Ongoing Log Cabin Maintenance

Hello and welcome to what we hope will be a useful guide towards the ongoing maintenance of your log cabin,.. 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 completley 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.

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.

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
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 ontop to create the solid wooden surface to fix your roof covering to.

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?

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 ontop.. with the weight of the cabin ontop 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.

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 ontop 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.
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
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 qucikly, Unlike a shed where you would expect to see a row of bearers all running the same direction with a floor built directly ontop..

A normal Shed is built on top of a floor with joists underneath it
A typical shed with bearers running the same way

The Foundation Beams servce 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 ontop 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.
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 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, 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…

Or 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 cannot 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 ontop 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.

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 out 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 becuase 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 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
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 becuase their doors have warped and to find out after that they didn’t treat it fully or correctly..

An extremely warped 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 ontop 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.
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.

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.

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 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

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 becuase 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.
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 )

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 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.

The Roof

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
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 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

 

FREE Offer Roof Shingles

Last Update – 6th November 2019 at 1330

Available Offer Shingles with your Log Cabin

  • 40.9970/3m/2k Black Straight
  • 40.9971/3m/2k Red Straight
  • 40.9981/3m/2k Red Half Round
  • 40.99731/3m/2k Blue Half round
  • 40.99752/3m/2k Grey Hexagonal
  • 40.99861/3m/2k Brown Hexagonal
  • 40.99821/3m/2k Green Diamond
  • 40.9975/2m/2k Grey Diamond
  • 40.99861/3m/2k Black Diamond
  • 40.9982/3m/2k Green half round – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9987/3m/2k Green Hexagonal – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9984/3m/2k Brown Half Round – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9972/3m/2k Green Straight – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9974/3m/2k Brown Straight – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.99851/3m/2k Black Hexagonal – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.99811/3m/2k Red Diamond – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9975/3m/2k Grey Straight – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.99741/3m/2k Brown Diamond – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9980/3m/2k Black Half Round – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9973/3m/2k Blue Hexagonal  – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9986/3m/2k Red Hexagonal  – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9973/3m/2k Blue Straight  – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9986/3m/2k Dark Red Hexagonal  – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9973/3m/2k Blue Straight – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.9981/3m/2k Dark Red Half Round  – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.99852/3m/2k Cedar Wood Hexagonal  – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.99801/3m/2k Black Triangle – OUT OF STOCK
  • 40.99751/3m/2k Grey Triangle OUT OF STOCK

These go VERY quickly.  Please let us know at point of order what you would like with your cabin.  These change daily and we do try to update this page as they change.

Further information on roof shingles and the market: Roof Shingles for Log Cabins.

We try to meet you preference but this is NOT GUARANTEED

We will try though to accommodate your choice but don’t shout at us if a certain style or colour has gone please. If the colour and style is important to you please consider ordering the ones you require, we’re the cheapest available for IKO shingles anywhere so regardless of the free offer ones or bought you won’t find a better deal with any other supplier. 97% of the time we can meet your preference except when stocks are very low.


UPDATE:  Shingle Glue

Although there is a bitumen strip on the tiles and that they should also be nailed in at least three places on a strip we are recommending (due to our dodgy weather recently) that you consider also applying Felt Shingle Glue along the leading edge when sited in exposed areas. This is also necessary with low pitched roofs.

UPDATE: Membrane

IKO are now recommending a membrane under layer is also applied. As a company we do not think this is necessary on garden buildings and nor does other garden building companies. However if you wish for a underlay membrane please see of roofing felt page for standard felt or IKO recommended membrane. If you are using a membrane we would recommend the standard felt over the IKO membrane but the choice is yours. Please note for lower pitched roofs and flat roof a membrane is recommended by us as is shingles glue.

Further information on roof shingles and the market: Roof Shingles for Log Cabins.


When shingles are available:

When shingles are free and available they can be selected from this drop down menu on the product page.

If you want to buy alternative shingles or they are not available:

If we do not have the free ones you require or they are not available please order them from here.

Do you need Roof shingles on your Log Cabin?

Do you need FREE ones? In my opinion the answer is always yes!

When I was first involved within this industry about fifteen years ago log cabins also emerged as a popular alternative to the humble shed or summerhouse. Back then it was unthinkable to sell them without shingles.  As well as the style of the buildings the shingles set them far apart from a common shed which of course a log cabin is not.  Then, about five years ago some bright spark realised that if they sold the cabin with felt they could undercut everyone else making them look the best value for money.

So, now you will find everyone sells cabins with felt as everyone had to follow as customers look immediately at the head line price when zipping through the internet or a brochure.  Roof shingles then became an option across all retailers, which is a real shame as I think all Log Cabins need roof shingles to become anything other than a crappy shed.

You’re buying a building that will last forever if cared for, surely you want a roof material that will do the same?

As an example, here’s a shed roof with felt:

Shed felt roof - Horrible isn't it!

Shed felt roof – Horrible isn’t it!

This is what is supplied as standard with all log cabins these days.  It’s ordinary shed felt and as such it doesn’t look nice at all.  Try applying this to a pyramid roof or a roof over 3m in length, it’s horrible and impossible to make it look nice, more than likely you’ll end up ripping it as well, you’ll see the roofing nails and anything more than about 3m you’ll end up with ripples and bubbles in it.

This is a picture of shingled roof a customer proudly sent us:

Log cabin with roof shingles

Log cabin with roof shingles

It looks so much better, it turns a ‘Shed’ in to a proper garden building.  It also lasts for years, no nails can be seen, no ripples and no rips and of course you won’t have to do it again in a couple of years time.

Here’s a few pictures of my own log cabin, it sits directly under trees and has taken years of abuse, I’ve never cleaned the roof or carried out any maintenance (as I wonder what will happen eventually) and it’s still as water tight as it’s ever been

Old felt shingled log cabin

Old felt shingled log cabin

Here’s another view of the poor thing:

An old log cabin shingled roof

An old log cabin shingled roof covered in moss, algae and bird droppings.

This building is very old now as you can see but the tiles are still going strong.  An ordinary felt roof would need replacing after about two – three years, less if it had trees over it like my old log cabin.

Standard Roof Shingles

Within our catalogue and drop down lists on all the cabins we have shingles that can be selected in a variety of colours, most of which can be available in straight, hexagonal or curved style.  you can also see our roofing materials in the category:  Roofing for Log Cabins.  These are all manufactured by a company called IKO who enjoy world renowned success and unrivalled quality, you really can’t get better than these, if you watch the movies you’ll see them on all the American houses as they love their felt shingles.

Roofing options

I’ve hated the fact that we sell buildings with ordinary felt, in fact a colleague tells me “she shudders” when a customer buys a log cabin without them, to tell you the truth I do as well as felt really does spoil what should be a stunning building.

It also saddens me when a customer calls up and asks for shingles saying: “they should have ordered them with the building“, which, they should have and we try to encourage them to but some customers think we’re trying to up-sell and refuse at the time of order.

It’s then upsetting for them and us when we can’t offer them at the price on the web page as those prices are calculated taking the standard felt away and no delivery charges as they are priced to go with the cabin.  When we then have to charge them higher prices due to delivery and no removal of the felt costs they get a bit miffed and disappointed.

Normal prices of felt shingles can be seen in the roofing category.  It’s not good for either of us to be disappointed so please think about shingles with your order, we’re not up-selling we’re making an honest recommendation.

Now the good bit …..

FREE Offer Roof Shingles

I’m going to go back to the old days of log cabins and offer FREE shingles with all our log cabins AND the prices of the buildings aren’t going to go up either unless the Euro exchange rate forces us to or a promotion ends.  The point is our FREE offer shingles aren’t going to impact on the prices.

Tuin is pretty big and we have come up with a solution so we don’t have to send you the dreaded standard roofing felt. All our old stock, last years colours, shingles in damaged packaging etc are all sitting around and aren’t sell-able as a brand new product.  Normally we will sell these in bulk to shed manufacturing companies when they ask for them. Instead of selling these to the trade we’re going to keep them and are now offering them FREE with all our log cabins and shed manufacturers are going to be a little peeved with us.

There is a tiny catch though

I really do wish we could get back to the old days of a log cabin inclusive of shingles and you simply choose a colour.  But, the shingles are expensive things, an average log cabin is 18 sq.m  a packet of shingles covers 3 m.sq.  That’s an average of 6 packs of shingles with an average cost of about £180.  Some people don’t want to pay the extra £180 on a building and who can blame them if they are happy with roofing felt (uuurrrgh)

So, we’re going to give you the Offer shingles FREE on all the log cabins but the catch is we get to choose what style (straight, curved or Hexagonal) and what colour we send to you without charging you for them.  This is because we don’t know what we have / will have of the offer shingles at any one time until we allocate them to an order.

I hope you don’t mind?  There’s got to be a trade off and you’re getting the shingles for free.  Of course after placing an order we will email you the colour we are sending and if you don’t like it you can opt for the standard roofing felt.

Alternatively you can choose a colour and style of your choice from this season ranges using the drop down menu on each of the log cabin product pages so you know exactly what you’re getting.  You’ll find all our shingle prices better than any competitor anyway!

Competitors

I don’t know of any supplier / manufacturer / retailer who can even get close to this offer. Have you found anyone who can offer shingles at our prices, even the standard ones? Let alone FREE shingles! OK, after a search I did find one supplier but the price of the cabins are far too expensive to worry us about.

Old days of Log Cabins

Well, we’re almost back to the old days.  At least now we can sell cabins with shingles again and still be the most highly competitive supplier there is in the UK.

Please understand though we may not be able to keep this up all the time so we do reserve the right to stop the offer when stocks are depleted and this will generally be without much notice at all so please don’t shout at us if you suddenly see the offer has been withdrawn on the log cabin you have been thinking about for a little while.

Before you ask, we’re really sorry but when it ends it ends and we can’t offer them retrospectively.  This is much like all our offers.  We are honest and always will be if it’s offered please take it.  When it’s gone it’s gone.

Felt shingles roof on our Stuttgart log cabin

Felt shingles roof on our Asmund log cabin.  The proper way a log cabin should look.

Installation of Shingles on an Apex or Pyramid roof videos

Further information on roof shingles and the market: Roof Shingles for Log Cabins.

Dealing with Expansion / Contraction in Log Cabins

We know that Log Cabins move and certainly within the first year of life they can move quite a bit. I explain this in an article about moisture content in log cabins which greatly effects the expansion and contraction of the wall logs.

The trouble is this movement can be a bit of a problem if we want to put things on the wall, or perhaps adding some shelves or fixing machinery. You may even want to partition a portion of your cabin for several reasons, perhaps you want a shower or a toilet or just a separate storage area. You might also want a thinner log building due to your budget but you would like to insulate the walls to use it as a garden office.

All of this can be done easily but to do so we need to keep fully in the front of our minds that the bloomin’ thing will move and we don’t want to stop it.  If we do inhibit this natural movement we can end up with all sorts of horrible things happening such as:

  • Splits in the logs – This will normally be caused by logs being held together
  • Gaps appearing where logs have been held – normally by a window frame being screwed to the logs
  • Moisture entering through gaps and splits

To avoid all these problems, if we want to fix anything to a log cabin wall this is the simplest and best thing to use:

Expansion Slat for Log Cabins

Expansion slat for use in a log cabin to still allow movement of the logs.

Expansion slat for use in a log cabin to still allow movement of the logs.

This is a handy bit of wood and you can make it out of left over floorboards or roof boards. Any timber will suffice though and you will pick the thickness depending on the job you want it to do.

I often advise customers to make these for use as storm braces when they are in exposed locations, off cuts from the roof or floor boards is fine to use and you then position them behind the corner interlocks so they’re not really seen. This slat will then be fixed to the top most log and the bottom of the slat to a lower log, this then ties the whole cabin together.

The very simple principle here is that we have one fixed hole at the top and slots in the middle and end (depending on the length). The top hole is screwed tight and using a washer the slot fixings are not tightened fully so we can still allow the logs to move behind the bracket.

Shelf Fixing in a Log Cabin

Using this system you can put up shelves, cupboards and fix tools to the walls:

Expansion slats for fixing things to the walls.

Expansion slats for fixing things to the walls. Using this slat will allow the logs to still expand and contract.

You will see from my diagram that we are fixing the shelves to the expansion slat and not to the logs. For heavier duty uses you may want a thicker slat and you may want to bolt it fully through the log cabin wall.

This is also needed for securing cupboards to the walls and especially useful for electricians when securing a consumer unit.

NOTE: in the first month or so a log cabin will settle quite a bit from first being erected so it’s best to leave it for a few weeks before adding brackets and securing fittings. Within the first year the cabin will move the most as the wood needs to ‘die’ a little more. Year two will be a little less. Years three, four and onwards the movement is hugely reduced. Also remember the most important thing with a log cabin is to properly treat it. Proper treatment with a good depth of treatment will greatly inhibit the natural contraction and expansion and reduce it to a minimum. More details on Treating a log cabin

Partition Walls in Log Cabins

The same as you do in your home you may wish to put a partition wall into your log cabin for any number of reasons. You can do so as long as you remember the log cabin is always moving!

Using the simple principle of the ‘expansion slat’ explained above we can create slots in framing and make a wall as any stud wall would be made remember though the slot fixing should not be fully tight and always allow the logs to still move in both contraction and expansion.

Partition wall framing in a log cabin

Partition wall framing in a log cabin

You would make a partition wall as you would any stud wall and probably with noggins for extra strength. Your final surface covering could be anything you would like including plasterboard. However, if the floor has already been laid do not fix it to the floor as like the wall logs the floor will be expanding and contracting as well.

Twin-Skin Log Cabins

You may have seen twin skin log cabins in the market. I’ve put a couple of these up and they really are a challenge and I don’t like them for a number of reasons. Mainly the design intent is all wrong but I will not expand further here. If you require my personal thoughts please feel free to ask me.

Instead of a twin skin design I prefer making an inner wall and one that is independent to the main log cabin wall. This is particularly useful if you are constrained by your budget and want an insulated log cabin but don’t want to opt for thicker logs.

Also, if you are obtaining building control approval because you intend living in the cabin then it will need to be insulated to building standards. Thicker logs certainly help with insulation but sometimes a control officer will want more. I’ve been involved with several projects and a building officer will often ask for 50 – 100mm thick insulation in the walls (depending on the log thickness) and 100mm in the roof with 70mm in the floor. The roof and floor is easier as I make mention here: Insulating the floor and roof of a Log Cabin.

It’s completely fine to add an inner wall to your cabin and fill the cavity with insulation as long as you constantly bear in mind that the logs of the log cabin itself are always moving as previously explained.

NOTE: Also though consider what you are going to do where the logs join the roof, we cannot restrict the contraction and if the cabin is dropping over the summer if you have not allowed enough room the roof could end up sitting on your internal frame causing a gap to be formed.

Allow for the contraction as well as expansion!

This explains how you can create an internal wall to allow insulation inside the log cabin:

Creating a twin wall log cabin

Creating a twin wall log cabin using the same expansion slat principle

Using the same principle with the expansion slat we can create framing internally against the wall. The frame will of course depend on the depth of insulation required but employ the same methods and remember the logs need to move independently.

Building control will ask for a breathable membrane, followed by a small air gap, and then the insulation in between the frame. On top of the frame you will place your surface covering. Timber logs of 28mm looks good or use a thinner cladding for economy or perhaps plasterboard for a smooth sleek, modern finish.

I normally like to insulate the roof on the outside and this can still be done if you are lining the walls on. The reasons I like it on top of the roof is:

  • It’s generally easier and quicker
  • It’s less expensive
  • No cavity is formed to collect condensation

If you are cladding the inside in timber and putting insulation on top of the roof you will still maintain the look and feel of a log cabin and benefit from the space the vaulted roof provides.

This is an example of insulation on top of the roof:

Insulation added on top of the roof with inner wall insulation

Insulation added on top of the roof with inner wall insulation

Make sure you allow enough room for contraction. With this example you can see I am keeping the inner framing below the roof boards as with contraction there is a chance the boards could sit on top of the frame making the wall logs  separate.

I’ve used a fascia suspended from the ceiling that will sit in front of the inner wall but is not connected to it allowing it move up and down as the log cabin expands and contracts. Fill any cavity created with fibreglass insulation wool so it can also move.

In a previous article on roof insulation I was recommending 40mm – 50mm thick insulation.  If you are going to use thicker which you may want to, you would need to ‘cell’ the roof and board on top of the insulation:

Using timber framing to cell the roof and infill with insulation boards

Using timber framing to cell the roof and infill with insulation boards

Some building control officers will ask for 100mm in the roof. To do this you will need to create a tray on the roof, then cell the tray and put in the insulation board with a final board on top and then the final roofing material. You may also wish to consider adding a breathable membrane.

If you wish to insulate under the cabin roof you could so within the purlins and then clad underneath them:

Using insulation in between the roof purlins

Using insulation in between the roof purlins

Another method you could consider is as follows:

Creating a ceiling within a log cabin

Creating a ceiling within a log cabin

Again like the methods above we are making sure there is enough room for expansion and contraction of the outer wall logs.

Please remember, if you create any voids to really consider venting them as a buildup of condensation can cause huge problems.

Summary of Dealing with Expansion in Log Cabins

Log cabins are an extremely versatile building and are very inexpensive and they can be used for any number of uses from a humble garden shed all the way up to full blown family accommodation.  They will all behave the same and will all move all the time. So long as you remember and allow for this you can do anything you want to them. Including partition walls and internal insulating walls as I have shown.

Please Note: These are ideas for you to take away and use how you will, these are not detailed plans with measurements and the drawings are NOT to scale. If you go on to carry out any of these ideas please let me know how you get on but this is not a simple DIY task and you will need some knowledge and understanding of the processes and materials involved.

One last thing; the windows and doors are also part of the outside wall so don’t join any of your internal framing to the doors or windows in anyway, treat them exactly the same as the logs.

Please ask me any questions you have on this or if you do use my ideas, please let us all know how you got on. Like the timber frame bases for log cabins none of this has a hard and fast rule except: Log cabins;  Move!

Log Cabin Parts

There’s a very high chance you’re have lots left over when you’ve finished your log cabin, there’s often a spare log, roof boards, spare floor boards and packing pieces.

This is all high quality spruce and it’s a shame to throw it away, there’s plenty you can do with the leftovers from your log cabin.

Here’s some inspiration from some of our customers who kindly sent in pictures, read the images caption/description for more information on them:

Using the timber provided by the pallet used for delivery, this customer recycled the timber to create this adorable bird table – Also using some spare shingles for the roof:

Recycled Bird Table

This customer had some extra logs from his Daisy Log Cabin by modifying it to have an additional window. So he used those logs in order to create this adorable mini Log Cabin for his cat. We hope you love it as much as we do, Winston!

It’s truly amazing what people can produce with spare logs – Take this bar top for example, made from a spare roof purlin, and looks astonishing with the addition of lighting.

a coffee table for your log cabin made from leftover floor and roof boards

A coffee table for your log cabin made from leftover Spruce floor and roof boards

A planter made from a spare log. You could also make this from floorboards.

A planter made from a spare log. You could also make this from floorboards.

Draws made from the pallet and floor boards.

Draws made from the pallet and floor boards. This is taken from a video our customer sent us of the Emma log cabin. You can find this is our pictorial reviews page.

A nest of tables made from Spruce floor boards.

A nest of tables made from Spruce floor boards. again this was taken from the video mentioned above. This lady was very resourceful.

This has got to be my favourite, a bar made from a spare log, pallet and flooring.

This has got to be my favourite, a bar made from a spare log, pallet and flooring.

Another nice table made for a customer's Inn. style log cabin.

Another nice table made for a customer’s Inn. style log cabin.

As well as the table he also made a functioning bar out of spare timber and the pallet.

As well as the table he also made a functioning bar out of spare timber and the pallet.

A great addition to his Inn themed log cabin

A great addition to his Inn themed log cabin

Gunda Leftover Wood Shelves

A very functional idea, using the leftover timber to create storage shelves for his Log Cabin workshop.

Bird Feeding Station

I do love the idea of watching your bird feeding station being used while relaxing in your Summerhouse Log Cabin!

Mini Cabin Idea

How about a mini Log Cabin for children?  This idea is so sweet!

Wooden Craft Table

This customer used their leftover wood to make a craft table to fit in their Log Cabin.

Wooden Storage Unit

A storage unit with working draws made from leftover wood? Yes please!

Handmade Wooden Table

We love the square design on this handmade coffee table!

Leftover Wood Seating

Extra parts are always useful for extra seating. Make sure to add comfortable cushions!

These shelves were made from leftover logs – Definitely ideal for a shed:

I hope this gives you a little inspiration, don’t throw away your spares, there’s lots you can do with them. If you come up with anything good I’d love to see your creation.

Jenny Log Cabin Build

Mrs W has very kindly sent in her story of the build of her Jenny 40mm log cabin. When she sent it to me she entitled it the “Big Jenny Cabin Build” Mrs W has given a lot of inspiration on how to decorate and fit out the inside of the cabin, the painted on rug is genius!


We received delivery of our Jenny (4.5 X 3.5) Cabin from Tuin in a very efficient curbside delivery previously notified by mobile text. It took a bit of lugging through to the garage and patio to get it off the drive and safely stored in the dry but the packing was sufficient to keep the rain off the parts until installation.

Day One

The base was carefully constructed to be level on a sloping lawn using tanalised timber and coach bolts supported by concrete blocks. After putting in the joists and insulating using Jablite blocks cut to fit exactly, the underside was protected from rodents and birds using chicken wire fencing.

Next the floorboards were sprayed with preservative and the floor pre-installed. We decided on this as a result of the slope on the underside of the cabin which would make using step ladders a necessity from fairly early on in the build. This was a good call and made the rest really simple.

Thankfully no rain overnight.

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Day Two 

The parts of the cabin were brought down to the lawn and by coffee time we upto the windows!

We could not quite believe how easily the cabin went together but reading the Richard blogs and rewatching videos at intervals was helpful during the build. We would advise others to ensure that they follow the guidance re measuring the diagonals every three logs.  This is helpful advice! We  needed to do a bit of hammer and block ‘fettling’ further up the build as a result of getting a bit blasé on ours!

By lunchtime we had reached the stage of installing the purlins and decided to watch the vid over a sandwich to get this bit right. Two sets of step ladders and some Heave-Ho teamwork had the purlins in and then roof boards were installed by teatime.

During the following week the cabin shingles were glued and hammered into position.

Like another reviewer, too much overlap meant we had to purchase an extra pack of shingles but we have used the spares to ensure any run off rain water is taken over the edges of the base blocks.

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Weekend two -the paint job.

After treating with preservative it was time to start painting. We have chosen Osmo country colours Labrador blue and white for outside and white for inside.

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Next the installation of the window boxes and a temporary step meant we could furnish the cabin for its intended purpose. All the furnishings,(except for the tiled trunk which was a present), I bought off eBay, car boot,Preloved or from the hospice shop which meant little was spent on doing it up and I had fabric in my store of bargain bin purchases all ready to make the curtains and cushion covers.

I have painted a faux rug on the floor to give the appearance of ‘cosy’ whilst preserving the ease of movement for futon bed and calor gas  heater ‘woodburner’ which has saved my husband from having to install a real one. I made the corner curl back on the rug to wind up my OCD relatives!

Just permanent steps and an electricity supply to complete the project although we are already enjoying ‘ The Flying Pig Cafe’  as a stained glass craft and art studio, party space and wifi hub!

I intend to use the left over wood and pallet to make an outdoor work surface for dusty Dremlin woodcarving and glass grinding as well as a log store for the firepit next on the list!

Jenny Log Cabin

Jenny Log Cabin

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P.S. For those who are wondering- Why  The Flying Pig Cafe?

My husband Andrew once said that pigs might fly before I completely indulge myself! Now I have a space to call my own with the she shed of my dreams – thanks Tuin! 

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Thank you very much Mrs W for your review and great pictures, I’m sure this will be a inspiration for other people. I hope you enjoy your ‘thank you’ that we have sent you.

Other customer experiences, build and ideas are here if you would like to see more: Pictorial Tuin Reviews

Log Cabin Doors

No matter how good a fitter you are, with the most perfect eye you will always need to adjust the door frame during the install, especially if it is a double set of doors. This will need to be done to have a 100% perfect fit.

It may also need to be done over the life of a log cabin due to seasonal variations in moisture content, direct sun, direct weather, all of which will affect the cabin. Of course as I talk about in previous posts, treatment makes a huge difference to this and how susceptible the doors or windows are to these changes.

Door Frame Adjustment

Several factors need to be considered for a perfect door set up, these are:

  • Square of door frame.
  • Tightness of door frame.
  • Level of door frame.
  • Door leaf adjustment to frame.
  • Door leaf adjustment to center.
  • Door leaf bow or warp.

The square of the frame is of obvious importance and this can be done in a number of ways. Personally I always make up my frame on the ground first and use a square in all the corners. I will always screw my frame and sometimes I may also consider glueing and screwing for a stronger fit over the lifetime of the building (check the frame is correct before glueing).

I have known some installers that do not screw or nail the frame at all, I do not recommend this!

With a double door the level of the frame will make a big difference to how the doors work together and if this is out slightly, it will be very evident when looking at the top of the doors where they meet in the middle.

A good example of a door frame with a slightly unlevel base

A good example of a door frame with a slightly unlevel base

Look at the above picture and you will see the two leafs do not match each other at the top and the bottom. This is because the base rail that is supporting the frame is a few mm out of 100% level. You may think the base is perfectly level but the doors will always show an error.

This is easily resolved in this case by putting a 2 – 3mm shim under the left hand side of the door threshold between the foundation beam and threshold, the two leafs will then be level.

If you are certain the door frame is fitted tightly and is 100% square (glue or screws or both, or even nail although I prefer to screw every time). If you are also certain the door threshold is 100% level and adjustment is still necessary then this can be done on the hinges.

Log Cabin Hinges

Several types of hinges are used in log cabins, all of which will allow you to make adjustment to the door.

surface mounted hinge - generally used on thinner log, log cabins. These can be adjusted on both planes.

Surface mounted hinge – generally used on thinner log, log cabins. These can be adjusted on both planes.

Some people have asked me about security with these hinges, they perceive the screws on the outside to be a security risk. When I have installed these and a customer has asked, I simply use a large metal drill and take out the slots of the screws rendering them impossible to remove. You can of course use security screws available from most DIY shops.

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

Two piece hinge forming a cup and spigot. These can adjust the door in both planes and like the hinge above are found on lighter doors.

Three piece hinge. Two parts are screwed into the frame with one part into the door, they are connected together by means of a pin. Both planes can be adjusted

Three piece hinge. Two parts are screwed into the frame with one part into the door, they are connected together by means of a pin. Both planes can be adjusted. These are used on heavier doors for more strength.

Butt hinge, these can adjust the doors in one plane - up and down and will mainly be used with smooth door connection frames as moving the door leaves closer can be accomplished from the frame itself. An adjustment screw can be found in the top cap of the hinge and is adjusted with an allen key.

Butt hinge, these can adjust the doors in one plane – up and down and will mainly be used with smooth door connection frames as moving the door leaves closer can be accomplished from the frame itself. An adjustment screw can be found in the top cap of the hinge and is adjusted with an allen key.

Other hinges also exist but they will all feature a similar mechanism of adjustment, the three part hinge tends to be the most popular.

Log Cabin Hinge Adjustment

The three part hinge for some reason confuses some fitters and is also the most commonly used, please see some examples of it’s use and adjustment below:

Three part hinges are held together with a pin.

Three part hinges are held together with a pin.

This hinge can move the door leafs closer or further away from the door frame. It can also move the door leafs themselves closer and further away from each other at the door center.

The pin can be removed using a drift, or, in our case a small philips screwdriver. There is always some resistance and a hammer will generally be needed to tap the pin out.

The hinges themselves can then be turned in and out, to either move the door leafs closer / further away from each other (door leaf part), of course the doors can be moved closer / further away from the door frame adjusting the two parts on the door frames.

The hinge part can be adjusted using a thin screwdriver

The hinge part can be adjusted using a thin screwdriver, this is the door leaf part the moves the door leaves closer or further apart at the center.

Personally I like to firstly ascertain which direction I need the door to go in and then only turn the hinge parts a maximum of three turns either in or out, I will then do the same with the other hinges. Using only three turns keeps it simple and consistent.

Don’t be tempted to carry out adjustments in both planes at the same time as it can get confusing.

The pins can be loosely put back in to test your adjustments before knocking them back in fully.

The hinge pins can be left loose while you carry out the adjustment of the hinges

The hinge pins can be left loose while you carry out the adjustment and check of the hinges as you progress through making the doors perfect.

Adjusting the frame hinge parts on the door frame.

Frame hinge parts being adjusted using a small screwdriver

Frame hinge parts being adjusted using a small screwdriver

Once all adjustments have been made and you are happy, then knock the pins back in fully.

When you are satisfied with the adjustment then knock the hinges fully back in.

When you are satisfied with the adjustment then knock the hinges fully back in.

Using the above hinges adjustments, the threshold 100% level and the frame square all door issues are easily resolved in regard to fitting perfectly.

BUT

Very rarely you may have another problem to deal with which is almost 99.9% caused by storage. A warp or bow in the door!

A warp or bow is Never a problem and it is easy to overcome or avoid.

Warp in a Log Cabin door

As well as normal adjustments to the hinges when installing, and over the life of the building you may also have to contend with a warp in the door itself. This is unusual but can happen and it’s normally caused by storage or the weather and a rather undesirable feature of wood itself – it moves when allowed to.

Doors and windows in a log cabin are probably the most expensive and complicated part of the whole building and the supplier will go to great lengths to protect these parts. Unless the building is very large or complicated the doors and windows will come within the main log cabin package and normally buried under logs.

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

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

Doors and windows are often protected within the package to avoid damage to the glass, but mainly to prevent warping and bowing. All timber when  supported will maintain its shape. As soon as it is unsupported it can be susceptible to movement. As well as support a supplier will also build safeguards into the door itself such as the choice of direction of timber grain and more recently laminating timber to reduce warps.

I’ve said before in other posts how an installer can greatly influence the build on how they store the parts once they are unpacked. We can cause all sorts of problems with the storage of logs and purlins, in my log cabin installation advice post I talk about storing logs flat and top of each other.

Never store logs like this in your build as you will create many warps and bows.

Never store logs like this in your build as you will create many warps and bows.

Only store logs on top of each other and flat to avoid the creation of warps and bows.

Only store logs on top of each other and flat to avoid the creation of warps and bows.

Like other timber products, how we store the timber will make a huge difference to the install. I show more examples of bad storage in one of my gazebo installation advice posts.

An example of how not to store parts of your log cabin. NEVER lean them up against a wall and always keep them flat.

An example of how not to store parts of your log cabin. NEVER lean them up against a wall and always keep them flat.

This is what happens to parts when leant against a wall or not on a flat and level surface. Imagine the same thing happening to your door or windows.

Very bowed and warped timber caused by the incorrect storage whilst building the structure.

Very bowed and warped timber caused by the incorrect storage whilst building the structure.

This is an extreme example of what happens to a door when left up against a wall for several days before being installed:

An extremely warped door.

An extremely warped door. This has happened due to storage and care. Easily fixable but very avoidable with the correct storage.

A warp or bow is never a problem though and can easily be fixed but it is better not to have the issue in the first place so consider:

  • Keeping the doors and windows supported as they were in the pallet.
  • Store them 100% flat and on top of each other.
  • Never lean them against a wall while building your log cabin.

In a previous life I used to make sheds and summerhouses. After every door was made we would stack them on top of each other with spacers in between and finally we would put bricks on top of them to stop them from warping, until they were put into a building, when they were then supported by hinges, frame, locks and of course gravity, being supported level, upright and square. You should also consider the doors and windows when waiting to install them.

It’s not a problem though if you have this problem or created this!

If I’ve cocked up and made a warp in my install or even if the door moves over the install which it may do on rare occasions.

The heat from the sun can play havoc with a log cabin door or window. I talk about moisture content, cracks and warps in another post which you may be interested in and also explains what you are seeing and why: Cracks and Splits in Timber I also talk about moisture content in log cabins.

The solution is easy though, one of these ……

An ideal solution to a warp or bow in your door, I call them turn buttons but they are also referred as a thumb button

An ideal solution to a warp or bow in your door, I call them turn buttons but they are also referred as a thumb turn button.

These are handy little things and available from all DIY shops, we’ll send you one or two free if you need them and these clever things will always remove a warp or bow over a month or two of application. As I’ve said above with careful consideration and handling you rarely need them, but they are a solution when you need to overcome a warp.

I’m asked occasionally how you fit them, here’s an example, I’ve oversized the pictures for demonstration purposes but you will get the gist.

Warp in the log cabin door is identified and needs correcting.

Warp in the log cabin door is identified and needs correcting.

If you have a double door and have fitted a door stop trim then use a similar size piec e of timber

If you have a double door and have fitted a door stop trim then use a similar size piece of timber that matches it. Parts from the pallet or off cut roof or floor boards is generally ideal for this.

As when working with all wood and screws we will always send through a pilot hole before sending through a screw to stop splits happening in the timber we are working on.

As when working with all wood and screws we will always send through a pilot hole before sending through a screw to stop splits happening in the timber we are working on.

We've oversized here to show you but we are fixing an equivalent sized plate to the door on the opposite side and fixing to the opposite leaf.

We’ve oversized here to show you but we are fixing an equivalent sized plate to the door on the opposite side and fixing to the opposite leaf.

With the plate fitted the turn button is then fixed. This can then be turned to secure the door. This works on a double and single door. The turn button is made for precisely this task.

With the plate fitted the turn button is then fixed. This can then be turned to secure the door. This works on a double and single door. The turn button is made for precisely this task.

With the turnbutton in place the warped door is supported and the warp will eventually go in a month or two and the button can eventually be removed.

With the turn button in place the warped door is supported and the warp will eventually go in a month or two and the button can eventually be removed.

From my picture bank I sadly like to keep, this was my worst warped door from an install I did:

A bad warp created by me but very easily solved.

A bad warp created by me but very easily solved.

With a turn button this was fixed very quickly and I never heard from my customer again.

Should you have a similar problem with one of your Tuin Log Cabins please do not keep it to yourself, we can help you to solve this easily and will send you out one of these buttons to help you.

Please be aware though that timber is a bugger, and can also do this over the life time, a huge amount comes down to the level and quality of treatment you use on the doors and windows. Without good treatment you can expect this to happen with any building, no matter the supplier. Please see this post for more details on treatments: Log Cabin Treatment.

Jos Corner Log Cabin

Our very kind customer, Mr W initially reviewed our Jos Corner Log Cabin:


An excellent experience – the ordering process, communication and delivery are brilliant. The delivery driver was very accommodating and placed the large package exactly where needed, and I might add with great skill! I’ve only just started sorting out the various bits and pieces whilst waiting for more favourable weather and I am struck very much by the excellent quality of all the components. I can’t wait to get going with the build and I’ll submit a further review and some photos then. Keep up the good work Tuin – very impressed!

Mr W then sent in a follow up review with pictures of his journey with his log cabin, I have copied it below word for word:

Feb

An excellent experience – the ordering process, communication and delivery were brilliant. The delivery driver was very accommodating and placed the large package exactly where needed, and I might add with great skill!

log-cabin-package

I’ve only just started sorting out the various bits and pieces whilst waiting for more favourable weather and I am struck very much by the excellent quality of all the components.

March

Managed, in between showers, to extend an existing shed base using paving slabs and getting it as level as possible. I think this part  and setting out the foundation beams absolutely square are critical to ensure a trouble-free build.

log-cabin-base

April

Foundation beams in place and getting everything square……

first-logs

Laying the first few logs (easy-peasy)!

Log-cabin-walls

Not a bad idea to keep the door frame in line and vertical and build up to this. as due to its weight it could be a bit tricky to drop it in afterwards especially if you are building single-handedly as I was. Also, I levelled the foundation beams using wooden wedges. The small gaps under the foundation beams were later filled with expanded foam.

Corner-log-cabin

As the cabin was occupying a corner of the garden and two of the sides would be inaccessible after the build, I decided to paint the rear of these as I installed them……

painting-log-cabin

jos-log-cabin

The structure goes up very quickly.

The roof looks daunting but as the timbers are already cut and chamfered it’s really quite straightforward……it’s at this point you’ll discover how square everything is. If things aren’t quite square the whole structure can be man-handled. The positions of the roof timbers will make obvious any ‘jiggling’ that is needed.

roof-structure

Now the roof boards go on ( I used 3″ decking screws rather than the supplied nails).

roof-boards

At this point I realised that the window frames are easily removed for painting the logs by unscrewing the internal parts of the frame (just 6 screws). This also allowed me to paint the window frames separately in the relative comfort of indoors.

windows

Although not really necessary I decided to staple a waterproof membrane to the roof panels as an underlay for the shingles.

roofing-felt

corner-log-cabin-1

Test fitted the windows and door, I then disassembled them to paint the individual beadings. Meanwhile started the floor. Again, very straight-forward. A nice touch here is to include a plastic membrane under the joists and then some insulation – in this case 50mm Jablite in between the joists.

insulating-floor

insulating-floor-1

Ready for the floor boarding now…….

floor-boards

I put a 2mm gap between boards to allow for expansion…

skirting

Supplied skirting boards fitted.

Nearly there!

roof

A view of the IKO shingles. I made my own version of the ‘hips’. Also used a 150mm painted steel post cap at the apex of the roof.

jos-corner-log-cabin

Have spent the last couple of weeks building it and I am absolutely delighted with my Jos cabin which is now completed. The only minor hitch I encountered was a couple of warped roof timbers. I contacted Tuin who responded very quickly and replaced them within 2 days without any quibble – impressive! 

 And here is the finished job complete with porch light and home-spun window boxes.

Completed Jos 28m corner log cabin

Completed Jos 28m corner log cabin

Many thanks for an excellent product – if only I had a bigger garden, I’d build another! 

Keep up the good work Tuin – very impressed!

Thank you Mr W for sending this in. These pictorial reviews really help other people decide if they can install themselves. It also gives different ideas such as you roof cap and own made flower boxes, very nice!

If anyone would like to send in pictures and a story we always offer further discounts on products, presents and in some cases a cheque.

For all Customer pictorial reviews please see this page: Tuin Customer Blog Reviews