Gunda Log Cabin Review

A big thank you to Mr B for sending us in this amazing review! He talks about the process that he and his wife took in order to select, purchase, receive and install the Gunda Log Cabin. To find out how it all went!


Mr B writes as follows:

Initial Decision
I had on old shed (built in 1981 according to a pencil inscription inside one of the panels that I found when demolishing it!) that was starting to fall apart in spite of being nicely looked after. But what to replace it with?

I photograph houses for estate agents and during my travels I had seen a number of really nice, high quality log cabins that people had fitted out as studios, summer houses and workshops. But I thought that these would be very expensive and did not, at first, consider them as an option. I visited the local shed supply companies and garden centres and was almost ready to order a 22mm loglap shed, but I wasn’t completely happy with what I was getting. I decided to have a look on the internet to see how much a proper log cabin would cost and what was available. I asked Google for “4m x 4m Log Cabins” and pretty soon I was on the Tuin website and had found the Gunda cabin that was exactly the size I wanted. And the price was less than the 22mm loglap shed I was considering! Result!

But what was the quality like? To cut a long story short I looked at the specifications, customer reviews and all the building tips and hints and other useful information on the website and I was sold! The technical specification was far in excess of the other one and coupled with the detailed info on the website it was a no brainer which to choose so I placed my order.

After Sales Service
After placing my order I immediately received an e-mail with detailed information on delivery information, construction information etc. So far so good.
I had a number of questions about various things (the colour of the shingles, some construction questions etc) that I sent e-mails to Tuin for clarification. I expected a response within a couple of days as is normal with most companies these days – but Tuin is obviously not a normal company – I received a response within hours to every query! Unbelievable service!

I have to quote this example: At 18:42 on SUNDAY 2 October 2016 I sent an e-mail to the Tuin Out of Hours Construction Support e-mail address with a query. I received a response from Richard at 18:45 the same day! Now, I have dealt with many, many companies that claim to offer (and sometimes provide) good customer service. But I have never experienced such quick responses to my queries EVER.
Delivery
The delivery was as per the information in the acknowledgement of order e-mail. The shipping company contacted me by phone and we agreed a date and time for the delivery. And that is exactly when it arrived. The driver phoned me when he was about half an hour away as promised by the shipping company. The driver was very friendly and put the package on the driveway as requested. Very smooth and professional delivery experience.

Construction
The initial e-mail stressed the importance of reading through all the construction information and tips on the website even if you are having a contractor build the log cabin for you. I read through all the information a couple of times, and also watched the very useful construction video at least four times. If you are considering building the log cabin yourself (which I did) then this would be my absolute recommendation! Watch the construction video as many times as you can!

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Timber Frame Base
I had a partial concrete slab from the old shed, but also some areas of compacted hardcore which was relatively level. I did not want to go to the trouble and expense of casting a new concrete base so decided to use a timber frame base with Tuin’s Timber Frame Base Pads. Tuin offers a timber frame base design service for a nominal fee (which you get back if you order the timber from them) which I decided to use. A proper technical design with detailed dimensions was sent to me detailing how many base pads I needed and what timber was required. I priced it all at my local timber merchant and then decided to order the whole lot directly from Tuin as it was very competitively priced.

The construction of the timber base was a breeze and getting the whole thing perfectly level and square was so simple – the Base Pads are adjustable to allow very precise adjustment of each pad to ensure a perfectly level base.

Building the Cabin
My wife and I started the cabin on a Saturday afternoon (it had been raining in the morning) quite late and by 17:08 we had put up seven rows of logs all the way round when we stopped because it had started to rain again. By 11:59 on Sunday morning we had completed the shell of the cabin. At 16:29 on Sunday afternoon I took a photo of the roof board installation that I had just completed.

The installation was so simple! Everything was well labeled and all the logs just clicked together – I have seen some children’s building blocks that were more difficult to put together!
It took me another afternoon during the week to install and finish off the roof shingle installation and another day to finish off the floorboard installation.

After much deliberation we decided we wanted to keep the wood look of the cabin and opted for an undercoat of Sadolin Light Oak Classic and two coats of Sadolin Light Oak Extra. It turned out beautifully and we are very happy with the result.

All the components needed to construct the cabin had been included and I did not even need to purchase a single screw or nail to complete it. In fact there was enough timber left over from the construction and the packing crate for me to make a substantial shelf rack and a very sturdy work bench (I did have to purchase the bench top).
It was an absolutely trouble free build, there were no hitches at all and I am absolutely delighted with the result!

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Conclusion
This whole process was by far the best overall customer experience that I have had from any organisation anywhere – ever.
The ordering was simple, queries were professionally and (unbelievably) quickly answered, the website information was comprehensive, detailed, easy to follow and most importantly, in plain language. Delivery was exactly as arranged and the construction was straight forward, easy and fun. The quality of all the components was top drawer, from the quality of the timber, the accuracy of the cuts to little things like stainless steel screws, plenty of nails etc. Which all means that my new log cabin is a high quality addition to my home that has added value to my property and that I will enjoy for many years to come.

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Thanks to the Tuin team for an outstanding product and customer service!

There is absolutely no doubt that I will recommend Tuin with out any hesitation at all!


Thank you Mr B for this review! We are so glad that we was able to give you all of the support you needed- your Gunda Log Cabin looks amazing! We hope that you enjoy your new workshop and your gift from us for many years to come!

For more customer reviews like Mr B’s see: Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Julia Log Cabin Review

It always brings me joy when I see a review in my emails. So I’d like to say thank you to Mr H for sending in his review on his Julia Log Cabin. In this he talks about how he made his Log Cabin multifunctional for both himself and his wife- with high quality images!


Mr H writes as follows: 

The fun started with the delivery. We live in a small town in mid-Suffolk, the sort of place that big lorries only get through with a police escort, so God knows where the driver parked his truck. I wish I’d been there to see it, but the first I knew of the actual delivery was when I came home about mid-day the day before the scheduled delivery, to find the driver trying to find me. Apparently there’d been lots of attempts to contact me to advise of the early delivery, but since I’d been away and I don’t use a mobile phone, he was at a loss as to what to do.

Fortunately he didn’t give up, and we met half way between our house and the low bridge where he was stuck with his fork-lift. A lot of beard-tugging and tea-drinking followed, and it finally became clear that the only way he was going to get the fork-lift under the 9ft railway bridge was to offload the shingles and the extra windows, which were on top of the 5m-wide load. Even at this stage it was a miracle he’d got that far, having crabbed sideways with his fork-lift to get past the parked cars on the narrow approach road.

For the scheduled delivery I had intended to politely ask the residents to move their cars for the purpose, so that saved me a grovel or two. Lightening the load (nearly a ton of wood, plus what felt like half a ton of shingles) meant the business end of the fork-lift could be moved out and forward of the wheels without overbalancing the whole lot. As the forks thus came down about 2ft, it looked like the truck would finally clear the bridge. Not quite, but he found a spot in the middle of the road that the forks just cleared by about 2cm, and the subsequent 72-point turn took him about 20 minutes. He got a round of applause from the guys in the garage on the corner, and another cup of tea.

Reused Brick Base

The previous, unfortunately small base

We’d had a greenhouse on the site where the log cabin was to go, but the single brick course that was the greenhouse’s foundation was just enough inches out from the perfect size to be utterly useless (confirmed by Tuin’s very helpful Customer Service staff). Taking the bricks down left a floor of Indian sandstone slabs that, by themselves, were not level enough for the log cabin, so I concreted a 8″ wide foundation directly onto the sandstone. I was going to concrete in the whole area, until I worked out how much 15sq yards of concrete were going to cost, even at three inches deep!

Getting that down and level was perhaps the most difficult bit of the whole build, but absolutely essential, as Tuin’s site repeatedly emphasises. Getting the joists level was a bit of a nightmare, as the Indian sandstone had lumps and bumps all over the place: I took to chiselling off the worst of the unevenness. The floor was then built up with 70mm insulation between the joists (in an eccentric pattern due to the sandstone), with a damp-proof membrane underneath, 11mm chipboard on top of the joists, and hard-wearing wood laminate ‘planks’ on top (half price at Wickes) with standard underlay.

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The cabin went up so quickly I forgot to take many pictures of it. Everything fitted beautifully, and you could almost dispense with the instructions. But then the Julia is an oblong ‘box’ with no complex corners, so I wouldn’t recommend losing the instructions when dealing with a more complicated build. I didn’t have the space available to lay all the pieces out for identification and to make the build easier, but it didn’t matter – it was very easy anyway.

However, I still made a few mistakes. Nothing to do with Tuin, but entirely due to my own lack of forethought about the interior fittings. The cabin was to be a workshop and a storage area for my photographic prints, and a quiet spot (ie. when I’m not in it) for my wife to paint and draw.

Julia Interior

It all ties in wonderfully, like it was meant to be!

But when I moved my work-bench in, and subsequently installed the worktops around two sides of the cabin, the beautiful picture window at the end of the cabin, which overlooks the river at the bottom of our garden and the farm beyond, was an inch too low. It opens OK, but there’s a gap around the frame (see pics). I’d forgotten to check the height of the bench before cutting the hole for the window.

I could in theory take it out and extend the window’s cavity upwards, or cut the worktop to fit around the window frame, but mentally the build is ‘finished’ now so I won’t be doing that. Besides, I’d never be able to cut the worktop straight enough, and that would look worse. But nobody notices my mistake, they’re too busy admiring the rest of the cabin!

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Incidentally, I chose a Tuin log cabin – not that I wouldn’t have chosen a Tuin for other reasons as well – because they are one of the very few, available at a sensible price and beautifully constructed, that has doors that open on the end wall, and not in the middle of the longer side. That ‘normal’ configuration was impossible for us, as we have the neighbour’s wall down one long side, and a substantial raised flower bed, with a tree in it, down the other. Not to put too fine a point on it, it was a relief to find the Tuin site and to find, among its hundreds of cabin configurations, exactly what we wanted. And because of that versatility, I’ve now lost my Tuin catalogue to some London friends who now also want a Tuin cabin…

My other mistake, similar to the first, was to cut the holes for the air vents without considering the fact that cupboards were going to be in the way of the lower one. So I now need to cut out another air vent, somewhere where it can breathe properly.

There was enough 40mm wood left over to build a small wood store down the side of the cabin, and more than enough shingles left to roof it over as well. Speaking of the shingles, as one who’s never put a roof on before (or built a log cabin for that matter), the instructions here were little confusing: doing the bulk of the roof was straightforward (I used Tuin’s Richard’s idea of inverting the first row, as it looks so much neater), but cocked up on the bit at the top (I forget what it’s called, the ridge at the top…). Half way along I realised I had the shingles (by now cut into singles) the wrong way round. Perhaps, again in my haste (it was starting to rain) I’d overlooked some key part of the instructions here, but it would pay to get that right first time.

Log Wood Store

A great idea to recycle left over timber!

And I didn’t quite know how to deal with the ends of the roof, where the shingles meet fresh air. I didn’t recall seeing any instructions about that, so in the end I cut off two inches of laid shingles along a straight-edge, and screwed onto the roof the remaining pieces of wood, butted up against the shingles. It looks neat, so I suppose it’ll be OK.

IKO Shingles on the Cabin Roof

All in all, I’m so chuffed that it looks great, will outlast me, and is an impressive addition to our ‘real estate’. We’ve yet to paint it and to add the interior electrics and the exterior guttering. Speaking of the paint, Brewers now recommend an acrylic paint by Bedec called Barn Paint, which needs no priming and ‘probably’ just two coats for full protection. However, the available colours are very limited, so my wife has come up with a cunning plan: a mix of the Forest Green Barn Paint plus about three other colours from the Barn Paint catalogue (free in sample sizes) to make the sage green that she wanted. That was the deal: I get the cabin, she chooses the colour.

I have been told that I am not to spend all my days in the cabin. We’ll see about that.

The Finished Install of the Julia Log Cabin

The roofing looks great- it all does in my opinion!


The Julia Log Cabin turned out to be perfect for the multipurpose work room! I think Mr & Mrs H did an amazing job with installing this- we don’t lie when we say installation can be quick! Thank you for sending this in, we hope you enjoy your Log Cabin and your gift for many years to come!

Other customer reviews ranging from installation to finishing touches can be here here at: Pictorial Tuin Reviews.

Justine Log Cabin Review- Part 2

Not too long ago we received a nicely detailed review/installation overview of Mr E’s Justine Log Cabin. And to our delight we found another email from him with a part two! This one goes in-depth on their finishing touches to their cabin.


Mr E writes as follows: 

After the build comes the finish and protection. This again can be time-consuming but is very visible so a good job is vital. The cleverer amongst you will have planned to apply protection to the outside of your cabin before the construction, we didn’t.

We had ideas, as I mentioned earlier we thought we might try Shou Sugi Ban, this would have meant turning a propane burner on the outside surfaces (eek!), scorching the wood then painting linseed oil on, this is a Japanese method of wood preservation and gives a long-lasting finish but definitely needs a lot of thought (courage!) and must be done before construction.

With this in mind we must be happy with a dark colour, we hoped this would make the cabin less conspicuous as it is visible from the lane but we would use a lighter colour for contrast on the windows, doors and facias. After looking at several company websites including those recommended by Tuin and getting some sample colours (very few offer samples – strange) we settled on Osmo natural oil wood treatment from Germany, it promised simple application, got some good reviews and we liked their Quartz Grey 907 as the primary colour.

Osmo recommend two coats applied thinly, that lets the wood grain show through and recoating is simple, no prep just paint over. The product is economical to use and does go a long way, I used a 2.5L of the 907 Quartz Grey, giving the front and sides three coats (for a more solid colour) and so far one coat on the back (we have nesting birds in the back hedge and I’m trying not to disturb them) but I have enough left for a second coat. The contrast colour is 903 Basalt Grey and a 750ml can give everything two coats with a bit left over for touch ups. Obviously, it’s too early to tell on longevity but I’m very happy with our choice.

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The deck area has been treated with two coats of decking oil as has the faces of the timber frame and I have put up some black 76mm guttering which will discharge into a water butt.

The interior floor has been treated to 3 coats of Bona Mega clear satin varnish, this is a water based product and is quick and easy to apply and dries rapidly. As the garage contents must go in soon, the interior walls are not yet treated or painted, but that and the electrics hook up can wait until the garage extension is finished.

The void space below the deck is a useful log store at the front (I have put an angled liner under the deck to stop water dripping through the gaps) and the space below the cabin has a plastic sheet pinned down to stop weeds and damp and I have put in a basic rack using the pallet off cuts so that long timber and our surf boards can be stored in relative shelter.

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What I thought was the last job has been to construct some steps up to the deck using lots of offcuts from the project – bits of frame posts, the palate, roof boards and fascia boards topped off with the last of the deck boards.

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My wife now wants a small lean to shed on the back for ready use garden tools so more work is promised!
I hope this is of some use to prospective builders, it has been really fun, though hard work at times and I hear that a friend in Wales that is looking to buy a cabin so Micky and I might have to get our mallets out again.

The Justine Cabin Finished For Now

Looking Stunning Mr E!

 


Its always exciting to hear we might have another part to the installation story. Your Justine is looking stunning Mr E, and we love how you optimise space and left over resources! We look forward to hearing from you again!

Part 1 of Mr E’s Justine Log Cabin Review.

For other customer experiences, builds and ideas find them here: Pictorial Tuin Reviews.

Lauren Clockhouse Log Cabin Review

One of our customers was very generous in sending a review of their Lauren Clock House Log Cabin (previously known as the Special Ben), with plenty of images to show you guys the installation progress! We do love receiving images here at Tuin, so thank you Mr F for sending this to us!


Mr F writes as follows:

We were both extremely impressed with the quality of the material and the thought and precision that had gone into the preparation of the kit of parts.

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The 1st of 3 packages arrives, expertly manoeuvred by Barry, the truck driver. Each load was 20ft long and weighed about 1.7tons. By the second image there was a total of 5 tons of shed. Due to a lack of planning on my part they were going to remain unwrapped for about 2 weeks as the ground work was completed.

Work starts on the base about 08.00hrs. Quite a bit of soil had to be removed to
give us a level area. A load of scalping is delivered to the pit, in all, 12 tons was used to form a base for the cement.

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Kharn, the builder, with his whacker plate consolidates the scalping and the
shuttering is leveled. We finished at 20.30hrs – a long day but the pressure was on as we had booked the ready mix lorry for 08.00hrs the next morning.

Leveled Out Shuttering

Impressive work in just one day Kharn!

Day 2 at 07.55hrs, 13 tons of cement arrives… A small dumper truck was used to bring the cement to the site and frantic tamping continued for over 2 hours until all appeared level – very hard work!

A couple of days later and with the concrete hardened the rear bank was ‘landscaped’ and a trench for gravel dug at the base.

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Monday, Day 1 of construction at about 08.00hrs. The lower beams had been treated the day before and the black items are lengths of the plastic base material. The walls progressed nicely and the plastic base strips have just been cut to fit and slid under the lower logs. Note the log which will eventually be fitted above the door, has been temporarily positioned to keep things square despite the gap in the front wall.

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How the joints between the front and rear wall and the middle wall were to be made was a mystery to us but the long logs with vertical holes near the joints gave us a clue and answered the question, ‘what were the square pegs for?’.

The square pegs or ‘wall dowels’ had their corners and ends rounded slightly which still resulted in a satisfying tight fit but with less chance of splitting the logs. The 3 on the left have been treated with a belt sander. About 1 minute per peg and about 60 pegs in total. A pencil mark at the halfway point was useful when banging in.

Wall Dowels

Don’t worry Mr F, these can confuse most people!

About 12 hours after we started and we realise that it’s quite a big Log Cabin!

Installed Walls

The Lauren Clockhouse Log Cabin is one of our longest products!

Day 2 and the roof is progressing well. For the first 2 days of construction there were 3 of us working with lots of carrying from storage area to site and quite a bit of head scratching as we searched for various specific logs. Three pairs of hands were useful as we positioned and fixed the heavy purling.

A start is made nailing the tongue & groove roof boards into position. Much later and all of the boards are fixed. Rain was expected so we protected the roof. Probably no need to but it made us feel better.

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Day 3 was mainly spent nailing floor boards. The nail gun chose a bad time to fail and resulted in much manual hammering. Day 4 was mainly spent fixing shingles to the rear. A slow job but looked good when done. Ladders R Us.

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Day 5, the small gable comes in 3 pieces which we screwed together at ground level then lifted into position. Inevitably, it complicated the fixing of shingles on the front and it was quite late on the Friday before we finished. On days 4 & 5, some time was spent hiding from the heavy showers which slowed us down a little.

We used some heavier timber to trim the base of the roof to provide a substantial mount for guttering. Note the notches required to fit it around the left, right and middle wall. With a bit more thought I could have cut the timber longitudinally to a better shape for the gutter brackets but now I’ll have to custom make a mounting for each bracket.

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End of day 5. It looks like the finished product but still needs a lot of detail work and much brushwork. The most important pieces of paper. A list of contents annotated by me with the log positions and the detailed diagrams showing each log position.

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Happiness is 3 empty pallets. Progress would have been quicker if I were able to unpack and lay out in piles all the various bits of timber. The sheer quantity of wood (and the animals in the field) precluded that, so quite some time was spent rummaging for specific pieces as required. The timber had been cut very accurately and we found that the lengths on the plan, accurate to the millimeter, were very useful in identifying the required log.

Empty Palettes

True happiness indeed!

As garden buildings go, this was a big project and I wasn’t too surprised that the main build took 5 days. Kharn, a professional builder, and I were very impressed with the quality of the material and the accuracy with which it had been prepared. The joints were well thought out and accurately milled although we were dealing with significant lumps of timber and found a club hammer, with protective wood, more useful than a mallet! Even a sledge hammer was found a use in squaring-up the part built walls. Apart from the nails in the floor and roof boards, and the wall dowels, virtually no other fixings were used. The wall logs and purlins stay in position because of the clever joints while the entire building sits steady on its base because of its weight. The packing had been very well done and, as far as I am aware, no parts were missing. Indeed, the supply of plain wood parts seemed generous. Although
there were 450kg of shingles we were a little concerned that we would run out. With 378 shingles we finished the roof with 2 remaining – very well judged by the manufactures.

Overall, I’m a very happy customer and, more importantly, so is my wife! An outstanding product at a bargain price. As the Americans would say, ‘A lot of bang for your buck’. Many thanks for the excellent service and the experience of the build has got my builder friend thinking of buying a smaller version for himself. I hope to have the staining and guttering done soon and will send you a picture of the finished item.


Thank you again Mr F for a detailed and informative overview of your installation process for the Lauren Clockhouse Log Cabin. It looks great and we can’t wait to see your pictures for when it’s completely finished! I hope you and your wife enjoy your log cabin!

Other customer experiences, build articles and tips can be found at: Pictorial Tuin Reviews.

Rosenheim Log Cabin Build Review

We have recently received this review from Mr B of how he installed the Rosenhiem Log Cabin for the perfect shelter for his hot tub! Thank you for showing us your impressive work with the installation of your Log Cabin, we hope you enjoy the Rosenheim and your gift for many years to come!


Mr B writes as follows:

We decided on Tuin for our log cabin after a long 6 months search for the best cabins and every time Tuin kept coming back to the top of the list so we decided with the start of our extension build and the need for the cabin for the hot tub we would finally bite the bullet and order.
We were not disappointed!

Day 0 : Base Construction
As we were having an extension built we paid the grounds workers to lay us a flat 4m x 4m concrete slab. I had originally planned to build a deck base but once I worked out it would need to support over 3 metric tonnes I decided my construction skills may not quite have been up to the job and that the cement slab would be better (plus as it turns out cheaper!)

Setting Up The Base

Sometimes getting help for installing makes it less stressful!

Day 1 : Day of Delivery
8pm we received a phone call from a nice Dutch lorry driver to say that he had managed to get most of the way onto the housing estate we lived on but couldn’t get all the way in his massive 44 foot lorry! I walked down to help unload and escorted him as he drove the Moffett carrying a very long 5.3m package. Unfortunately whilst our drive was 4m wide it really needed to be 4.10m for him to have been able to place it neatly on our drive so after a conversation with our neighbour the cabin was stored across our drive and the neighbour’s garden. A cuppa later and nice Dutchman was back on his way.

Day 2: 6:15am – Day of Construction
Woke up early as keen!

The Log Cabin Delivered

All here and ready to go!

It takes a long time (1hr 45mins) to move all that wood just 10m to the back of the house but important to get it all close to hand and sorted by type.

Day 2: Approx 10am
It’s starting to take shape – fortunately I was able to second one of the builder’s apprentices to lend me another pair of hands so once the foundation beams were all set up and checked to be completely level the logs went on very easily. In the entire build only had two mildly warped beams that needed a little extra persuasion.

Day 2: Approx 1pm
Roof beams all on now and just starting to fit the roof boards. We had opted for an extra side window that you can see here so we had cut out the logs as we went (watch out for jigsaws they are sharp! – My cabin is now permanently marked with the blood of my endeavours!)

Day 2: 3:15pm
Roof boards all on and time to call it a day as wanted to start a fresh putting the roof felt tiles on.

An impressive days work!

Day 3: 8am – 4pm
Long hot day in the blazing sun but got all the roof tiles on – takes a little time to get the first row level and done but then they all just flow from there. Nice sturdy roof that easily took my 15st.

Rosenheim Fully Installed

Second Day of Installing

Day 4 – 6 – The paint job
This was the worst job of the entire task. As we were using it for a hot tub cabin we had been warned to use impregnation fluid (2 coats) on the inside – as this is clear it is very hard to see where you had done so had to be methodical . Once that was on two coats clear treatment on the outside and additional 2 on the inside – Took approximately 36 hours of effort (2 of us at it ) – Don’t underestimate the amount of time this will take! But would completely recommend the treatment from Tuin as whilst it took a long time it went on easily and created a perfect finish.

One additional thing that is worth mentioning is that read all the blogs and suggestions on the main site – and follow the instructions – don’t be tempted to not!
Finally the cabin was finished and we could commission the hot tub and start relaxing. The rest of the photos show the end result – we are very pleased so much so that we have recommended Tuin to lots of our friends who are starting to make their own enquiries and I am sure will shortly be Tuin owners.

The Rosenheim Fully Painted

Tada!

Rosenheim Interior

A perfect fit!


The Rosenheim Log Cabin turned out to be a perfect fit for a hot tub! I personally love how the lighting from the hot tub really sets the mood inside- the ideal atmosphere for a relaxing session!

Thank you to Mr B for sending this in! We always love to see how many ways a Log Cabin can be put into use!

Interested in more reviews like Mr B’s? Find more on the: Tuin Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Julia Log Cabin

We have received a customer review from Mr P of their experience with installing their Julia Log Cabin. Thank you for sending this in!  We love how the bar turned out- It’s a great idea!


Mr P writes as follows: 

Back in February I purchased a Log Cabin from Tuin.

Several months later I have completed the project, turning it into a bar and brewery. Very pleased with it and your customer support and thought I would share some pictures with you!

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We love the bar and brewery Mr P! Thank you for sending in your images, we hope the brewing turns out well!

Other customer experiences, build articles and ideas can be found at: Pictorial Tuin Reviews.

Shepherd Hut Review

One of our customers, James from East Sussex, has been very generous in sending us his review of the Shepherd Hut Gypsy styled caravan and his process of installing them from start to finish- with plenty of pictures!


James writes as follows: 

I ordered two Shepherd’s Huts before Christmas to take advantage of the generous discount. They were delivered in the first week in January. The delivery driver was superb and, though it was difficult and time-consuming, he managed to get both into one of our barns.

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We debated where to undertake construction and in the end decided that it would be best right by the house, which involved some nice exercise to stroll up and down the drive when stuff was needed.

The kits were extremely well packed and there was no need to use additional tarpaulin or covering. They have sat there in the barn until today when I opened the first one. I used my car to haul the heavy metal chassis and wheels, nuts, bolts and other hardware up to the build area. There is one thing we did: I read a review about the axle being tube which broke when the hut was moved a short distance. We decided to get a blacksmith to beef up that component, just in case, so the tube was cut off and solid steel bar was welded in its place for each axle.

Axle Tube Modifications

Since all the metal work was on top of the kit, I kind of thought that the contents of the delivery would be packed in the order you need them. But that isn’t the case and it’s not a problem. So, after looking at the drawings and instructions and much head scratching, we opened up the delivery and had another round of head scratching.

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Day 1:

Our aim for today – I am building this with my friend who is a great deal more handy and adept than I am – was to get the base done. We started at 10.00am and, unusually for me, we carefully studied the manual/building plans and decided we would just go at it a page at a time. So, first order of business was to build the chassis. The metal bit was easy and that was the starting point and first job to do. All we had to do was lay out the metal work roughly where we wanted to build the hut.

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It was at this point that we realised we would need various lengths of timber from the kit and, when I opened it, I noticed that a lot of them were right down the bottom of the pallet! So, we would have to take everything off the pallet and stack it in vertical piles. That took a little while as we looked at various components and discussed them and where they would fit into the overall thing. I was very surprised to see that the panels that had windows actually had the glass in! OK, if you want to double glaze your hut you need to change that but it says something for the quality of the packaging and the way things are shipped that all the glass is in first class condition – not a scratch or crack anywhere on it.

Looking at the build instructions, and the separate parts list, the various lengths of timber, some of which look the same length, I had hoped would be numbered to correspond with their number in the parts list. They aren’t. It’s not a problem – but you just need to be careful to make sure you use a tape measure to check the sizes to correctly identify the various components.

For instance, you might just be able to make out below that to join the two chassis units, you need to make up a joist which uses one 2, one 2a and a 2b. 2a and 2b are not dissimilar in size but if you make that mistake – we did – you end up with a joist that is either too short by a few inches or too long by the same amount.

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The first task that involves wood is to make two items that bolt onto the metal work. We did these on the ground and then fitted them.

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A point on the metal chassis. We did a bit of head scratching because what we had in front of us didn’t match the drawing. It was obvious that this assembly had been beefed up with two additional bolts but that isn’t reflected in the drawing. Sill, you would want to be fairly uptight to worry about it and I am certain that the additional metal and bolts are an improvement.

Metal Chassis Closeup

Getting on with the frame, we built the first two long joists (the 2 + 2a + 2b) that bolt to the metal frames on the ground. Then it was just a case of positioning them accurately, drilling holes and bolting to the metal. This fixes the length of the unit – and it’s big!

From here, you need to assemble the rest of the joists – another five. As mentioned, each one is made of three pieces of different length timber. There was a whole lot of head scratching trying to get the right ones together. Basically, we put all the possible pieces on the part-built base, which is a great work bench, and then worked out what went with what. You just need to take your time and things click into place.

Underlining the point that the Shepherd Hut base is a very handy workbench at exactly the right height, in the image you can see James making up one of the three-component joists.

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The Tuin hut is a quality item and as we were working we were having some thoughts about making sure it lasts. The base we are working on, the underside won’t show, unless someone crawls underneath. The wood is untreated and, as it goes through its life, while rain can’t get under there, dew and damp, over time, could. So we decided that we would not fix any of the joists for the moment. That’s because I am going out tomorrow to get some really good wood preservative for everything we have made so far before it is fixed – it’s a lot easier brushing on preservative when I can turn the joist over to get all sides, rather than crawling around under the base. Also, I am going to apply a coat of preservative to the underside of the floorboards – the ones that will be open to mist and moisture from beneath. So this is as far as we got on Day 1 – all the joists are ready to be screwed down but they will get a coat of preservative before that happens.

In terms of time, what you see above is not a day’s work – it took four hours work for two guys from start to finish, and that included a fair bit of time at the beginning getting familiar with the kit, instructions, components and how to read the drawings and specs, looking at parts and figuring things out. Most of all, we want to enjoy this build so we are not rushed. Tomorrow is preserving day. At this stage we are delighted with everything and though we have had the offer of whatever support and advice from Richard at Tuin, we haven’t felt the need to avail ourselves of it.

Day 2: 

Day 2 is a misnomer. On Day 2, as mentioned above, I treated everything with a preservative/sealant against moisture and that included the floor joists and all the underside of all the floorboards. I stacked the made-up joists on the axles and used the hut base to paint on the preservative to the floorboards and then I left them there and covered the lot with the tarpaulin.

We cleared the deck and positioned the five joists. It was at this stage that we discovered a length discrepancy in two of them – one was a bit short while the other was a few inches too long. Clearly we had made a mistake and we figured out we had used the wrong three components, as indeed we had. It didn’t take long to figure out where we made the mistake and we switched over components. However, it underlines that you need to take your time and make sure you identify all the components and put a pencil mark on them so that in the heat of constructing things, you don’t mistake similar sized and shaped lengths.

Things are still a bit slow at this stage, as compared with later but you need to just take your time. The joists have to be positioned accurately and we did that and clamped them in position while we screwed on the metal brackets. There’s 20 of them so, even with two of us, it still took time. I guess, from unwrapping things, getting the joists positioned and putting the brackets in – with a stop for a bacon sarnie and a tea – it took us nearly three hours to get everything ready. After that, things began to speed up in terms of seeing real change and progress. I think it only took us about half an hour or so to screw the floorboards to the joists and suddenly we had a platform and we could look at putting up the wall panels.

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We decided to offset the side windows, looking over the timestamps of the images I was able to work out that it took just a few minutes over one hour to get from the first image… To the last one.

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It is definitely a two-man job but not a difficult one. Up goes a panel and while one holds it in place and pushed tight against the base and its neighbour panel, the other then screws it bottom and sides to the next panel.

The next task, attaching the curved roof timbers, was a slower job because they are attached at each side with small metal brackets using fiddly little screws plus being up a ladder. But from start to finish, and in all of this construction work we were not in a hurry or rushing things, it took over an hour to fit all of the curved roof timbers and the two end sections.

So below is where we got to by 4.00pm when we decided to call it a day. Tomorrow we need to complete the roof pieces to cover the porch area, and then apply the tongue and groove roof boards.

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After James headed off and I did a few chores, I decided it would be pleasant and relaxing to do at least one side with the primer undercoat I had bought from Screwfix that comes very highly recommended. It’s a job that needs doing, so why not get a bit of it done. And, in the way of these things, a couple of hours later and I had done the whole lot.

And so, construction Day 3 looms and the forecast is for it to be very hot and sunny all day.

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Day 3: 

Today’s forecast was for the hottest day of the year so far and they didn’t get it wrong. It was in the 70s with not a cloud in the sky. I was up early and while having my first coffee of the day, I tried a patch of the blue I have selected for the exterior to check the colour. It will need another coat but I like the light blue.

Paint Test

I was probably jumping the gun last night by priming/undercoating the build so far because we added on the porch today which will need to be primed. But what I have done certainly wasn’t a waste of time. We started work before 9.00am and we used the van to move up all of the tongue and groove roofing boards – there are three sizes that make up a length. As we looked at things, we discovered a slight error in that one of the roof beams was not in the right place – we were about 5cms out, so we did a bit of remedial work to get that set up perfectly. Then we built the porch which went together well. We had some head scratching because we hadn’t noticed that we needed a little batten up top on the outside of the porch upright at each side, but once we realised that, it didn’t take long to find the two bits of board and get everything properly lined up ready to start work on the roof boards.

A word of caution on those curved roof beams. They are held in place by a little bracket which you can see in the photo below. It stands slightly proud – and we couldn’t see a way of avoiding that – which causes some fun and games when you try to put a roof board on top of it. We worked out a way – bash down the metal edge that is protruding and leave the board above loose while you fit the final board, then nail them both down. But it would be good if a nick could be taken off that bracket in manufacture – or maybe we should have positioned it further inward so it didn’t stand proud, but that doesn’t look right as you can see from the second shot.

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From the time stamp on the photo, I can see that we started work on boarding the roof at 12.00. It was really hot so it was sweltering doing the work but we got it all done by 3.25pm, which included about 40 mins for lunch.

By the time we had roofed the entire hut, we were tired and decided to call it a day. We haven’t quite made up our minds about the roof – use the felt supplied or go for a corrugated roof with insulation beneath. So we will have to leave things for a few days while we earn a crust so we decided to cover the roof with a tarpaulin. It is not big enough but I have a bigger one that will go on before the rain arrives tomorrow afternoon.

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After my friend James left, I was still in the mood to just potter about and do a little more. So I fitted the doors and the door frame and that was a fairly easy process. I just needed my wife to hold the components steady while I screwed them and we got the doors hung after a bit of messing about trying to put them on backwards!

Then I decided to fit the little gates things at the end of the porch. I was hot and tired and not at my brightest so there was an awful lot of head scratching and trying to figure out these strange hinges. I have never seen anything like them in my life before. On the left, that’s just one hinge – I know they are special and let the little gate thing swing either way and open back out of the way. I couldn’t figure out how to fit them, so I left that for another day when I am less tired and hot and bothered…

I contemplated getting out the primer and doing the new pieces we had fitted – mainly the porch – and also the underside of the interior roof but it was still very hot and I decided instead to make up the steps which was a fairly easy task.

Shepherd Hut Completed.

So that’s it. There is more work to do – the roof in whatever material we decide to do it, but other than that we’re pretty much there. There’s the fitting out to do – prime and paint the rest of it; add the exterior trim, run some electric cables inside for lights and power; insulate inside and then panel the walls; lay an oak laminate floor; general painting and decorating and “dressing” the hut, etc. etc. I’ve bought a sofa bed from Ikea specially for it and I have been collecting a few period things that will look the part. But that is an on-going fun element which we will do over the next couple of weeks because we are in no hurry.

As I was reading customer comments on building one of these, it was suggested you can build one in a weekend. Of course the devil is in the detail – at what stage do you determine it is built? If you look at our timings and what you see in the photo above, then certainly, two averagely handy guys, working at a steady, unrushed pace, got this far in a long weekend. If we were building the other one, I think it would be quicker because we did an awful lot of head scratching and that’s understandable. There are no written instructions in terms of describing that you need to do this, then that, etc. etc. and how you do it. The manual is made up of about 18 pages of drawings – very well annotated drawings – that show you what is needed, and where and how it is placed. It shows you what screws to use and where necessary, there are little exploded drawings for key details. It is easy to miss something or confuse two pieces of the jigsaw so double check everything. That is not to criticise the instructions – but what we realised is that we weren’t familiar with following this kind of instruction booklet and at times things didn’t make sense. And then the penny would drop and you would see what was required and it was easy.

I think, most of all, I’m happy with the attitude we approached the build with: this is going to be fun. Let’s enjoy this. We certainly did despite the head scratching as we turned another page onto another stage of the build until it sank in what we were looking at and what we needed to do.


Thank you to James for your article. We appreciate the amount of detail and passion you show in both your writing and your images! I send my best wishes for when you build the other one and modify it. We would love to see images of the interior design when you’re finished!

Other customer experiences, build articled and ideas can be found here: Pictorial Tuin Reviews.