength and reduces the possibility of movement but its still wood and it still has those straws.

Treatment

The correct treatment of the wall logs is very important.. but I would personally say that the correct treatment of the doors and windows is even more so and here’s why

Unlike the logs, The doors and windows do not have the same luxury of being fully and always supported.. The wall logs are locked in place and would do well to move in any unexpected sense.. but the same cannot be said for the swinging doors and windows… they are only connected to the cabin via hinges which means if the level of treatment isn’t correct or sufficient you may eventually encounter unwanted warps or twists to occur making them much harder to operate.

When first delivered the doors and windows normally arrive deep with in the pallet, This is on purpose as it provides needed support and compression while in an untreated state to prevent warps and twists… but at the very least the pallets are always banded tightly.

Doors packed within a log cabin package to protect them especially from warping

How our doors and windows come packed

Doors packaged with in the log cabin package to provide compression, preventing movement

You then unpack the doors and windows, Please store them flat and again under compression until ready for installation and treatment. While in situ you need to be very attentive with your treatment and often customers will not give them the attention they sorely require. Treatment should be applied both sides evenly and heavily.. To many times we have had customers upset because their doors have warped and to find out after that they didn’t treat it fully or correctly..

An extremely warped door.

A twisted/bowed door

A very twisted door, Do we think this was stored correctly prior to installation?

Hardware

Luckily, even the most twisted door can be corrected with the simple application of a Turn Button or Key,.. you would of already seen these in action in gardens throughout your life time i’m sure as we explain within our other Support Page so don’t panic too much but like most things prevention is better than a cure.

Please keep on top of your door and window treatment.

Let’s move onto those hinges that we mentioned earlier, The doors and windows will come with their own style of hinges so you can operate and use them.. A lot of the time they are cup hinges that look similar to this

Two piece hinge forming a cup and spiggot. These can adjust the door in both planes.

Hinges commonly found on our buildings

Typical Cup Hinges

Now remembering what we discussed before, while treatment will limit the amount those pesky straws can absorb and expel moisture.. it will not cut it out entirely. You will at some point need to adjust the hinges of your doors and windows so please expect to do so, We go into more detail about this with in our other Support Page

A lot of the windows we send are top hung which operate from the inside via a simple Window Stay, we have all seen them and they do the job nicely

Its always easier to pre-treat the windows and doors before they are fitted so you can be sure of full coverage but sometimes this isn’t always possible. or perhaps it’s just time to recoat them following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Top Hung Window

Common type of top hung window on our Emma Log cabin

If you find yourself having to unhang this type of window from the cabin please be aware of an important Safety point before you proceed. The hinges are only designed to keep the window in place with in the constraints of the supplied window stay which means if you lift it up further, the hanging part which contains the glass could slide off. Be ready to take the weight and seek help from another if needed.

Window Stay Limitations

Be careful when lifting the window beyond the stay limitations

While on the subject of door/window furniture, let’s also talk briefly about the actual locking parts, The cylinder, mechanism, latches ect

These are pretty much self contained but some considerations should be made such as occasionally adding some lubricant with in the metal workings so everything operates as it should.. you don’t want the metal parts seizing up.. also consider oiling the exposed elements to keep rust and corrosion at bay.

Also think about fitting a traditional hook and eye’s for your doors so that during use you can keep them securely open, what we don’t want is the wind catching your new doors and smashing them against the walls… thats how things break which nobody wants.

Hook and Eyes

Hook and Eyes being used on our Chloe log cabin

Glass

That’s about it for the actual hardware, but what about the glass that lets in that sought after natural lighting.. what do we possibly need to consider in terms of maintenance.

The panes of glass are dry fitted into a rebate contained with in the door or window, this is all done prior to delivery as it’s much safer to transport while in place.

The panes of glass can always be accessed if ever needed, they’re only held in by wooden beading which can be Removed With ease as we show with in our Glass Support Article

How the glass is held in place

Glass held in place with removable wooden beading

There’s a few things that we need to think about and one of them which is often not really considered is the seal between the glass and that wooden beading.. is it sufficient?

Going back to treatment by this point you will have fully treated both sides of your window or door right up to the glass.. This alone will typically be enough to prevent water from encroaching between the two surfaces and finding a way into the cabin.

You may also ask yourself, Surely they will come pre-sealed in some way right.. why wouldn’t they be…..?!

Well actually no, they do not. The glass is just dry fitted inside the rebate of frame… thats not because we couldn’t be bothered or we’re just trying to save a few pennies on some silicone here in the office to keep the accountants off our backs. It is dry fitted for good reasons!

Firstly, While the packing team do their best to pack the pallets in the safest way possible, we are talking about several tons of a log cabin being moved around and transported over huge distances by several hauliers so things can happen and your glass could arrive damaged ( rare but possible ) .. its glass.. it can break!

For those of you that have used silicone before you will know that it can act abit like glue at times.. so in the unlikely event that you receive your cabin and some of the glass is broken its then an absolute nightmare and down right dangerous to go around and dislodge the broken shards from the inner frame and in the past when units were delivered pre-sealed we received right ear falls from angry customers and rightly so.

Hopefully you agree and can see why we do not send them out pre-sealed, So once you have treated the frames in full and you then go on to notice ingress, all you need to do is either run some sealant along where the glass meets the exterior beading… or if you want you can remove the beading and silicone where the glass directly fits into the inner rebate instead.

Refitting the glass is the reverse of taking it out. If you wished to you could add a bead of silicone sealant although this is not necessary.

Sealant being used

Silicone being added with in the rebate

Movement in log cabins

Moving on slightly, Let’s think about how the frames actually fit into the walls of the cabin for a moment

Back to Movement again ( sorry ) The door and window frames are made with dry, fixing free U-channels which slot over the wall logs which means they will not constrict anything as it moves.

The U-channels are formed by what we call fascia boards… some call them architraves.. they’re basically just planks of wood screwed to the frame to create the U shape. These cover up the all important expansion and contraction gaps which are left above and to the sides of the frames ( please do not in-fill these gaps with anything )

Log cabin doors and window installation

Fascia boards fixed to the perimeter of the frame to create a U-Channel

 

So a few things we need to consider in terms of ongoing log cabin maintenance,

Have the inner sides of the fascias been treated correctly, fully? ..Well they should be as they also play a good part of sealing the outer perimeter of the frames.

Have you accidently sent fixings through these fascias which then also penetrate the moving wall logs underneath?.. if so please remove them as you will be preventing those logs from moving with the rest and you will most likely end up with gaps in between those logs.

Or, Perhaps you have noticed gaps around the door frame but are pretty adamant that there are no fouling fixings.. Try loosening the fascias and then re-tightening them.. if that doesn’t work then send us some pictures so we can have a look with you.

Maybe you have treated the underside of these fascias but you have noticed some signs of ingress? In this situation we may just need to enhance the seal between the two wooden surfaces.. Removing the fascias and adding silicone or draft excluders will normally cut that right out .. Just let us know and we are happy to send you some FOC.

Log cabin Extras

We can provide an array of Log Cabin Extras to complement your log cabin and their requirement depends mostly on the circumstance

Before we touched upon the importance of Ventilation which helps prevent moisture from building up within the sealed cabin, If you are not constantly in and out of your building should consider adding Air Vents to allow a continuous flow of air in and out of the building.

Also think about what you store within the cabin, White goods especially kick out a lot of moisture so be sure to install vents to combat that.

We also offer Storm kits as an extra, These are spring loaded metal rods which are used to ensure that the roof of the cabin remains tied down to the rest underneath, most applicable to those in very exposed areas or for those cabins with large exposed canopy/overhangs… please consider the application of a Storm kit

Shingle Glue is an option to consider, Very handy again for customers in exposed areas but generally if you are installing in the winter it is suggested to safeguard the shingles until you summer next rolls around.

We highly recommend Guttering for your log cabin, Not only will this help filter roof water to the desired location it will also serves in protecting the walls and perimeter further down from unwanted ingress and splash around the base.

We also sell a product which is very useful for coating the inside of the walls, Its called Impregnation Fluid on the website and is a very powerful Anti-rot, insecticidal treatment which you could consider, Please note that in inside of your doors and windows will need more than just this product alone.

Log Cabin Roof Maintenance

The roofs on these cabins should really be pretty self contained, so long as the roofing material was installed correctly there isn’t really that much you should ever need to think about.

Just keep an eye on any unwanted growth ontop, Moss can sometimes start to build up which should be removed as and when you can. Overgrowth can prevent the surface from ever drying out fully… also if you happen to install the cabin in the winter and moss manages to build up before the summer comes back around it could limit the amount of heat that gets to the tiles which is needed to bound all the those bitumen strips together.

An old log cabin shingled roof

Build up of moss

Serious overgrowth, Overdue a clear out we think

It will also be a good idea to periodically check underneath the roofs fascias for any nests which long term could start damaging the wood.

before those fascias are even applied they should be pre-treated as they are hard to reach once installed, Just like the other parts of the cabin you will need to revisit the treatment after a set timeframe and these higher parts are easily forgotten about and missed.

We hope this helps and we are happy to answer any unanswered queries that may come to mind, Please also revisit our installation manual for much much more.

Summary

  • Keep half a mind for your Log Cabin Base, Check the levels if you start to notice anything strange happening with the cabin on top
  • If you start to experience high levels of condensation within the building consider checking your damp proofing and joints between the foundation beams.
  • Remember that wood is a sponge, Keep on top of your treatment and please use something decent., Recoat those vulnerable areas and meet the guidelines set out on the tin.
  • Treat the doors and windows well and frequently
  • Fit hook and eyes to your doors to prevent unwanted wind damage
  • Keep your green fingers busy, Stop overgrowth from taking over and allow air to fully circulate around the cabin.
  • Do not create water traps around the walls of the cabin
  • Be mindful when fixing anything to the walls, Remembering your cabin likes to move
  • If you find water ingressing around the glass, they need sealing further
  • Guttering should always be fitted to better protect your cabin
  • Add Air Vents to prevent the build up of moisture
  • Consider the need for other log cabin extras
  • keep half an eye on your roof, remove overgrowth frequently

 

Log Cabin Pub Inspiration

Our Log Cabins have been put into use for a range of reasons: home offices, summer houses, workshops.. You name it! But one use that has become a huge trend lately is to turn the Log Cabin into a garden pub.

An Inside View Of The Laula Log Cabin

A Laula Log Cabin transformed into a colourful garden bar

Pubs are just a part of British culture, you can’t deny it – So imagine the convenience of having one in your own garden, you’d gain the jealousy of all your neighbours!

We’re lucky enough to receive a load of photos of these garden pubs- But I’m sure there are plenty more out there.

This Jenny Log Cabin has been transformed into this elegant gin bar, in the comfort of the customers garden! Completed with some lighting and seating, you may find them there all day.

This project has taken our Superior Gazebo as the base to this open plan pub. Using extra timber to create infilled walls to hang their impressive collection of decor- Along with building their own bar table. It looks like a lot of work has gone into this DIY project but we can definitely tell it was all worth it!

An Inside View Of A Julia Garden Pub

This neon lit Julia Log Cabin seems to be the perfect social location

With the Football being our national game a Log Cabin being used for a mancave/pub is the perfect solution to be able to concentrate on the game in peace- With freedom to cheer as loud as you want (keep the neighbours in mind though!)

The Aiste Log Cabin proves to be a popular choice for many intended uses, especially Garden Pubs.

And, if you use an appropriate Log Cabin Treatment, a Log Cabin can become a plain canvas for your creativity. Like these customers, who used the Olson Log Cabin to make a seaside escape pub ready for the summer ahead:

Though when thinking of a garden pub, stock is a very important factor.. The Julia Log Cabin is a great candidate for a garden pub, at 3m x 5m there’s plenty of space to place the bar towards the end and space seating around the rest of the length- Ideal for large drinking groups.

I wonder if we could turn one of our showsite cabins into a pub…

Yorick Garden Pub

The Yorick Log Cabin provides plenty of light for cocktail hour.

This is one of my favourite pubs that we’ve been sent in, using the Peter Log Cabin. These customers tried to stick to the British roots of culture by styling the interior like a traditional pub, from the peanuts to the coasters:

 

Just as I was writing this post – We even received another picture set of a converted Log Cabin, these customers used the Meaghan 4.5m x 4.5m Log Cabin as a spacial garden pub. A guaranteed neighbourhood favourite.

This American styled bar is within an Aiste Log Cabin – Just look at the bar table!

Aiste Log Cabin Bar

Another Aiste Log Cabin with a more traditional looking bar compared to the one above – This one appropriately labelled by the customer as “The Boozy Coo”

Aiste Log Cabin Pub

This is a recent Ingmar Log Cabin that’s been transformed into a garden bar – At 3.8m x 3m the Ingmar is an ideal size for those with limited space available, and they finished it all just in time for the England match!

This Justine Log Cabin has been converted into an ultimate lounge area, one side is fitted with a TV and sofa, the other is turned into this beautifully monochrome pub area – I love the monochrome look in this cabin, it makes the cabin look bright and clean.

Justine Log Cabin Pub

This Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin has definitely proved that a cabin can serve multiple uses- Which has turned into the ultimate social location, with a hot tub placed under the canopy and the enclosed cabin being used for a garden pub:

This Emma Log Cabin has become the ideal solution for your empty garden corner. Measuring at 3m x 3m it’s ideal for your garden corner, complete with a bar table, some seating and beer on tap- Complete with decor, you’d think this garden pub has been a hot spot for years.

And hey, don’t just take our word for the quality of our Log Cabins – the Tuin Trustpilot Reviews even appear to show this trend. Comparing our customer service and products to some well loved beer brands!

Tuin Trustpilot Review

Beer and cake.. Its a solid suggestion!

Tuin Trustpilot Review

You can’t argue when it comes to Carlsberg

These are just a handful of the images our amazing customers send us, if you liked viewing these- Follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages we also have plenty of boards on the Tuin Pinterest page.

If a garden pub isn’t for you, there are plenty of other ways to utilise a Log Cabin, see our Uses Of A Log Cabin post for plenty of inspiration!

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

Pent Installation Roof Advice

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

If you would like to follow along to a video tutorial, see our Installing a Pent Log Cabin video filled with tips on ensuring the longevity of your Log Cabin.

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

Newcastle Log Cabin Customer Build

It’s been a little time since we’ve had an in depth customer review – Understandable with this heat, not many people would want to install their log cabins in the recent months. But we do have a fair few customers who like to challenge the heat! For example, Mr & Mrs C, who have kindly summed up their journey of their Newcastle Log Cabin installation within this article.


Mr C writes as follows:

After weeks of research it looked by all accounts that Tuin were the people to buy from! And after several hours reading the wealth of information on their site I was not only convinced these guys knew what they were talking about, but also had a real passion for the product. Si, I hit the button and bought a Tuin 58mm Newcastle cabin, to become my new office/workshop.

The cabin arrived bang on time and unloading was a doddle with their side loading forklift. I was relieved to find the whole package was very securely wrapped and un-damaged. The cabin had to sit on the drive for a week as I finished off the groundworks, but the packing kept everything dry and clean.

The Unloaded Newcastle Log Cabin Package

First job was to clear the site. A step ladder, a beer and a chainsaw! What’s the worst that could happen right? (Not recommended! – Meg)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next was a quick beer while the wife unloaded the hardcore – Then while we waited for her to break the larger lumps up! (I hope you realise that I’m making this bit up right?)

Access was tricky, but a concrete pump soon got the job done!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Base finished! Ready for the retailing wall. 28° heat, what could be better than digging sleepers into the ground 🙁

Newcastle Base Prep

Next, the build begins. (Seemed a shame to hide my nice retaining wall) Unfortunately, the cabin wall bearers had twisted badly in the searing heat. This made the first logs down a little tricky, but as the walls started to go up the bearers had little choice but to flatten out.

Newcastle Log Cabin Wall Installation

Every log slotted into the next like they were machined out of metal, I was amazed at the accuracy of each cut. The logs were straight and clean – I was starting to feel quite happy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

End of day one! Apart from being sick of hammering nails into roof boards, everything else had gone like clockwork.

Newcastle Log Cabin Roofboard Installation

Next day came the doors and roof. (Oh, goody, more nails!) The shingles were of excellent quality and easy to lay. I had opted to insulate from within the cabin, so we just laid them out on to the roof boards.

Newcastle Log Cabin Roof Shingles

I think the floor was my biggest disappointment – after the way the rest of the cabin had gone together, I was expecting the floor to do the same? But, some of the cuts were not accurate on the ends of the boards and some different widths. But at the end of the day it’s just a floor. (Note: Our floors come in generic packs and are not cut to fit specific cabins, that’s why we try to give you more than enough to floor your Log Cabin – We’re sorry you had difficulties! – Meg)

Newcastle Log Cabin Floor

I have now been in my new cabin for a month, during this time we haven’t had a drop of rain and 30+ degree temperatures! The cabin is drying out, but (so far) the wood is being extremely stable. The few small cracks that appeared as we installed it have (more or less) stayed as they were. Nothing has warped or buckled.

I really am being honest when I say, we are extremely pleased with our decision to buy a Tuin Log Cabin. Everything from start to finish has been great! I did have to call for a silly question and the aftersales help was brilliant – A big thank you to Alex and the Tuin team!

The Treated Newcastle Log Cabin

Finished!! 🙂


I must say, that shade of treatment really does suit the Newcastle Log Cabin! I’d just like to say a big thank you to Mr and Mrs C for their honest review of our products – We are sorry to hear that you had problems regarding the flooring, but are relieved that you still love your log cabin!

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

Expansion in Log Cabins

Expansion in Log Cabins can occur with most cabins, this is the natural movement of the timber. But with this advice, many issues can be resolved and your cabin will return to its original state.

Two Extremes with Log Cabins

There are two extremes of the year in a log cabins first year of life; The height of Summer and the depths of Winter. Both of these times may possibly cause problems for you depending on the level of treatment you gave your cabin when you installed it. These problems will generally only be noticeable in the first year cycle of a newly built log cabin as I explain in the articles referenced below.

The problems are one of either expansion or contraction of the wall logs that make up your log cabin.

But, with that said you should never, ever notice this movement, such is the design of most log cabins. The building will grow and shrink un-noticed by you…..

BUT ….. only if it has been built, treated, and vented correctly and also with the correct layer of damp proof membrane on top of or within the base. The correct treatment though cannot be stressed enough, as it will inhibit both these natural features of wood and you will never have a problem or even notice what your log cabin is doing over the seasons.

Contraction of logs in your log cabin – Summer

In the summer we will see contraction and I have written a lot about it in a previous article: Moisture Content of a Log Cabin and Depth of Treatment this article is helpful as it explains the intake and expulsion of moisture from the relative humidity and explains how each log can expand and contract by as much as around 3 – 5mm per log. Over the course of a building log height you have a potential movement of about 80mm, that’s about 3 inches! Sometimes it will be more if the building has received little or no treatment and within its first 12 months of being installed.

A second article which will interest you on the subject of timber movement within a log cabin is: Contraction of a Log Cabin this article explains what can happen in the height of summer, and when a log cabin has had little or no treatment.

Expansion of logs in your log cabin – Winter

Here are some examples of problems that may occur, all of which are down to the natural expansion of timber within the winter months, most of which could be avoided with treatment, damp proof membrane and in some cases ventilation and correct installation of your log cabin.

White bits:

The most common area that you will notice with expansion in your log cabin is when white bits start appearing.

Classic winter expansion of logs in a log cabin – notice the bare wood appearing above the door fascia

Expansion of the logs has caused bare wood to appear from behind the window fascia

For log cabins built around July, August, September and a little later this is fairly common to see and is entirely normal. This is happening as the logs are inherently a sponge and made up of 1000’s of straws which of course the tree used to suck up water from the ground, this is what is happening with the logs during the winter months, they are sucking in moisture and expanding.

This is entirely normal and one that can be easily inhibited by the correct application of a good quality treatment. We also advise in our Log Cabin Treatment Advice article that when treating your log cabin to also paint behind the fascias to the side and above and you will then never notice this expansion taking place at all. If correctly treated it may not even take place at all!

Wood is made up of 1000’s of straws, all of them are designed to suck up moisture from the ground. In the correct treatment of a log cabin our aim is to block these straws as much as possible to inhibit the natural expansion and contraction

Gaps Appearing

During the summer months we can sometimes see gaps appearing if the cabin is not treated well of built correctly. During the winter we can very occasionally see another form of gap appearing and this is generally above the door.

A gap has started to appear above the door as the logs have expanded so much the contraction space has started to appear.

We have seen this a few times in extreme cases, this is very easily solved with a shim placed under the door and the checklist at the bottom of this article followed come the warmer months.

Frames Apart

In our Log Cabin installation advice page and also the instructions that come with all log cabins we do try to get across the importance of NOT fixing anything across two or more logs, including the doors and window frame and fascias as the wall logs need to be able to move independently due to their contraction and expansion. Sometimes though this advice is not followed.

If door or window fascias are fixed to wall logs you can see the expansion of the logs may force the frames apart – never fix log together or inhibit their natural movement!

Fixing fascia that are attached to the top logs to the door frame can be pulled apart by the expansion force.

This door frame is being pulled apart as the top fascia has been fixed to the top wall log, as the logs expand the top part of the frame is pulled upwards by considerable expansion force.

Below is another good example of the door frame being pulled apart from the top fascia being fixed to the wall log. See how evident the rogue screw is, as well as how much expansion has been caused from the force the screw has created:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Floor and Roof

The floor and roof of your log cabin is also affected by expansion and contraction and as we advise it is important to consider the time of year you are installing, at the height of summer you will need to ensure you leave a small expansion gap between the boards. In the case of the floor it is very important to leave room for expansion all around so the floor does not push against the sides of the log cabin.

It is very important to leave an expansion gap all the way around the floor as highlighted in our installation advice, this will then avoid a roof, or floor, from rippling when the winter comes.

Treatment

It is always at this time of year that we get a series of complaints that all can be traced back to treatment, I wrote this article at the same time last year: Log Cabin Treatment Gone Wrong this highlights a lot of the issues when treatment is not correctly applied or the good quality treatment used.

Log cabin treatment gone wrong

If our advice has not been followed regarding treatment it is the height of winter when it will become most obvious.

Problems with treatment will not only manifest itself by unsightly marks as above but you may also have leaks in extreme driving rain conditions. The is due to ineffective or cheap treatment being used which then cracks and allows water to ingress via capillary action. This can also be caused by treatment not being applied correctly, particularly one of the cheaper shade treatment requires light sanding, wiping with spirits and at the least two coats applied within a few hours to be effective, the manufacturer goes on to state that with dry wood three coats should be applied, it is often overlooked as well that a wood preservative is required under many cheaper treatments. Without following any manufacturers explicit instructions any treatment will be ineffective and problems during at least the first year of a log cabin life can be expected.  We would recommend at least four coats of any treatment correctly used. For more advise on this please see: Log Cabin Treatment Advice.

Water Ingress

There are a number of reasons for water ingress, the most likely is lack of treatment, a poor quality treatment or an ineffective treatment, especially in the corners and importantly on the end grain, this is particularly important to stop tracking of water via capillary action via the grooves in the profile of the logs.

Capillary action can allow a weap to follow the logs in a building that has not fully settled or been treated carefully in the corners, tongue and groove or the end grain.

Little or no treatment has been applied to this log cabin. Water marks are now becoming evident in the corners and some mould build up on the door.

As I have mentioned before. Wood is made to act like a sponge. If it is not treated correctly it will absorb water by its nature. This door did not receive a very good level of treatment and over the course of a year has absorbed a lot of water. A great deal of this could have been avoided with a good treatment and of course ventilation within the cabin if it is closed up for long periods of time.

Until a building has fully settled over a period of a year and gone through it’s various cycles it is possible to have driving rain force into the corner joints. BUT, this is very easily prevented by the correct application of a good quality treatment as all the joints are sealed.

Water ingress along the bottom few logs pushed via driving rain. A good quality treatment correctly applied prevents this. I have noticed that some pictures of issues will show this area more often. As can seen from a treatment picture further up this post the lower part of the cabin is missed, possibly as it is harder to treat due to bending over? It may also be that this area takes more driving weather? I think though from experience it would be a good idea to concentrate on this area if you think the log cabin is exposed when you treat it.

Condensation

Condensation is occasionally overlooked and this can affect your building greatly. As we advise it is vitally important that a damp proof membrane is incorporated within your base on top of it. Advice on this can be found in our Log Cabin installation advice article.

Even with a DPM, condensation can still build up in your log cabin if it is not regularly used, in this case it is highly advisable to fit some sort of vent. More advice can be found in our Ventilation in Log Cabins article.

As well as ingress from outside it is possible for condensation to build up inside a cabin if not regularly used or ventilated.

Condensation can also manifest itself as damp spores on the roof and walls. This is a mild case but the building does need some sort of ventilation when closed up for long periods.

On a larger scale, especially when a DPM is not fitted so much moisture can be built up it actually looks as if there is a leak in the roof. Ventilation will resolve this problem.

Doors and Windows

Last night I had an email from a friend who said ‘don’t go around the back to the conservatory door as it’s stuck, it’s always like that when its cold’. I smiled to myself, of course it has nothing to do with the cold, it’s everything to do with treatment and inhibiting the expansion of the wood in her patio doors. It’s exactly the same with a log cabin door set and windows, they will react in exactly the same way if they do not have enough layers of good quality treatment applied.

Doors and windows, if not treated well enough and certainly within the first year, may expand and could become tight in the frame. Ideally doors and windows should be treated both inside and outside to guard against expansion and contraction which can in turn cause warps in a frame

Summary of Expansion in your Log Cabin

All the above points affect any log cabin no matter the manufacturer and indeed any timber structure both inside and outside of your home.

If you have any of these issues, please do not worry, they can all be solved easily.

  • White Bits: This is the easiest to solve, wait until the weather improves and then remove the fascia, you can then paint behind them and you will never notice this again.
  • Gaps appearing above your doors or above the windows. This is easily solved by raising the door or window frame and then inserting a packer the length of the frame. The gap will then be hidden behind the fascia. You will need to remember you did this and consider removing it in the Spring when the log cabin starts to contract again.
  • Frames or trim parting: It is very likely that fascia or frames have been attached somehow to the logs. Please remove any fixings you can find. Doors and windows can easily be removed by taking off the fascia, please then make sure the whole frame is refixed together and reinstall. Do NOT fix any part of it to the wall logs or trim mounted on the corner triangle (in the case of corner log cabins)
  • Floor and Roof: This will be a little trickier to solve. For the roof I have found more nails can be added and it is generally enough to solve the problem as it can still expand across the whole length. The floor maybe pushing against the wall logs, check for this and if it is the case you must create an expansion gap all the way around. A jig saw will be able to accomplish this. In extreme cases you may need to consider a whole new replacement floor.
  • Water Ingress: This one is a little trickier during the winter months and it is probably best to leave it until the warmer Spring months. You will need to review your treatment process and what you used. For cheaper shade treatments you will have sanded the walls, washed it with white spirit, applied a preservative, then applied at least three coats in batches of 4 – 5 hours. Better treatments such as Sikkens and ours will generally need three coats, sometimes an undercoat is also required. For our carefree protect treatment this can be applied direct and built up to three – four coats over a number of days for full protection. Make sure you have read and fully actioned the manufacturers instructions. Please see our depth of treatment article for more advice. You will need to consider re-treating your log cabin and also upgrading the treatment you originally applied. As we advise, if you use a top quality treatment, correctly applied these problems are unlikely to occur. The first thing, by eye you can notice if a treatment is a good quality is ….. is there stretching of the treatment across the joints over the winter? You can often see this, a cheap treatment will simply crack and that is when ingress can occur through capillary action. Look out for this!
  • Condensation: Please check an effective and un-punctured DPM has been applied within or on top of your base. This is your first port of call for a condensation problem. If you are not sure or one has not been applied the floor will need to be lifted and one fitting. If it has and the building is closed for long periods over the Autumn and Winter please consider adding at least one vent into your building. More advice can be found here: Ventilation in Log Cabins
  • Doors and Windows: On most of our log cabins the hinges can be adjusted to account for this, please see this page for advice: Log Cabin Doors you will also need to consider the treatment advice above, ideally doors and windows will be treated equally both inside and outside.

First Year of Life! 

It’s odd but after a year and completing the cycle a log cabin seems to settle down a lot, I think it is because the straws in the wood make up has dropped, crushed or have been blocked, after a year all these things seem to settle and almost disappear.

Some of the above may have left marks or stains which take away from the aesthetics of you building, however, all is not lost and can be easily cleaned again, please see this page for advice: Cleaning a Log Cabin